Friday, September 19, 2014

Randomly Generated Dungeon for Seven Voyages of Zylarthen

Or rather, the 1st level of one. There are 50 rooms:

1. Empty
2. Empty
3. Empty
4. Empty
5. Monster: 4 Bats
6. Empty
7. Monster: 2 Black Knights
8. Empty
9. Empty
10. Empty
11. Monster: 4 Skeletons
12. Empty
13. Empty
14. Empty
15. Empty
16. Empty
17. Empty
18. Empty
19. Empty
20. Monster & Treasure: 3 Elves, 4000 SP, 100 GP, 1 Gem (10 SP value)
21. Monster & Treasure: 2 Snatchers, Dagger +1, +2 vs. Goblins and Kobolds, Scroll of 1 Spell: Pass-Wall, Mail +4 (carried)
22. Treasure: 9000 CP, 1 Gem (10 SP value)
23. Monster: 3 Crocodiles
24. Empty
25. Empty
26. Empty
27. Empty
28. Empty
29. Empty
30. Monster: 6 Bandits, 60 CP (carried)
31. Empty
32. Empty
33. Treasure: 1 Jewelry (600 SP value)
34. Empty
35. Empty
36. Empty
37. Empty
38. Empty
39. Monster: 2 Giant Dragonflies
40. Monster & Treasure: 6 Vikings, 36 SP (carried), 1100 SP
41. Monster: 2 Gargoyles
42. Monster: 9 Red Martians, 90 pi coins (carried)
43. Treasure: 500 SP
44. Treasure: Scroll of 7 Spells: Animate Objects, Contact Higher Plane, Magic Jar, Telekinesis, Wall of Stone (2), Animate Dead, 1 Map to treasure horde of 1300 GP (97 miles away)
45. Empty
46. Empty
47. Monster & Treasure: 1 Boar, 800 CP
48. Monster: 2 Berserkers, 8 SP (carried)
49. Empty
50. Monster: 3 Half-Elves

1. I used the guidelines on p. 4 of Vol. 4, The Campaign, figuring that 1 in 4 rooms would contain monsters, 50% of monsters would have treasure and 1 in 6 unoccupied rooms would have treasure.
2. Monsters were generated from the tables on pp. 9-10.
3. Magic Items and spells were generated from the tables in Vol. 3, Book of Magic.
4. For treasure hordes, I used the treasure class tables on p. 38 of Vol. 4. But I multiplied the results by 10% (11000 SP became 1100 SP, and so on) on any roll of 1-5 out of 6. Perhaps I should have let the CP numbers stand just to give the player-characters more to carry. 
5. For unguarded treasure or monsters without a treasure class, I randomly chose from treasure classes 1-3.
6. Amazingly, the total treasure value (if you include the horde referenced by that map) comes out to approximately 15,000 SP--well within the guidelines on p. 4.
7. I didn't cheat (not once). I suppose the scroll of 7 5th level spells in Room 44 might be adjusted, as well as (maybe) the Mail +4. Then again, the party might need some of those spells for a few of the monsters (1 magic dagger against 2 Gargoyles is tough).
8. Many of the monsters seem easy for 1st level characters, but obviously a few of the monsters are very powerful with serious TPK potential. This is a good dungeon level to teach players how to pick their battles (if they can) and when to hide or run away. Similarly, making friends (there are obviously a number of potential allies) or at the least not making enemies will also be paramount. You don't want those 9 Red Martians (all presumably armed with Radium Pistols) to have a problem with you.
9. I have no idea how the Boar got in there.


  1. Love the boar! The price of admission to that dungeon is worth that alone. ;)

    1. I like him too. That's the joy of random tables. I figure he wandered in by accident but now he's stressed and angry because someone shooed him into a room and spiked the door. If the party opens it, he'll make one attack and then burst out, whereupon he will then become a permanent extra wandering monster. You never know when he might come charging out of the darkness at you, in the process also making enough noise to attract other wandering monsters.

  2. I wonder how the vikings and the red martians feel about each other? Quick thinking players should be able to pit the two groups against each other if they aren't already allies.

    1. Yes, it's interesting too how many potential friendlies there are in the above mix. Even the Black Knights and Snatchers might prove to be allies, albeit untrustworthy or temporary. I assume this is partly a feature of the lower level monster tables. But even when I was designing them I wasn't thinking in those terms. It's funny how a random exercise can teach you things you hadn't realized about your own game.

  3. I see that you decided to use the treasure class tables in this example, despite the fact that the table says to only use it for random wilderness encounters (at least, in my copy of the game). I'm just curious, was this intentional, or have the rules seen minor revision in regards to how treasure is distributed (either in the PDF that I currently have or in one that has yet been released)?

    Anyways, I have to say that I adore the game that you've made. It's honestly quite a fantastic labor of love, and a lot of the ideas are brilliantly executed. It just hits all the right notes for me, and feels like a refreshing and modern take on OD&D that doesn't lose the charm and weirdness that made the original so great. I've been running my own semblance of the 3LBBs for a while on and off, and I know I'll be using Seven Voyages instead the next time around. It's definitely one of the finer accomplishments of the OSR out there and it deserves way more press than it gets.

    1. Thanks, Leon. I really appreciate your comments. I used the tables to use something. But as the post says, I multiplied the results by 10%. So, it's not a rule, per se, just another idea for randomly generating treasure within the overall game guidelines.

      As you may have seen, I've been out of game blogging for awhile, and I still have promises regarding the next step of Zylarthen that I haven't fulfilled. I hope to return to active game writing soon.

      In terms of press, I haven't been promoting it recently, which is probably some of the reason for the lack of coverage. But it's also quirky and is a real "niche within a niche" product. Though it hasn't been reviewed as extensively as I had hoped, it did get a quite positive review from the Save or Die podcast. And to be honest, that was sort of a dream of mine, so I can't complain.

      You're right that it was a "labor of love". I admit to being proud of it. Not proud of myself for writing it, exactly (since I think I'm a dorky writer), but for the result itself, if that makes sense. It was a tribute to the original game, and if it captured even 20% of the magic, that's good enough. Thanks again. And if you play a Zylarthen campaign, let me know how it turns out.