Fully Random Dungeon

So, I am not sure I showed it here but I did a random dungeon using the Dungeon Master Guide from 5E.  It was just the rooms and corridors that were random.  Last night I had our first in person game back since the holiday break and I was expecting to be continuing on the game I had been running that I had adapted Matt Jackson’s The Long Hall map for (If you don’t know Matt, you should, his blog can be accessed here).  The thing is though I had one of the players that could not make it that told me a few days prior to the game and then another pull out on the day.  It meant that I only had three players and one of them was turning up a little late and had not played for some time so his character was still first level.

This meant that the adventure I had ready to play was probably going to kill his character again.  So I sat down and decided that I would twist it around a little and use the map that I had created.  The party had a powerful sorcerer and some devils on their tail last time we played so I set up a trap for them that was designed to get them captured at the home “installation” for the sorcerer.  A simple teleportation trap in a Glyph of Warding had them appear in my dungeon.

But what was I going to use in that dungeon.  I had no plans for this to be any bigger than Matt’s map and so I turned to the DMG for answers and pushed past the mapping of the dungeon and moved on to the stocking the dungeon part.  I had taken over my wifes shift at the servo so that she could have a break and in between cars I sat there with some dice and the paper on the back of my map and wrote out the dungeon using the random generator.

Of course the creatures and enemies were my choice and so it remained a little on the “devillish” side.  But I created traps with glee and even spent some time building up an intelligent item as well.  I won’t say too much about that because it will give a little too much away for next week.  In doing this it also shaped my Dungeon a little bit more and I made some minor cosmetic changes along the way.

Random dungeon
I thought about putting the whole map up but thought better of it for my players – this is what they covered last night

We played a decent amount of it last night and had a bit of fun with it.  I turned the style of the dungeon quite grotesque and that played out well.  The players got well into it and are trying to work out what the heck is going on, and more importantly, how they are going to make their way out of the place for all they know is that they all arrived via a teleportation method.

This random build worked really well but I am not sure that I would use it much in the future.  It worked well because it gave me a serviceable dungeon in a limited amount of time but there are things that did not sit well for me.  It may just be my perception but the dungeon feels a little listless because I did not work through the logic of it all.  The randomness takes over the thought through it and while that makes it a little faster to do there is less depth to the dungeon than there could be.

One of the issues, I am sure, is the fact that I like preparing my RPG’s and I think that because I put that thought in my games are a little better for it.  But that may just be perception because the game went off really well last night.  I have tailored this to be a dungeon that will help my returning player to be able to catch up in levels while still being challenging.  The other adventure I had was going to be far too tough for him.  He put in some great performances as the Dwarven Barbarian too.  My daughter plays a half orc barbarian and I thought there would be far too much crossover but they are totally different.  Their traits and bonds make them feel completely alien to one another and in fact they will probably be at odds a lot of the time.

I have had a couple of the players intimate that they want to return to Pathfinder soonish – which is a welcome relief to me.  It does depend a little on how far they push the characters though.  I have also been approached to do a review on a new module for Pathfinder by Savage Mojo and have said to the players that I would like to test it at the table as a bit of a break, so once I have the link for that we will be playing some Pathfinder too.  But as always I have to say that DnD is fun and it is the behind the scenes prep work that annoys me.  It is just not substantive enough for me but when we hit the table and the dice roll it is a good game.  Until next time, keep rolling!

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