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Valkyrie Magazine and RPGnet are happy to provide this review.


Central Castings: Dungeons
RPG Accessory
Task Force Games
[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 secret doors").

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 the market.

Review: Pete Brown

Product Supplied by: Task Force Games

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