Central Castings: Dungeons
[sterling]11.99 - 192pp
So, it's Friday night, you've just got in from a hard day and just as you flop
down into your sofa to relax you suddenly remember that it's your turn to GM
tonight. Quickly, you hunt down a pen and paper, make yourself a coffee, and
sit down and wait for an exciting new dungeon to happen by.... and you
wait..... , until all you have to show for your meandering is a terminally
chewed pen and a doodle of a goblin.
Central Castings: Dungeons is a means of randomly generating dungeon
adventures. The internals are laid out as a series of tables alongside text to
explain the finer point of using the product. The first three tables, for
example, deal with the entrance. The first deals with general characteristics
(with options varying from the common "steps going down" to "can only be
entered by use of a teleport elsewhere"), the second has the entrance features
(such as "in volcano," "across a river," and "high on a cliff") and the last,
the doorway itself ("grand and elaborate double doors" to "expertly camouflaged
All of the following tables, suggesting doorways, passages, rooms, stairways,
etc., are all equally varied and imaginative. By rolling a few dice you can
quickly build up a picture of the dungeon. But Central Castings does not stop
with a simple map; tables are provided to generate individual types of room
(instead of making do with "bedroom," for example, there is a table that
provides a list of several types of bedroom and imaginative uses for them....
oooer!). The tables then move on to cover the History of the Dungeon, who lived
there, what happened to make them leave, and who lives there now, etc. etc.
These options include floods, plagues and invasions.
The text alongside the tables is randomly scattered with old quotes and
sayings from old adventurers, most of which are highly amusing and make light
relief for eyes sent square from table watching.
I was overwhelmed by the versatility of this product. I am not a great fan of
randomly generated dungeons as they always seem to lack order (a kitchen next
to a chapel, for example) but this product has built in safeguards to prevent
this. By following the guidelines you end up with a perfectly reasonable
dungeon, and, with a little practice, you could use this book to "wing it" if
the party catch you unprepared.
As I was rolling the dice and reading the tables, I found that my imagination
began to run away on its own, and so this product would be a great asset for
those of you who occasionally suffer writer's block. There are more than enough
ideas here to keep even the most weary of dungeon adventurers on their toes.
Overall: If you are in need of an imagination boost, or feel that a random
dungeon generator is what you need, then this is possibly the best product on
Review: Pete Brown
Product Supplied by: Task Force Games