Man, You’ve Got to Play This Game!

In the summer of 1982, I was 13 years old. The year before, I had moved with my family to another town half a state away from my first best friend. A few months later, he moved away too, and the kids in his new neighborhood played D&D.

I went to visit him in June. I remember that I had just arrived when he held up a thin, pale blue book and said, “Man, you’ve got to play this game!”

You only ever have one first best friend. Mine introduced me to DUNGEONS & DRAGONS.

Holmes Basic or Bluebook D&D
“Bluebook” D&D.
The 1977 edition of Gygax and Arneson’s DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is also known as “Holmes Basic” after editor Dr. J. Eric Holmes.

The Stardark Empire

Stardark University

While she was strong in magic, Dagrun Stardark knew she was outnumbered in the dungeon, and her treasury was spare. The Empress, therefore, cultivated the former glory of the dwarven empire to instill a sense of unity and pride in the citizens.

To that end, she founded a university and expanded it with numerous colleges and faculties over the years. It came to be renowned for its elite professors and fine collections of magical texts and knowledge of the Throrgrmir empire.


The Empress explored much of her domain, seeking knowledge of the dwarves’ culture and objects of their making. It is known, for example, that she learned the art of creating living statues from the Stone of Living Statues and that she wielded a dwarven artifact called the Wyrmwyrd, with which she subdued Ormr and made the Great Wyrm to pay homage.

Ixmundyr Slain

Kobolds made a lair in the dwarves’ old power plant above the magma chamber. They riddled the areas west of the Deepmost Cavern with tunnels and harassed Ixmundyr. They stole from him, he extorted them, and the wyrm-touched dragon was killed in a fight with the kobolds.

Shadow Hulk

The shadow hulk hunted the denizens of Legendary Throrgardr to extinction. The hulk then made its lair in the city’s wizard’s quarter, and, tunneling into the Hall of Living Statues, hunted its guardians.

Stone Giants

Stone giants moved into an old gem mine. They routed the shadow hulk and began to exploit the gem deposits on the stratum. They built a castle in the gem caves, opened a tunnel behind the Hall of Statues to the gem deposit, amassed great wealth, and fell under the Empire’s sway.


A party of adventurers went looking for the dwarven city of Throrgardr. They discovered the wizard’s quarter of Legendary Throrgardr and the stone giant. They inhabited the tower, slew the stone giant, and took his rich treasure.

The adventurers had a number of encounters with wyrmlings, who stole their treasure, and on one occasion they ventured into the Great Wyrm’s lair to steal their treasure back. The adventurers eventually swore fealty to the Empress.


Following rumors spread by adventurers of rich treasure and a law-keeping empire in the dungeon below, humans moved in. Farmers tilled the fertile soil on the flood plain, and built a keep to protect themselves and a silo to store grain. Good harvests brought wealth. The farmers swore fealty to the Empress and established a city called Troelsvollr.1


The next dragon who came to the dungeon hoping to fulfill the Wyrm Prophecy was named Gullhringr. The gold dragon made her lair in an eastern branch of the gold vein. There, she slept and hoarded her treasure.

Dagrun Stardark learned that Wyrmling Beta, the weakest wyrm spawn, made her way toward the dragon’s lair. Understanding the consequences of the weak wyrm’s touch,2 the Empress built walls to trap the creature. Henceforth, the enclosed section of the gold mine was called Wyrmgardr.

Later, Wyrmlings Gamma and Epsilon approached the dragon’s lair. Preferring to be touched by the more powerful of the two, Gullhringr hunted Epsilon and so was touched.3

Although Gullhringr and Dagrun Stardark were often allied, the former never paid homage to the latter.

Decline of Wyrms

While collecting treasure from various inhabitants, the wyrmlings were wounded in failed thieving attempts and hunted by predators until only one survived. When one of her clutch died, the Great Wyrm was wounded and so lost much life force.


The fiend Murtax, vassal to the Empress, was a frequent target of the wyrmlings thievery. He killed them when he could and expanded his territory to surround the Wyrm’s Lair. He made plans to slay the Great Wyrm and, thereby, recover his own treasure and lots more.4


1 Troelsvollr: Troels (Thor’s arrow) + vollr (field). Troels is a given name, but that did not prevent in later periods the bastardization of the now-ruined city’s name to Trollsfeld.

2 The wyrmling’s touch grants her bonus, if any, to a dragon. Lowest in the wyrmling hierarchy, Beta had no bonus. Since a dragon cannot be touched twice, Beta’s touch would be a curse to any dragon hoping to reign during the Age of Dragons.

3 Epsilon, high in the hierarchy, was one of the most powerful of the sister serpents. Gullhringr adds 2 to all dice rolls.

4 Murtax kept copious notes of his activities and purposes and recorded much of his infernal magic. He wrote in a demonic script on sheets of wyrmling hide, which he sewed together into large volumes, using long tendons from wyrmling wings.

Stardark Empire Overlay Stardark Empire Composite
Stardark Empire Overlay and Composite
Stardark Empire Tokens Stardark Empire Cards
Stardark Empire Tokens and Cards

Dagrun Stardark

The following text describes events in Wyrm Dawn’s First Age of Monsters. In this age, “A Wizard” (How to Host a Dungeon, Dowler, 2019) rose so quickly to “villainy” that I have determined to run a second Age of Monsters following the empire’s demise.

Throrgrmir Legacy

A long, dark silence followed the dwarves’ departure. No more was heard the din of the miner’s pick nor the clank of the smith’s hammer. In workshops, tools were carefully arranged, ready to be taken up again to finish abandoned work. Furnaces and smelteries were dead cold. Drinking halls were still. Walls of fine-hewn granite blocks no longer held the memory of the last echoes of raucous folk ballads nor of solemn dirges. The slow drip of water from cavern ceilings kept time on quiet dwarf-carved stones.

The subterranean river continued its winding way through smooth-worn channels. It flowed by the now dry aqueduct, under the crumbling bridge, through empty dormitories and treasure vaults, past life-like statues of rock, iron, and crystal—indeed living yet unmoving, and rippled between the feet of the Throrgardr Colossus, which still stood, keeping watch over the forsaken realm. The river’s dark water twisted around former graffhellar into the great cavern that once housed a thriving city of proud dwarves.

Now there slept the primordial wyrm atop a pile of treasures collected by her offspring. Between crystal urns and bronze chests, spilling coins and jewels, wyrmlings nestled. In turns, the serpent sisters yawned and tasted the air with darting tongues between long bouts of fitful slumber.

