Welcome to the fourth part of my series walking through my dungeon process in detail. Last time, I drew some maps and set out a layout for myself, and now I shall fill them with content. Check out the other posts in this series here.
Here is a link to a PDF of what I have so far.
The maps have incorrect highlighting and page numbers at the moment, as I won't go back and fix them until I'm certain of which content will stay on which page.
All creature stats are for my Electric Bastionland/GLOG hack Catacombers. The stats would work in EB or Into the Odd with no conversion. All Hit Dice are d6, so just roll or use the average of 3hp per HD. If no STR, DEX, or CHA is listed that means it is 10. CD stands for Critical Damage, which a character takes after they've lost their HP and fail a STR save.
Setting Up the Key
I started by labelling most of the rooms. I googled "medieval castle layout" a lot and tried to set up a series of rooms that would make sense for the vision I had in my mind of Unterbranch Keep.
Some rooms I had ideas for their description in the key right off the bat. For example, I knew that the Barbican would have some animated suits of armour acting as guards, and that the Parlour would have a slime in it. Other rooms inspired content from their very nature. Obviously the Grand Hall would have a big feasting table and the Chapel would some benches and a dais.
|Room description for the Barbican|
For other rooms I used my 'theme' tables from Part 1 - Theme and rolled once for each room. I even did this for many of the rooms which I already had ideas, just to keep sparking my mind. I also rolled on my custom dungeon stocking table to determine room contents (empty, creature, treasure, trap, etc). Obviously my spark tables have entries for certain creatures as well as "trap" and others, so sometimes I only rolled on either the spark tables or the dungeon table, depending on what I wanted.
To fill out room contents I rely heavily on Tricks, Empty Rooms, and Basic Trap Design, by Courtney C. Campbell. It is probably my most-used RPG resource, and well worth the money spent on the PDF.
As I wrote more content the ideas started flowing more easily. I placed more slimes and darkly animated objects, and fleshed out a bit of the brigand stuff. I tried to place a lot of treasure in the lower dungeon levels and a lot of clues in the upper Keep levels, so players could figure out what was going on if they wanted to.