Tuesday, November 3, 2009

SPI's Deathmaze: Random Generation Tables

The Deathmaze rules consist of a 24-page booklet. Of those 24 pages, 8 pages provide random generation tables, treasure type tables and a monster characteristics table. On closer inspection, some of the random generation table pages, in my copy of the rules, appear to be duplicates, so the actual rulebook consists of fewer pages.

Above is a sampling of two pages of tables from the Deathmaze booklet. As you can see from the sampled pages, there were random tables for negotiation, fountains, trap doors, statues, wandering and room monsters and combat results, to name just a few.

Not pictured here, but an innovative feature (at the time) was the magic weapon and armor tables. Those tables were simple, but allowed for the generation of weapons and armor with high bonuses, as the tables were constructed thusly:

1-3 +1
4-5 +2
6 roll twice

You could theoretically have magic weapons and armor with infinite bonuses, as long as you continued to roll at least one six.

Deathmaze also had a rather controversial feature, being the "Spices" treasure table. That table had the following spices that could be found as treasure, which had similar effects to potions.

Red Pepper

I believe there was some controversy at the time, regarding the inclusion on the last item on the list (it acted as a 'haste' potion, although I cannot comment on the accuracy of that in-game effect, having no experience in that regard, officer).


Timeshadows said...

> cough-cough-cough <

Yeah...what he said.

The Rusty Battle Axe said...

Didn't inhale.

P_Armstrong said...

I am a fan of using tables such as these, a stack of index cards, or cards from the Dungeoneer game you have previously mentioned to develop dungeons for D&D on the fly.

I once read a forum post by the incomparable Sham that read:
"Anything that boils the dungeon crawl experience down to a gameism is cool in my book. I'm almost to the point that I consider OD&D a board game by the way!"

I completely agree with his sentiment.

I also find the improvisation required when using something like this for D&D to be a lot of fun!

A Paladin In Citadel said...

You crazy kids!

I love random generation tables. Probably why I am such a fan of the original Dungeon Masters Guide.