Oracular Dungeon Generation and The Pleasure Palace of the Madman King

Art by Kilian Eng


Well, now that I'm done (for the time being) with Pyrrhic Weaselry, it's time to go back to making things that might actually appeal to people, so today I'll be posting my methodology for Dungeon Generation. This particular method was born from my desire to never have to come up with something from nothing, because I'm lazy and the blank page is frightening. Using this method, provided I have the faintest idea of the kind of dungeon I would like, I can essentially plug in a bunch of thematically linked words into a bunch of specific Spark Tables, interpret the results, and let my brain fill in the gaps. I'm calling it

Oracular Dungeon Generation 


I'm calling it this because it involves not only doing a dice drop à la In Corpathium and scrabbling around with the results like some sort of seer, but also because the entire endeavor is very much rooted in the idea of letting yourself become a medium a creative process that exists outside of yourself, in the same way that I really like Automatic Writing. Also because it sounds fancier than the "roll on a bunch of tables and make stuff up" method.

Before we get into things, I'd like to say that this isn't a "quick fix dungeon generator". You'll need to put in the time to actually get a product of merit. So why use this at all? Because it removes the need for inspiration, and lets you be just as surprised as anyone by the contents of the dungeon. It gets rid of the feeling of "oh well I have this cool idea in my head and now I just have to go through the motions of getting it into the real world" and replaces it with a feeling of "damn, I have no idea what this dungeon is gonna look like, let's see what these tables and my brain come up with!"


Also, this post is pretty long, so I'll give you an overview: the first section gives you a walk through of creating a dungeon using the method. Then, I provide an annotated version of the template, a blank version of the template, and an example that I filled out myself. Finally, I've posted a 12 room dungeon I made using this method as an example, and lastly, a few more sample templates and a way to automate the entire process so you can get dungeon rooms with the press of a button instead of rolling dice and checking tables like some sort of neanderthal :p

The Procedure
Step 1.
Choose how many Forces are at play in the dungeon. A Force is some power that has significantly shaped the dungeon. Things like "The Mad King" or "The Dwarven Stronghold" work nicely, as would "The Bandit Prince" or "The Goblin Horde." In general, 3 Forces is a good starting point, but a dungeon can work perfectly well with 1 or as many as 5-6.


Step 2.
Determine which of the Forces created the dungeon originally. Grab a number of d12s equal to the number of rooms you want this first Force to have created (Other dice work as well, and I've made dungeons using d6s and d20s, but I've found d12s to be my favorite) and drop them on a sheet of paper. Mark where they fall, and what number they're displaying, or take a photo, or something like that.

If you don't have enough dice, or you are like me and are bedridden or otherwise unable to perform a dice drop, I invite you to use this Online 3D Dice Roller. You'll have to take a screenshot in the brief moment before that irritating tally bar pops up, but it's quite doable, and I've made quite a few dungeons using it.

Each die represents a room in the dungeon.


Step 3. 
Fill out the Oracular Dungeon Generation Template for the first Force. You can find the Template further down in this post.


Step 4. 
Roll for each room. Use the filled out template to generate the rooms of your dungeon. This is going to take creativity: the template will provide you with essentially disperate, pieces of raw information and detail, and it's your job to reconcile the weirdness and write up a short paragraph describing the room and its features. There are 2 crucial and contradictory rules:

1. Use every piece of information
2. Don't use information you don't need

The first rule is important because it is by trying to cram all this information into a single room that you get the spectacular weirdness that this generator thrives on.
The second rule is important because if you've already got a bead on what the room should look like, don't waste time agonizing over a single piece of info that you can't make fit.


Step 5. 
Draw connections between the rooms (dice). These connections will be hallways. I used to have an algorithm that determined where the connections should go, but too often it just created unusable or nonsensical designs, and I've found that when it comes to creating the connections in the dungeons, a creator's hand is really helpful. Create locked doors and one way doors liberally, making sure you specify which side the one way door opens from, and where the keys to locked doors can be found. Create secret passages between any two rooms whose dice sum to 13. 
Make sure you're making loops! It's just good dungeon design, folks.


Step 6. 
Use the template to roll for each hallway, interpreting the results, writing short descriptions, and obeying the same principles as rolling for rooms.


Step 7. 
Choose the Force that shaped the dungeon following the first Force, and fill out the template for it. 


Step 8. 
Grab a number of d12s equal to the number of rooms you want the new Force to have shaped, and drop them on the first drop. See if any of the new d12s are showing the same results as any of the original d12s. If so, remove the new duplicates and make a note on the original room: this new Force has occupied that room as well. Keep all the rest of the dice where they fell, and mark or photograph them just like with the original Force. 


Step 9. 
Roll for the new Force's rooms. In instances where the new Force is occupying the same room as an old Force, don't roll for Room Structure for the new Force, just roll for Furnishings and Features.


Step 10. 
Draw and roll for the new Forces hallways. 


Step 11.
Repeat this process as many times as you like until you are satisfied with the dungeon.




The link above will take you to a google doc where you can copy the Template from if you want it in a convenient location. In addition, I'm going to post an annotated version of the template below, explaining each category of table. My annotations will be in italics

Force: The name of the power that shaped this portion of the dungeon. Something like "The King of Worms" or "The Serpent Oracle" or "The Alabaster Knights"

Purpose (d4): What the purpose of this portion of the dungeon is. Entries ought to be things like "To Inspire Fear In Interlopers," "To Hoard the Secrets of the Earth," "To Gather the Forces of Hell." Purposes can be things that the Force who shaped this part of the dungeon intended, or things that just sort of happen by accident or due to the nature of the dungeon: "To Blind the Senses" for example. 

