The Return of the Megadungeon!

So, it’s 5 degrees Farenheit outside with about four inches of snow.  The kids are home and bouncing off the wall.  I guess there is only one thing to do–dig up an old project and work on it.  Actually, I’m multitasking: glueing bricks together for the helipad and fussing about with the Dungeon Under the Mountain, Level One from 0one games.

So, there’s about 240 rooms in DUtM1, which is more than I’ll ever play, but that won’t stop me.  I don’t know if that number is exact, but it divides evenly by 8, which is important.  Here’s my first question: what percentage of rooms should be empty?  I don’t mean without dungeon dressing, but roughly what percentage of rooms should have no encounters, traps, etc.  Too few, and the level will take forever.  Too many, and it’ll get boring.

Next, how to stagger Encounter difficulties?  Call it Encounter Levels or whatever, but here’s how I see the levels being staggered (note: these descriptions are lifted from Central Casting: Dungeons by Task Force Games).

  1. Unless the PC’s are incredibly stupid or unlucky, they should get through this encounter with just a scratch or possible minor injury.
  2. Minor injuries likely, Major injuries possible.
  3. Major injuries likely, one PC death possible.
  4. One of more PC deaths likely, TPK (Total Party Kill) possible.
  5. TPK likely.  Run away!

Here’s my initial answers:

What percentage of rooms should be empty? At most 17% (1 empty for every 6 rooms).  For 240 rooms that’d be forty vacant rooms.

How should encounter levels be broken down?

  1. 60%
  2. 25%
  3. 10%
  4. 4%
  5. 1%

So we would be talking about 120 PC level -1 or -2 encounters, 50 PC level encounters, 20 PC+1 or +2 encounters, 8 PC+4 encounters, and 1 PC+5 encounter.

That sound about right?  Comments welcome.

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