Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Offbeat Megadungeon - stocking method

Made a perchance generator for stocking my two-week megadungeon


Note: may contain alterations/updates since the stuff mentioned in this post

couldn't help myself from revisting some past thoughts about dungeon room typology, the traditional BX stocking method, and weirdness I felt with it. I wanted to decouple some aspects and kind of redefine what traps and specials meant, and add some stuff i think should be part of the stocking process even if only as a reminder to add them because they make dungeons cool.

But the classic proportions of empty, monsters and treasure is about the same

here's the full method I intend to use as it is currently - the perchance generator has some refinements beyond this

Architecture Stocking

  1. landmark (mundane but unusual aspect)
  2. trap (1-4 blocker, 5-6 complicator)
  3. interactable (to open door or cause effect elsewhere)
  4. secret (one connection is hidden/secret, or a secret compartment)
  5. verticality (connection or otherwise)
  6. unique architecture/effect ("special")

Unique Features

  • detail landmarks, interactables, and unique rooms
  • this is the most important step. don't use crap tables for "special" rooms. actually apply some imagination and inspiration.
  • create "windows" between some close rooms - unpassable by mundane means but allows "previews" of other places

Faction Stocking

  • place tyrant lairs - prefer big rooms in lower levels
  • place faction/tyrant lieutenant HQs - prefer dead ends (or make connection into a secret escape route)
  • determine faction territory extent according to strength/numbers
  • create contested rooms where two factions would overlap
  • place faction room types
  • apply faction's adaptation of the architecture type

Faction room types by distance from HQ:

  • leader's room, maybe with escape route
  • vault (always has treasure, and something else the leader/faction values) - usually behind leader's room
  • elite guard's room/post (outside leader's room and/or vault)
  • stock storage
  • sleeping room
  • commons
  • utility/workshops/buffer
  • guard posts

Occupant Stocking

advantage if faction room

  1.  monster (unintelligent)
  2.  Unoccupied
  3.  Unoccupied
  4.  Unoccupied
  5.  resident
  6.  wanderer

Content Stocking

advantage if occupant, trap, or dead end

    1-3: Empty
    4: stock item(s) (common supplies, mundane but maybe useful items)
    5: unusual item (problem solving item or just weird)
    6: treasure

Treasure Type

advantage if in a faction's vault

  1. coinage
  2. gem (or other highly-value-dense item)
  3. weapon/armor(?)
  4. artifact (valuable but heavy)
  5. magic or powerful item
  6. roll again twice (explode)

Treasure Values 

  • (if GP = XP) 
  • (maybe move/integrate with treasure rolling)
  • for each treasure
  • http://bxblackrazor.blogspot.com/2015/09/stocking-per-moldvay-part-2.html
  • make it dynamic, factoring in party levels, leveling cadence desired, etc?

Emitter Zone Placement

  • create and place emitters
  • extend emission zones (remember verticality)
  • emphasize emissions in unoccupied rooms


  • apply themes to anything obvious, but don't force it

Challenge Synthesis

  • detail traps
  • detail faction drives/needs/goals
  • find the rooms with the most interesting stuff going on
  • integrate the elements into an OSR style challenge

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