Purposes are one of the secret sauces that makes this whole thing work a lot better (in my very biased opinion) than some of the other generators out there. Making sure each element in the dungeon is centered around a few central purposes does wonders towards making everything feel intentional and cohesive.
d4
1

2

3

4




Room Structure (5d6): What the room looks like, and what it's like to be in the room.

Size is pretty self evident: think things like "massive," "cramped," "closet sized," "ballroom sized" as opposed to numerical measurements though.

Ceiling is a weird, but important one: are the ceilings here high? Low? Vaulted? Collapsing?

Function describes what sort of room this is: a dining room? Torture chamber? Armory? It'll help you imagine what kind of set dressing ought to be in the scene, what kind of things aren't necessarily mentioned but are probably there. Special Rooms are, as you'd expect, just rooms that aren't as common as the others you'll have listed, rooms that there's probably only 1 of in the dungeon.

Style is both architectural style and just the general feeling of the room. Grim? Cheerful? Bloody? Echoing?

Light is a second one secret sauce: this helps set the tone really, really well and aids in describing the rooms more than you'd think. What is the light like in this part of the dungeon? Dim? Reddish? Candlelight?

d6
Size
Ceiling
Function
Style
Light
1





2





3





4





5





6


Special Room



Special Rooms (d6)

d6
Function
1

2

3

4

5

6



Furnishing (5d20): Furnishings are basically inert Features, things that serve mainly to set the tone of the room or provide some color. On average, they will be less interactive and more like backdrops. I tend to combine the Furnishings with the initial description of the room, before detailing the Features or any other action that goes on in the room. However, don't limit yourself! Features can still be interesting, or even alive! A skeleton who constantly cleans the floor in a room might be a Furnishing rather than a Feature, on account of it not being very interactable.

Object determines what the actual Furnishing is: is it a chandelier? The floor? The walls? A chair? A mechanical servitor? A roll of "Defining Furnishing" means that you should consider the Function of the room and choose some object central to that Function: a rack for a Torture Chamber, for example, or a table for a Dining Room. A roll of "Travel" indicates that the furnishing in the room is stairs, an elevator, ladder, hole, or something else enabling vertical travel. If you don't plan on having a multi-layer dungeon, just eliminate the Travel option. 

Action details an action associated with the Furnishing, and might provide insight into the effect, look, or purpose of the Furnishing. Things like "Weeping" "Piercing" "Falling" "Laughing" "Staring" etc. Details are what give your Furnishings life. Details can be anything, provided they are words that can be interpreted in a descriptive way, and don't overlap with your Actions. Things like "Fire," "Sorrow" "Gilded" "Oak" "Pearl" "Twisted" "Feather" "Teeth" are all good examples.


d20
Object
Action
Detail x2 
Features 
1
Defining Furnishing of the Room and Roll Again (ignore this result on reroll)


1
2


3


4


5


6
Roll on Travel and Roll Again (ignore this result on reroll)


7


8


9



10



11




2
12



13



14



15



16



17



18



19



3
20





Travel (2d6): Travel refers specifically to vertical movement, things like stairs, dumbwaiters, rope ladders, jump pads, whatever. As mentioned before, ignore this section if you don't plan on having a multi-level dungeon.

d6
Direction
Method
1
Up 1 level

2

3
Up d4+1  levels 

4
Down 1 Level

5

6
Down d4+1 Levels



Hallways (5d6): The entries here are of the same sort as the Room Structures. Feel free to use the same entries if you'd like, but changing the entries of your hallway tables can let you make your hallways more interesting and dynamic.

d6
Size
Ceiling
Style
Light
Features
1




0
2




3




4




5





1
6







Features (6d20): Features are the bread and butter of the Oracular Dungeon method. They are the encounters, treasure, traps, oddities, and people of interest in the dungeon. Anything that has high degree of intractability and potential or kinetic energy is a Feature.

Feature's Purposes are the same entries as the Room purposes. However, a Feature's Purpose does not have to line up with the Purpose of the Room that it is in.

Objects detail what exactly the Feature is. It is in writing the entries for this table that you will decide what sorts of things are in this dungeon. Because treasures, traps, enemies, etc are all drawn from this Feature table, your entries will shape how lucrative, deadly, strange, etc. your dungeon is. Things like "Pack of Wolves" "Sword" "Book" "Statue" "Servant" "Golem" "King" are all equally fair game. 

