Saturday, September 10, 2011

My own dungeon: keep digging

Continuing with my attempt to design a dungeon (first level; second and third levels) I roll the dice (or grab the random numbers) for level 4:

gargoyle 2
gargoyle 7
giant spider 7
giant spider 2
giant spider 3
grey ooze 2
grey ooze 1
medusa 1
medusa 2
ogre 4
ogre 4
blink dogs 4
bugbear 8*
gelatinous cube 1
ghoul 6**
hell hound 3
hydra 5 heads
minotaur 1
shrieker 12*
wraith 3
*extrapolating from Holmes, doubled number of third-level monsters on fourth level
**extrapolating from Holmes, tripled number of second-level monsters on fourth level

About the same number of critters as levels 1 and 3; so much for my mythic underworld theory from level 2.  More ogres; I think the minotaur uses them as mercenaries against the encroaching giant spiders, who keep clogging his labyrinth with webs.  He’s in a mythologically inspired truce with the medusae, who order around the gargoyles (already made of stone, they’re not affected by the medusa’s gaze).  Blink dogs are on this level, too, but for some reason they’re on friendly terms with the hell hounds—both groups of lawful canines are guarding something.  More wraiths; likely earlier adventurers who died trying to get what the mutts are sworn to protect.  I think that’s what happens to unconsecrated corpses of characters of fourth level and higher who die down here: they become wraiths; third level and lower arise as zombies.  These ghouls are separated from their colleagues two levels up; I think they should resemble humans at first and be able to talk, like the ghouls in Lovecraft’s works.  The bugbears, who are just trying to get by, have a hydra of their own, but they regard it as a pet/watchbeast.  Grey ooze slithers among the shriekers, while the gelatinous cube makes the rounds on a regular basis.

Now we do the same thing to determine the occupants of the fifth level of the dungeon:

doppelganger 6*
doppelganger 2*
giant spider 8
giant spider 6*
hydra 5 heads
hydra 5 heads
hydra 7 heads
zombie 16***
zombie 18**
dwarf 15****
giant centipedes 35****
hell hound 10
minotaur 5
ogre 10
owlbear 2
stirge 20****
werebear 4
wereboar 2
weretiger 3
wraith 5
*extrapolating from Holmes, doubled number of fourth-level monsters on fifth level
**extrapolating from Holmes, tripled number of third-level monsters on fifth level
***extrapolating from Holmes, quadrupled number of second-level monsters on fifth level
****extrapolating from Holmes, quintupled number of first-level monsters on fifth level

Lots of numbers, thanks to the way the charts work--maybe the mythic underworld thing isn't bunk.  Specifically, more hydrae, this time a whole family of them.  This means there’s some sort of spawning ground nearby.  Hell hounds roam the halls; not sure why.  The doppelgangers could be fun, especially since these groups of dopps haven’t encountered individuals from the outside world in a long time and their tactics aren’t the best (instead of picking off group members one-by-one, they’ll all swarm the party at the same time and duplicate one or two of the most powerful adventurers—good luck telling friend from foe!).  The dwarfs used to inhabit more of this level, but many have been slain to arise as zombies and wraiths.  They should have a leader (level 2-7 per the rules) to help keep them alive down here.  The minotaur warrens on this level connects to the one above, and again the bull-headed men employ ogres to keep their maze clear of the giant spiders (who can be convinced to lead a party through the labyrinth for the right price).  Giant centipedes are everywhere underfoot, while stirges swoop down to feed on the warm-blooded.  The owlbears snack on both of these species, while the were-creatures all share an uneasy truce as they search the area for clues to a rumored cure for lycanthropy. 

This is interesting; I guess I'll keep going and see what the dice throw my way next.

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