Dungeon23 (Wk 2) - Continuing Level 1 / Looking for Players

Two parts to this post - my Dungeon23 build log for week 2 and a "Looking for Players" request (at the end). 

Day 8

On. a. creative. roll! I added 8 rooms across 4 days of the planner. I keyed 3 of them, will do the rest on Day 2.

The empty spaces have enough in them to give the players room for pause. The heebeejeebees. Signals that not all is well in this place. I hope it works. The empty areas are just as important, and can often spawn a lot of discussion and planning. Plus, empty spaces with doors make great hidey-holes if the PCs need to rest for a few hours. Such rests can be dangerous though... 

I haven't started on the wandering monsters yet. I often create my WM tables based on the occupants, so that the tenants of Room 8 might be wandering around, if they've not been encountered yet. Brings life to the dungeon that way!

Day 9

When I have a few rooms together, I like to generate the monsters/treasure and treat the area as a whole - so that the monsters are interacting with each other or set some sort of stage for the players to come into, versus just rolling and placing monsters. 

This does bring challenges, though! Some of the monsters don't necessarily have a reason for interacting, so I need to figure it out. Why would one monster pursue another, or be talking to another, or be in the same area, even? It doesn't take much to write a few words to spur some thoughts at the table when I run the thing. 

Blood trails are a fun clue to leave. As are bodies that perhaps tie into monsters/encounters elsewhere in the dungeon.

Day 10

Here's an example of how I'm drawing my dungeon, using the Appendix A from the 1e DMG. This is just an example, not actually being used in my dungeon.

My Techo planner superimposes a calendar over a grid that is 7x6 spaces. That's enough to put a lot of dungeon in each date/area. 

Each room/chamber was generated from the DMG Appendix A, Table V.  For this example, I started with room 1 generated from the table, versus the starting areas that the DMG has at the beginning of the Appendix. Number of exits for this (and other rooms) generated from Table V.C.  I assigned a 4in6 chance of it being door, to simplify my options. 

Passages were diced from either Table I or Table II (Space behind doors). When the text calls for "check again in (or 60')", I actually divide by 2 so that the maximum "run" is 30'. For 30' call outs, I divide a d6 by 3 so it's a 10' or 20' run. This allows me to have more rooms and to fit more into each area. First level is busy!

My key is pretty sparse, enough words to help me imagine at the table, with MONSTER NAMES IN UPPERCASE so that I can easily see what's what. Stat block is hp, HD, AC and any special hints or a page number for Monster Manual (as the MM was quite compatible with OD&D as well as AD&D, just use d6 HD instead of d8, and adapt any AD&D specific rules.)

Monsters/Treasures are generated from the old Monster/Treasure Assortment books.

Empty rooms are being described/decorated using Courtney Campbell's "Empty Rooms" book, or other sources I've scrounged from the web. Here's an example:

"3. Empty and bare. Ceiling - perfectly flat, black pool, edge to edge. Every so often, ripples or bubbles can be seen."

Day 11

Treasure's actually something I struggle with - both knowing when it's too much, or not enough. For this dungeon level, I'm thinking that the treasure within should be roughly enough to get 3 to 4 folks from level 1 to level 2. At least the treasure that is straightforward-ish to get. 

I might sprinkle around other treasures, hidden or just concealed, or not obvious, and those are bonus. I think max would be everyone in the party can level up to level 2. 

Of course, the further down one goes, the higher the price may be for treasure...

Day 12

It seems as if level 1 won't have a BBEG, which I'm OK with. Two factions have definitely emerged, with one being invaders against the other, who are mostly wiped out. Or are they? I have 7 days left (30/31 are 3x7s, so I'm squishing them into one).

I've also taken the liberty of adding corridors/doors/secrets to open the various areas. I don't like a single chokepoint leading into areas in my dungeons. 

As of today, I'm "caught up" in the areas matching the calendar. I finished Day 23 (although this is a January planner and it's December but *shrug*) and I like what I've created so far!

Even have a nice "trick/trap" after the random table gave me a nugget of thought. 

Day 13

It's Christmas Eve! I wonder what the dice will bring me for the Day 24 area. 

