Saturday, June 2, 2012

Dungeon Stocking

Over at "Blood of Prokopius", FrDave is musing upon what should dungeon room write-ups contain to make them easier to use.

He has highlighted some key text in a few descriptions from Caverns of Thracia as a way of organizing the room key.

It occurred to me that diving the room key up into predictable sections would make things easier for me.  I could focus on specific sections at specific times during play.  Areas that had no information would be whitespace in the document.  Much like empty rooms on a map, these "blank areas" could be filled in as the mood strikes you.

Here's a link to FrDave's post.

Here's my take on the same information.  This is a rough idea only.  It requires testing and refinement.

Generic Box:

Room Title Combat Info Monsters
Description Tricks Treasure


Example:
OVERVIEW: ROOMS 1-5 are covered in bat guano. When running or while in combat a save must be made every round to avoid falling down.
1. ENTRY HALL



There are some bats on the ceiling. If disturbed (a Light spell, for example), they will panic and a wandering monster check will be triggered. They are otherwise harmless.


2. TEMPLE Saves are at -2 to fall

The ceiling is covered by a swarm of bats. If disturbed (a Light spell, for example), they will panic. Visibility will be reduced to 5’ and a wandering monster check will be triggered.


3. ALCOVE Saves are at -2 to fall

Same as Room 2. In addition, there is a broken statue of an Atenist priest. There trails in the guano that lead to both Rooms 4&5. If disturbed (a Light spell, for example), they will panic. Visibility will be reduced to 5’ and a wandering monster check will be triggered.


4. CHAPEL Saves are at +4 to fall down. 8 Giant Centipedes (small, non-lethal): AC9; HD 1d2; HP 2,2,2,2,1,1,1,1; ATT 1 Bite (Poison, save at +4 or be at -4 on all rolls for 2d4 days).
The door to this room is jammed shut (-1 on opening). Within the rubble of a winged statue are Giant Centipedes. Several dead centipedes litter the floor.

60gp, 2000sp, and a gold & silver Atenist holy symbol worth 65gp.

5. CHAPEL They are recovering from a battle with the centipedes in Room 4. Numbers in brackets indicate poisoned kobolds — they are at -4 on all rolls. 14 Kobolds AC6; HD 1d4; HP [4],[3],[3],[3],[3],[3],3,3,2,2,2,2,2,1; ATT 1d6.
The door to this room is ajar. There is rubble from several statues that have been broken beyond recognition. If the rubble is removed, they will reveal a discoloration in the wall where the secret door is.

Each kobold carries 3gp. The leader (4hp) has a gem worth 25gp.

3 comments:

Brendan said...

Love this!

One thing: separate the description that is obvious to the PCs from that which is hidden.

For example:

Within the rubble of a winged statue are Giant Centipedes.

That should probably not be in the description.

FrDave said...

I am seriously intrigued, because I am a very visual guy and this has the potential of organizing things in exactly the kind of visual way that I could use at the table.

I am also torn. Ultimately, I really want a way that allows a Referee/DM/LL/whatever you want to call it to be able to have a map right next to the key in a three ring binder and never have to flip a page.

This technique would take up a lot of space on a page, necessitating page turns; however, in a published dungeon I don't know if that is a realistic goal.

ancientvaults said...

Brilliant. Simple and elegant and to the point.