"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Section E. Stock the Dungeon

Excerpt from B52:
"To 'stock' a dungeon means to fill in the general details, such as monsters, treasure and traps. Special monsters should be first placed in the appropriate rooms along with special treasures. The remaining rooms can be stocked as the DM wishes. If there is no preference as to how certain rooms are stocked, the following system can be used..."

I am not a huge stickler for coming up with a “realistic” dungeon ecology. About all I want to accomplish is for it to make a bit of sense and give the opportunity for some interesting and fun encounters. This is likely a product of my experience with B/X D&D. So my first step in stocking the dungeon is to think of what areas and encounters I know I want to have on this dungeon level.
The map is on this post.

Some of the rooms that are needed on this dungeon level are:
• Guardrooms (I am thinking rooms 2, 4, 11 & 19)
• Barracks (room 8 & 10)
• Storerooms (room 13)
• Temple (room 14)
• Prison (room 21)
• Amazon Leader’s room (room 24)
• Treasure room (room 17)
• Tiger lair (room 18)

Other interesting things that I want to include:
• A White Ape chained outside the Amazon leader’s quarters (room 23)
• An Amazon bathing pool (room 12) (wink, wink)

With these in mind, I can set to stocking the Citadel of the Amazons using the mechanics and tables given in Moldvay’s rulebook.

Contents (d6):
1,2 = Monster (3in6 for treasure)
3 = Trap (2in6 for treasure)
4 = Special (2in6 for treasure)
5,6 = Empty (1in6 for treasure)

I also decided to roll for what Wandering Monster tables (pg B53 & B54) and Unguarded Treasure to use.
1 = Level 1
2-5 = Level 2
6 = Level 3


1. I roll a 4 for contents so the room has a Special (“A Special is anything not exactly a trap, but placed for special reasons.” pg B52). Since this is the main entry-way into the Citadel, I think that some sort of guardian feature would make sense. Maybe tapestries of various Amazon scenes (battles, etc…come on let’s keep this rated PG). If any of the tapestries are disturbed a statue in the Temple (room 14) cries an alarm. Now, let’s see if the tapestries are actually worth anything. A roll of 2 says yes. Consulting the Unguarded Treasure table (using the same method to determine level as for monsters) I roll a 2nd level treasure of 500 sp and 200 gp. I combine them and say there are two tapestries worth a total of 250 gp. If the party can snatch the tapestries and run there could be a great chase scene as the Amazons quickly muster and pursue the party bearing heavy treasure.

2. I have selected this to be a guardroom. There will be 3 Amazons keeping watch. Two will stay and fight while the other races to room 4. They have no treasure.

3. I roll a 6 for contents so it is empty. A roll of 6 for treasure means there is none.

4. I selected this as another guardroom. It has 4 Amazons. Three will fight while the other races to room 2. They have no treasure.

5. I had no plans for this area when I drew it. A roll of 1 indicates there is a monster. The first set of rolls indicates Wolves. I don’t like it. A re-roll comes up with a Living Crystal Statue. That I can use. Living Statues have a treasure type of nil so I won’t roll for treasure.

6. I roll a 3 for contents. How can a trap be in this rough, secret area? I decide that the rough cavern has an unstable floor that will act like a 10’ deep hidden pit. A roll of 6 means there is no treasure.

7. A roll of 5 means this room is empty. A further roll of 4 indicates there is no treasure.

8. I selected this room as a barracks so there will be 3-18 Amazons here and a 2 in 6 chance of a lieutenant and a Tiger. There is also a 2 in 6 chance of 1-3 young females will be here. Using treasure type B, I completely strike out on the treasure rolls.

9. A roll of 1 means there is a monster in this secret room. A couple of rolls give me Medium. No thanks. Another roll give me zombies. This got me thinking… Maybe Medium Zombies? A trio of Eldritch Zombies forced in undeath to perform a never-ending magical ritual. Now I have to come up with stats for Eldritch Zombies! A roll indicates treasure. I will have to figure out the treasure type.

10. Another barracks so there will be 3-18 Amazons here and a 2 in 6 chance of a lieutenant and a Tiger. There is also a 2 in 6 chance of 1-3 young females will be here. Once again, using treasure type B gives me a result of 4 gems worth 100 gp each.

11. Guardroom – I decide that this guardroom will have only 2 Amazons as it is right next to a barracks. If attacked from the hallway they will holler for their comrades in 10.

