D&D 5E DMG Random Tables: Any luck for game material (especially maps?)

Mavkatzer

Explorer
I LOVE random tables. And I am THRILLED by how many there are in the DMG.
I've rolled some interesting results from the DMG tables, but not actually used them in game yet.

I was particularly excited about the dungeon map tables, however all the maps I've rolled have been... well... unusable. I chalk this up to unlucky map rolls rather than bad tables.

What have been your experiences with the random tables in the DMG? Have you used the reuslts in game?
If you have used random map tables, how have your maps turned out?
 

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Fralex

Explorer
I've randomly generated a map before. It turned out OK. The trick is to know when to stop rolling once you've got an interesting, general layout and just finish the rest yourself.

There was one story I read about an adventuring party whose DM, for the final dungeon before the finale, decided to use an online generator that generated an entire, cohesive dungeon complete with level-appropriate monsters. It... was not a very smart generator. It kept on putting giant creatures in chambers with corridors too small for them to leave the room. The ridiculousness peaked around this point...
Somewhere in the middle of this the Assassin and the Druid wandered off on their own to discover what was probably the single silliest encounter of the lot. A 15’ by 15’ Glabrezu . . . in a 15’ by 15’ room.

Assassin: “What are you doing here?”
Glabrezu: “I’m sort of stuck.”

The Assassin and Druid worked out a deal where they gave the glabrezu its freedom in exchange for a wish. They used the wish to find the path to the end of the dungeon, and then came back to rejoin the party without telling the rest of us how they got the information. With the map, we were able to find our way to the exit.
 

Mavkatzer

Explorer
Good advice. I may have been letting the tables do all the work. Waht they make is... interesting. I'll try using them as a foundation and polish them up from there.
 

rjfTrebor

Banned
Banned
i guess there are so many other ways to quickly generate a dungeon map these days that i sort of glossed over that part. i really like the donjon generator for my games. lots of customization options and it makes really high resolution maps that have a cool oldschool feel.
 

SigmaOne

First Post
Good advice. I may have been letting the tables do all the work. Waht they make is... interesting. I'll try using them as a foundation and polish them up from there.

This is exactly what I did. I've created one level of a dungeon this way, so far, which I'm planning on using tomorrow. If you follow it blindly, you'll get something that often doesn't make a ton of sense; but if you use it to generate content and then guide it with your own intuition, plans, and common sense, you can get some cool stuff. Often this meant disallowing chambers where they didn't seem right, making a hallway turn left instead of right, only putting doors in certain areas, etc. Then, as recommended in the book, you go back and add your own touches beyond that. It's pretty fun, and it's a neat exercise to use them. Now (for the most part) the pieces of it all fit together into a coherent whole, and each piece has its purpose.

I'll definitely do it again, since I found it accelerates the process, and interesting makes it more organic. I can make up my own dungeons, but I probably never would have made this one up. What I also like is that you can, totally ignore the random rolls and just use all the tables to spark inspiration, too.
 

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