Actions are the same as Furnishing Actions: use the same entries. Details are also the same as your Furnishing details: again, use the same entries.


d20
Purpose
Object
Action x2
Details x2
1




2



3



4



5



6




7



8



9



10



11




12



13



14



15



16




17



18



19



20





That, more or less, is that. Now, it would be reasonable to have read all of that and still not know exactly what is going on, which is why I'm going to provide an example 12 room dungeon that I made using this generator. I'll provide the filled out template, the results I rolled for each room, hallway, etc, and how I wrote everything up. I created using this dungeon with only 1 Force for simplicity's sake, and using d20s (secret passages connect 2 dice that sum to 21) because I felt like it. Without further ado, I give you



Force: The Madman King
d4
Purpose
1
To imprison the King’s foes 
2
To show off the King’s wealth
3
To demonstrate the King’s depravity
4
To hide the King’s treasures



Room Structure (5d6)

d6
Size
Ceiling
Function
Style
Light
1
Cramped
Vaulted
Bathroom
Ornate
Dim Yellow
2
Huge
Low
Bedroom
Cluttered
Reddish
3
Large
Echoing
Dining Hall
Bloody
Bright
4
Tiny
Glass
Prison Cell
Dishevelled 
Dark
5
Closet-Sized
Painted
Parlour
Shattered
Murky Green
6
Cavernous
Collapsing
Special Room
Artistic
Pale


Special Rooms
d6
Function
1
Ballroom
2
Torture Chamber
3
Gallery
4
Chapel
5
Treasure Vault
6
Trophy Room


Details (5d20)

d20
Furnishing
Action
Detail x2
Features
1
Defining Furnishing of the Room and Roll Again (ignore this result on reroll)
Laughing
Bloody
1
2
Dancing
Ragged
3
Singing
Golden
4
Weeping
Shining
5
Playing
Hypnotic
6
Roll on Travel and Roll Again (ignore this result on reroll)
Stealing
Rage
7
Choking
Love
8
Stabbing
Despair
9
Mirror
Clutching
Glass
10
Chandelier 
Tearing
Mirror
11
Window
Ranting
Fur
2
12
Artwork
Admiring
Painting
13
Couch
Chasing
Loud
14
Chair
Sneaking
Still
15
Ceiling
Watching
Frantic
16
Floor
Jumping
Desperate
17
Walls
Smashing
Passionate
18
Door
Whispering
Velvet
19
Collection
Praying
Colorful
3
20
Cabinet 
Spying
Vivid


Travel (2d6)

d6
Direction
Method
1
Up 1 level
Stairs
2
3
Up d4+1  levels 
4
Down 1 Level
Dumbwaiter
5
Hole in the floor/ceiling
6
Down d4+1 Levels
Ladder



Hallways (5d6)

d6
Size
Ceiling
Style
Light
Features
1
Cramped
Low
Twisting
Dim Yellow
0
2
Huge
Carpeted
Ornate
Reddish
3
Small
Painted
Winding
Bright
4
Spacious
Vaulted
Baroque
Dark
5
Vast
Glass
Lavish
Murky Green

1
6
Tiny
Polished
Despoiled
Pale

Features (6d20)

d20
Purpose
Object
Action x2
Details x2 
1
To imprison the king’s foes
Servant
Laughing
Bloody
2
Prisoner
Dancing
Ragged
3
Madman
Singing
Golden
4
Chain
Weeping
Shining
5
Stained glass
Playing
Hypnotic
6
To show off the king’s wealth
Knife
Stealing
Rage
7
Flute
Choking
Love
8
Book
Stabbing
Despair
9
Leopard
Clutching
Glass
10
Lily
Tearing
Mirror
11
To demonstrate the king’s depravity
Rose
Ranting
Fur
12
Lion
Admiring
Painting
13
Tiger
Chasing
Loud
14
Corpse
Sneaking
Still
15
Sapphire
Watching
Frantic
16
to hide the king’s treasures 
Cloak
Jumping
Desperate
17
Journal
Smashing
Passionate
18
Coins
Whispering
Velvet
19
Ruby
Praying
Colorful
20
Hummingbird
Spying
Vivid



Map



Room 1: The Bloody Lovers Parlor ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Purpose: to display the kings wealth
Size: Cavernous 
Ceiling: Collapsing 
Function: Parlour
Style: Cluttered
Light: Bright
Furnishing: Floor, Whispering, Love, Bloody
Features: 2

This room, though massive, is filled to the brim with overstuffed couches, armchairs, and ottomans. Coffee tables of fine wood jostle one another for space. The walls are draped with rich curtains and tapestries. Dust lays across everything, drifting down from the distant ceiling, which collapsed some time ago, broken beams suspended precariously. The center of the room is the only clear space. There, on the floor, two skinless bodies make slow, perpetual love in a pool of their mingled blood. Their soft whispers echo through the massive room.


Features
Purpose: to demonstrate the king’s depravity
Object: Lion
Action: Weeping, Singing
Details: Shining, Mirror 

In a corner of the room sits a lion, fur shining softly in the warm light that drifts in from the high windows. It stares into a tall mirror, taking no notice of anything else around it. It sings softly in a human voice, the sound broken now and then by heavy sobs. If you look into the mirror, you see reflected a young girl, with tawny golden hair the same color as the lion’s mane. She sings through her tears, cradling a young man’s body, his blood seeping out of massive bite wounds in his gut to stain her dress. Beneath the lion's paws can be seen a leg, wearing the same boots as the young man in the mirror.


Purpose: to demonstrate the king’s depravity
Object: book
Action: clutching, singing
Details: ragged, despair
On one of the couches sits a young child, clutching a ragged, worn book of nursery rhymes with an iron grip. He sings constantly to the bodies with a wretched, broken voice, unable to do anything but sing the verses he reads on the page. He will do anything to get someone to take his place.


