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In today’s excerpt from the Dungeon Master’s Guide, we offer further tools for generating (and populating) dungeons.
The appendixes within the Dungeon Master’s Guide help you quickly generate a dungeon. The tables work in an iterative manner. First, roll a starting area, then roll to determine the passages and doors found in that area. One you have initial passages and doors, determine the location and nature of subsequent passages, doors, chambers, stairs, and so on—each of them generated by rolls on different tables.
Following these instructions can lead to sprawling complexes that more than fill a single sheet of graph paper. If you want to constrain the dungeon, establish limits ahead of time on how far it can grow. The most obvious limit to a dungeon’s size is the graph paper it’s drawn on. If a feature would exceed the boundaries of the page, curtail it. A corridor might turn or come to a dead end at the map’s edge, or you can make a chamber smaller to fit the available space.
Alternatively, you can decide that passages leading off the edge of the map are additional dungeon entrances. Stairs, shafts, and other features that would normally lead to levels you don’t plan to map can serve a similar purpose.
Once a dungeon is generated, the time has come to populate it. The following table selection organizes monsters by environment and challenge rating. These tables omit monsters that don’t customarily inhabit the environments included here, such as angels and demons.
The Dungeon Master's Guide
The Dungeon Master’s Guide provides the inspiration and the guidance you need to spark your imagination and create worlds of adventure for your players to explore and enjoy. Inside you’ll find world-building tools, tips and tricks for creating memorable dungeons and adventures, optional game rules, hundreds of classic D&D magic items, and much more!