And so, the Throrgrmir Civilization passed into legend, its history and culture preserved on engraved friezes and monuments hidden in gloomy depths and in fables and epic tales. The tales told of fabulous treasures: hoards of gold, precious gems, and objects of dwarven craft, and of the Great Wyrm Ormr and her treasure-seeking spawn.


When dragons heard these tales, they were reminded of the Wyrm Prophecy, according to which at such place an Age of Dragons would dawn. Thus did Ixmundyr follow the tales to the broad river valley below the western mountains, to the crumbling citadel of the masked boar, and down into the old dwarven mine tunnels. In the magma chamber at the dungeon’s bottom, the red dragon made its lair.

Legendary Throrgardr

Subterranean denizens from neighboring realms came after treasures. In the old Throne Room, they found the Throrgrmir Scepter. Thinking to have discovered the legendary city, they settled there and in old graffhellar across the bridge. They called the settlement Legendary Throrgardr and, for a time, prospered.

In a treasure vault, Throrgardr denizens built a wizard’s quarter. Not having the dwarves’ skill in construction, their arches and doorways were not hexagonal but triangular. They also built a stepwell, used to capture river water, and when a shadow hulk hunted them from a nearby lair, they built tombs in abandoned gem mines. Exploring deeper, they discovered an incomprehensible thing. It was the dwarves’ Doom Weapon, and they found the Inordinate, its fetish.

Dagrun, a Wizard

Also in those days, an ambitious wizard named Dagrun installed herself in the former drinking hall. From dwarven inscriptions, she learned the place was called Sixth Cairn. Above it, she built a loft, where she set up a laboratory, and so, attracted apprentices. In the neighboring tomb, she learned of Lyngheid’s Prize and the monument called Sigrenormr, which recounted the Battle of Throrgardr between the dwarves and the Great Wyrm Ormr.

Wyrmlings Wake

Even as Dagrun learned of its existence, the golden monument was being defaced. For with activity renewed in the dungeon, the serpent sisters, waking, tasted treasure on the air and began to stir. The wyrmlings could not remove Sigrenormr intact, so they broke what parts of golden limbs as they could carry.

Ixmundyr Touched

Exploring the dungeon, the wyrmlings brought treasure back to their mother’s lair. Among which was the Throrgrmir Scepter, stolen from Legendary Throrgardr. They found also the lair of Ixmundyr, who was not spared their touch.1

The Star of Darkness

Meanwhile, the wizard Dagrun explored the Dead Caverns and the dwarven barracks and treasure rooms. She opened tunnels to the old gold vein and exploited its ore. With the spoils, she made a cyst, with which she captured malign energy. Then she made a diadem.2 It shone by its own bright light. The wizard called it Stjornumyrkur, the Star of Darkness, and with it, she crowned herself Dagrun Stardark, Empress of All Old Throrgrmir.3

Upon a stele commemorating the coronation are inscribed the words of Empress Dagrun Stardark: “We shall rebuild the Throrgrmir Empire for the good of all law-abiding citizens.”


1 Ixmundyr, touched by Wyrmling Gamma, adds 1 to all dice rolls.

2 The diadem serves the same purpose as the wizard’s phylactery (How to Host a Dungeon).

3 Texts of the era preserve the domain’s name as “Ganz Elt Throrgrim.” In the heroic age in which the Wyrmwyrd campaign takes place, scholars refer to Dagrun’s reign and domain as “Throrgrmir Eld.”

A Neutral Human Fighter

“Roll these dice six times.”

Garth pushed three Yahtzee dice across the blue notebook that lay flat between us. We were sitting on the floor in his room. He leaned against the bed.

Having watched Kaytar explore the dungeon and defeat the wizard, I was ready, by Garth’s decree, to play this new kind of game he called “medieval fantasy adventure role-playing.”

I sat cross-legged. I had a pencil and an old copy of Better Homes and Gardens, which supported a blank sheet of ruled paper.

“When can I roll that one?” I eyed the dice that looked like a ball it had so many sides. The color was light blue like a summer sky. Each side was a small triangle, just big enough to fit a number. The edges were worn and rounded.

“That’s for attacking monsters and making saves. We’ll get to that later. First, you have to make a character.”

I cupped the dice in two hands and dropped them on the notebook.

“Thirteen. Good,” he said. “Write down ‘strength’ with thirteen next to it. That means you’re pretty strong. You can be a fighter.”

“Can I cast magic spells like Kaytar?”

Garth pursed his thin lips into a flat pucker. He did that when he was doubtful about something. “Playing a magic-user is more complicated. It’s easier to start with a fighter.”

I rolled the dice five more times and recorded the numbers on the sheet next to “intelligence,” “wisdom,” “constitution,” “dexterity,” and “charisma.”

Garth explained what each score meant, adding, “Anything higher than ten is above average.”

Other than the strength and a dexterity score that gave the character a bonus to “missile fire,” my fighter was mediocre.

I rolled another dice for “hit points,” which, the way Garth explained them, were more like life points. Then Garth told me to roll the three dice again.

Reading the results, he said, “You have one-hundred fifty gold pieces.”

“What are gold pieces?”

“Pieces are coins. There are other kinds too, like copper, silver, and platinum. Platinum is the most valuable.”

This brought to mind a pirate’s chest buried in a dune. “So, is it a treasure?”

“Not really, it’s just money you have to start with. You use it to buy equipment to go down into the dungeon. That’s where you’ll find the real treasure.”

He gave me the pale blue book open to a page with lists of items and their costs. “You’ve got plenty to get everything you’ll need for the adventure.”

I scanned the lists and asked a bunch of questions, mostly of the sort “What’s that and what’s it for?”

I understood most of Garth’s answers, though my imagination ran a bit far with “morning star,” and I was flummoxed by the concept of a “pole arm.”

In addition to newfound knowledge in medieval weaponry, from the list I learned about some other terrifying monsters I might encounter and how to combat them. There was a mirror for use in fighting medusas, holy water to throw on undead—which weren’t living either, wolfsbane against not just werewolves but a whole family of were-creatures, garlic to repel a vampire, and stakes to drive through its heart.

I wanted to buy one each of those with my gold pieces, but Garth assured me I wouldn’t need them this time.

