Feeling a bit inspired, i decided to take Tony's Dwarven Dungeon Game out for a test session over my (very long) lunch break today. I think the results are pretty good (click for full size):
I didn't get all of the rules right on the first try, however. I forgot to do the constructions of the goblins (aka Chaotic monsters) in pencil, but the first group of dwarves (aka Lawful monsters) built over their warrens anyway. Of more influence, however, i forgot that the monster groups could attack the Dragons (Hungry Beasts, but hey, it is called Dungeons & Dragons for a reason!). A young dragon was driven off when he tried to set up shop in the central caverns, but the other two just ate and ate and ate...
(Even if i had followed the rule correctly, it still seems that getting a dragon early on makes for a hugely different dungeon ecology! They're massive population control engines - keystone predators indeed!)
Also, i didn't roll dice - instead i flipped a set of 6 coins to get the chart rolls. So my probabilities are different from the start. Oh, and instead of choosing where to put the "rivers" and natural caves generated after the flood, i used the same method as for the initial gold vein to place them randomly.
Now a few comments:
Order of appearance of the monsters seems really critical! Goblins breed and spread like roaches! Dwarves eat all the treasure! Dragons control populations and destroy dwarven enclaves - plus they are great at concentrating treasure. Wandering Monsters replace treasures lost to the dwarves (and adventures, i suppose!) It is actually a pretty slick set of relationships.
I didn't go on to the Age of Villians, since i'm not much for Undead, and the Liche Lord was the only villian available.
I think i'll try making another semi-random dungeon over the weekend, and break one or the other out next time my D&D group gets togther. I think it really can make a nice framework for a delve!