Taking the advice of both commenters on the last post, the party decides that it would be a good idea to head back towards the entrance. So that's three hundred and forty feet, checking for anything untoward every sixty feet or so.
That works out at five checks, so let's roll the d20 of doom. Remember that because we're going back over known territory, we'll only pay attention to a 20, which means wandering monster.
1st roll, 5.
2nd roll 15
3rd roll 19 - ooh, a close one.
4th roll 5
5th roll 4
And off they set to town, which I'm ruling is a couple of days' travel away. It always seemed odd to me to have a base town literally on the doorstep of the dungeon. And it never got raided by monsters wondering where all these guys in armour kept coming from.
According to the DMG, page 47, there is a 1 in 10 chance of an encounter, morning, evening and midnight. I roll the d10 for day one and it tells me that there is an encounter in the morning. A check on page 184 of the DMG tells me that a pack of wild dogs is encountered, but they lope off after a couple of arrows have been fired at them.
Day Two sees an encounter in the evening. The dice are rolled (page 186 this time as it's an inhabited or patrolled area) and Leprechaun comes up. They would probably not have anything to do with the party at present, so nothing happens.
Morning of Day Three and they reach town. I turn to the town encounters table of the DMG and roll 11, City Guard. Well, that makes sense.
On the way to the tavern, I roll and get Band of Mercenaries. The party tags along, figuring that this is the best way to get new recruits.
At the tavern, a roll of 18 reveals that City Officials are there. Possibly tax inspectors? I roll a d6 to check their attitude, 1 being very friendly, 6 being the exact opposite. A 6 comes up - the officials are hostile. I wonder why? Perhaps they don't like mercenaries and think the party is associated with them.
I'll say that 1d3 days pass by before they can recruit two new members for the party. A quick roll shows that it is 3 days. Money is getting low now, so let's hope they find some gold on their next dungeon crawl.
I'll roll three random encounters for the three days - I get Cleric, Pilgrim and Tradesman. Maybe the city has a popular shrine and the tradesman is a relic seller. The character of the city is slowly starting to emerge.
Two new characters present themselves to join the group.
Wulfram the dwarven fighter, a tough guy with 10hp who I've given AC5 and a battle axe and crossbow.
and Hendrix the magic user, whose spells I rolled up as
It doesn't take a genius to know that he's memorising Sleep. Garamar is looking a bit envious of the new guy's spell book. Hendrix has the habitual daggers and darts.
Off to the gate then. Rolls of 54, 00 and 08 tell us that another band of mercenaries is at the tavern or thereabouts (perhaps there's a war on or for some reason, lots of soldiers are needed), a werewolf (but the party don't know this, of course) and a beggar at the gate to whom Brother Algo gives a silver piece.
Rolls for countryside encounters reveal gnomes at more or less the same place where they encountered the leprechaun on Day 2. Clearly there is activity by the little people in this area.
Day 7 sees the party encounter a nest of large spiders but they wisely steer clear when they see the webs.
Day 8 - back to the Dungeon. Let's roll the periodic check dice again and see if something nasty encounters the party on their way back to the point at which Athgal was crushed by the rocks.
1st check 10
2nd check 16
3rd check 19 - close; there's clearly something about that area.
4th check 20 - encounter!
The encounter happens about sixty feet before the trap so just by the secret door but probably more likely to be that door on the right that they decided to bypass.
They're on level 1, so I'll check the table and roll - a 6 tells me to check the 1st level monster chart from which a roll of 56 reveals that a group of orcs has appeared through the door. Yay! First encounter and it's an OSR classic. Encounter number is 7-12, so 1d6 gives me a 1, plus 6 is seven orcs. As the party draw their weapons, Hendrix casts his sleep spell. He rolls his d4 and gets 3,2,1 and 1 which is exactly seven. Down go the orcs and the party quickly put paid to them.
Each individual orc has treasure type L, which is 2d6 electrum pieces, and some quick d6 rolling tells me that the total garnered by the party is 44ep.
Now we have a choice - go down the corridor from which the orcs issued or press on in their original direction. They're a fresh party but they've just shot off their only sleep spell. The next combat may be tougher as a result. However, the way they were going is equally uncertain.
