Random Dungeon Stocking

For my powered-by-GURPS Third Edition megadungeon, I am using the classic methodology of stocking my dungeon by first choosing the cool monsters and treasures I want in there, and then by rolling the rest from a random table.

Random stocking speeds things up and also generates ideas that I would not have thought of alone. For the first few sections of Levels 1 and perhaps 2-3, this method suits me fine. It gives me some dungeon to let players loose in. I adjust the results where things don’t make a lot of sense.

Because I want to only use the humble D6 die in my GURPS gaming (it’s a feature of that game system), I decided to base my tables off the classic D&D Basic ones from 1983 but convert the dice rolls to 3D6. Here’s my current working version:

3D6Room ContentsTreasure Chance on 3D6
3-8Level-Appropriate Monster10-
9-11Empty (just dungeon dressing)7-
12-13SpecialUsually, no treasure
15-16Background Clue7-
17-18Tough Monster12-

A “level-appropriate” monster rolls something from the relevant Level 1-3 Monster Table and then assigns a quantity based on that creature’s “Number Appearing” entry.

“Tough Monster” means something much more powerful and interesting. If the room is large enough, maybe throw in a dragon. If not, pick something horrid from the higher level Monster Tables. Basically, add something nasty and unlikely to be winnable by lowly 50-point player characters.

The “Special” entry refers to that classic old trope of something “not normal”: Alarms, Illusions, Map Changes, Moving Terrain, Pools, Sounds, Transportation, Trick Monsters, and Weird Things are all “specials”.

“Traps” can be any of the classic types: Blades, Darts, Explosions, Falling Items (including falling monsters), Fog, Light Flashes, Pits, Poison Gas, and Poison Needles (presumably on door locks).

The “Background Clue” is an entry I created to encourage the GM to add clues which reveal interesting background details that you want the players to learn. Leveraging the Three Clue Rule, I make a list of conclusions I’d like the players to reach about the lore of the dungeon and then make up three clues for each. Randomly distributed clues make for interesting locations.

For simple random treasure, roll on this table if needed:

Dungeon LevelCopper PenniesSilver ShillingsGemsJewelleryEnchanted Items
11d6x1001d6x10 on 10-1d6 on 5-1d6 on 4-Any 1 on 4-
2-32d6x1001d6x10 on 10-1d6 on 6-1d6 on 5-Any 1 on 6-

That’s how I stock my dungeon. Leveraging the principles of Tiny Prep, I can add at least one outline to a location in under 5 minutes. I can come back later and detail the notes more thoroughly.

Game on!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.