“What’s the difference between a ‘draft horse,’ a ‘light horse,’ and a ‘warhorse’?”

“You don’t need a horse. You’re going into a dungeon.” Garth pursed his lips again. “Look, all you need is armor, a missile weapon, and a melee weapon.”

“What’s a may-lay weapon?”

“It’s for hand-to-hand combat, like a sword.”

After more questions and not a little time, in which Garth’s impatience grew, I decided on plate mail armor and shield, which Garth said gave me a good “armor class,” a sword, bow and arrows, and rope, water skin, torches, tinder box, and a back pack to carry it all in.

I wrote these in a list on the sheet and subtracted the cost from one-fifty. With remaining funds, I added a lance to my armament.

“If I don’t get a helmet, I have enough money for a draft horse. I could be a knight on a horse with my lance.”

“A draft horse is for plowing fields and pulling carts.”

I could not be deterred. Garth relented. “Okay, spend your money on a horse, but you can’t take it into the dungeon—or a lance either!”

That settled, Garth explained a concept he called “alignment.” I understood there were good guys and bad guys, like when we used to play cops and robbers. I wanted to be a good guy, but Garth advised me to play a neutral character to start, and I didn’t argue.

“Okay,” Garth said, “you can think of a name later. You’re in a tavern…”

A Neutral Human Fighter
A Neutral Human Fighter.
Recreation of My First D&D Character.

Opening The Deep Halls

The initial impetus, to run an impromptu pick-up game or a solo game in The Deep Halls, prompted me to make two conceits: One, we use random methods to stock the dungeon, thereby avoiding any preparation. Two, it is a “closed” dungeon campaign. That is, one in which we haven’t need to explore outside the dungeon, as all the experience points necessary to gain levels and meet the dungeon’s challenges can be found within it.

If awarding four times the treasure or experience points—or a combination thereof, turns your grognard stomach, you may of course abandon the second conceit and open the campaign.

In an open dungeon campaign, we are not obliged to chock The Deep Halls so full of treasure. We can use the default treasure sequence from the Flying Dungeon Stocking Table without fear of falling. Characters lacking XP for the next deeper level can find them in neighboring dungeons or in the surrounding wilderness.

In keeping with the campaign’s first conceit (random generation, minimum preparation), we assemble geomorphs as the party explores these other dungeons, and for the wilderness in which they are set, we use the original map board suggested for “off-hand adventures in the wilderness” (OD&D Vol. 3, 15).

Reading Map

Focus on The Deep Halls

While rumors and legends lead to other dungeons in the wilderness environment, the dreaming priests and their machinations in The Deep Halls remain central to the campaign. To accomplish that, we might adhere, however loosely, to the following guidelines:

  • Secondary adventure sites are small. Outside The Deep Halls, the party explores one-, two-, or rarely three-level dungeons. They follow up on the rumor or retrieve the MacGuffin and get back into the primary venue.
  • Most secondary adventures are tied to the campaign thread. The party might indulge in occasional adventures outside the focus for any number of reasons, to break the monotony not the least. Most often though, the adventurers achieve some goal related to Amon-Gorloth or fail in the endeavor.
  • The surrounding wilderness is not vast. By limiting the area, we keep the party within a few days’ travel back to the primary adventure site.
  • There are consequences to neglect. The dreaming priests are relentless in pursuit of their goal. If the player characters ignore them, the priests succeed.

One Deep Dungeon

What attracts me about opening The Halls is that we can stretch them back out to the seven levels as the cartographer conceived. We are, furthermore, not bound to Levels 1 to 7. Depending on party advancement as the campaign unfolds, we might skip levels. Monster & Treasure Assortments provide tables down to Level 9.


Dungeon Geomorphs

The original “geomorphic dungeon levels,” Holmes notes, “contain many suggestions and will prove very useful” (39). Dungeon Geomorphs Sets One, Two, and Three (TSR Hobbies, 1976-77) provide tiles for Basic and Lower Dungeons as well as Caves & Caverns. Room density and lack of embellishment render the tiles unattractive to my eye. Yet these geomorphs have a particular feel to them1 unlike anything I myself would come up with and much different from The Deep Halls.

By my rough count of a few tiles, I get the following average numbers of rooms by set.

Set Subtitle Rooms per Tile
One Basic Dungeon 40
Two Caves & Caverns 10
Three Lower Dungeons 20

Using the Flying Table made for Holmes (33% of rooms contain monsters) and the Strict (per the sources) treasure sequence: 2-1-0 (where there is no chance for treasure in an empty room) on a dungeon level of 80 rooms (two Basic Dungeon tiles), the Deadly Dungeon Ratio is exactly 1:1. By “exactly,” I mean only 10 XP more than a 1st-level party of three needs to gain 2nd-level.

In the case where one purpose of a secondary dungeon is to earn experience, we may adjust the number of tiles, keeping in mind 80 rooms per character level.

Other Dungeon Generation Options

Walled City Geomorphs: For town and city adventures, consider also Outdoor Geomorphs Set One: Walled City (TSR Hobbies, 1977).

Dyson’s Geomorphs: The map god himself did a monstrous set of dungeon geomorphs. Available from Dyson’s blog, the PDF contains 102 ten-by-ten-square geomorphs. The size accommodates the smaller secondary dungeons, and the hand-drawn tiles have a delightful old-school feel.

Dave’s Mapper: Other interesting links on Dyson’s page above include Dave Millar’s Morph Mapper. Dungeons, caverns, dungeons and caverns, villages, cities, everything—Dave’s Mapper draws from a selectable database of geomorphs from a diverse array of map artists, including Dyson Logos, to create a whole dungeon level in a couple clicks.

AD&D DMG Appendix A: First published under the title “Solo Dungeon Adventures” in The Strategic Review, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring 1975), these tables (contemporary with our sources) provide the solo explorer a means to generate a map on the fly. The system involves quite a lot of dice rolling, however—not advised when running a group.

Draw As You Go: This solo explorer has had much success making it up as he goes along. Draw the entrance and the first room, add doors and pose the question: “What do you do?”

Outdoor Survival Map Board

La pièce de résistance—Having a chance to use this old-school icon, one does not hesitate. Outdoor Survival, designed by Jim Dunnigan and published by Avalon Hill for Stockpole Books (1972) included a six-panel board depicting a map of a wilderness area with a hexagon-grid overlay.

