Blog (A5E) Dungeon Delver's Guide: Sample Dungeon

The Dungeon Delver’s Guide Kickstarter is coming into its last week! With over £150,000 pledged, we’ve unlocked several stretch goals. Let’s talk about those.

Dungeon Delver’s Guide has a huge, 40-page section that lets you randomly create, tweak, and customize dungeons. But sometimes it’s 30 seconds before the game starts and you don’t want to spend the time rolling all those dice: you need a dungeon now. We’re building a web app that generates a dungeon for you, complete with a fully keyed map and appropriately-leveled encounters and treasure, using all the rules and charts in the book.

So far, we’ve unlocked six dungeon themes: the bastion, cavern, laboratory, mine, ruin, and sewer. At £160,000, we’ll add a temple, and at £170,000, we’ll add the final dungeon theme, the tomb.


We’re working on the mapping software right now! I want to show you a snapshot of where we are in development by sharing a complete, randomly-created dungeon, which I call The Ghastly Ruins. Dungeon size, level, and theme are configurable: this is a small level 1 ruin.

In all of our randomly-created dungeons, we try to assemble elements that combine to create an interconnected story. Often an item or creature from one room refers to the contents of a different room. Other times, there may be no explicit connection, but one may occur to you as you read or play through the dungeon. Both of these can be true in the Ghastly Ruins.

In the next paragraph, I tell the dungeon’s story as I see it; after that, I’ll present the map and the key created by the web app. Skip the next paragraph if you want to let the dungeon speak for itself.

In the Ghastly Ruins, a ghast—a former noble—waits for its next meal to deliver itself in the form of an intrepid adventurer party. The ghast rests in a covered sarcophagus, surrounded by its ghoul courtiers and clutching a sinister gold idol. To find the resting place of the ghasts and ghouls, you’ll have to fight with their flying sword guardians and find the hidden door in the shabby splendor of the dungeon’s false throne room. Along the way you might come across the dining room that is the site of the ghouls’ hideous feasts (I like to imagine that the animated skeletons in the dining room are dressed like waiters). You might find a hidden cache of papers and deeds that tell the story of the ghast’s mortal life. You might even run into another adventuring party tricked into visiting the Ghastly Ruins, lured by rumors of a hidden gold idol. The dungeon’s greatest treasure, however, is the shattered magic mirror, the repair of which is far beyond the party’s present means.

The Ghastly Ruins​

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A1: 30x30 ft chamber. Exits south, east.
Novelty: A seemingly magnificent throne room: illusion magic hides the fact that the throne is stripped of gold, the cloth hangings and carpet are rotted, and the statues are smashed. An illusion-cloaked object takes its true form once removed from the room. The effect can be dispelled as a 4th-level spell. DC 13 Perception check: a smell of rot from the east.

A2: 5 ft wide passage running west, east.
Obstacle: Behind a wine rack, a crumbling wall blocks passage. DC 10 Perception check: Cracks in the wall outline a secret door with no obvious way to open it. A DC 13 Investigation check reveals the wine bottle that must be pressed to open the door.
Nearby: Noise in this area may alert the ghasts in A3.

A3: 20x20 ft room. Exit west.
Set piece: Spirits of the Past. These undead have haunted the ruins for centuries, since the days they ruled as mortals. Intruders are hungrily welcomed.
Encounter: ghast with 2 ghouls
Unless alerted to intruders’ presence, the leader of the group rests in a sarcophagus. Once combat begins, it or another creature must use an action to raise the lid.
Treasure Hoard: 300 gp gold idol.

B1: 10 ft wide passage running north, south, east.

B2: 5 ft wide passage running south, west, east.
Scenery: Niches in the wall hold inanimate skeletons and treasure.
Minor Treasure: Deed of land ownership--and possibly of nobility.

B3: 40x30 ft chamber. Exits south, west.
Escalation Encounter: Guardians following instructions: 2 skeletons
A ruined banquet hall: long tables are broken, chairs are overturned or smashed, and shards of dusty glass litter the floor.

C1: 10 ft wide passage running north, east.

C2: 5 ft wide passage running north, south, west, east.
Escalation Encounter: Guards patrolling on behalf of the ghast in A3: 4 flying swords
The cracks between the stones are green with mold
Minor Treasure: Glowing, shattered mirror (if repaired for 25,000 gp, acts as a crystal ball).

C3: 40x30 ft chamber. Exits north, west.
Discovery: Adventurers (an acolyte, scout, and spy), searching for the treasure hoard in A3.

That’s where we’re at with the generator! There are, of course, lots of features we haven’t demoed yet in this simple dungeon. What else would you like to see?

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Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes


Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
Will the web app be available to everyone? To backers? To random people selected on a basis of height, weight, and abundance of nostril hair? :unsure:

Nathaniel Lee

That's pretty cool. I like the aesthetic a lot. Is that just a frontend JavaScript app or is there backend server component to it as well? Just curious as someone in the web app development space.

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