….The Moldvay Experiment Part: 1….

   I created this map, keyed it and stocked it over a year ago. I read in a few different blogs about the little chart for stocking a dungeon in the Moldvay Basic Dungeons and Dragons red book on page B52. So I dug out my old copy of the book and looked it up. Back in the day, we played mostly a mish-mash of rules from the Holmes blue book and AD&D, I acquired the Moldvay books later on and probably mashed in a few rules from them as well.

   My intention was to create a random dungeon stocked randomly using only the red book basic rules, I was going to randomly generate the dungeon using the tables in the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide, but quickly scraped that way of making a dungeon. Just too complex for my simple mind. I just started drawing out some random rooms, then began to stock them using nothing but charts in Moldvay’s Basic D&D book. I generated the contents of the rooms using just the “Stock the Dungeon” chart, since it was basically a first level dungeon, I used only the “Wandering Monsters Level 1” chart on page B53, rolling a 20-sided dice to determine the monsters. If there were monsters, I used the “Treasure Types” chart on pages B45 and B46 to determine the treasures. Using treasure charts was something I almost never did in the old days. For specials, room traps and treasure traps, I just rolled on the appropriate lists on page B52. 

    I stayed faithful to the charts in the book, just rolling the dice and letting the results fall where they may. It was an enjoyable experience, taking those random rolls and coming up with descriptions for each room. It seemed like each time I rolled, my imagination went into overdrive to picture the scene. For example in room 5, I rolled up 7 Traders, looking at the L-shaped room I originally drew, I pictured it to be a blacksmith workshop, the traders were hiding in there, recovering from a previous encounter that did not go so well. I saw them as being lost in the dungeon and in their current condition, could be friend or foe to a party entering the room. A perfect little back story for some completely random rolls. I did deviate once from the charts, when I rolled up the wolves in room 8, I pictured the iron cage that they had somehow escaped from only to be trapped in the room itself. Since they had been trapped in this room for so long, I decided that the wolves needed something to eat to have survived that long in the room. So I added some giant rats and the rat tunnels for those poor trapped wolves.

   I left some open passages so I can come back and expand on this thing in a part 2, level 2 (or more). This was a fun experiment for me, I am glad to finally getting around to posting it. I hope you all enjoy it as well. Click on the map image for a complete 4 page PDF, which includes the map and all the room descriptions. Below the map image are the room descriptions as well. Peace Out!

Moldvay Experiment-Final

Room 1: “As you get to the bottom of the long winding stairs, the room opens up; the walls go up at least 30’ to the ceiling. The air is stale and quite still. A thick layer of dust covers everything. Something moves in the opposite corner of the room…”

Rock Python:

AC: 6

HD: 5

HP: 23

Damage: Bite 1-4 / Squeeze 2-8 / round

Move: 90’ (30’)

Save: F:3

Morale: 8

   In the room there is a heavy round wooden table with three creaky wooden chairs around it. In the corner are some wooden crates and barrels.

Crate 1: Rotten apples.

Crate 2: Moldy, crusty loaves of bread.

Crate 3: Empty.

Barrel 1: Old red wine, tastes like vinegar.

Barrel 2: Stagnant, putrid water.

Barrel 3: Oil soaked rags at the bottom.

(Useful for torches)

treasure: None

Room 2: “This smaller room has a low two foot high pool in the very center of the room. The pool is filled with a very clear sky blue liquid that sparkles from the light of your torches. At one end of the room is a rounded stone bench along the length of the wall, it is covered with ratty, dusty animal skins.”

   The liquid grants levitation to any who drink it. It can be stored and carried from the room, in small amounts. Upon returning to the room there is only a 20% chance the liquid will be in the pool.

Treasure: None

Room 3: “This room has a large chest covered in dust and cobwebs against the wall opposite of the door. There are also two human/humanoid skeletons along with their rusty weapons and armor lying on the dust-covered floor.”

   A pressure plate in the center 10’ floor section sets off a spring dart trap from the north wall, firing one dart for 1-4 points of damage. The chest contains 59 CP.

 Treasure: 59 CP

 Room 4: “Inside this dark and musty rooms a wooden table with two wood benches, one of which is overturned. There are also two barrels filled with brackish, stagnant water.”

 Barrel 1: Nothing

Barrel 2: 7 SP, 23 CP, under the sludge at the bottom of the barrel.

 Treasure: None (Other than what’s in Barrel 2)

Room 5: “The smell of smoke, coal and metal permeates this room. The light of your torches reveal work benches, stools and various tools scattered about. The room branches off to the left where you see an overturned table. A stern voice yells out, “Stop where ye stand, lest these arrows stick ye like a pig!”

    A large party of fur and pelt traders is holed up here, some badly wounded from a previous encounter. They entered the dungeon and can’t find their way back out. They are not looking for a fight, but will defend themselves if attacked or provoked. HP in parentheses are current HP. There are six human traders and one halfling trader.

