First off, the original is in fairly bad condition what with pencil marks and smudges from my erasers and hands. Scanning and using my GIMP-fu was useless; so what the hell, I figured I’d redraw it and experiment with some different techniques I hadn’t tried before on one map. I’m glad I did, because this one actually looks ok.
But why this map you ask. Well, several reasons. Now this level was the first one I drew for my foray into building a dungeon with my random generation charts that I designed after those found in Gygax’s Dungeon Master’s Guide. And quite frankly, I like how it is laid out. It follows my general design principles fairly closely in both layout and stocking. The stocking I will get to in a minute. Or fifteen.
I like the layout, because when I design a dungeon, I try to image how its occupants will use it. Where will they sleep? Where will they hunt? Where are they going to put the PC deathtrap? The layout here allows travel from four different areas of the dungeon, and it allows several areas where I can imagine vermin and other beasts can lair and more intelligent monsters setup positions to control access and defend their area.
Coming from Mentzer’s Solo Dungeon, the only intelligent creatures a character would face are goblins. Now room 6 controls access to two separate areas of the first level and so far the only access to the third level. This sets them up as a fairly strong power center for the top levels. I like this a lot and I suppose that there is another group (or two) in the unexplored areas that are challenging them for that position.
All this said, you will notice that this map is incomplete. That’s because I let the dice fall where they may and ended up with those three additional stairwells. And I got bored with this level. I also like a lot of vertical movement in my dungeons that approach megadungeon status, so I eventually moved on to different levels. If I were a player, that’s how I might approach this dungeon anyway.The other main reason I chose this map is that a commenter in another post asked if I was going to stock these maps I have been posting. I didn’t really have any intention to, but as an experiment, this is what it would look like if I did. (click on the picture of the key to download a pdf of both the map and its accompanying key).
The thing of it is this, I randomly generated the room contents using Moldvay’s stocking chart. Somehow most of the results made sense in the overall structure of this level, and those that didn’t, well a little mental gymnastics helped turn those explored areas into a coherent whole. (I go into more detail in the pdf). Really the only thing I don’t like is that less than a third of the rooms are empty. My dungeons end up with between a third and a half empty. The treasure is also a little on the high side, but I doubt I’d hear many complaints from any players running through this area.
As always, feel free to use this for your personal game. I’d be interested to hear any impressions on the overall stocking density. Don’t forget to check out my Downloads section for my other dungeon maps and creations.