In his “Campaign Map Notes,” D&D co-creator Dave Arneson writes that, after the “old bunch” was exiled from Blackmoor, “the game moved south and we then used the Outdoor Survival map for this phase of the campaign…” (First Fantasy Campaign, Judges Guild, 1977). The game’s usefulness warranted its mention under the heading RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT in D&D’s original edition (Vol. 1, 5).


As per the co-creators’ suggestions, “catch basins are castles, buildings [bases] are towns, and the balance of the terrain is as indicated” (OD&D Vol. 3, 15). I would add that food hexes (animal symbols) are monster lairs.


While Outdoor Survival’s five basic scenarios specify a scale of five kilometers or three miles, OD&D suggests five miles to the hex. At this scale, which matches OD&D movement rates, bases might be small towns. We have license to play with the scale. An obvious adjustment is to make hexes six miles across if you’re using movement rates in multiples of six, as in B/X.

If you’d like larger towns and a city or two, you might up the scale to 12 miles per hex. Careful that the area doesn’t lose its “wilderness” feel.

At 24 miles per hex the area covered approaches that of the corner of the continent presented in Dungeon Module X1 The Isle of Dread. The bases may well be capital cities. This scale is appropriate if you imagine The Deep Halls as only the beginning of a series of campaigns in the same setting.

At any scale, especially those above six miles, trails (through woods, mountains, and swamps) might be roads, and fords become bridges in various states of repair. We might assume other tracks through clear terrain to connect settlements via the depicted mountain passes, swampland causeways, forest trails, and fords. Note, not all settlements need be connected by a single road network. Further, I see Base No. 5 (center), surrounded by woods, is not accessible by any thoroughfare and, therefore, must be long abandoned…


Using Holmes Basic, we might imagine the Northern Sea off the board’s upper side and assign Base No. 8 as the “busy city linking the caravan routes from the south…” (41). In that case, the campaign might begin beneath the ruins of Zenopus’s tower. A scale of 12 miles per hex is suggested unless you scale down the settlement to town-size.

The Curious Array of Settlements

It might bother some of us that the towns are arrayed in symmetrical fashion around the map’s center. If so, generate your own version of the map or, more simply, ignore it and assume the settlements are positioned on the map in a schematic relationship to each other. Alternatively, you might create some reason why the settlements are so aligned—best if the reason has to do with Amon-Gorloth.

Place the Dungeon and the Base Town

Between the two options for “the convoluted mausoleums,” I would chose the middle desert for the location where “Amon-Gorloth sleeps and dreams.” Placing The Deep Halls in any hex at the southern edge of the northern mountains puts it within a couple hours walk from Base No. 2, which becomes Base Town.


1 Compare a couple tiles from the cover of Set One: Basic Dungeon to a level of Gary Gygax’s Castle Greyhawk.

A 1st- to 9th-Level Campaign
A 1st- to 9th-Level Campaign Using Holmes Basic, Monster & Treasure Assortments, Dungeon Geomorphs, the Outdoor Survival Map Board, and The Deep Halls.

Running the Campaign

We’re almost ready to play. We’ve covered everything that happens in the depths. Left for us now is to consider what happens when our adventurers are outside the dungeon.

I want only to cover aspects critical to the scenario. I intend to run The Deep Halls as a solo game, which also serves as an impromptu pick-up game for friends. In such games, the action is focused within the dungeon’s twisted corridors; “Base Town” is for rest and resupply, sometimes—as dictated by the scenario—with a loose connection between the two, which allows for further development in play.

“It isn’t so much the wealth as what the characters might spend it on that poses a problem. Assuming they invest it to ensure the success of further explorations, the obvious acquisitions are hirelings and spell scrolls.”—from “More XP for Treasures”

One critical aspect, in the case where treasures are generous in the closed dungeon, is that we may desire to minimize the impact of over-wealthy player characters. The following points are intended to accomplish that by extracting some gold and putting pressure on the characters to return to the dungeon.

Even with normal treasure amounts, such as when using the default Flying treasure sequence: 2-1-½, the following points are worth considering, if only to preempt the occasions when the party recovers large and valuable treasures. Such windfalls are not rare in the game, and you don’t want to surprise players with a sudden necessity to convert found coins to the king’s currency at a high rate.

We want to allow magic-users to make scrolls—it’s a special capability of the class and augments the magic-user’s often limited arsenal. But we don’t want them to be too comfortable while they do it.

Likewise, a few non-player characters round out the party’s range of abilities and give the party more tactical options. Not to mention the entourage is part of the old-school experience.

Though the treasures are well hidden and often trapped, adventurers should still find them, and though the gold is reduced by fees and conversion rates, the characters should ofttimes retain great wealth. All the while, there must remain a sense of wonder in its finding and a sense of satisfaction in its judicious spending.

Reading Map

Treasures, Hidden, Trapped

“…augmenting the whole by noting where and how the treasures are protected and/or hidden.”—Monster & Treasure Assortments on the disposition of treasures

Reading “protected” as trapped or guarded by a monster, a complacent DM might be satisfied to hide or trap treasures not in close proximity to an alert monster and leave treasures with monsters otherwise unprotected. This may be a mistake in any adventure and, in a game with extra treasures to be found, is sure to lead to “no challenge, no thrill…”

I have mentioned before that M&T provides tables  (reproduced in the AD&D DMG) to assist the DM in this regard. I suggest that most—if not all—treasures should be hidden or trapped and many hidden and trapped, especially those without monsters. Leaning heavy on the tables to begin, the DM will learn, I should think, to invent other interesting containers, insidious traps, and imaginative hiding places before the tables’ options become too commonplace.

Restocking the Dungeon

Monsters reinvest a cleared room in one to four weeks. You might inform the players of this fact or let the characters learn the frequency over the course of a few return forays.

One to four is 2.5 weeks on average. A party might risk one week, maybe two, for magic-users to make scrolls. By the third week, the party is likely to be anxious to get back. To increase this comfort zone, the DM may lengthen the period by rolling more or different dice, say d6 (mean 3.5) or 2d4 (5 weeks).

We might also say that when the party passes through a previously-cleared and still-empty room the period is reset.

Base Town

A brief interlude to discuss the other critical aspect concerning the scenario as a pick-up game, which is the development of the party’s operations base. We assume the adventurers return to a town or city to recuperate between dungeon expeditions. They find there the usual necessities: inn, tavern, markets, church or temple, magic-users and thieves guilds, and a local authority. For our purpose, other than exploiting any obvious connections between town and dungeon, the “Base Town” needn’t be further described.

