So this is the dungeon I whipped up after completing the Mentzer starter dungeon that I posted earlier. This was created during the Christmas vacation of 1984 (got the Basic set as a birthday present 2 weeks earlier).
Level 1, a system of caves, except the walls are all smooth. I don't think it ever came up why the place was like this, apparently natural caves from the outside, but apparently worked from the inside.
The big room at the top was expanded later on. The gold dragon that lives there became an important NPC when my friend Todd's fighter, who had a ring of telekinesis (probably from the red dragon), tried to steal a few gold coins as we were passing through one day. Once our characters had made it up to the Companion levels, I thought I'd better beef him up, so he became a Huge Gold (toughest of the tough) and his room was expanded.
The highlight of level 2 of course is the red dragon. Why a red and gold both lair in the same dungeon, no one knows. How the red gets in or out is also a mystery. Maybe enough low level adventurers keep coming that he doesn't need to go anywhere?
Back then, I sometimes restocked dungeons, but other times, certain monsters 'respawned' (to use a more modern term) and were always there. Realism and consistency were not issues back then. The red dragon, of course, always respawned. The Cloud Giant is obviously a later addition through restocking, as I didn't get the Expert Set until a year later, as a Christmas present.
You go up to level 2 in this dungeon, but down to level 3. I don't remember if anyone ever found and used the secret entrance/exit to level 3 or not. The 'bottomless pit' at the dead end on the lower left did come in handy a few times, including one time when the red dragon was tricked into drinking a potion of diminution, stuffed into a bag of holding, and then a race was on to get there and dump him in before the potion wore off. Good times.
Looking back on these maps, of course the stocking of them is random and pointless, but the design of the dungeons is actually not bad for a beginner. There are lots of paths and loops, secret ways that can be discovered (several concealed doors and the secret entrance), and some cool atmospheric weird things like a talking skull and a small lava lake.
The Beginning of Something Wonderful
3 hours ago