Hall 1: Hall of Darkwood and Copper--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type: Normal, Locked (at room 2, key in room 5)
Size: Spacious
Ceiling: Polished
Style: Twisting
Light: Murky Green
The hall is carved with dark wood, polished to a sheen. It twists and turns, taking many unnecessary corners. Strange copper lanterns light the way, casting the whole place in a murky green glow.

Feature
Purpose: to hide the king’s treasures
Object: Coins
Action: Laughing, Tearing
Detail: Still, Frantic
A man in a tattered butler’s uniform races along the hall, tapping on the wood and listening intently. He’s got a heavy chest of coins under one arm and a crowbar held in his other hand, which he uses on occasion to tear back the wood paneling and stuff coins into the walls. He laughs maniacally while he does this, then freezes, as though afraid of being heard, before racing along to the next spot.



Room 2: Dining Room of the Imprisoned Thief--------------------------------------------------------------
Purpose: To imprison the king’s foes
Size: Cramped
Ceiling: Painted
Function: Dining Hall
Style: Disheveled
Light: Pale
Furnishing: Table, Sneaking, Still, Vivid/Chair, Chasing, Rage, Vivid
Features: 1

A tiny dining room with a vividly painted ceiling, cast in pale light by the small lantern in the center of the table. The ceiling depicts the life of a man who grows to be a renowned thief. The table’s surface is painted as well with a remarkably lifelike scene of the thief breaking into a lavish room and laying hands on a beautiful table that looks remarkably like the one in this room. The chair at the head of the table continues the story, painted with a scene of the thief in what appears to be a magicians sanctum, fleeing from a regal looking figure whose face is contorted with rage and malice. The table is in the center of the sanctum, and appears to be covered in strange runes and binding symbols. Every so often, the thief in the paintings seems to move.

Feature
Purpose: to hide the king’s treasures
Object: servant
Action: laughing, jumping
Details: shining, fur 

A servant enters the room, laughing and jumping with joy. In her arms she has a large shining fur coat, each hair soft and light, but made of solid gold. She spins around, dizzy with glee, and bends down to lift up a floorboard, revealing a hollow space, into which she stuffs the coat. She will grow furious and run to fetch help if she is stopped or she sees the coat being removed.

Hall 2: Green Velvet Hall------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type: Normal
Size: Huge
Ceiling: Carpeted
Style: Baroque
Light: Bright
Features: 0 

A massively wide hall, lit with bright lamps embedded into the ceiling, which is carpeted with green velvet, as is the floor. The door at the end of the hall is carved ornately with cherubs and angels.

Room 3: Clutching Cabinet Bathroom-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Purpose: to hide the king’s treasures 
Size: Cavernous
Ceiling: Painted
Function: Bathroom
Style: Ornate
Light: Reddish
Furnishing: Cabinet, Stealing, Shining, Loud
Features: 1

A massively oversized bathroom, the vaulted ceiling painted a bloody tone that catches the light and bathes the entire space in red. The light in question comes from a cabinet at the very end of the room whose ruddy cedarwood gives off a hot, glowing light. In addition, the cabinet emits a high pitched cackle, which echoes around the huge room. If you approach the cabinet, it will resist being opened, but the moment you let your guard down the doors fly wide, revealing an inside lined with long, spindly arms which immediately try to grapple you and rip all that you carry away from you. Once it has taken a few significant items or it appears to be losing, it will turn to face the wall and use its arms to scuttle up towards the ceiling like a cockroach, its light and cackle fading.


Feature
Purpose: to hide the king’s treasures
Object: tiger
Action: weeping, smashing
Details: glass, loud 

A glass tiger cowers on the other end of the room from the cabinet, weeping noisily. In its stomach, a heap of gold and jewels can be seen. Eventually, it will reluctantly make its way to the cabinet, moving as though against its will. When it reaches the cabinet, the doors will spring open and the cabinets arms will smash the tiger to pieces and snatch the gold. The tiger will be very grateful if it is prevented from reaching the cabinet, potentially vomiting up some of the treasure it contains.

Secret Door: Hall 13
Behind the cabinet is a large square hole in the wall that looks as though it were torn by many sharp fingers.


Hall 3: Red Velvet Tunnel-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type: Normal
Size: Tiny
Ceiling: Carpeted
Style: Twisting
Light: Reddish 
Features: 0

The tiny hall, scarcely high enough to crawl in twists and turns, the miniature lamps causing the red carpet that covers the floor, walls, and ceiling to glow softly.

Room 4: Shrine of the Golden Bear-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Purpose: to hide the kings treasures
Size: Closet Size
Ceiling: Echoing
Function: Chapel
Style: Bloody
Lighting: Dark
Furnishing: Dumbwaiter (down 5 levels), Sneaking, Desperate, Bloody/Ceiling, Laughing, Bloody, Fur
Feature: 1 

This tiny chapel is barely large enough for two people, and when the door is shut it is quite dark. Above, the ceiling extends upwards, echoing into the void. Dangling down from the ceiling, suspended by cruel chains hooked into each of its paws is a bear with golden fur. The chains bite into its paws, causing blood to drip down from the ceiling, potentially alerting you to its presence. If the bear notices you, it will begin to laugh and convulse wildly, alerting anyone nearby, and after a few moments, shaking free of its chains and descending to maul you. Concealed behind the tiny altar is a dumbwaiter that travels down 5 levels. Hiding in the dumbwaiter is a skinless boy, shaking with fear. He’s trying to escape the room while avoiding the notice of the bear.

