Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Another Dice Brick In The Wall

I quite like the approach of Zak's Another Brick In The Wall random dungeon generation system, but not having a deck of tarot cards to hand (and noticing that it would cost £15 to get a set from eBay...), I quickly ported his system to good old-fashioned polydice.

So roll a D4, a D6, a D8 and a D10 all at once. The D6 is just a control die, if it comes up "top of the die" (i.e. 4,5 or 6) add 6 to the results of the D8, giving effectively an evenly-weighted D14.
The square brackets indicate the original card/suit of the Minor Arcana that produces this result under a tarot card system. With cards, obviously a card can only come up once in a design session. You can either ignore this and allow a result to come up multiple times or, just check your new rolls against the existing ones and reroll if required.

D14 (D8 + Control Die D6)
1 [2] Minor Obstacle
2 [3] Dead/Ruined/Broken
3 [4] Hidden
4 [5] Standard, level-appropriate, site-appropriate, dangerous
5 [6] Funny or Weird, plot-irrelevant
6 [7] Standard, level-appropriate, site-appropriate, dangerous, useful if overcome
7 [8] Has a clue on how to treat a Knight
8 [9] Has useful information about a Queen
9 [10] Is related to or is of the same nature as the Queen, possibly a minion
10 [Page] Noncombatant, plot-relevant, minion or possession of Queen
11 [Knight] Fairly big deal, could be a benefit or a hazard, depending on how the PCs play it
12 [Queen] Major, bad, plot-relevant
13 [King] Major, bad, plot-irrelevant, unless there are no Queens on the table, in which case it's plot relevant
14 [Ace] Beneficial (major)

D4 (Suit)
1 [Coins] - Inanimate Feature/Object
2 [Swords] - Person/Monster + Inanimate Feature/Object
3 [Wands] - Person/Monster
4 [Cups] - Overrides the D16, just empty

D10 Orientation
1-5 Upwards
6-10 Inverted

In Zak's original scheme, each card represents a single room with neighbouring cards that are orientated identically being linked, i.e. having some form or portal between the two. I prefer the idea of each card representing a small area of the dungeon (for example a geomorph tile) and then the linked sections instead represent areas that have something in common - for example they are all subsided, the patrolling area of a Giant Gelatinous Cube or the "turf" of a Goblin tribe.

Other FightingFantasist posts that might be relevant
100 Themes for Dungeon Levels
200 Items of Dungeon Dressing for my proposed Hypogeum megadungeon campaign setting.

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