Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Classic Dungeon Designer Series

A few years ago, I came across a set of four PDF files, the Classic Dungeon Designer's Netbookswritten by B. Scot "Kellri" Hoover. They were written for use with 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, but are also largely compatible with any OSR rules based on that system.

#1 Monster Stat Block Reference is a compilation of stat blocks for monsters appearing in the game. They make finding essential combat information easier to reference without having to pull out all the Monster Manuals and Fiend Folio. Very handy.

#2 Spells Reference is a comprehensive list of all magic-user, illusionist, cleric, and druid spells published for AD&D, and includes notes and commentaries.

#3 Geomorphs provides a set of 60 basic geomorphs to help give the DM a quick way to map an unexpected cave, cavern system, collapsed ruin, or dungeon, that the players might find. Simple and easy to use.

#4 Encounters Reference is the crown jewel of the set. The book is so full of useful information, that a quick description wouldn't do it justice. It talks about, and expands upon, everything the Dungeon Master may need when creating encounters..

Chapter I: Men
  • NPC Assortments by Class (Clerics, Druids, Fighters, Paladins, Rangers, Magic-Users, Illusionists,Thieves, Assassins, Multi-Classed NPCs, Bards, Monks, Sages, 1st and O-level NPCs)
  • NPC Details
  • NPC Experience & Progression
  • NPC Boons & Hinderances
  • NPC Motivations
  • Dealing with NPCs
  • Hirelings
  • Standard Human Types (Bandits & Brigands, Berserkers, Border Patrols, Buccaneers & Pirates, Cavemen,Caravans, Dervishes & Nomads, Tribesmen, Guards & Watchmen,Pilgrims)
  • NPC Adventuring Parties
  • Spellbook Assortments (1st-18th+ Levels)

Chapter II: Demi-humans & Humanoids
  • Humanoid Ability Scores
  • Tribal Spellcasters
  • Humanoid Groups (Bugbears, Centaurs, Gnolls, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Kobolds, Lizardmen, Locathah, Ogres, Orcs, Sahuagin, Troglodytes, Trolls, Xvarts)
  • Demi-human Groups (Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Halflings, Mermen, Tritons)

Chapter III: The Underworld
  • Dungeon & Cavern Mapping Symbols
  • Wandering Monster Encounters (Dungeon Levels I~IX)
  • Dungeons
  • Doors & Locks
  • Gaols & Prisons
  • Ruins
  • Graves & Tombs
  • Caverns
  • Mines
  • Tricks & Traps
  • Animated Statues
  • Quests & Geases

Chapter IV: The Wilderness
  • Terrain by Hex
  • Weather
  • Random Encounters
  • Random Encounters by Terrain Type (Arctic, Sub-Arctic, Temperate, Tropical)
  • Dealing with Dragons
  • Encounters at Sea (Freshwater, Saltwater)
  • Extra-Planar Encounters
  • On the Road
  • Living Off the Land
  • Castles
  • Druidic Places

Chapter V: Settlements & Civilizations
  • Settlements
  • Inns & Taverns
  • Markets & Bazaars
  • Schools & Training Halls
  • Shops & Structures
  • Shrines & Temples
  • Underworld Guilds

Chapter VI: Treasures
  • Treasure Assortments by Level (Dungeon Levels I~IX)
  • Treasure Assortments by Type(Types A~Y)
  • Maps
  • Miscellaneous Treasures
  • Literature
  • Quick & Weird Magic Items

Chapter VII: The Campaign
  • Adventure Design
  • Friends & Foes
  • Exotic Times & Places
  • Deities & Demigods
  • Arcane Magic

Chapter VIII: Forms & Appendices
  • Appendix A Dice Conventions & Ranges
  • Appendix B Bibliography & Sources
  • Record Forms

Classic Dungeon Designer's Netbooks: (Good as of Aug 17,2017)
  1. Monster Stat Block Reference - CDD #1
  2. Spells Reference - CDD #2
  3. Geomorphs - CDD #3
  4. Encounters Reference - CDD #4
While you're at it, check out Kellri's blog, All Killer - No Filler. He has a lot of excellent material and more downloadable goodies than you can shake a Wand of Wonder at.

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