Feature
Purpose: to hide the kings treasures
Object: Book
Action: Watching, Whispering
Detail: Velvet, Shining
The book lays on the altar, covered in a soft coat of velvet. You can feel its invisible eyes on you. It whispers gently to you, coaxing you to open it so it can show you the secret treasures of this place. If you do open it, it lets out a shining flash, blinding you to all gold things.

Hall 4: Stained Velvet Hall----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Type: Normal, Locked (does not open from room 1)
Size: Cramped
Ceiling: Carpeted
Style: Despoiled
Light: Murky Green
Features: 0 

The hall is coated in velvet carpeting, stained with blood and other bodily fluids. The murky green light glistens off the residue. The door too, is carpeted, with a large suspicious looking stain by the doorknob


Room 5: Vault of Weeping Glass--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Purpose: to show off the kings wealth
Size: Cavernous
Ceiling: Low
Function: Treasure Vault
Style: Shattered
Light: Dark
Furnishing: Heap of Gold, Singing, Golden, Glass/Cabinet, Praying, Ragged, Glass
Features: 2

This room is long and low, with no light but what shimmers from an enormous mound of gold that takes up much of the floor, buried beneath of shattered glass. The air is filled with a slow, sad song that whispers up through the glass from the gold. Anyone hearing the song cannot help but attempt to claim the gold, digging down frantically through the glass shards, paying no attention to the pain or wounds they suffer. Against the wall stands an open cabinet with a statue in it in the shape of a praying woman. Her hands are outstretched as though to offer a blessing to someone who kneels beneath them. From her eyes, more jagged shards of glass emerge, dropping to the floor. If you kneel beneath her hands, she will bless you, transforming each shard of glass into a golden coin.

Features
Purpose: to imprison the kings foes
Object: Cloak
Action: Clutching, Dancing
Details: Frantic, Ragged 

Draped over the back of the praying statue a ragged cloak. If you take it it clutches to you, forcing you to dance frantically atop the jagged heap of glass.


Purpose: To show off the kings wealth
Object: Book
Action: Choking, Smashing
Details: Desperate, Colorful

The book lays beside the praying statue in a colorful, tattered color. The inside cover reads “read on to reveal the secrets of my wealth”. If the contents of the book are read aloud, the heap of gold beneath the glass surges up, trying to bury the reader in a heap of choking coins.


Key to Room 2 


Hall 5: Hellish Hallway--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type: Normal, Locked (Does not open from Room 1)
Size: Vast
Ceiling: Painted
Style: Lavish
Light: Reddish
Features: 0 

This ceiling of this vast hall is painted with lurid hellscapes and lit with flickering lamps of gold that cast the space in a maddening, dancing red light.


Room 6: Whisper Room------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 
Purpose: to demonstrate the king’s depravity
Size: Closet-Size
Ceiling: Low
Function: Bathroom
Style: Ornate
Light: Bright
Furnishing: Ceiling, Whispering, Painting, Bloody
Features: 1

This room, scarcely more than a closet, resembles a bathroom, but lacks a toilet. Instead, a small chair with blue velvet upholstery sits at one end of the space. At the other is a small sink with a mirror above it. The floor is tiled in beautiful blue and white flowers, and small bright lights gleam off of the pristine surface. The ceiling is the main attraction however, so low that one must stoop or brush one’s head against it. Upon it is rendered a complete abstracted map of the palace in gold leaf and scarlet, complete with tiny renditions of the various inhabitants of the rooms and hallways. If you look closely, you can see them move, gliding smoothly across the surface of the ceiling. The sink is white porcelain and possesses a huge number of golden handles, each one labeled with the name of one of the houses inhabitants. If you turn a handle, blood begins to gush from the faucet, which, if ingested, fills your mind with whisperings of that being. They are nearly inaudible at first, and grow louder the more you drink. Drink too much however and that beings thoughts will override your own.


Feature

Purpose: to imprison the kings foes
Object: flute
Actions: praying, singing
Details: bloody, despair 

A flute rests against the leg of the chair. The end of the flute has been stylized into the form of a weeping woman's face. The mouthpiece has dried blood crusted on it, but apart from this, the flute seems well cared for. When played, the flute sings in a woman’s voice, praying endlessly to be freed from imprisonment. If played while your lips are wet with blood from the sink, the being whose thoughts you are listening to will be struck with a deep, unending despair until you cease playing.

Hall 6: Blue Velvet Tunnel----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type: Normal
Size: tiny
Ceiling: carpeted
Style: Lavish
Light: dim yellow
Features: 1

This hallway is so small and narrow that the blue carpeted walls and ceiling press against you as you walk down it, and you must duck out of the way of the ornate hanging lamps that cast the space in a dim, yellow light, lest they hit you in the face.


Feature
Purpose: to imprison the kings foes
Object: Leopard
Actions: Tearing, Ranting
Details: Frantic, Colorful

The hall is blocked by a leopard with spots all the colors of the rainbow brutally tearing at an emaciated man in royal clothes long reduced to rags. The mans frantic raving and screaming fills the hall and sinks into the carpeting.