I'll let the dice decide again - 1-3 onwards, 4-6 down the orc passage. I roll a 2, so onwards it is.
Sixty feet after the trap that killed Athgal, there is a chamber. I roll its size, which gives me 20 feet by 20 feet. I'll check for exits - a roll of 19 on the exits table tells me there is one. The direction is straight ahead, and it's a door. The contents table reveals that the room is empty.
The party moves on nervously, in case any more orcs appear. Their new marching order is
Now we roll for the space beyond the door and I get a 10 - 45 degrees passage behind/ahead. It can't be behind, so it has to be ahead. A d6 tells me it heads left. Thirty feet further on, another periodic check reveals another side passage, 45degrees right this time. I wonder where that goes?
The party decides to bypass it and press on but thirty feet further on, they come to another side passage, this time on the left, curving and 45 degrees. I'm not sure exactly what the DMG means by this, but I think it looks like this
Note by my use of the letter D that an 18 on the periodic check table gives us a dead end. The party turn around and head back to the junction. A quick d6 check tells me that they decide to investigate the 45 degree side passage that they passed thirty feet back.
As they wend their way down this passage, a die roll reveals that it forks into a Y junction. Always the choices, this dungeon. The party decide (okay, the dice decide) to go left. Thirty feet on, the dice reveal that they have come to a chamber. Further rolls tell me that it is 20 by 30 feet, with two exits and there is something in it - monster and treasure.
Table 5G lets me make two treasure rolls because of the presence of the monster, I get 97 and 37. That's a piece of jewellery per level and 1000sp per level. The treasure is in metal urns and let's see what's protecting it?
Well, it's a trapdoor six feet in front of the treasure. The party has no thief. I'll just check to see what the monster is. On table 1, my percentile dice say that the party has encountered shriekers. They've never seen them before and go blundering in with their torches. Of course, the shriekers do their stuff and before long, something is coming.
Before that, however, I need to dice up who goes to investigate the treasure. 1d3 of the party will probably do so - a roll tells me that one person will get caught by the trapdoor. The dice say it's Brother Algo. His intelligence is only 6, so that probably explains it. Down the hole he goes, and takes a d6 of damage. It comes up a 5 and Algo is on -1.
The party rushes forward to see if they can get their comrade out of the hole before his hit points ebb towards -10. As they are uncoiling their rope, there is a scuttling and scurrying sound; they turn and see ten giant rats coming at them. The fight is on and Hendrix wishes he still has his sleep spell.
Round 1, Sanathris misses.
Garamar hits with an 18 and does 1 point of damage. The rat had 2hp.
Rat attack! They need 10 or better to hit the magic users, 15 to hit AC5, 14 to hit AC6
Ralgaz takes 1hp damage and is down to 5
Sanathris is safe
Garamar takes 2hp and is at zero.
Hendrix takes 6 damage and is now at -4
Wulfram is not hit.
Algo is on -2 now and there are still 10 rats.
Sanathris hits and does 3 damage to a rat that has 4hp
Ralgaz, Garamar and Wulfram all miss.
The rats carry on gnawing. Ralgaz takes a hit, 1 damage means he's on 4hp
Garamar takes 2 damage and is down to -2
Sanathris takes a hit and she loses 2hp, down to 6.
Wulfram escapes damage.
Round 3 - ten rats versus three characters. Holy Moly!
Algo is on -3, Hendrix on -5
Sanathris hits, kills her rat.
Wulfram hits and kills his rat.
Eight rats launch their attacks. Sanathris is lucky - no hits. Ralgaz is hit by all three (19,16 and 15) and takes five damage - he's now on -1
Wulfram takes a hit and suffers three damage. He's now on 7.
So, we have a decision to make. There are only two members of the party left standing. They face eight rats. What should they do?
Fight it out and risk a TPK?
Run for it, leaving their comrades to be rat food?
Some other cunning plan?
Your suggestions are welcomed, and as always, I'll go with the consensus.
And here are the next two tables in the Random Dungeon Generator series. Collect them all and play along at home.
Strange Stars Review Roundout - GusL over at the *Dungeon of Signs* wrote a thorough review of *Strange Stars OSR* yesterday that you should read if you haven't. You should also stay to...
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