Interesting! I have a kind of close on one of the factions here. 

And another room with clues to the dungeon itself.

Up to 54 rooms! If I stick with this for the year, I'll have nearly 700 rooms in 12 levels. Wow!

Day 14

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, Happy Holidays to you all! 

My quiet Christmas morning saw me add 3 more rooms/areas to my Level 1 which is 5 days from being complete. The last day will be wandering monster encounter table and looking over monsters/treasures to make sure I have all that I need and want. I think it's important to do that on something that is randomly generated - just to make sure it does what I want it to.

I feel myself getting into a routine!

Dungeon stats: Levels: 1, Rooms: 57 (37 added). 

Looking for Players

Dungeons were made to be delved! This dungeon is going to be no different, except that it will still be in creation as players explore it! 

I'm looking for 4 to 6 folks who want to explore a dungeon that is malevolent, intent on killing the players, hoarding and guarding its secrets jealously. The environment is a hostile mythical underworld where the rules from "above" do not apply to "below"!

(Update: 1/8/23 - Thank you for your interest! I have six players who've bravely come forward to enter the Black Maw. If you want to hang out with us and see how the dungeon goes, you're more than welcome, just drop me a line.)

System: The rules will be OD&D, with a number of modifications, mostly in line with how I've played OD&D throughout the years. Credit to Dan Collins ("Delta" of Delta's OD&D blog) and Philotomy (of Philotomy's Musings) for the houserules.

Link to houserules: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cQ_2lY-h34cRr0Hr9z-3bFxtyrnAj2tiFuz-6lMa5_c/edit?usp=sharing

Time/Date: My target day/time is Tues/Wed/Thur, 7:30pm Central to ~9:30pm Central. I find that 2 to 2.5 hours for online games is my sweet spot. 

I'm open to other days/times for one-shots, if there's interest in a longer game but one session. 

It's first come, first added - I'll send a link to my Discord server which is where I run my games from, as well as using Roll20 when the situation requires it. 

Questions or want to sign up? Leave a comment or email me at chgowiz@gmail.com


  1. You mention putting enough treasure on the level to get 3 or 4 characters to 2nd level. What do you do if this treasure gets hoovered up and then those characters die? Do you have a means of restocking treasure? Do the new guys just have to suck it up and go deeper while still 1st level? I've never run a megadungeon, but I was going to give dungeon23 a shot, and this is something I've been trying to grok.

    1. That's a great question! It gets to the heart of what a megadungeon is all about - it's own environment - living, breathing, adapting, evolving.

      To answer your questions, I'll keep it short, but the idea of dealing with death, restocking dungeons, etc., is unique to each campaign.

      If characters clear out level 1, they're probably going to have enough treasure to start hiring some help - or at least I hope they do! Most groups will hire out some hirelings to serve as meat shields. If a PC treats a hireling well, there's an opportunity to conver them to henchfolks.

      For my campaigns, I've allowed henchfolks to become a player's new character, inheriting 50% of what the original PC had. Since henchies get 50% XP, they've hopefully gotten some amount of gain.

      That being said, if a PC dies on deeper levels, and they have no heirs, I allow parties with various levels. Usually, this means the new level 1 will help as they can, stay back when needed, and with the deeper levels bring more XP in treasure/obstacles, they will level up out of squishy stage fairly quickly (hopefully).

      Yes, that can mean that a PC starts out with 0XP and the gear in their pack - although I encourage PC groups to share the items of the previously deceased to help get the new PC started!

      There are a lot of resources and things written about restocking the dungeon as it gets cleared out. Depending on what the PCs do, I'll noodle around and come up with some harebrained idea on how things restock. If the PCs are gone from an area for a long time, yes, absolutely new creatures come in, or refugee creatures fleeing from the PC invasion might move up or over to remain safe and rebuild.

      There is a ton written to help give you ideas for your own dungeon. And you might come up with your own ideas!

      One seed that I use ... that's a lot of dead bodies lying around after the PC horde loots and leave. Pretty tempting for someone/something interested in carrion or dead flesh...


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