Organic Base Town

organic adjective

2 c : having the characteristics of an organism : developing in the manner of a living plant or animal


A DM may add details before play begins as he or she sees fit or allow the base town to grow as the campaign progresses. That is, add details to the town only as necessary and only in play or as a direct result thereof.

This latter approach, in addition to reducing preparation time, allows the base town to be different only in ways that relate to the campaign and to the player characters. Moreover, ideas may come from elsewhere in the table’s brain array. The players then feel some agency in the base town’s development, and it becomes as much home as base.

Whether mundane or fantastic, if an element departs from the ordinary for a medieval fantasy town, it is somehow important to the story. This is not a rule but the result of the guideline: add details only as necessary in play.

The Church Connection

An obvious connection between Base Town and The Deep Halls we might make from the beginning is the local religious authority. To allow the seed to grow, we keep this connection loose. Let’s say the local clergy knows only that a sect of priests constructed a dungeon in the wilderness. The clerics do not know the dungeon’s exact location, the nature of the sect, or its goals.

Church or Temple

I use “church” for the local religious authority. In my mind, a church is dedicated to a monotheistic deity—or at least the chief among lesser gods—and a temple is dedicated to a pantheon of gods or a single god among a pantheon. The DM, of course, may use church or temple and define them as desired.

Wealth Extraction

“If the Gentle Reader thinks that the taxation he or she currently undergoes is a trifle strenuous for his or her income, pity the typical European populace of the Middle Ages.”—Gary Gygax, Advanced D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide (TSR Games, 1979)

In the DMG’s chapter on “THE CAMPAIGN,” Gygax devotes a section to the careful extraction of excess wealth from the game. Under the summary heading “DUTIES, EXCISES, FEES, TARIFFS, TAXES, TITHES, AND TOLLS” (90), he covers the diverse taxation practices of medieval Europe and gives examples from a town in “the typical fantasy milieu.” We may apply a few methods to our scenario.

The purpose of the Gygax tax is to remove some wealth—once we’ve got the XP out of it. To avoid tedium, we consider only methods that take large sums. We don’t mess with a few coins here and there or even percentages in the single digits. We target rather the tithe level and above, and we institute the methods from the first town visit. The extraction should seem to the characters normal and become routine. Players may learn to envision 90% of the great mound of treasure as they shovel coins into large sacks.

Parenthetical amounts below are suggestions only.

Magic-users Guild: An annual fee (100 g.p.) gives access to spells when gaining a level as well as access to a research library for free (10 g.p. per visit for non-members). At 9th-level and above, the fee is ten times the base rate (1,000 g.p.) and also grants laboratory space.

Thieves Guild: A thief character is expected to pay the annual fee (100 g.p.). Any who are not aware of the custom are reminded by a group of the guild master’s thugs in ungentle fashion. Among the typical benefits, a member may hire adventuring thieves and inquire about potential buyers for particularly interesting and valuable treasures. All “benefits” come at the price of bribes, payoffs, and kickbacks (100 - 1,000 g.p or from 10 to 50% of the transaction).

The Church: The devout, including most clerics, attend services and rituals, purchase holy water, and regular tithers may consult the small collection of religious texts. Regular tithers, moreover, may receive, at higher levels, special consideration when in need of healing or other forms of clerical aid, such as cures and curse removal, up to restoration of life.

Restorative Spells: The progressive degrees of clerical aid are freely available to all faithful followers of the local religion. This, at the discretion of the clerics, who reserve their daily spells for the devout and hard-working local folk who don’t put themselves in harm’s way in dark places. Those who do not tithe, or who are less than devout, may receive such aid at the cost of a donation (1,000 g.p. × spell level or 1,000 g.p. × caster level or as high as 1,000 g.p. × the square of the spell level; raise dead then requires a 5,000 to 25,000 g.p. donation).

Money Changer: Assume any precious metal pieces hauled out of the dungeon are not “coin of the realm” but foreign and ancient monies. These are not accepted in local shops, for there is a steep fine (50%) for possession of foreign currency. To avoid the fine, holders of such coin, upon entry to the town, must declare the illegal tender at the gate and proceed immediately to the money changer’s office. The two are in close proximity. The money changer takes 10% for the local authority.

Buying and Selling Gems and Jewelry: Gems, jewelry, and other such valuables can be bought and sold at the money changer’s or at the markets. A luxury tax (10%) is exacted.

Robbery: The innkeeper advises against storing wealth in a “secret place” at the inn or elsewhere and declares the establishment free of responsibility. Assume that any treasure so hidden—and unguarded—will be robbed in the character’s absence 20% of the time.

Bank: More secure than under the mattress, renting a coffer at the bank is just as sure to be safe as it is to have a cost (10 g.p. per month for a small coffer—holds up to 300 coins; 100 g.p. per month for a large coffer—1,000 coins; and 300 g.p. for a chest—10,000 coins). The banker assures the characters that the vault, as the property of the local authority, is guarded by men-at-arms and magical wards. Any robbery attempt should prove the vault secure and put the criminals in another dungeon or under the executioner’s axe.

Upkeep: Taking as examples the Travelers Inn and the next-door Tavern from The Keep on the Borderlands, we may fix daily upkeep at one gold piece for lodging, another for food, and a third for drink. We might round that off to 20 g.p. per week, then raise it to 30 g.p. per week per character to include incidentals.

The Complaints Department

If players complain about the dwindling trove, you might simply explain the meta-game rationale: the dungeon is full of treasure to allow a clever party to gain enough experience to be viable opponents against deeper-level denizens; excess wealth is extracted.

If characters complain, you might give a name to the local authority, to whom they may direct their ire.

Hireling Health and Happiness

The number of hirelings is limited to some degree by the characters’ Charisma scores. Still, at five non-players for each character, we have a large troop blundering in the dungeon.


“The player wishing to hire a non-player character ‘advertises’ by posting notices at inns and taverns, frequents public places seeking the desired hireling, or sends messengers to whatever place the desired character type would be found (elf-land, dwarf-land, etc.). This costs money and takes time…” (Holmes, 8)

Holmes proposes 100 g.p. × the roll of a six-sided dice for the inquiry alone. I have balked at this figure for going on 40 years. In the case where the player characters are in possession of such wealth, though, it seems not unjustified.

