In a world where I am good at this and have endless time, I would write a book similar to the Tome of adventure design for procedural dungeon generation. I am aware there are a lot of procedural dungeon generation sites, books and ideas. Many of them are very good, especially when it comes to maps. I tend to prefer smaller dungeons full of stuff rather than the larger ones found in modules, though I have to admit I never played a true megadungeon experience.
What I am after is not something with endless possibilities and a huge amount of entries. Tables with 10 or 20 entries, filled with character, that string together an interesting experience for the players, with plenty to do, is the way for me. This table is an attempt at doing exactly that, and it aims to generate bridges in a dungeon setting. Bridges over a chasm, bridges over lava, bridges over other parts of the dungeon, etc… all of them good choke points for set pieces, traps or awe-inspiring views.
You shall not pass up the opportunity to roll a d12 per column on this table! Keep or discard the danger according to the pacing of your dungeon…
|1||A living bridge made of vines and covered in moss, with firm roots on either side. Only 3 foot wide.||Despite looking ancient, the bridge was conjured in place only a few years ago by Shareen, a wandering warlock.||A large lizard predator sleeps under the bridge structure.|
|2||An archway made of volcanic rock, wide enough for a chariot to pass through. Having been used for centuries, deep trackmarks are visible.||Footprints of giants are “etched” in the bridge.||An incredibly strong wind chops across the bridge, pushing medium creatures to one side.|
|3||A suspended rope bridge with wooden planks. The ropes were weaved by spiders.||In the middle of the bridge, a pedestal holds a stone statue of a hand. The hand can be turned to rearranged the brige.||Someone is eager to set fire or collapse the bridge after the adventurers cross to the other side.|
|4||A flat passageway in solid iron and steel smelted from the weapons of adventurers who die in the dungeon. The edges of the bridge are lined with spears.||Although the location of this bridge is unknown, it has been described in Lothar’s fantastic travels, a set of diaries that some player characters may be familiar with.||A tall gate stands at the other end, which may be closed to block the way forward and set up an ambush.|
|5||Stone slabs lie suspended in the chasm, 5-10 feet apart from each other. A collapsed statue of a titan bearing a horn sprawls across the slabs.||Towards the far end of the bridge, the corpse of an ogre is rotting. An arrow pierced her neck. Poisoned and infected green humor is coagulated around the wound.||The water/fire/poison cloud etc. levels of whatever is below the bridge begin rising extremely fast.|
|6||An invisible force forms a narrow passageway accessible only by stepping into the apparently empty chasm.||Just before the bridge, a lectern stands with a book opened on it. The page reads “Here we observe the rite of passage”, followed by prayers to a god of beginnings. This bridge must have been used for some sort of religious procession…||The bridge architect used a golem to help the construction. The golem is somewhere else in the dungeon, but will pursue those who cross the bridge without an authorization.|
|7||A marble staircase ascending across the gap. The sides of the staircase are lined with columns whose capitals are sculpted with warped faces of distorted wild beasts.||A quartz coin is hidden somewhere of the bridge. It is one of the famous 1000 quartz coin treasure of the plane-traveling pirate Arkanth.||The bones of a warrior miner are buried within the bridge, and will rise up against looters or people who have disrespected the dungeon.|
|8||A velvet carpet gently held between two edges by an invisible magical force. The fabric of the carpet is impervious to tear, but can catch fire.||The sigil for the impoverished house of Marinth, bearing a white dragon wrapped around an obelisk, marks the bridge.||A group of creatures observes those who cross the bridge from elsewhere, popping volleys of fire or explosive arrows.|
|9||The skeleton of a prehistoric bird, sprawled across the gap. The bones are extremely brittle.||The bridge stands over hot lava/a frozen river/a foggy cloud etc, whatever is appropriate.||An dangerous oozy monster (e.g. slithering tracker/black pudding) imperceptibly hides in a puddle.|
|10||Thick bundles of roots dangle from the ceilings. Jump between them to cross. Are some of the roots snakes?||The bridge was initially constructed with one design, but then someone else built over it. Roll again on the first column and blend the results.||Oldor, a necromancer, has hidden orbs on the bridge to monitor his next preys. His ghouls are starting to rise from the bottom…|
|11||A bridge sculpted from the natural surrounding structures. Pickaxes and shovels tems are dangling from ropes on the sides of the bridge leading below, as if the sculpting process was abruptly interrupted by something.||The bridge was long contested between two factions, long after its construction. Torn banners and other insignia can be found on either side.||An ogre has set up a camp on the river. He is there to CRUSH BONES but also scared to venture out deeper. A small pile of gold, looted from elsewehere in the dungeon lies next to his tent.|
|12||The bridge is made by piles of beds and furniture pillaged from nearby settlements and cleverly stacked on top of each other.||A set of ropes runs parallel to the bridge 20 feet above it. They may be used to crawl across or observe who is on the bridge.||The bridge itself is a mimic.|