“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
For a minimum-preparation D&D campaign, use The Deep Halls of Amon-Gorloth with the rules of your choice and some method to generate monster encounters.
This is one of my favorite maps from the map god mere mortals call Dyson Logos.1 Every time I look at it, a voice in my head screams, “Bluebook D&D!”
Today, I’m doing it.
You might run it as a seven-level dungeon. Without counting encounter areas per color, though, I’m guessing there aren’t enough to stock a whole level of experience points for even a single character to level-up. So I group the colors into “logical” levels of two or three colors each.2
“To make it a bit easier to navigate, I’ve also provided a pair of colour-coded versions of the maps indicating the depth of each individual level. This is based on the excellent work of Michael Prescott who colourized a photograph of the original map before I had scanned it.”
Applying the “Stone Mountain” nomenclature from Holmes to Prescott’s colors, we get the following three-level dungeon.
Even at two or three colors each, XP per level will be tight. A fun solution to the problem is to throw treasure at it. See “Monty Haul” below.
Mine is a solo campaign, so I don’t trouble myself with placed encounters. As the PCs explore the dungeon, I roll on the tables in Monster & Treasure Assortment Set One: Levels One-Three. This random generation fits the dungeon’s “dreams of Amon-Gorloth” theme.
A “Monty Haul” Dungeon
There might be a line between “giving away treasure” and what we used to call a “Monty Haul” dungeon. If the PCs open a door to a ten-by-ten room and see piles of gold and platinum coins counted in the thousands, littered with gems and jewelry, and “one of every magic item in the book,”3 that’s giving away treasure.
To maintain the thrill in treasure-finding, the DM might put constraints on treasure placement by establishing a method. Your “Monty Haul” method might be anything, but keep to it.
My own “Monty Haul” method is simple: triple, quadruple, or quintuple any treasure, guarded and unguarded alike.
See also “The Origin of Monty Haul” by self-professed “Monty Haul” DM Jim Ward.
1 Dyson Logos has been making the most awesome hand-drawn maps since 2009. He makes them available for free under a Creative Commons license on his blog. He also has a Patreon, where you can support the creator.
2 For a tougher dungeon, make each level only two colors. Violet becomes the fourth level.
3 “…one of every magic item in the book.”—Yours truly, circa 1983.