Saturday, 3 May 2014

Does this make sense?

Making a Cave.

This table is designed to help you generate a single cave in which to set an encounter.
Roll three dice, a d4, d6 and d8. 
This cave has
This many exits
Which lead to a

High on wall





To begin with the only important thing is where you come in.
Which Die has the highest number.
d4 - you enter through the roof.
d6 - you enter through the floor.
d8 -you enter through the wall
If triples, this is one of the d100 caves.

Every cave has one way in, that’s how you get there. It may not have a way out.

The Total
4. Flooded. Over 6ft deep. One island.
5. Delicate Decorations.
6. Dry. Dead. Full of broken fragments.
7. Wet. Dripping. Thick mud.
8. A river runs through it.
9. Kinks on the middle, half out of sight
10. A river falls through it.
11. Speleothems form columns from roof to floor.
12. Flooded. Wade-able. Some islands.
13. Almost-vertical shard of space, everything is climbing.
14. Cave contains a vertical pitch inside it.
15. House-sized.
16. Church-sized.
17. Stadium-sized.
18. Gigantic. An environment in itself.

THE D4 tells you how many exits the cave has.

Never tell players how many exits there are. They have to go in and search. One might be hidden and none are necessarily obvious. There may be no way out.

THE D6 tells you where the exits are. If you need the location of two exits then bring in the number rolled on the d4, if you need three then bring in the number rolled on the d8.

Hidden exits cannot simply be found by wandering around, they must be searched for carefully and will not be obvious. Blocked exits can be unblocked with time and work.

THE D8 tells you the kind of exits they are. Again, if you need a second or third number, bring in the numbers rolled on the d4 and d6. In that order

Making a Map

Now draw a bunch of lines across the map at right angles. There should be at least three from two right-angled directions. If you want a small-scale map then use a small number of lines, for a large scale map use a large number of lines.

It should look something like the opposite page.

This should create a nest of irregular diamond patterns on your page. These will act in a similar way to hexes would in a normal wilderness map.

If you wish, you may add a compass. This will not always be useful or necessary underground. Veins dwellers generally do not use compass directions, instead they direct by linear description. But it may be so if you wish to link different area's.

If you want to you can roll up a complex from the experimental generator. Write the complex rules in the top.

The Torrenting Torment of He Who Seeks,
 always exposes the tracks of those who passed last
but never hides the innocent or lets the guilty flee.”

If there are special dungeons or areas you have prepared, you may wish to add them to the map at this point.
To start adventuring, choose an entry hex, you may select this yourself, or simply drop a d4 on the map.

Roll a cave for the entry hex and write the number in the empty space. The (e) indicates this is an entryway to the Torrenting Torments of He Who Seeks. Its ok to assume a roll of 4 on the d4 for the first cave.

453. The(e) is for entry.
You come up through the floor.
Flooded, wade-able, some islands.
(So, you mut come up through an island, possibly a short waterfall climb.)
One exit in the roof, one in the floor, one in the walls.
The roof exit leads to a climb,  the floor exit to a chimney, the walls to a traverse

Going from area to area takes D6 Hours, that's the same number of Lumes.

Depending on which way they go, the map could end up looking like this;

Draw an arrow to show which way the PC's entered a cave. The highest number will show you where that entry is if you want to use it as an exit when coming back

Each black line can have only one red line crossing it.

You can cross corners.

Some sections may not be accessable. 

Thinking maybe put little W, CL, CR, CH, TR, CR, S, and  P signs on the red passage lines so you can remember what they are.

If Things Go Wrong With The Map

This method can lead to the players being partially or totally dead-ended. There are a few things you can do to resolve this if you want.

There should always be a way out. The way out should be terrible. A long squeeze that forces players to abandon equipment. A long sump without light, a leap into the dark.

Remember rivers. Water always finds its way. When you encounter one you may draw it on the map if you wish. If you are feeling soft you can even make it navigable. 



  1. Yup , makes sense, will try and use it at the first opportunity

    1. I had a go with it, the crosshatching map was misleading, I feel, as I was getting all concerned which cave connects to which.

      Seemed like a bit painstaking to make a map of caves but V. GOOD for one by one cave crawling, which is its target.

      As a possible way of working out which side/direction an exit is in, having 8 possible directions around the cave and use the d8's number to choose which one (counting clockwise from north) . If another direction is needed , count a number of directions further clockwise = the d4 number, and then the d6 I guess.

      Just picking a side and placement for the exits was fine too.