 7 Traders:

HD: 1

Move: Human 120’ (40’) Halfling 90’ (30’)

Save: F1

Morale: 7

 Maximus: AC: 6, HP: 7, Short Sword 1d6

Flavius: AC: 7, HP: 6 (4), Short Sword 1d6

Claudius: AC: 7, HP: 5 (3), Battle Axe 1d8

Marcus: AC: 7. HP: 4 (2), Spear 1d6

Octavius: AC: 7, HP: 4, Spear 1d6

Quintus: AC: 7, HP: 3, Mace 1d6

Bob (Halfling): AC: 7, HP: 1, Dagger 1d4

Treasure: 1 potion (Levitation), 1 potion (Growth), 1 gold bracer set with sapphires and garnets (800 GP), 1 mithril neckchain set with a large emerald and two smaller amethysts (700 GP), 95 SP, 19 CP.

 Room 6: “The ceiling in this room rises 30’ high, supported by 4 large stone columns. It is dusty and very cold in here.”

 This room is empty.

 Treasure: None

Room 7: “The only thing in this room is a waist-high, circular stone pedestal. An object rests on top of the pedestal sparkling in the torchlight.”

   On top of the pedestal is a fist sized clear gem (diamond). If it is picked up, a brilliant flash of light erupts from it blinding everyone in the room (Save vs. Spells) for 1d8 turns. The gem is actually an illusion cast on a fist sized rock. On top of the pedestal where the rock was is a small disc of metal set into the stone. If the metal disk is depressed, a secret compartment on the front side of the pedestal opens up, spilling out 400 SP. Roll immediately for wandering monsters.

 Treasure: 400 SP

 Trap 7a: “Torchlight down this corridor, reveals a dead-end.”

   A large stone block falls from the ceiling if anyone steps into the last 10’ section of the corridor. Any character in that section of corridor must (Save vs, Turned to Stone) or take 1d10 points of damage.

 Treasure: None

 Room 8: “Strong smells of musk, fur, urine & feces assault the senses when the door to this room is opened. To one side there is an opened iron-barred cage, with a humanoid skeleton in the corner. On the other side are puddles of water and small 2’ to 3’ skeletons of some kind. In the darkness ahead, low growling begins to start…”

 4 Wolves:

AC: 7

HD: 2+2

HP: 14, 11, 11, 8

Damage: Bite 1d6

Move: 180’ (60’)

Save: F:1

Morale: 8

    The wolves will fight only long enough to escape the room at the first opportunity. The skeleton in the iron-barred cage is human, his battle axe rusting by his side. The smaller skeletons are giant rats that the wolves caught and ate from the rat tunnel that opens into the room. The water puddles are from water trickling down the stone walls.

 Treasure: None

 Rat Tunnels 9: “A small 2’ to 3’ tunnel leads into darkness…”

     These tunnels are quite small, only 2’ to 3’ wide, opening occasionally into wider tunnels. A human trying to crawl through these tunnels will have a 10% chance of getting stuck per turn cumulative. IE: Turn 1: 10% chance, Turn 2: 20% chance. These tunnels are the lair of three giant rats.

3 Giant Rats:

AC: 7

HD: 1d4

HP: 3, 3, 2

Damage: 1d3 + Disease

Move: 120’ (40’)

Save: F:1

Morale: 8

 Treasure: In the cave marked x, buried in a hole.

A necklace set with emeralds (1200 GP), Fire opal encrusted dagger with a silver blade (400 GP).

 Room 10: “Once the secret door is discovered and opened, a swarm of angry, buzzing flying creatures try to attack, from the small 10’ x 10’ room.”

 9 Stirges:

AC: 7

HD: 1*

HP: 8, 7, 7, 6, 6, 6, 6, 5, 5

Damage: 1d3 After a successful attack, attaches and sucks blood for 1-3 points of damage per round. Flying stirges gain +2 on first “to hit” roll due to speed.

Move: 30’ (10’) Flying 180’ (60’)

Save: F:2

Morale: 9

 Treasure: None

 Room 11: “In this small 10’ x 10’ room a grotesque demon face is carved into the stone wall. It is about two feet high, and is about-face hight from the floor on the wall opposite of the door. The mouth of the demon face is a dark opening, behind it’s wicked fangs.”

    If the demon face carving is touched, a stream of noxious purple gas billows forth from the mouth. Anyone in the room must (Save vs. Poison) or die.

 Treasure: None


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Village Morph Dice

Dyson’s Delves

Heros and Other Worlds

Zak S. Vornheim

About this blog

    This blog came into being after I discovered the OSR blog scene. I was inspired by Dyson Logos and his blog, specifically his geomorph project. Check out his awesome work: "Dyson's Dodecahedron" The style and the simple elegance of his 10 x 10 squares put me on a mapping roll. I have blatently (...and respectfully) emulated his style and now have pages upon pages of geomorphs. Along with more location specific maps in that same style.

   My intent for this blog is for it to be more than just maps and geomorphs. However, for now, I'm just enjoying this burst of creativity inspired by Dyson and the entire OSR community.

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