Monday, December 1, 2014

Ruins of the Undercity (Review?)

Ruins of the Undercity (I got it at Lulu, apparently it is available on Drive Thru RPG as well), has been out for a while but I just picked it up, so it's new to me.

It is a "Random DM-less dungeon generator" which is a pretty accurate description.  I picked it up at Lulu, honestly, because I had a great coupon code and wanted to add a bunch of books so I didn't feel like I was getting totally shafted on shipping.  I figured it would be good to hack a few random tables from.  I didn't think I would really be a fan of doing the random dungeon generator.

Boy, was I wrong!  I read the rules and liked the spin the author put on the random dungeon generator rules from the back of the 1e DMG.  It seemed like it would work so I decided to give it a try.  I rolled up a party of Labyrinth Lord characters and set to.  I explored the entire first level of the generated dungeon, setting off a few traps and losing my Fighter in the process.  I didn't find a single copper but it was a ton of fun.

I found a few shafts down to the third level and am currently exploring that environ.  I just narrowly won a fight with 23 Mites (gremlin like humanoids who are fond of traps) thanks to judicious use of Sleep spells!

I am really enjoying the surprise factor with this mini-game.  I didn't think it would work so smoothly, or that it would be so dangerous but still playable.  I'm not much for reviews, I just don't think people really care what I think, but I dig this product.  I am having fun with it and hopefully someone else will too.  The real reason for the blog post instead of just dropping a shout out in Google Plus is that I've created a spreadsheet for use with the game and thought someone might get some use out of it.

In addition to generating standard characters for your favorite OSR Retro-clone or original B/X, 1e AD&D or what have you, you need to keep an Adventure Log.  It tracks the meta information you need to play.  I couldn't find one online and the scanned copy I made lacked in clarity, so I made my own using Excel.  I also included mini-character sheets and hireling blocks with it so I could run the whole thing from one page.  It looks like this:

I found it pretty useful to keep all this stuff in one place.  I play at my desk so I just use the computer but you could easily print this out and use pencil.  I found it easier and less pieces of paper to track in addition to flipping through the book and the LL core book as well.

Here is a link for download:

Ruins of the Undercity Adventure Log and Tracker