Dungeon23 (Wk 5) - Short week, starting to hit my stride

Day 29

The dungeon's purpose/story has come together enough out of what I've generated that today's rooms feature connected monster/treasure generation and placement. Meaning that Monster A, B and C all have reasons to be doing what they're doing. It feels weird, after 4 full weeks of random generation, to start designing versus just interpreting dice results. To be fair, the dice are still kicking off that design, but there's guidelines of sorts to interpreting the results now.

I'm also customizing monsters to fit the dungeon - part of the "story" if you will - orcs and goblins aren't just going to be stock orcs and goblins. Little tweaks that I'll get into as the players reveal them. 

Day 30

Crazy rooms! Odd shapes and placement, makes it challenging to draw and describe. These rolls seem to come in bunches - I'll have a day of passages, a day of rooms one against another, another day of weird shapes and results. 

It definitely makes for interesting mapping and for learning how these things will flow. 

Tonight begins the campaign! I'm very curious to see how the Black Maw will be received. I have a few little butterflies in my stomach - just pre-game, first-time kind of jitters. I know it will be all fun, and we'll see how a randomly generated dungeon holds up to invading, marauding players bent on loot and glory!

Day 31

Yesterday evening, I hosted the inaugural session of the campaign that will delve this megadungeon. Here's the link to the after-play report

For today, one of the rooms came up with contents of "trick/trap". I'm finding that the more I stretch my legs in this dungeon, the more interesting (devious/devilish) things I'm coming up with. The room contents generator I use said "mosaic" and the effect of the trick as "[can't give it away]". Well, I closed my planner and chewed on that for a bit, then inspiration struck and not only did I come up with a trick, but I also came up with clues on what might happen - really obvious clues. I'm curious what the players will do. 

I guess the lesson is sometimes to just walk away for a bit and chew on things, let the imagination flow. Don't be afraid to have potentially serious/life-threatening consequences in your tricks! 

(Image from here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sparkle_jen/3420281909 )

Day 32

A burst of energy and creativity today and I filled in the rest of the spaces for the main area of level 2. Level 1 was 65 rooms/areas, Level 2 is chock-a-block with 80! That's just insane. This is officially the largest dungeon I've ever created from scratch. And there are ten levels to go... weee!

I struggled a bit at the end of mapping. The random results were either impossible to implement or just didn't make sense, so I came up with alternatives and dice between them. I also liberally interpreted a result or two because there was an area of the map that just screamed out for throwbacks to my early CRPG experiences and the dungeons of Ultima I/II and III, or of Bards Tale from the 1980s. My approach is still "less design, more dice", but sometimes a bit of design helps. I also went back through the map again to make sure there were connections across the map so that large areas weren't pinched or linear in approach.

I'll populate the rooms and write out the descriptions in the rest of January, flesh out Oily Messe a bit more, I've got some sublevels to key out, so there is work to be done in January before I move on to level 3. Work continues!

Day 33 - Day 35

Gone deer hunting! Last hunt of the 2022-23 year. We'll see if nature gives me a harvest or not. 

(image from: https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=65210&picture=deer-in-the-woods-3 )

Since I'm very ahead of the power curve of "one level a month", a mid-month break is nice!

Dungeon23 stats: 

  • Levels: 5
  • Rooms: 176 (40 added in wk 5)
  • Level 1 mapped/keyed.
  • Level 2 mapped, not fully keyed. 
  • Levels 3 and 4 started. 
  • Level 5 connected. 
  • 3 sublevels mapped.


  1. Hey Michael, love your blog! Your dungeon23 project seems to be flying along!

    Question for you - you mentioned a room content generator in this bit -

    "The room contents generator I use said "mosaic" and the effect of the trick as "[can't give it away]".

    Can you reveal what that content generator is? That's exactly the sort of brief inspirational tidbit I'm looking for.

  2. Hi Michael. Love your blog! Sounds like your Dungeon23 project is flying!

    You mentioned a room contents generator -

    The room contents generator I use said "mosaic" and the effect of the trick as "[can't give it away]".

    Can you reveal what generator this is? I'd love to get my hands on something to create little tidbits of inspiration like this.

    1. Hi, thank you for the kind comments.

      I shared the link to the sheet and the sources from the Week 4 update, here's a link to the sheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1aec8LrJkYiAc_Xz6tDhI4WQXhxxCvFm8YdkHQg6Aib4/edit?usp=sharing

      Here's the Week 4 update, scroll down to Day 28, if you want to see the notes behind the generator. https://chgowiz-games.blogspot.com/2023/01/dungeon-23-wk-4-strange-surprises.html

    2. Ah good stuff! I just have missed it, thanks!

  3. Definitely looked at that Chamber and Room table a bit recently! An enhancement is to grid approximate some of them.


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