Room 7: Dining Hall of the Lion---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Purpose: to show off the king’s wealth
Size: Large
Ceiling: Collapsing
Function: Dining hall
Style: Ornate
Light: Reddish
Furnishing: Table, Clutching, Ragged, Frantic/Door, Admiring, Fur, Ragged
Features: 2 

This dining hall is a massive stone chamber, lit by a blazing hearth at the far end of the room. Tapestries of red silk portraying debauched baucannals flutter slowly in the draft that whistles through the collapsed ceiling. A massive chandelier lies on top of the huge oak dining table, glittering and shattered, long ago having plummeted from the lofty rafters above. A man dressed in rags that are covered in a fur coat of solid gold admires the tapestries. His face is cruel and hungry. Beneath the table, a frightened man, also in rags, clutches tightly to one of the table legs and tries very hard to remain unnoticed.


Features
Purpose: to hide the kings treasures
Object: Lion
Action: Playing, Dancing
Details: Shining, Rage

A glass lion plays by the hearth, dancing about and chasing after a little ball. The firelight reflects off the gold and jewels visible in its stomach. It is friendly, unless it spots any sign of gold or obvious wealth, which causes it to fly into a murderous rage which does not cease until it has devoured the offending items. It has not noticed the man in the gold fur coat yet, but it soon will.


Purpose: to demonstrate the kings depravity
Corpse: Praying, Choking
Details: Ragged, Shining 

Hidden in the shadows by the hearth is a young man, slowly choking on the shining golden amulet he tried to swallow to escape the lion’s wrath. He is praying desperately for someone to save him, and will gladly give up the amulet if he is rescued.

Hall 7: Hall of Heat Lamps---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type: Normal, Locked (does not open from room 5)
Size: Cramped
Ceiling: Low
Style: Lavish
Light: Bright
Features: 1

This tiny hall is full of shining mahogany paneling that reflects the bright lamplight into your eyes. The walls are so close that the heat from the lamps can be acutely felt, sending sweat running down your face.


Features
Purpose: to imprison the king’s foes
Object: prisoner
Action: clutching, playing
Details: velvet, love

A man sits in the center of the hall, dirty clothes and chained ankle clearly indicating that he’s a prisoner. He rocks back and forth, clutching tightly to a lifesize doll of another young man, dressed in finely cut velvet. He whispers sweet nothings to it, lavishes its face with kisses, plays chess with it on a miniature chessboard he has scratched in the ground.

Room 8: Sapphire Dining Room---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Purpose: to show off the king’s wealth
Size: Cramped
Ceiling: Glass
Function: Dining Hall
Style: Bloody
Light: Bright
Furnishing: Floor, Spying, Still, Loud,
Features: 1

This dining room is long and very narrow, scarcely wider than the table. Everything in it is glittering and crystalline, the faceted panes of the glass ceiling sending sunlight bursting through the many crystal chandeliers which sway from silver chains and the many crystal goblets which line the long table of pale wood delicately inlaid with platinum. The inlay wraps around each glass, neatly indicating where it should go on the table. Each glass is filled nearly to overflowing with wine the color of bright cherries. Loud, heavy breathing fills the still air, causing ripples to spread out on the still surface of the wine. Looking down, you can see rows upon rows of eyeholes carved into the floorboards, and many, many watchful eyes staring from below, waiting expectantly for you to drink. 


Features
Purpose: to imprison the king’s foes
Object: Sapphire
Actions: Choking, Smashing
Details: Shining, Still 

Laying serene and still in the center of the table is a massive sapphire the size of a grapefruit, a single crack marring its perfection. Light floods out of it, casting the table in azure tint. The inlay which wraps around the cups leads here, forming a neat circle for the jewel to rest in. Each sip taken from one of the cups reduces the light shining from the gem slightly. When the light is reduced to nothingness (after two or more glasses are drained), the stone shatters violently. If examined closely, a man in silver mail can be seen within the stone, laying still, face deathly pale, sword laid upon his breast. When the stone breaks, either because the light has vanished, or the wine has been drained, the man will appear on the table, completely exsanguinated, and muffled clapping will be heard from below the floorboards.

Secret Door: one of the eyeholes in the floorboards has no eyes behind it: if you lift up that section of the floor, a small light of stairs leads down to a little dusty room with a door leading left to Hall 13 and a door leading right to hall 14


Hall 8: Hall of Statues----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type: Normal
Size: Huge
Ceiling: Vaulted
Style: Despoiled
Light: Pale
Features: 1

This corridor is a giant, airy, vaulted space, pale light filtering in from high windows to rest on the statues of saints and kings which line the hall, marble faces looking calmly out. Most of these statues have been violated in some way, noses and hands smashed, crude graffiti scrawled on chests.


Features
Purpose: to demonstrate the king’s depravity
Object: book
Actions: chasing, clutching
Details: still, vivid

A book lays on the floor of the hall, discarded face down. When read, it tells incredibly vivid tales of heroes, kings, and saints, describing their lives, triumphs, and tribulations with prose so gripping the book is hard to look away from or put down. As you read, the statues around you come to life, each slowly creeping towards you, bent on snatching the book at all costs. They remain animate as long as the book is read, and if any of them should read their own story aloud, they will remain living forever.

