Thursday, 1 September 2011

Old School Dungeon Encounters In Action

I updated yesterday's dungeon encounters table (thanking Google Docs for making it easy) to take into account some feedback and fix a few other glitches, adding also a favored old school Barsoomian critter.

One of the innovations is a rule that if an increase in numbers would take the number of monsters above 30 or so, that increase is replaced by a tactical advantage. "What, you can't have more than 30 monsters in a dungeon army?" Practically, no. It's a pain in the ass to track that many monsters. What that combat will usually boil down to, as it did when we fought Ye Olde Room of Umpty-ump Kobolds in 10th grade, is a defended doorway and lots and lots of boring roll-roll-roll. Allied groups of monsters in adjacent rooms, now, that's another story.

Because I want this table to be usable in a pinch, I also replaced the illustration of doubtful value with a table of random handicaps that can be applied to benefit either the party or the enemies.

Now, below are the results of 6 encounters generated for a party of rank II, that is, 2nd and 3rd level characters.

This is a disorganized cave complex and ruin. Leaders and Troops/Surface are replaced respectively with Predators/Loners and Vermin.

Room 1: 12 giant leeches.
Room 2: Giant poisonous frog, confined to a pool of water (inspired by the leeches)
Room 3: 28 large centipedes (food for the frog)
Room 4: 16 saucer fungi, advantage is that they are in a zone of otherworldly darkness around a fungus altar.
Room 5:  A formerly 7 headed hydra, with two handicaps: only 3 heads remain, and it has to attack the party up a slope from its swampy lair.
Room 6: Five ghouls.

What I like about random generation is the way it sometimes throws out a theme. Does anyone else do the encounters first and then map the dungeon around them? Because I'm seeing an area for each of these ... a shallow entrance pool for the leeches, trickling stream in the frog room, the centipedes are in a maze-like area of limestone tunnels, the fungi are a dead end off there, and the ghouls are in an abandoned evil temple past the hydra, which is at the bottom of a huge slanted cave.

One last favor to ask - could someone just download my Varlets & Vermin pdf from the link to the right, and confirm that it is accessible? I just want to make sure the "link only" privacy option works for one of my existing  files before I set them all up to be that way.


  1. Success dling V&V. Nice looking doc, too. Thank you!

  2. It worked fine for me yesterday. Very good stuff!