12. A roll of 4 gives me a result of “Special”…hmmm… Actually I was going to use this for the Amazonian Baths so I will make the bath water have a 10% chance of increasing (female) or decreasing (male) charisma, save vs spells to avoid, one time/person only. A roll of 5 means no treasure. 2 in 6 chance of 1-6 bathing Amazons who keep their spears close by.

13. I decide that this is going to be a storeroom. It will be empty of monsters. The treasure will be foodstuffs, textiles, and other mundane loot from raids worth 200-1200 gp.

14. This will be the Amazon Temple to Athena. There will be a 20% chance that a ceremony will be in progress in which case there will be 6-36 Amazons, and 0-2 Tigers and an unfortunate male prisoner about to have a real bad day and a 50% chance that the Amazon Leader will also be here. The statue of Athena will call an alarm if the tapestries in 1 are disturbed. It also has a 10% chance of Athena speaking through the statue if someone calls upon the deity in this room (I loved Clash of the Titans as a kid). The Altar disintegrates any male that touches it (save vs death) or I might make a table of random effects. I will likely add some gems for treasure. 14A - Balcony 10 ft above.

15. Battlehall – 50% chance of 2-12 Amazons practicing melee combat, 50% of 4 amazons standing guard with a tiger, banners on walls, weapon racks contain various weapons.

16. This well drops down to level 3A. It has a locked cover on it and the key is on the collar of the Amazon Leader’s pet Saber-Tooth Tiger. A roll of 3 means this room has a trap. So the lock on the cover is trapped so that a hail of darts fire out of the NW wall, save vs breath weapon or take 2-8 damage.

17. This is the treasury. The door is heavy and locked. The key is with the Amazon Leader. The amazons keep most of the precious loot from their raids here. All loot belongs to the Amazon Leader but she is responsible for providing for her follower amazons. Rolling for treasure type B, it contains 1,000 sp and 3,000 gp. There will also be a trap. Likely an old-school poison needle as a tribute to Black Dougal.

18. Another roll of 4 gives another “Special”. I am going to stick with the whole gender vs gender theme and make this something that will change genders. Maybe mirror that asks a riddle and if the answer is wrong your gender changes, save vs spells negates.

19. A roll of 6 means this room is empty but I roll a 1 for treasure indicates there is an unguarded treasure. Rolling on the level 2 unguarded treasure table results in 1,000 sp, 500 gp, 3 pieces of jewelry each worth 300-1800 gp each, and a magic item! Rolling on the General Magic Items table give me a “12” and a magic sword! This is getting awesome! I pull out the Expert book for fun and roll “34” on the magic sword table resulting in a Sword +1. I roll a “1” for special purpose so I am done with the treasure. This gives me the idea that this will be the trophy room with various trophies from battles that Amazons have taken in victory. It will give me the opportunity to give the sword a history – I love magic items with context.

20. Tiger Den – There will be 1-3 Tigers using this room as their den while they are not stalking the halls. If a Tiger is encountered as a wandering monster reduce the number encountered here appropriately. I roll a 6 for treasure so it looks like the Amazons keep everything.

21. This is the prison where male captives will be kept. There will be 1-6 prisoners here.

22. A roll of 1 indicates a monster. Rolling “9” on the Level 3 Wandering Monster table gives me 2 Harpies = Awesome! A roll of 2 indicates treasure. The well in this room goes down to Level 2A and I didn’t picture a lot of traffic between the two levels so this works for me. How did Harpies get here? Not only do I not know, I don't care. Rolling for treasure type C results in a meager 100 ep.

23. I wanted a White Ape here from the beginning. He will be chained to the pillar with a 20’ chain. The ruckus he causes if he sees the PCs will result in the Amazon Leader being surprised only on a 1.

24. The Amazon Leader’s private quarters. She is a clone of Sidra. She also has her pet Saber-Tooth Tiger. She will have a +1 magic spear and the Corset of Athena – a magical corset that provides a female wearer with an AC 4.

Next steps are to turn this into short room descriptions and then I will put a slightly updated version of the map and the room descriptions into a document similar to the one used by Amityville Mike for his Stonehell.


  1. Good stuff ... I love reading other people's design notes. I also like the way using Moldvay monsters can potentially give a dungeon a distinctly pulpy/"lost world" feel.

  2. Cool, I just found this post through a post on Pole & Rope about the Moldvay stocking table.

    Good stuff. I find it produces pretty meager treasure... except when it produces ridiculous amounts of treasure.