Monday, March 7, 2011

DMG Sample Dungeon Level Stocking Project

Always a sucker for synergistic group projects (e.g., The Sea of O'SR Islet Project and the April A-Z Blogging Challenge), and also a longtime fan of the 1e DMG sample dungeon map, I am hereby accepting James C.'s summons to stock the sample dungeon level from DMG p. 95.  Note that, as James foregrounds, this whole project is inspired by a similar undertaking, The Monastery of the Order of Crimson Monks, by participants on the forums.

As James suggests, I plan to stock about three to four rooms per week for approximately the next ten to twelve weeks.  I will be using the Labyrinth Lord basic dungeon stocking tables found on LL p. 124, with a few customized twists (i.e., I will deliberately place a few monsters and treasures as I see fit).  I plan to proceed with zero reference to the DMG's first few keyed rooms for this map.

For me, this will be good "warm-up" for my ongoing Megadungeon Project, since I plan to use these same LL tables to stock the vast majority of the megadungeon's levels and locations.

So here we go with the first four rooms -- note that I am considering this a Level 3 Dungeon since I know I want to place a Water Weird (a 3+3 Hit Dice creature) in the pool in Room 2. . .

Room 1:  Rolled and got monster, no treasure.  Rolled randomly for the monster on the Level 3 Wandering Monster Table (LL p. 104) and got "Bugbear."  I rolled for number appearing and got five (5) Bugbears.  For area 1B, I rolled on the "Miscellaneous Room Contents" Table (AEC p. 148) and got "Incense and Burner."  (To me this instantly suggests "Bugbear Priest" -- maybe this is his meditation chamber?)  I also need to specify something interesting about that door at area 1C -- maybe a trap or a magical lock.  Then it occurs to me: why not use Michael Curtis' Dungeon Alphabet to roll for an unusual door?  I turn to page 10, roll a d20, and you can see the result in my keyed entry below.

Room 2:  No roll for general contents, instead I assigned a Water Weird (see LL stats below) to the pool at 2B.  Since this creature has no treasure according to its Hoard Class, I would normally specify no treasure here, but I want to place some shiny and possibly valuable object in the bottom of the pool in order to tempt the PCs into approaching the pool's edge.  Maybe some jewelry or a golden goblet or chalice will do the trick -- I again turned to The Dungeon Alphabet and its entry on "Jewels," see result below.  For area 2A, I rolled on the "Miscellaneous Room Contents" Table (AEC p. 148) and got "Firewood."

Room 3: Rolled and got empty, no treasure.

Room 4: Rolled and got monster with treasure.  Rolled randomly for the monster and got "Wight."  (This is a pleasing roll, as Wights are a personal favorite.  It also suggests a possible connection between my Bugbear Priest in Room 1 and this Wight lair here.)  I rolled for number appearing and got three (3) Wights.  The Wights' hoard class is XXI; I rolled that out and got 4,000 electrum pieces.  I decided to enact a devious plan to hide that ep hoard in Room 5, through the secret trapdoor in the floor and down the crawl-way to the east.

My finished key to Rooms 1-4 looks like:

1.  Bugbear Priest's Meditation Chamber.
1A:  There is a Bugbear Priest (stat as bugbear but with 4 +1 HD and the following once-per-day spells: Protection from Good, Hold Person, Curse) meditating here, accompanied by four Bugbear guards armed with battle axes.  If the tide of battle turns against them, they will flee east to Room 6.

1B:  The Bugbear Priest's incense and burner, always lit when the Priest is present.  PCs will smell the (foul) incense even as they come down the stairs to the north.

1C: This door is sealed with lead and covered with magical inscriptions warning of danger beyond.  Anyone with Read Magic can read these warnings, which refer to "danger in the water."

2.  Firewood Stack and Water Weird Pool
2A:  A bountiful stack of surprisingly dry firewood sits at the southern end of this damp chamber.  Anyone trying to remove the firewood will attract the malicious attention of the Water Weird in the pool at 2B.

2B:  Anyone approaching within 10' of the pool's edge will notice a shiny, valuable-looking star-shaped sapphire (500 gp value) in the bottom of this clear, 8' deep pool.  The pool is also the home of an aggressive Water Weird (see description below) which attacks anyone coming too close to the pool's edge or who touches the firewood stack.

3.  Empty.

4.  Wight Lair.  Three (3) Wights dwell here.  They will attack any living creature entering the room, and have a 4 in 6 chance of hearing the eastern door open (therefore negating the chance for PC surprise).  They will chase opponents as far as the door 50' down the eastern hallway, but won't go beyond that point due to divine, undead-repelling wards the Bugbear Priest (see Room 1) has placed upon that doorway. 

New Monster

Water Weird
# Encountered: 1d3 (1d3)
Alignment: chaotic
Move: 120’ (40’)
AC: 4
HD: 3 + 3
Attacks: 1 (drowning)
Damage: none
Save: F6
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: none
XP: 135

Formed out of water, the water weird typically appears as a serpent; it strikes as a 6HD monster. Any creature struck by a water weird will be pulled into the water in which the water weird dwells unless a save vs. Paralyze is made.
Sharp weapons cause 1 hp damage to a water weird; blunt ones do normal damage. Damage equal to its hp total disrupts the creature; it re-forms 2 rounds later.
Cold spells slow a water weird; fire spells do half damage. The only means by which to fully kill a water weird is to cast purify water on it.
A water weird can take over a water elemental on a 3 in 6.

[Adapted from the "Water Weird" in Monster Manual p. 100.]


  1. I'm glad you got it rolling and will be following along closely.

  2. I dig the water weird, very cool. What made you decide to go with the Lab Lord d% stocking tables instead of the B/X d6 tables?

  3. @Spawn: Hmm, good question, I guess I wanted to give the LL ones a shot before reverting to the originals. Or maybe I am slightly less averse to d% tables for "behind the scenes" stuff like dungeon stocking. For the megadungeon project, I will probably switch-hit, trying out LL tables for some levels, B/X tables for others, etc.