Friday, 10 January 2014

Cave Generator Mark 1

Every cave has one way in, that’s how you get there.

The DM never just tells players how many exits there are. They have to go in and search. One might be hidden and none are necessarily obvious.

This cave has

This many exits


This exit is a

You roll a d4, d6 and d8. You can always bring in the result from a smaller die if you need it to create results on a line.

I’m thinking three dice is the most you can comfortably use at once, again and again and again. And it needs to be fast to read and understand.

Lets try it out.

D4 -3
D6 – 2
D8 – 3

First line; 3 means two exits.

Second line; d6 rolls a 2, so one exit in the walls, need a second result, so bring in the d4 from above. Second exit is in the floor. None are hidden or blocked,

Third line; d8 rolls a 3 so first exit, from the wall is a climb. Need a second exit, bring in the d6,  this reads two so the one in the floor is a Walk.

What if I get three exits but only have two results forthe second line. First result has two exits.

I hope that works. I think I broke my brain figuring it out. I'm sure you will let be know by tomorrow what is wrong with it.

If we want to bring in strange caves or wierd caves we can say, get a double and roll on the strange shape generator, get a triple and roll on the d100 strange caves table.

An example of the boiling down

This cave is shaped like Created by
A bannana Vertical torrent
a bagel plunging maelstrom
a droplet slow,seeping river
the number '8' easy curving river
a water slide fast slender surge
an inverted tortoise shell oceanic sink hole
first letters of players names dried up river flow
capitalised vowels bioluminescent river
the letters B, R and S mildly acidic river
fat little snakes irregularly surging river
the letters of your name leaping fish
a traffic cone occasional logs
a barbed hook whirlpools
6's 0's and 9's seasonal
an american football squid-haunted
a fat pitchfork memory-eating
a bent wrench murder-rapids
a horizontal fire extinguisher tomb complex
the numbers 2,3,5 and 8 dry-fault system
2 to 3 allen keys on a ring low-roofed-river
zigzags howling continual wind
half-closed eyes cold, dead fungus farms
crooked whilwinds endless dripping
toblarones ruined mine, unexpected falls
insides of bell peppers rushed and abaondoned diamond mine
pillbugs, sometimes curled propped coal mine
letters x,y and z coal mine-bad gas
broken boxes poorly ventilated
crushed egg cartons still-active mine
barbells fought-over mine
letters F,G and H just re-discovered mine
straight numbers 1,4 and 7 ghost haunted slave-mine
broken backed books insane folley of a despot
letters J, K and T forgotten imperial expansion
Tierd cakes, upside down war-relic countermines
gothic arches product of unknown science
arrows stabbing arrows sulphuric bloom
bubble froth (lots of little circles) tendrils of infiltrating sulphur
upside down nuclear cooling towers forgotten lava tube system
irregular crescent moons arterial ichor splatter
pint glass on its side abandoned inverse wizards tower
spray of a spilt drink vast ichor pool
house-rooms deep dragon warren
fallen trees cast of a gigantic worm
letters M,N,P,Q and W tarresque burrow
snapped pipes coronal suphur ejection
sharp-edged flopping fish compressed city ruins
curls of rising smoke stone to mud battleground
polyhedral dice
deflating baloons


  1. I like this a lot, but it took me a re-read or two to get how to handle more than one exit, but I get it now. Maybe a third exit uses the result from the D8 for row 2, but if it's a 7 or 8 then it's not there? I really like the doubles and triples leading to special caves, too.

  2. I tried to do something like this, called it the "ant tunnel geomorph system":
    I like yours better though. Mine interprets the physical orientation of the dice to indicate exits...cute but a bit klunky.

    1. Yeah, yours is nice. I made suer to use different die shapes to speed up observation. Hopefully once people get used to it they can use it at a glance.