We might say, without getting into great detail, that each class type is found in different venues: fighting men at the inn or tavern, clerics at the church, and magic-users and thieves from the guilds. Further, to enable Holmes’s reference to elf- and dwarf-lands, let’s assume those races are not common in the immediate region and that adventuring hobbits are likewise scarce.

Holmes goes on to suggest 100 g.p. as a minimum incentive to join the party. If we borrow the HOSTILE/FRIENDLY REACTION TABLE (Holmes, 11) for the purpose (as in OD&D but not specified in Holmes), offers of 200 g.p. and higher garner a bonus on the roll, and “uncertain” reactions require the hiring character to “make another [higher] offer” before another roll is made.


The party with a reputation for good pay and decent treatment finds hirelings when desired. A generous party or individual characters may find that hirelings seek their employ. Conversely, if the party earns a poor reputation, the hireling pool may run dry—the minimum offer doubles and trebles and penalties on the reaction table accrue.

Pay and Bonuses: In addition to the initial incentive, hirelings should be rewarded with an equal share of treasure. Extra coin and magic items are considered bonuses and increase the employer’s reputation.

Party Success and Hireling Survival Rate: An oft-ignored factor in considering a party’s reputation is their overall success in adventures and how often they return with a lifeless hireling over a shoulder or, worse, without the hireling at all. Adjust enticements and reaction rolls accordingly.

How Many Hirelings Too Many?

As long as everyone is having fun, it isn’t too many. Two points to be aware of are overcrowding and combat encounter length.

If the group enjoys a good long melee, they are well served by a large entourage. There is, however, a point of diminishing returns. As party size grows, so does the number of monsters per encounter. Space, determined by map scale, limits the number of party members that can get in the room. The party that cannot bring its full force to bear against the larger number of monsters loses the melee—though the door is well guarded.

For melee-loving groups, consider a larger map scale. Not by coincidence, at 30 feet per square, the scale becomes ten yards, and The Deep Halls a battlefield. The dreaming priests in their reverie now command an army, and your old copy of Chainmail gains new life.

Rules and Supplements

The Flying Dungeon Stocking Table reflects the stocking methods given in the Holmes edition with supplements Monster & Treasure Assortments and Dungeon Geomorphs. The idea that gets me further than the head voice saying, “Bluebook D&D!” is to use M&T for random monsters and treasures.

Basic D&D (1977) only goes to 3rd level though, and you might have another rules preference. These are my notes on using other old-school editions1 with the Flying Table.

The Bluebook for Higher-Level Play

Should your dungeon-level configuration go down to Level 4, rules for 4th-level characters are easily extrapolated from the Holmes edition. For deeper halls, the tunnel branches in multiple directions. One might recreate the experience of playing Holmes through the 3rd- and into 4th-level of play then switching to AD&D, as Holmes suggests, or adding the D&D Expert Rulebook. To ensure continuity with all these options, continue using the Flying Table with M&T.

Another alternative, beginning with the Bluebook, is to extrapolate rules for higher levels oneself. You might draw on OD&D and its Supplements I-IV in addition to your own inspiration. For suggestions and guidelines, if such are necessary, we needn’t look further than the Zenopus Archives. There, we find that many others have explored these tunnels before us. Zenopus links a number of resources on the Rules Expansions page.

Other Editions

Among old-school D&D editions, the rules don’t change so much the nature of The Deep Halls as do the contents-stocking method and the monster encounter tables.


“Original” DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (1974) is Holmes’s source for Basic D&D, and the Monster & Treasure Assortments were made for the original edition. Therefore, the Flying Table meshes with OD&D as well as it does Holmes.


With the Advanced edition (1977-79) you might use the Flying Table without risk of falling. For to get all the goodness out of those rules, though, consider using the AD&D DMG’s Appendix A, which provides a similar stocking method. Since you have the map already, ignore tables up to TABLE V. F.: CHAMBER OR ROOM CONTENTS (171). Rolling on that table leads you to other tables and other appendices to fill the rooms.

Random Treasure in the DMG

TABLES V. H, I, and J are copied word-for-word from M&T’s TREASURE IS CONTAINED IN, GUARDED BY, AND HIDDEN BY/IN tables. Only the dice roll and chance for each, adapted to a d20, is modified.

When I say “consider” above, I mean “consider carefully.” Where one roll on the Flying Table indicates basic contents, Appendix A requires a short succession of dice rolls.

More importantly, TABLE V. F. produces contents in proportions much different from the Flying Table. Fewer monsters inhabit the dungeon, for example. Furthermore, only 5% of rooms contain a “Special,” likewise for “Trick/Trap,” and fully 60% of rooms are empty. There is an echo in these Deep Halls.


If you’re tempted by Appendix A, check out the DUNGEON LEVEL X encounter matrix (DMG 179) and consider a deeper configuration for The Halls. What might the priests be doing with demon princes, liches, and elder titans in the halls on the lowest level?


The Flying Table swoops within a few percentage points of the adored tables in Moldvay’s section E. STOCK THE DUNGEON (B52). Using these rules, either stocking method works with monsters and treasures from M&T.

B/X’s Wandering Monsters tables present different inhabitants, though they are not strangers to each other. It’s in determining treasure where B/X may present a problem. If you’re a DM winging it for a group, all those rolls on the treasure table plus division for smaller encounters can slow the game. On the other hand, if you’re flying solo, generating treasures can be an exciting part of the experience.


1 I refrain from a recitation of the litany of old-school “retroclones,” available thanks to Wizards of the Coast’s Open Game License. Popular clones include Swords & Wizardry (Frog God Games, 2008—for OD&D), Blueholme (Dreamscape Design, 2014—Basic D&D), OSRIC (Black Blade, 2013—AD&D), and (for B/X) Labyrinth Lord (Goblinoid Games, 2009) and Old-School Essentials (Necrotic Gnome, 2020). To all these, my notes for their source edition apply.

Holmes Basic  Monster and Treasure Assortment  Dice  and The Deep Halls Map by Dyson Logos
All You Need to Adventure in The Deep Halls: Holmes Basic D&D, Monster and Treasure Assortments, Dice, and the Map by Dyson Logos.

Channeling Amon-Gorloth

“Built by priests of Amon-Gorloth, this dungeon was constructed and adapted from existing caverns following their dreams channeled from Amon-Gorloth itself—making them a twisted and nightmarish version of the convoluted mausoleums under the desert sands where Amon-Gorloth sleeps and dreams.”—Dyson Logos on “The Deep Halls”

In 44 words, Dyson Logos describes the backdrop against which our adventures in The Deep Halls play out. While one might use the map and imagine a different scenario, constraint conjures creativity.

