Monday, July 30, 2012

Dungeon Stocking Questions

I've been busy stocking levels of a dungeon.  Now that I have my reprint of the AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide, I've been using it to fill in my levels.  Going through the process has been fun and interesting and has brought a few questions to mind.

When using Table V. F: Chamber or Room Contents on page 171 of the DMG, the result of 15-17 says "Monster & Treasure (see Table V.G. below)".

Does this result mean that the monster is in it's lair?  And if so, shouldn't I be determining treasure using the monster's Treasure Type (instead of Table V. G.)?  And what if the monster in question has a Treasure Type of "nil"??  Why is there treasure?  Did the monster just happen to wander into the room shortly before the PC's showed up?

Does the definition of Lair and the associated Treasure Type equate to the minimum number of monster encountered according to the Monster Manual?

For example, Goblins have Treasure Type K for individuals, and C for lair.  If a room on the 1st Level of a dungeon has 6-15 goblins (according to the Random Monster Table in the Fiend Folio), is this room considered their lair?  And should I refer to the Treasure Type for the potential (however small) of this band having the maximum of 12,000cp, 6,000sp, 4,000ep, 6 gems, 3 pieces of jewelry and 2 magic items?  Or should there be at least 40 goblins to classify the room as a lair with this much treasure?  And if that is the case, why bother with % in Lair??


  1. Why random stocking? I find simply having a semi-sane ecology makes stocking easy and makes elaborating on the random else. Room full of bat faced man-beasts? Nobody else will be nearby, and the beasts patrol up to the edge of scarier thing's territories. All treasure in beast's central playroom, except hidden stuff.

    Nest of undead rat kings? Monsters are contained in a few rooms bordered by doors and treasure remains undisturbed as dead rats don't give a damn.

  2. Treasure Type is based on the average number of monsters, but in the MM Gary recommends not using them to stock the dungeon. I assume they and the In Lair % are intended for wilderness adventuring - i.e. 220 goblins in a forest have a 40% chance of Treasure Type C, but 20 goblins in a dungeon chamber use the table in the DMG.

    Mouther: Random stocking prevents creative burnout when filling hundreds of rooms and helps generate ideas. If you have a semi-sane ecology, then you'll probably have a lot of empty space after you've placed your special encounters. It's a lot easier to start with random results and adjust to taste than it is to fill in all those rooms in a vacuum.

  3. @ John: After I made the post, I looked in the MM and found the reference for Treasure Type being based on average numbers and not recommending it for treasure found in a dungeon. The former I could understand, but the latter seems a bit off. It seems contradictory to go to the trouble of listing Treasure Types and include a table, then turn around and say "we don't recommend this."

    I did generate the treasure based on the DMG's tables, but afterwards I wondered how Treasure Type was to be used, if ever.

    @Mouther: I like the image of bat-face man beasts and undead rat kings, I'll have to use those somewhere in the dungeon.