Today (as of this writing), I received my Random Dungeon Generator and Wandering Monster posters from the Blog of Holding Kickstarter campaign. Paul started the project to fund production of the former, and generously required only a $22 donation to have the latter thrown in as well! I got them laminated, and they’re now hanging in a place of honor above my workspace.
If you are unfamiliar, the random dungeon generator (pictured right) was originally created by Gary Gygax, and included in the Dungeon Master’s Guide as appendix A. The generator takes up about 4 pages of the book, and is intended to help GMs create dungeons both in preparation for, and even during, a session of game play. The variety included in the tables is impressive. Numerous types of corridors, room sizes, trap types, treasure and even whether or not a monster is present can be generated with the tables. They can be somewhat difficult to follow, and require a lot of page flipping, but the creation of it is a feat of Gygaxian proportions.
As Paul tells the story, it first occurred to him that the tables could be re-drawn as a flow chart. It then struck him that a dungeon is basically a flow chart with monsters in it. So he set out to represent the random dungeon generator as a dungeon, and it turned out beautifully. It’s extremely simple to follow. I’ve already created a few dungeon levels using it, and aside from having a difficult time finding a table large enough for it, it has been a pleasure to use. The art is top-notch as well. I know many of my readers have a soft-spot for detailed black-and-white art, and I don’t think they’d be disappointed by what Paul has done here. There are little visual treats everywhere, with tiny characters making their way through the many dungeon obstacles present.
The Illustrated Wandering Monster Tables are of somewhat less use to me, since I have so much fun creating those tables myself. But the art is, once again, very nice. Plus I think it will be fun to use in conjunction with the random dungeon generator. If I can somehow fit them both behind my GM screen, I won’t even need to bother making any game preparations any more!
So far, the poster has only been made available to those who participated in the Kickstarter campaign, but Paul has said they will be made available somewhere online soon. When it does become available, you have my recommendation to purchase it.