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How To Host A Dungeon

How To Host A Dungeon

How to Host a Dungeon is an awesome solo game by Tony Dowler. Basically you create a dungeon through the ages and when you are done you have the basis for a pretty sweet megadungeon project (which seems to be the trend right now), but yours has a full organic history of who built each section, and who took it over, and where the treasure comes from and so on.

You can download a free version of the game from his site.

One of my favourite dungeon elements in the game is the underground river, and I felt that it just wasn’t getting enough play. So I wrote the following optional rules supplement for it.

Here’s my revised Underground River table using a d12 instead of a d10

Roll – Underground River
1-3 : The river moves 1 finger horizontally across the page.
4-5 : The river changes angle sloping upwards while continuing across the page.
6-7 : The river changes angle sloping downwards while continuing across the page.
8-10 : The river moves 1 finger horizontally across the page, with a natural cave 1 bead in diameter in the middle of it. If the river is within 1 thumb of the surface, draw a sinkhole connecting this cave to the surface.
11 : Waterfall, dropping 1 half finger straight down.
12 : Underground lake d6+1 beads wide, river continues from other side.

This doesn’t drastically change the table or it’s results, but adds the underground lake.

More of a change comes in the Revised Natural Cavern table using a d8 instead of a d6:

Roll – Natural Cavern
1 : Draw a tunnel 1 finger long that passes through the cave
2 : Plague: Roll a d4. Write “plague” and the number rolled in the cave. Any group that encounters this cave will lose this number of (B)
3 : Gemstones: Draw a cave 1 bead in size. Roll a d4 and place that many (W) in the cave
4 : This is an empty cave
5 : Primordial Beasts: Place 1(B) in the cave. This represents primordial beasts that fight just like a wandering monster.
6 : Open Aquifer: Draw a cave 2 beads vertically in size, half this is taken up by water.
7 : Closed Aquifer: Draw a cave 2 beads in size, filled with water.
8 : Fate: Write “fate” in the cave. If any civilization tunnels into this cavern, the civilization will come to a natural end. If this occurs, the Fate cavern becomes a normal empty cavern.


Kuo Toa image (c) Wizards of the Coast

Muck Dweller Civilization

Muck Dwellers are one of many underground humanoid civilizations that are based around underground waterways, lakes and oceans such as the chaotic Kuo-Toa. They possess cruel and alien culture and art, with little science and practically no interest in hedonistic persuits.

Draw constructions of the Muck Dwellers in green. Muck Dwellers prefer round and ovoid shaped rooms and curving passages near underground water.

If you don’t have an underground river or aquifer, roll on the following table for the appropriate water source to be added:

Roll : Water Source
1-3 : Open Aquifer: Draw a cave 2 beads vertically in size, half this is taken up by water.
4-5 : Closed Aquifer: Draw a cave 2 beads in size, filled with water.
6-7 : Underground River: Create an underground river as per the Primordial Events table.
8 : Underground Lake / Ocean: One one side of the map draw a cavern two thumbs in size that extends off the map filled with water and then continue as per the underground river from the Primordial Events table.

Muck Dweller (B) represent soldiers, nobles and priests, while (W) represent food, minor treasures (such as beads and pearls), tadpole muck dwellers and artworks. Muck Dwellers require (W) to support their civilization.

Pick a spot adjacent to a water source for the Muck Dweller city. Draw two living quarters for (B) and one tadpole pond for (W) – as many as possible should be in direct contact with the water source. Place 2(B) and 1 (W) in these chambers. This is the city of the Muck Dwellers – give it an interesting and hard to pronounce name like “Bloop-dil’ubloong” and write it on the map in pencil. It is now year zero of the Muck Dweller civilization.

The Muck Dweller Year
Any time you move beads from the city to a pool, you must leave at least 1(B) and 1(W) behind. If you can’t do this, don’t move the beads. If the Muck Dweller city is depopulated without a civilization-ending calamity, the largest pool attached to a water source claims one treasure from the ruins (or 1(W) if the city had no treasures) and becomes the new city.


In the spring, Muck Dwellers reproduce and care for their tadpoles. If there are at least two more (W) than (B) in the city or pool, remove 1(W) and add 1(B).


In the summer, Muck Dwellers harvest the bounty of the water and raise their tadpoles. Add 1(W) to the city or pool if it is attached to a source of water. Muck Dweller cities or pools within one thumb of a source of ore or gems will dig out a mine the size of one thumb to collect 1(W) of ore, or collect 1(W) of gems.


In the fall, Muck Dwellers travel to spread the word of the fish gods. If the city has 2(B) and 2(W) or more, Muck Dwellers work to expand the empire.

If the city is on a river, they travel until they are at least one finger length down the river from the nearest city or pool and create a new pool there using 1(B) and 1(W) from the city (they may travel further if this gets them to a source of ore, as no two cities or pools can start within a finger length of each other).

If the city is not on a river, but there are other sources of water on the map (such as a river, lake or aquifer), then the Muck Dwellers dig a tunnel up to one half-finger length towards the water source.

If the city has the population to expand but is no more room for expansion on the water and no mining to be found within 1 thumb of any existing city or pool, the city becomes stagnant and loses 1(W).

In either case, if an expansion group of Muck Dwellers passes within a thumb of gold, mithral or gems, they will stop and immediately create a dry pool at that location to mine the ore or gems.


In the winter Muck Dwellers retreat into their cities and build. Tally the population of the entire Muck Dweller civilization and draw in any Muck Dweller Constructions marked at that population level that have not already been built – they can be built at either the city or the pools, at your discretion.

If there are more (B) than (W) in a city or pool during the winter, remove one (B).

End of the Muck Dweller Age

If the Muck Dwellers dig a tunnel to the surface, they panic at the sight of the sun and retreat under the leadership of their priests, abandonning their ‘contaminated’ cities and pools.

If the Muck Dwellers dig a tunnel beyond the bottom of the map, they discover things that were never meant to be uncovered by such lowly slime-covered creatures and are destroyed.

When the Muck Dweller Age ends, remove all (B) Muck Dwellers and (W) minor treasures and tadpoles from the map. In each city and pool, place 1(B) (Tadpoles that grew to maturity without the guidance of their culture and religion).

Pop : Muck Dweller Construction
3 : Breeding Pond. Draw an ornate room slightly larger than one bead that connects to both a room containing a (B) and a (W) (either directly or through tunnels).
4 : Tomb with 1 Treasure (1(W) that does not count in population checks)
5 : Chamber of Secrets. Create a two or three bead room one thumb away from the nearest Muck Dweller construction with no linking tunnel (it’s a secret). It contains essential religious secrets that are valueless to other civilizations.
6 : Exploratory tunnel one half-finger long, roll d12 for clockface direction of exploration.
7 : Temple of Mother Hydra. Create an ornate temple containing 1(W) (tadpole) and 1(W) that is a religious artifact and doesn’t count in population checks.
8 : Dig an exploratory tunnel upwards one finger from the highest point of Muck Dweller constructions.
9 : Temple of Father Dagon. Create an ornate temple containing 1(B) (priest) and 1(W) that is a religious artifact and doesn’t count in population checks.
10 : Dig a deep shaft well down to the bottom of the page.