So the D&D blogosphere has gone hog-wild for Sham's w/o Walls playing-card based dungeon generator. Including me myself.
I found it, quite literally, inspiring, so I went and tried to think up a way to use a similar technique to generate a standard dungeon with some built-in cohesion.
So, without further ado, here's the...
"Another Brick In The Wall" Dungeon Generator
Take a tarot deck. Remove the major arcana. (I am using a tarot deck because, unlike regular cards, it's easy to tell "up" and "down" on a tarot card--this technique can easily be adapted to certain standard decks, however, depending on the design on the cards).
Shuffle the rest of the cards.
Lay out 44 cards in a 9 x 5 grid. Leave an empty space the size of one card somewhere in the middle--this is the starting point of the dungeon.
These are the 45 rooms in your dungeon. Adjacent cards that are both facing the same direction (both up or both down) are connected. Completely isolated cards are hidden behind secret doors--you may choose where the entrances to these rooms are.
Rooms represented by the "cups" suit are empty or contain non-functional, dungeon-appropriate-decor. Starting with the Queens, Kings, Knights and Aces, interpret the rest of the rooms according to the following rules for number and suit:
2-minor obstacle, mostly just demonstrates the nature of the type of dungeon you're in
5-standard, level-appropriate, site-appropriate, dangerous
6-funny or weird, plot-irrelevant
7-standard, level-appropriate, site appropriate, dangerous, useful if overcome
8-has a clue to how to treat a Knight
9-has useful information about a Queen
10-is related to or is of the same nature as the Queen, possibly a minion
Page-noncombatant, plot-relevant, minion or possession of Queen
Knight-fairly big deal, could be a benefit or a hazard, depending on how the PCs play it
Queen-major, bad, plot-relevant
King-major, bad, plot-irrelevant, unless there are no Queens on the table, in which case it's plot-relevant
Swords-Person/Monster + Inanimate Feature/Object
(For example, a 7 of coins could be a room with a pit trap that, if evaded, could be used to trap a dangerous monster.)
I'll write one up and let you know how it turns out after I run some people through it.
Obviously, a more various dungeon could probably be created by using the whole deck, including Major Arcana and laying out more cards. May have to think up meanings for the major arcana later.
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