For our first generators for adventure building we take a trip to the dungeon and what's out there to help build and inspire them.
Ruins, labyrinths and caves have been part of the human story for thousands of years, and we take that into the fantasy setting with games like Pathfinder, Runequest and Dungeons and Dragons.
But our dungeons are populated with traps, undead, magic, curses, demons, cults, treasure and orcs....
We will follow with articles on
- Dungeon map generators
- Room Generators
- Generators for dungeon detail
- Maps and generators for caves
And today we start with generators to inspire your dungeon building.
1) 5E Dungeon Master's Guide
Pages 99 to 101 contain well-built tables and subtables for Dungeon Location, Dungeon Creator, Dungeon Purpose and Dungeon History. There is also detailed advice on how to use them...
Rolls give us
The dungeon is in a Chasm was created by a cult of Elemental Fire as a Planar Gate and the creators were Destroyed by Attacking Raiders.
There is an online version of the tables at a Dungeon Idea Generator
2) Dungeon Description at Fantasy Name Generators
It takes a different approach, providing a descriptions for
- An initial room
- One room deeper in the dungeon
- One mystery room which could be the final room
The mix of other rooms is also described in these entries, as seen in our example...
3) Fourth Page Dungeon
This Abulafia Dungeon generator provides four ideas at a time, each one giving a History, a Denizen, a Trial and a Secret.....
4) Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide
The Dungeon Toolbox (Pathfinder GMG pages 178-179) has several well-stocked tables, the first three of which will help give inspiration for memorable adventures.
Three d100s produced
The dungeon is in an Asylum for the Insane, hiding Sunken Ancient Green Byways linking Fey Lands and the main entrance is a Whirlpool.
Maybe a forest pool guarded by druids, through which local crazies are thrown when a whirlpool forms. Inside is an asylum of maddened oracles in feywild borderlands, watched by fey creatures from all around.
5) Twitter Dungeons
Twitter can be a surprising source for generators, and the Random RPG Generator of @randomdnd has some great ideas for dungeons. It may take a couple of attempts to get one you like.
One example is
You make camp by a musty old fortress where dwell maddened hyenas. You've heard the legendary Oracle of Death was once here.
6) Quick Dungeon
The ENWorld Quick Dungeon is one of my own generators, giving you enough to run an adventure with little preparation, or inspiration for a larger idea. It includes dungeon name (using the Dungeon Name Generator at ENWorld), location, founder, inhabitants, entrances, number of rooms and a reason to go there.
What Dwells Beyond??
So we've given you 6 ways to inspire, build and quickly-generate dungeons, and we'll continue with more dungeon generators to come.
Leave a comment with your favourite generators.