Maptacular Monday: Donjon d20 Random Dungeon Generator

When I first got into the OSR community of blogs and thinking about how I wanted to do dungeons of my own, I needed a place to start. I didn’t want to build my own balance and monsters from scratch, and I enjoy the challenge of rendering the random sensible.

This site was great for that. Detail on doors, construction, loot, monsters (with stats) and already keyed. A map for players and one for the DM. I mean, this is a great resource. You can pick the level and theme, and customize many elements of the dungeon.

Ultimately it is likely the hard core crawler will find this too limiting. However, it is a great place to start. And it spurs creativity in wonderful ways. For example, it was because of this site that I started thinking about necromatic dwarves.

I randomly generated a dungeon with long, twisting passages. One of the random wandering monsters was a pack of 12 dwarves with eldritch powers. There were also bugbears and orcs in there. So I came up with a story about how the dwarves were a death cult, the lore they sought was written on the walls (spaced out so you are less likely to go mad), and they had hired muscle to deal with intruders while they studied.

I named it the “Necroparietal Lexicomplex” because it’s got death, walls, language, and a dungeon. I haven’t run it yet. But that’s not the point.

The point is, when you don’t have a firmly established setting and you want to make something unique, you can use a random generator like this, then fold and twist your world to fit the random setting instead of folding the random setting to fit into your world. It will take you in directions you never would have explored on your own.

Like the one where giants herded ankhegs into a stone area for breeding season so they could collect and protect the young. I would not have come up with that by myself. But…it’s a cool idea, right?

Try it out. Have fun with it. Tell ’em I sent you.

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4 Responses to Maptacular Monday: Donjon d20 Random Dungeon Generator

  1. drow says:

    death cult dwarves! awesome. 🙂

  2. fictivite says:

    Glad you like it. If you want to see a pile of stuff for doing necromatic dwarves in B/X D&D, check out my “Cool Stuff” page, it has a lot of work in that direction.

  3. drow says:

    already reading through it, very cool. i hope you won’t mind if i mash the dwarves into my 4e game? some of us are pretty old-school despite the cards and stuff, and would definitely get a kick out of it. and the ravens! oh, the ravens…

  4. fictivite says:

    Hey, enjoy! I don’t play B/X myself, so I do all kinds of cross-system adaptation. If you mash it up, would it be… Monster Mash?

    Also, I didn’t realize until later you’re actually the guy responsible for all the random generating madness. Thanks for all the great free tools, I’ve gotten a lot of good use out of them in the last year or so.

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