Thursday, October 4, 2018

My House Rules: How I Stock Dungeons

Dungeon Stocking

Dungeon Treasure in Coins by Level and Size
Level 10 Room Dungeon 20 Room Dungeon 40 Room Dungeon
1 1000 per PC 2000 per PC 4000 per PC
2 1000 per PC 2000 per PC 4000 per PC
3 2000 per PC 4000 per PC 8000 per PC
4 4000 per PC 8000 per PC 16000 per PC
5 8000 per PC 16000 per PC 32000 per PC

Dungeon Room Types and Number of Magic Items By Size

Total Rooms Combat Encounters Empty Rooms Traps NPCs Special Rooms Magic Items
10 3 3 2 1 1 1
20 6 6 4 2 2 2
40 12 12 8 4 4 4

Combat Encounters: These are rooms/encounters where the player characters are expected to fight something. If they’re quick with diplomacy, or are careful at sneaking about, they can avoid the combat. These kinds of encounters are things like a horde of zombies crying out for brains, some goblin bandits looking for victims, or a hungry dragon.

Empty Rooms: These aren’t actually “empty”; they may contain treasure, some backstory for the dungeon, magic items, or just something neat to look at. They aren’t traps, thought, don’t have any enemies, and no NPCs within.

Traps: Something that attempts to kill/harm the party, but isn’t something you can really fight against. The floor opens up, revealing a spiked pit, ghostly hands claw out of the ground, poisonous gas emits from the wall, and whatnot.

NPCs: These are characters that are not immediately hostile to the party, and are usually willing to talk and maybe trade. These are things like talking statues, lost wizards, kindly lizard-person chefs, etc.

Special Rooms: Weird stuff goes here. Machines that turn you inside out, orbs that cause you to change species, puddles that are portals leading to the ocean floor, stuff like that. Depending on the severity of the weirdness, these rooms may overlap a little with empty rooms or traps.

A Note On Magic Items

I tend to like magic items that require a little bit of thought to use. Things like flying carpets, rings of invisibility, homunculi, talking swords, etc. This is partially because I like magic items to remain useful throughout one’s career, and items that simply give a slight bonus might quickly be thrown out in favor of newer gear. The arcanum from Into The Odd are a great source of inspiration, as are the magic item creation tables in Silent Legions and Maze Rats. This doesn’t mean old staples can’t be used though, bags of holding, elvish boots, potions of healing, and yes, even +1 swords are still fine pieces of treasure.

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