I have written several posts now about worlds “infested” by the Dungeon’God, but not much about what is beyond the gates this entity opens to the worlds in question.
As mentioned here and there the things inside these entrances are a physical manifestation of the gods actual body. The reality and natural laws that holds sway here are are a product of an utterly alien mind. With that in mind they follow their own internal consistency and logic.
By adhere to this postulate the players can learn and actually deduce things from earlier experiences, giving the world (in all its alien and unformed glory) a meaningful way of exploration and revelation.
Secondly, by giving the inhabitants of this alien world motivations and personalities that are understandable if not reasonable or even remotely likable, there will be ways for “social” interactions. This refutes James Raggis monster philosophy as he lays down the words in the excellent Esotheric Monster Generator.
Having a monster acting as the only purpose is to mindlessly tear the limbs from the PC now and then is probably good. However if that is the only thing they meet in a mega-dungeon campaign it will certainly get tendious. As they will come and go through the same area it is much more interesting with a series of diplomatic/intimidation encounters instead of a repeated slaughter. The aforementioned Esotheric Monster Generator is still extremely useful to create a interesting monster (or base to one at least).
With those thoughs I have begun to scetch a dungeon creator. As the dice drop tables are the latest black I was thinking of something like this, but with eight fields corrsponding to the types outlined in Rooms, and Basic Trap Design by the mega-profilic Courtney Campell.
The first thing I did was looking through my electronic heaps of geomorphs and find one each that fit (somewhat) the description Courtney uses for the rooms. Although I from an estetic viewpoint would like to use the Billiam Babbel set but the Dungeon in blue is easier to edit and have a much wider range of geomorphs.
These I put in eight stacks, the thought is to use them only once to avoid a too standardised feeling, as some are a bit to big to really fit my perspective of a “room” they are easy to edit a bit and resuse another edit later.
The numbers of the dice would be interpreted as in this table (I couldn’t get it to fit the blog format in any functional way).
I drop a “standard set” of dice, d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20 and interpret the result as following:
The d6 is the geomorph assigned as I, d8 as II etc drawn from the stack indicate by the die position.
The first two columns (d4 and d6) is about connection to other nodes in the Mega-dungeon, these will certainly be developed further when I get a clearer picture of the macro structure and the connection between nodes. The roman numeral is a just an arbitary number assigned to the relevant geomorphs. As for the result of 1 which allows for a total bypass of the level further down into the mega-dungeon it may prove a bit of a problem. A way to mediate that problem is having a magical gate demanding a McGuffin in the associated node to open/become passable.
The third column is a pointer to what kind of special treasure the main treasure of the level boss, which I call Leveltenant as a working name. This is some kind of extra-special advantage/achivement/enrichment a defeat of the Leveltenant will enrich the players with, aside from gold and such uniteresting stuff. I will speculate of what this can be in a later blogpost, but the general idea can that inspired me can be found here.
The d10 column is about how the node is layout, in a general way in relation to the entrance, it is the nine form of the five dungeon room theory (more about that here), and a very special addition, from a marvellous erudition in this fantastic blog post at my favorite map blog, Dyson Dodecahedron (the map it self was from here).
Then we have the d12 column containing the standard Jungs archetypes, how to interpret them from a monster perspective will indeed be a interesting endeavour for a blogpost.
The last column is a bit of atmospheric inspiration for the node, this can be a help for the PC to orient by (up this stair I recognise the rotten smell from the entrance), or perhaps an indication of the local ecosystem (no firedrakes in this cold).