December 17, 2013

The True Random Dungeon

Through the years there have been various books outlining how to set up a complete dungeon by doing nothing but rolling on various tables. It includes the lay-out of rooms and corridors, traps, monsters and treasure. By rolling on the charts a complete dungeon can be laid out. Heck, over at Wizardawn, they can do the whole thing in under a minute; a complete dungeon built for up to seven different systems.

However, I have to ask...has anyone ever run a completely random dungeon? By this I mean, run it with no tweaking "to accommodate my players". No, I mean play it as built with no changes? I suspect no one has, but I could be wrong.

Have you? If so, how did it work in actual play?
If you have not, would you ever consider doing so?


Granger44 said...

Here you go:

dither said...

Yes and no, yes and no.

When I first started gaming, I tried rolling up dungeons totally at random with a friend as a sounding board. We played them and they weren't very much fun.

I think "random" is a good way to go for certain *types* of dungeons, but others should be expressly designed.

I have some ideas for "truly random dungeons" system, but its designed to generate dungeons within a specific set of parameters -- basically for small, inconsequential lairs.

Plus, there will be a template to go with it -- based on the type of dungeon occupant. Ultimately, it should make building one-shot dungeons about as estrightforward as generating a brand-new 1st-level character. :)


Callin said...

Sounds like an intriguing idea Dither.

Stelios V. Perdios said...

Yes, I have run a completely random dungeon. It was for AD&D Second Edition. And I had fun watching my players furrow their brows in vain effort to understand.

Why is there a secret door next to the main door, both leading to and from the same rooms?

Why would anybody design a series of 60ft hallways ending in doors, going for at least 240 feet, and then have it end in dead end? With no passages or doorways leading off to the side? And a random pit trap?

How did a Tyrannosaurus Rex get into dungeon?

Dave said...

I used the dungeon generator at to generate the first three levels of one dungeon, and the first six of another for my OD&D campaign... it's been working well.