Friday, March 23, 2012

Gamer ADD: Fiend Folio Part 10

Stocking the Dungeon

When I put together the Wandering Monster Tables (WMT) for a FF Basic Edition, I promised to find a map and stock it using those tables. At the time, I had in mind the maps of Dyson Logos, whose hand drawn maps have found their way into my games on more than one occasion and also spearheaded the geomorph revival that gets put to such good use over at Dave’s Mapper. Unfortunately, Dyson’s recent output has been rather sparse and can usually fit on a 3x5 index card. Undaunted, I decided to string together several of his recent maps to produce a large enough map to really give my WMTs a good test run. I had to fiddle with the maps a little in order to make them fit, but here is the result:

For those interested (and to give Dyson proper credit), the originals are here, here, here, here, here and here.

I used the dungeon stocking table from Moldvay with one addition. Holmes provides a table that allows wandering monsters from tables above or below the current dungeon level. Since I had WMTs for levels 1-3, I wanted to take advantage of them all and so utilized this table from Holmes.

Here are the results (with initial thoughts in parentheses):

Rooms with traps: 1-7
Rooms with traps guarding treasure: 8-17
Rooms with unguarded treasure: 18-20
Rooms with specials: 21-32
Rooms with monsters sans treasure:
33. Goldbug
34. Snyad
35. Iron Cobra (was this created by the Conjurers in 46 & 61 or is it a remnant from earlier occupants?)
36. Veterans
37. Warriors
38. Bullywugs (spies from more dungeon levels accessed by following the river?)
39. Dakon (trying to get his treasure back, I assume)
40. Garbug
41. Garbug
42. Firesnake
43. Giant Bats (or Gorbels if you happen to be Scott)
44. Death Dog
45. Death Dog
46. Conjurer (one of two — brother/sister combo that now rules the dungeon?)
47. Kenku (are they the friendly kind or the slaver kind?)
48. Flind
Rooms with monsters and treasure:
49. Quaggoths (did these steal the Dakon’s trasure?)
50. Snyad
51. Norker
52. Firenewt
53. Death Dog
54. Grimlocks (some of the original occupants?)
55. Assassin Bugs
56. Coffer Corpse (the reason there was construction here in the first place?)
57. Footpads (lying in wait to backstab those in combat with the Veterans in 63).
58. Kenku (helping the other Kenku)
59. Meazle (plotting against the Conjurers?)
60. Witherstench
61. Conjurer
62. Flind
63. Veterans

The fun part of this whole exercise is that this dungeon doesn’t feel all that different from a classic sample dungeon for a Basic Edition — its a pair of Magic Users who employ some evil humans and humanoids as guards. However, all the various familiar elements are twisted just enough to be unfamiliar and therefore dangerous. I especially like how the demi-human stand-ins (Dakon, Kenku and Quaggoth) don’t necessarily seem out of place or are automatically an encounter that will help out an adventuring party.

EDIT: Since there has been an interest, the map above is now a larger version and I am including this version sans numbers:


  1. oh my gosh...this is the most beautiful thing i've seen in ages...

  2. Great work on the table, but I really *adore* that map! It has a much more organic, natural feel than the typical squared-off dungeon fit to a sheet of graph paper.

  3. I agree that the map "steals the show" for this post. Do you have a larger version of it you could post?

  4. A larger version of that map would be great! Preferably unnumbered.

  5. Thanks, Dave. Very kind of you. :)

  6. I'm loving the series on Fiend Folio, keep up the good work. Also, great job stitching together the maps.

  7. Great work editing my maps into this beauty!

  8. Great work! The tables are wonderful!

  9. Amazing, I had an experiment with one of Dyson's map:

    If you interested, please check it.