Room 9: Gallery of Frozen Figures-----------------------------------------------------------------------------Purpose: to demonstrate the king’s depravity
Size: Large
Ceiling: Low
Function: Gallery
Style: Ornate
Light: Pale
Furnishing: Couch, Dancing, Velvet, Colorful
Features: 1 

A vast gallery of paralyzed people, kept immobile through some insidious drug. Each nude, displayed on pedestals in poses that range from sexual to painful to humorous. A couch formed by frozen, living bodies delicately arranged to appear as though dancing is placed in the center of the room. The figures that make up the piece of furniture have been decorated with colorful powders, magentas, purples, and greens.


Feature
Purpose: to show off of the king’s wealth
Object: Cloak
Action: Weeping, Stabbing
Details: Rage, Still

The most disturbing of the frozen scenes is one depicting a nude man in covered in rich, flowing robe of golden fur and white ermine, a tall crown of gold and ivory upon his head. He is thrusting a knife into the neck of a paralyzed victim, who weeps without moving as blood rushes from the wound and coats their still body. The killer’s face shows pure, murderous rage. While you aren’t looking, the killer will move to a new victim, again pretending to be frozen in the act of murder. If you make any effort to save the frozen people, he will turn on you.


Hall 9: Hall of the Red Sun---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type: Normal, Locked (does not open from room 7)
Size: Huge
Ceiling: Glass
Style: Winding
Light: Reddish
Feature: 1

This massive hall is strangely bare, a huge open space of black tile that twists and turns strangely, taking odd corners and doubling back on itself before proceeding. It is lit only with the scarlet light that pours in from the glass ceiling, though it is impossible to tell if the glass itself is red or if it is some strange red sun beyond that gives this otherworldly radiance.

Feature
Purpose: to imprison the kings foes
Object: rose
Actions: spying, ranting
Details: Love, velvet

A young lady in velvet carrying a rose behind her back steps out from one of the corners. She looks startled, and immediately retreats to the shadows, running far away from you and trying to stay out of sight. After a few minutes however, she will begin to follow you, peeking at you from around corners and ranting to herself about how you’d hate her, how you’ll never notice her, etc. If you confront her she will become hostile and eventually try to grab you, trying to force you to smell from the rose, which contains a powerful sleeping agent.

Room 10: Prisoner’s Bedroom-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Purpose: to imprison the kings foes
Size: Closet Size
Ceiling: Painted 
Function: Bedroom
Style: Disheveled
Light: Pale
Furnishing: Hole in the floor (down 1 level), Jumping, Golden, Despair/Chair, Laughing, Shining, Despair
Features: 2 

This tiny bedroom is mostly taken up by the four poster bed, which reaches up to a ceiling painted with whimsical pictures of stars, planets, and fairies. Pale sunlight comes from a tiny high up circular window and illuminates a pushed over nightstand, torn pillowcases, and rumpled sheets. A weeping girl stands on the bed, preparing to jump into a hole in the floorboards, desperately avoiding the gaze of a second girl, fashioned of solid gold, who could be her twin. The girl of gold sits in a chair in the corner of the room, laughing wildly, cold eyes fixed on her trembling doppelganger, daring her to jump.

Feature
Purpose: to imprison the king’s foes
Object: Hummingbird
Action: Stabbing, Admiring
Details: Ragged, Loud

A beautiful clockwork hummingbird lays on the floor by the golden girl’s foot, beating ragged wings rapidly and making a loud trilling noise. If picked up and restored to health, it demands to be admired in a high, shrieking voice. If it goes even an instant without praise it will try to rapidly stab your eyes and throat with its needle-beak


Purpose: to show off the king’s wealth
Object: Leopard
Actions: stabbing, ranting
Details: golden, mirror

If the girl jumps, the golden girl will jump with joy and leap into the bed, making herself at home. After a few minutes though, a glass leopard with mirrored spots and gold in its belly will nose the door open, making a beeline for the girl. She will rant and scream: “I only wanted to live like her, I’m sorry, I didn’t know”, trying wildly to avoid the beasts stabbing jaws, but its teeth will cut through her gold like butter and it will gulp her down.


Secret Door: under the bed, a roughly made hole in the floorboards leads to Hall 14

Hall 10: Hall of Dark Carvings----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type: Normal
Size: Vast
Ceiling: Glass
Style: Ornate
Light: Dark
Features: 0
This hallways is scarcely visible, vague hints of ornate carvings and ornaments on the walls hidden in darkness. What little light there is filters down in strange shapes and colors through a stained glass ceiling too distant to see in the gloom.

Room 11: Mapped Bathroom-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Purpose: to hide the king’s treasures
Size: Large
Ceiling: Echoing
Function: Bathroom
Style: Disheveled
Light: Dark
Furnishing: Walls, Whispering, Painting, Frantic
Features: 2

This large bathroom is dark, in what light there is you can tell that it’s in a sorry state: stained and strewn about with cans of paint and fallen down stepladders. The ceiling is domed, and catches sound well, amplifying the whispered mutters of a painter, high a ladder, who is frantically trying to paint over a huge map which has been scrawled on the wall. Though at this point it is too covered to discern much, you can tell that it seems to be a treasure map detailing the hidden locations of the king’s riches. The painter will pay you no mind unless you try to uncover the map or prevent him from painting, at which point he will become desperately violent.


Features
Purpose: To imprison the kings foes
Object: Lion
Action: Spying, Whispering
Details: Colorful, Hypnotic

The painter’s ankle is chained to the color of a huge lion, its coat painted with hypnotically swirling pattern which catch and hold the eye. It keeps a watchful eye out, whispering directions under its breath to the painter, and prevents anyone from interfering with their work.


