I have decided to pick a random generation method for my megadungeon. I'm doing this for a few reasons, mainly:
1) I feel I'm a bit predictable and randomly rolling eliminates that.
2) I don't want to spend hours agonizing over monsters and treasure placement.
3) Rolling up room contents is fun.
4) I will need to re-stock sometimes, and I don't want to repeat the agonizing.
I decided I'd snag a stocking method from the old school games I love and from their OSR clones.
But which one to use?
Here are the ones I've got, in chronological order. All I really need is to know what is in the room, not its treasure or to roll on a monster table or on a treasure table. I might do that, I might not, but I'm examining these in the simple light of "room contents" and not as a complete system.
1) Book 3, white box D&D
The method on page 6 boils down to:
1) Place special encounters - monsters and/or treasures - as desired.
2) For the remaining rooms:
1-2 on d6 = Monster
If there's a monster, 1-3 on d6 = Treasure.
If there is no monster, 1 on d6 = Treasure.
Pros: Simple enough.
Cons: Lots of rolling (2 dice per room) and specials must be placed specifically. Same with traps or tricks. Most rooms will be empty (4 in 6 will lack monsters, and 5 in 6 of those will lack treasure).
2) AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide, pg 170
This one is from random dungeon generation; no specific placement advice exists elsewhere, although lots of Gary Gygax lecturing you about your game does exist. But no "roll XdY" system exists until the one on pg 170 that I can see.
This one is a one-step process - roll a d20 and see what's in there.
13-14 Monster only
15-17 Monster and Treasure
18 Special (or stairs)
19 Trick or Trap
Pros: Again, simple. Includes lots of detail - I can roll for every room.
Cons: 60% of my rooms will be empty, statistically, and 25% will have monsters, and 20% will have treasure. For a 100 room level, this is 40 rooms with stuff in it and only 20 with any treasure. I'd need lots of treasure in them to ensure a profit potential, and it means I'll need lots more levels and lots more rooms.
3) Moldvay Basic (B52) and Expert (X53)
This is a two step process:
and then roll for treasure on a matrix:
Roll Monster Trap Empty
1 Yes Yes Yes
2 Yes Yes No
3 Yes No No
4-6 No No No
Pros: Covers all the varieties of rooms I'd like, and uses d6s.
Cons: Still assumes I'm stocking the important rooms, and now 2/3 of rooms will have something in them (and if you count treasure, 1 in 6 of that final 1/3 will have something in it).
4) Labyrinth Lord, pg 124
Roll d00 Contents Treasure
01-30 Empty 15%
31-60 Monster 50%
61-75 Trap 30%
76-00 Unique Variable
Another one-step one - you don't need to place special encounters.
Pros: Very simple, and you can roll up anything from empty rooms to treasure only to traps to monsters and combos of the above.
Cons: 25% of my rooms will be unique - that's 25 rooms on a 100-room level. That's a lot, and if I'm pre-placing specials too, it's a lot of work. Also, percentile dice, so I can't just drop pairs of d6s and jot down the results (I have lots of d6s, I play GURPS).
Any others I should know about, or consider? I mean from game systems, I know a lot of people have their own variations of these. But for my purposes it'll be more interesting if I use an existing system from a game . . . if I end up with a home grown one I'd rather grow it myself.