To "stock" a dungeon means to fill in general details, such as monsters, treasure, and traps. Special monsters should be first placed in the appropriate rooms along with special treasures. The remaining rooms can be stocked as the DM wishes. If there is no preference as to how certain rooms are stocked, the following system may be used.
He then provides a pair of tables where contents maybe determined by a d6:
Is There Treasure?
Monster Yes on 1-3
Trap Yes on 1-2
Empty Yes on 1
There is an elegance here that belies the image of random tables being random and chaotic. Using this system, and a couple of sub-tables utilizing a d6, one can create a unique feel for any dungeon map.
For example: I use this system to stock the Dungeon Beneath the Ruins in my Erimia campaign. Each level or sub-level has "special monsters" — the main or climactic encounters on each level. I place some special features, some treasure and leave the rest to the random table. However, the random table is tightly controlled. I use a template with the following pattern:
6 Chaos Beast
These numbers can be altered to change frequency, depending on the feel for each level. Each of these results then goes to a sub-table which give a specific result. This is where every level gets its true character. If you have a sub-level occupied by goblinoids next to a sub-level full of lizard-folk, the humanoid sub-table for each could look like this:
Keeping each small table within a theme creates the sense of an ecosystem. Since each table has a maximum of six entries, it takes very little effort to create.
There are several advantages to this:
1. It saves time. As a Referee I don't have to worry about stocking everything in a huge mega-dungeon.
2. It makes the dungeon extremely portable and recyclable. I can use the same dungeon several times and have it be different each time. When players clear out a level, restocking is not much of an issue.
3. It is as much an adventure for the Referee as it is for the player. I get to have the fun of seeing my dungeon develop in an organic way through the interaction of my concept, the players and some dice.
The lesson here is that random tables are only as crazy and chaotic as you allow them to be. When tightly controlled, they are an invaluable tool.