Purpose: to show off the king’s wealth
Object: Sapphire
Action: Tearing, Sneaking
Detail: Velvet, Love

A tear of lovers is sneaking past the lion and the painter. The pockets of their velvet coats are filled with sapphires wrenched from the silver mirror above the sink. The lovers do not know the way out of the castle, they snuck in here to try to make their fortune so that they could flee the town they live in and now are hopelessly lost. The lion will not notice them, but will be grateful if they are stopped.


Hall 11: Wax Cherub Corridor----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Size: Small
Ceiling: Vaulted
Style: Baroque
Light: Dim Yellow
Feature: 1

This little stone hall is illuminated by fat candles dripping yellow wax over the cherubic statues which serve to hold them. The whole space is alive with the shadows of stone wings in the flickering yellow light. Hot wax stings your skin as it plummets from the vaulted ceiling.


Feature
Purpose: to show off the king’s wealth
Object: Lion
Actions: dancing, ranting
Details: Frantic, vivid 

A lion and a woman, both adorned in diamond studded gowns, dance a frantic waltz down the hallway, careening against the walls. The woman rants constantly, speaking and babbling to the lion: “you see Lila, the king has rewarded our service! riches beyond compare Lila, riches beyond compare!” The lion groans softly.


Room 12: Ballroom of Dead Dancers---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Purpose: To hide the king’s treasures
Size: Large
Ceiling: Glass
Function: Ballroom
Style: Artistic
Light: Bright 
Furnishing: Chair, Choking, Fur, Desperate
Features: 1

The ballroom is huge and beautiful, tastefully decorated with light patterns and swooping designs that emulate birds in flight, catching the sunlight and looping it lightly over the walls and floor. The ceiling is a huge glassy dome, and birds can be seen fluttering about on the highest steel girders. A few chairs line the walls, and on one of them a woman in a fur coat can be seen, desperately thrashing as she tries to cough up the sapphires that are lodged in her throat before she dies. Her face is pale and frantic, her motions growing weaker.


Features
Purpose: To hide the king’s treasures
Object: Corpse
Actions: Chasing, Singing
Details: Painting, Still

Two dead men in ballet clothes playfully leap and chase one another, singing and laughing softly. Their voices carry through the huge empty room. Every so often a sapphire falls from their lips: they take no notice, they are stuffed full of them. On the far end of the room a dead woman poses as another dead woman paints her. They are both in sleek, gowns of black silk and mink fur. The model coughs suddenly, spits a sapphire to the side.

Hall 12: Hall of Granite Beasts-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Size: Vast
Ceiling: Glass
Style: Ornate
Light: Pale
Features: 0

The hall looms huge and grey, ornately sculpted animals formed of granite and joined with gold waiting coldly in the grey light that shines through the massive panels of the ceiling. The floor too is cold and grey, delicately worked with floral patterns almost too small for the eye to make out.

Hall 13----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type: Secret
Size: Cramped
Ceiling: Painted
Style: Baroque
Light: Pale
Features: 0

This low, cramped passage is painted with baroque images of the moon’s laughing daughters leaping among the stars. The passage is illuminated by a soft silver radiance that shines from the paint.


Hall 14-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Type: Secret
Size: Spacious
Ceiling: Polished
Style: Winding
Light: Pale
Feature: 1

The passage is surprisingly spacious, and lit by hidden windows which let in pale light from some outside source. The old oak panels and floors gleam softly as the corridor twists and turns.


Features
Purpose: To show off the king’s wealth
Object: Sapphire
Actions: Laughing, Choking
Details: Desperate, Colorful


A small, pale young man in a colorful suit sits, laughing helplessly and shoveling sapphires into his mouth with desperate speed. He’s slowly choking to death. “I’ll join them soon” he says. “I’ll be beautiful and dancing soon”


A Final Word: Automation and Further Examples

Now, it took me about 10 minutes to fill out the Template for The Pleasure Palace, and around 3 hours to generate and write up all the rooms and features and whatnot. However, a good bit of time was spent just picking dice, rolling them, referring to tables, etc. If you'd like to greatly expedite the process, I wholeheartedly recommend automating the method. In order to do that, I've made use of Paper Elemental's List to HTML Generator, a tremendously helpful tool which lets you create lists that are then turned into random generators that function with the click of a button. If you would like to indulge in the efficiency of automation, here's how to go about it.

Copy and paste the contents of this google doc into the "write your list in the following text area" of the List to HTML generator. Then, fill it out each heading as you would fill out the normal template. When you're finished, you'll have the HTML code to create a generator that does something like this:





To generate hallways, repeat the process, but using the contents of this google doc instead

If you want an example to look at, the template for the Room Generator that I filled out for the Pleasure Palace can be found here.

If you'd like some further examples or templates to get started with, a friend of mine created templates for a mostly friendly Fae dwelling, and the rowdy castle of a young lord.


Alright, that does it for this one. If you have any questions or criticisms, please leave a comment and if you decide to make a template or dungeon using this method please drop a link in the comments as well, I'd love to assemble a collection of templates for public use. Who knows, if I get enough entries maybe I'll automate them all and make a post of automated dungeon generators.

I'll be back in a bit with a region generator in the same style. My eventual hope is to build out enough resources to create an entire campaign world in this method, but we'll see.

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