Let’s take a close look at what we know about Amon-Gorloth. In this analysis, I point up aspects that seem important. Where I speculate about consequences, a DM may be otherwise inspired.


Channeled dreams, twisted and nightmarish caverns, convoluted mausoleums—these cues set the tone. We explore a Lovecraftian underworld, where even our dreams may be assaulted.

Its Priests

That “it” has devoted priests implies the being is of a higher supernatural order. No mere demon or devil, whether lesser or greater, its status is divine.

We might take the label in the sense of the worshipers’ rank, but 3rd-level clerics are unlikely to provide adequate challenge even on The Deep Halls Level 3.


Much of the dungeon is finished in ashlar masonry. Where the walls abut natural stone, the rock may be rough-hewn. Unworked caverns, conforming already to the channeled dream, are no less invested by the priests.

With what labor or magical means did the priests effect the construction? Slaves may yet be chained. Thralls might still do their bidding. Former servants, their usefulness outlived, may now walk the halls as undead.

Halls and Mausoleums

As a general guide, any space two or more squares wide and at least twice as long is a “hall,” used by the priests to some devotional purpose, including entombment. A generous portion of chambers are dressed as mausoleums.

mausoleum noun
: a large tomb
especially : a usually stone building with places for entombment of the dead above ground


Under Desert Sands

The Deep Halls are a dream-conjured copy of the being’s current abode. Centuries or millennia have passed since it lay to sleep.


As does the supernatural being, so do its priests. They channel its dreams through their own. Reverie is a form of worship, through which they acquire daily spells and commune with the god. But to what end…?

Dungeon Levels and Treasures

In our explorations we compressed The Halls’ seven levels to three, tugged them back out to four, and stretched the first level across colors like the Painted Desert. Then we chocked the rooms full of treasure and adjusted them for party size. All the while, we assumed beginning character levels, and we have yet to consider scale.

Here, I rectify the matter of scale and summarize the dungeon levels by color as well as the treasure sequences. With these, and variations as inspiration hits, we may create unique configurations of these Deep Halls. I present a few examples.

Reading Map


Like any Dyson Logos map, the cartographer lets us determine scale as we see fit. The scale changes not only the dungeon’s length and breadth but also its depth.

Five-foot squares make The Halls a bit narrow and less deep than the name inspires. Ten-foot squares are an old-school standard, and larger was not uncommon.

At 20 feet per square The Halls gain a more monumental aspect. Instead of 2-8 goblins scampering along the 60-foot wide entry hall, I see hordes of them crowding the stairs and clambering up columns. Perhaps larger scales suit higher-level dungeons. If you are drawn to things cyclopean, try 30 or 40 feet to a square.

When deciding scale, peruse your encounter tables for large monsters. Make sure they have room to maneuver or a reason they do not. The Monster & Treasure Assortments are fond of stone giants.

Mapping Colors to Levels

These are the level configurations mentioned so far and referenced by the examples below. Any combination of colors to levels is possible.

Dungeon Levels

Three Shallow Four Deep Color Areas
1st UP 1st UP 1st UP 1 Red 4
1A 1A 1A 2 Tan 15
1B 1B 2A 3 Light green 32
2A 1C 2B 4 Dark green 44
2B 2A 3A 5 Blue-green 48
3A 2B 3B 6 Blue 16
3B 3 4 7 Purple 20

Treasure Sequences

“A treasure sequence consists of the number of rolls on the Monster & Treasure Assortments’ treasure tables for double, single, and half treasures to determine the amount of treasure in an encounter area.”—from “More XP for Treasures”

Also referenced below, these are some possible treasure sequences accompanied by a number of adjustments for party size. A party size adjustment method is chosen independently from a treasure sequence. Parenthetical numbers are the XP award per g.p. where not one for one. See also Notation in “More XP for Treasures.”

Treasure Sequences and Party Size Adjustments

Treasure Sequences Party Size Adjustments
Name Sequence Method Sequence
Strict 2-1-0 A 1-0-0
Flying 2-1-½ B 1-1-0
Shard 4-2-1(2) C 1-1-1
Light “Haul” 5-2-1(2) D 1-1-½
Fibonacci 8-5-3    
Thrilling 9-4-1    
Monty 10-5-1    


“…a standard conceit of old-school dungeons: the strength of the average monster encounter on a given dungeon level matches that of a player party of the same experience level.”—from “One Deadly Dungeon”

These examples assume character and dungeon levels are equal, adhering to the standard conceit. I am uncertain whether the assumption holds for deep levels.

Because Level 1’s number of rooms changes with the map configuration, so does the Deadly Dungeon Ratio, which is included in the sequence notation in braces. Where the entrance level is not Level 1, the ratio does not apply and so is omitted.

The Curates’ Halls

Scale: 10′
Dungeon Levels: Three, 1 to 3
Treasure Sequence: Thrilling 9-4-1{2:1}
Character Levels: 1st to 3rd

This is the default upon which are based calculations targeting a 2:1 Deadly Dungeon Ratio. Because Level 1 is noncontiguous, the party may be challenged early in the campaign. If they survive, they can make it up on the extensive Level 2 and be ready to face 2-5 evil curates on M&T’s Level Three monster table.

The Shrine of Evil Chaos

Scale: 10′
Dungeon Levels: Shallow, 1 to 3
Treasure Sequence: Flying 2-1-½{12:10}
Character Levels: 1st to 3rd

As a solution to “The Noncontiguous Problem,” we shifted the dark green level up to Level 1. For the example’s name, I am inspired by The Caves of Chaos from Dungeon Module B2: The Keep on the Borderlands. In that module, the clever party indeed must fight through and find treasures in two-thirds of the encounter areas before earning enough XP to gain 2nd level.

If we choose a more generous treasure sequence, say Thrilling or Monty, we might call it “The Shallow Hauls.”

Bishops of Amon-Gorloth

Scale: 10′
Dungeon Levels: Four, 1 to 4
Treasure Sequence: Shard 4-2-1(2){7:10}
Character Levels: 2nd to 4th

Level 1, spanning only two colors, contains 19 noncontiguous rooms. Its deadliness is reflected in the ratio—less than 1:1. Bumping the deepest color down to Level 4, the priests become bishops, and all bets are off with respect to survivability. Watch out for the stone giants.

