Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Dungeon Defence Condition Codes

Monsters are people (sort of) and tend to get panicky when murder hobos are running about their local dungeon killing their neighbors. The first time your party go on a blood soaked rampage the dungeon locals might be surprised. Odds are when you come back after a 8 hour rest the monsters will be more ready. A month later the dungeon may be ready to escalate faster in defcon conditions.

A paranoid cult, or a dungeon at war with rival tribe might respond more urgently. A shaman might be assigned to daily check if adventurer party returning on a particular day with divination skills or spells.

Some leaders might milk situation to secure rule, form new allegiances or even invite some bugbears and ogres over.

Monsters might even think certain phenomena are omens of humans on way to savagely kill them and sell children to gladiator pits.

Grag saw a screech owl poop on a rock last night! Adventurers are coming to eat our kids!

Dungeon Defcon0 White (vulnerable condition)
  • After a party monsters are all passed out, asleep or hung over, mostly servants awake
  • This is unusual condition, monsters being slack and very vulnerable
  • Guards might even be asleep and noises are ignored or yelled at
  • 1in12 encounters every 10 minutes or every time disturbing sounds made

Dungeon Defcon1 Green (normal condition)
  • Business as usual, light guards and patrols of wandering monsters boss carries on as usual
  • This is typical condition, alert for large obvious attack or group of unwelcome intruders
  • This is typical condition for nocturnal dungeon monsters in daytime or humans at night
  • 1in12 encounters every 10 minutes or every time disturbing sounds made

Dungeon Defcon2 Yellow (amber alert) 
  • Rumours abound and some dead monsters trigger extra guards and investigation, high foot traffic
  • Boss minions inform master that there is a problem in dungeon
  • This is more like dungeon by night when nocturnal humanoids busy working and more active
  • 2in12 encounters every 10 minutes or every time disturbing sounds made, guards doubled

Dungeon Defcon3 Red (red alert) 
  • Bells, horns and gongs ring till emergency over, elite team and scouts sent to track intruders
  • Boss dresses in best armour, all monsters armed and ready, children and sick taken to shelter or flee
  • The dungeon dwellers all know that there are adventurers on a monster murder spree about
  • 3in12 encounters every 10 minutes or every time disturbing sounds made, extra entrance guards

Dungeon Defcon4 (black alert)

  • Additional noise maker signifying death, danger and desperation 
  • Doors bolted, treasure hidden, monsters systematically and strategically fortify for siege, seal entrances
  • Shamans will raise undead, distribute potions and prey to demon gods
  • Monsters may collapse tunnels, release pets, add traps, signal allies and will defend the core dungeon
  • 4in12 encounters every 10 minutes or every time disturbing sounds made, guard posts build barricades and set extra traps

Hunamz will eat your face if you are caught napping!
Know your dungeon code!
Practice your murder hobo drillz!

Or what happened in the Caves of Chaos will happen to your family!


  1. I'd love to see bug-out procedures. Once long ago in one of my campaigns the payers snuck into a dungeon setting and quickly offed the big bad boss and heard a ton of noise afterward as all the occupants decided it was time to flee with everything they could carry. The llok on the payers faces when they realized "all they could carry" included an awful lot of treasure was priceless.

    1. yeah i guess if 1/2 neighbors and police were murdered you would leave pronto

  2. Perfect timing! Thanks. Fun idea from JDsivraj too.

  3. My players tend to start room by room, get bored or sick of increasingly ordered resistance and either kill bosses or leave - last dungeon they 80% cleared they settled with poor people from city... probably a few critters hiding

    they hope to return to last dungeon they cleared first floor of - hobgoblin halls - they even talked kobolds into relocating into their private dungeon - but after a few months away hobgoblins have reorganized and pushed goblins down and planted fungus forest in the empty wight crypt caves - probably got some more trolls and ogres in too


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