Evil High Priests of Amon-Gorloth

Scale: 10′
Dungeon Levels: Deep, 1 to 7
Treasure Sequence: Shard 4-2-1(2)
Character Levels: 4th to 7th

We may yet preserve the true meaning of depth in The “Deep” Halls. At only four rooms on Level 1, the Deadly Dungeon Ratio loses meaning. On the lowest level, the dreaming priests are evil patriarchs. They might be accompanied by hydras and stone giants.

Start characters at 4th level, adding monsters to encounters on the upper levels as per Holmes (22). To Holmes Basic we have to add a supplement to reach levels so high.

The Lower Dungeons

Scale: 20′ if entrance is Level 4 or deeper
Dungeon Levels: Varies
Treasure Sequence: Varies to match existing campaign
Character Levels: Varies

Adapt the dungeon levels to the experience levels of existing characters. Use any configuration above for a three-, four-, or seven-level dungeon, beginning with the appropriate level for the party.

Amon-Gorloth Sleeps and Dreams

Scale: 30′
Dungeon Levels: Three, 7 to 9
Treasure Sequence: Strict 2-1-0
Character Levels: 7th to 9th

For a higher-level campaign, start characters at 7th experience level. At these depths, the dreaming priests employ stone giants to build the mausoleums—or they are themselves stone giants—and we fight demons and dragons and a 13th-level wizard. Mayhap we wake Amon-Gorloth itself.

These Deep Halls or Where to Start

Spread out over seven different depths, these caves, chambers and twisting passages provide an immense dungeon for exploration. So immense that I haven’t even considered how I would stock it.

Which is why I’m giving it to you.

This massive dungeon level is yours—released under a free commercial use or personal use license. Fill it up, stock it, throw adventurers at it until the floors are littered with their dead. Then do it again.

Dyson Logos

Providing a 179-room dungeon map and a one-paragraph description of The Deep Halls, Dyson Logos then invites us to stock it. In “Dreaming Amon-Gorloth,” we explore the dungeon to figure out how to determine its contents using a random method.

Notably, the Flying Dungeon Stocking Table is derived from guidelines given in the Holmes edition of Basic D&D with the supplements Monster & Treasure Assortments and Dungeon Geomorphs. Further, in “A ‘Monty Haul’ Dungeon,” we develop various methods to determine treasure size. Each method is abbreviated in a “treasure sequence” and not all are “Monty Haul.” We then expand the treasure sequence under the “Twisted and Nightmarish” umbrella topic, where we adjust for larger and smaller parties, consider awarding more XP for treasure, and examine how to further adjust the treasure sequence to suit different dungeon configurations.

Yet within its “convoluted mausoleums” there remains much room for a DM to make these Deep Halls his or her own. Whether stocking randomly or selecting contents according to strict criteria or a combination of both, the following articles may provide further inspiration.

Reading Map

Now we’re ready to roll characters and put them in the order of march.

The Deep Halls of Amon-Gorloth - Dyson Logos
“The Deep Halls of Amon-Gorloth,” Hand-Drawn Map by Dyson Logos.
Follow the image link to Dyson’s blog post to download the high-resolution image in four versions: color and black-and-white, with and without grid lines.

The Noncontiguous Problem

Merging The Deep Halls’ colored layers into a three-level dungeon, we noticed earlier that, because Level 1 is not contiguous, the player party, still 1st-level, is forced to descend to Level 2. One might avoid the problem by grouping the first four colors into Level 1. The dark green level, was 2A, becomes 1C. This adds 44 encounter areas to the first level.

Level Color Areas
1st UP Red 4
1A Tan 15
1B Light green 32
1C Dark green 44
Sub-total Level 1:   95
2A Blue-green 48
2B Blue 16
Sub-total Level 2:   64
3 Purple 20
Sub-total Level 3:   20

It is perforce less deadly. Still, using the default treasure sequence, The “Shallow” Halls’ Level 1 has a Deadly Dungeon Ratio of 1.24-to-1.

Experience Stocked

Applying the percentages from the Flying Dungeon Stocking Table to 95 encounter areas, Level 1 looks like this.

Percent of 95 No. of Areas Monsters and Treasures
10% 9.5 Monsters, double treasures
16% 15.2 Monsters, single treasure
5% 4.75 Treasure (half treasure)

Room monsters: 2045 XP
Wandering monsters: 790 XP
Treasures: 5,234 XP
Total: 8,069 XP
Deadly Dungeon Ratio: 8,069:6,513 = 12:10

Treasure Sequences

Taking again the treasure sequences, only minor adjustments need be made to accommodate the extra rooms. In most cases the adjustment is a reduction in the XP for gold awards. Note that, because we have nearly twice as many encounter areas, the wealth characters acquire is likewise increased.

Deadly Dungeon Ratio 1:1

For the more harrowing 1:1 ratio, reduce to the standard award one XP for each gold piece. The ratio is slightly higher.

2-1-½^1-0-0{12:10}[1,345 XP, 872 g.p., 1]


To reach a Deadly Dungeon Ratio of 2:1 but still keep wealth down, instead of four, award two XP for each g.p.

2-1-½(2)^1-0-0{2:1}[2,217 XP, 872 g.p., 1]

Shard (Between Thrilling and Sparse)

For the middle ground between too-rich and sparse treasure, reduce this sequence, which I call Shard for a reason unknown to me, from two to one XP per g.p.

4-2-1^1-1-0{2:1}[2,217 XP, 1,745 g.p., 3]

Light “Haul”

Likewise, with the Light “Haul” sequence, reduce XP per g.p. to one for one.

5-2-1^1-1-0{22:10}[2,444 XP, 1,971 g.p., 3]


This sequence, already at one for one XP for gold, at 95 encounter areas approaches a Deadly Dungeon Ratio of 4:1.

9-4-1^1-1-0{38:10}[4,074 XP, 3,601 g.p., 5]

Take away my badge, but at such a high ratio, I suspect thrilling becomes boring. I recommend to the DM who chose this sequence for the three-color Deep Halls to go with the Light “Haul” above for much the same results between dungeon configurations.

The “Shallow” Halls a Configuration of The Deep Halls - Map by Dyson Logos
In this photo, all characters and treasures are on The “Shallow” Halls’ Level 1, which stretches across the map.