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OLDSKULL UNDERWORLD GENERATOR 1: Rats in the Walls

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Mega-dungeon design made easy! The Oldskull Underworld Generator, Book I: Rats in the Walls features interlocking systems to generate all rooms, corridors, tricks, traps, lore, secrets, monsters, and treasure for level 1 of a gothic mega-dungeon, intended for adventurer experience levels 1 to 3.

Herein you will find an entire regional setting for a mysterious haunted castle, evoking the weird fiction of Dunsany, Grimm, Lovecraft, Howard, Machen, Merritt, and Perrault, alongside the classic dungeon design sensibilities of Arneson, Gygax, Holmes, and Moldvay.

Random tables allow for thematic generation of rooms, monster lairs, traps, tricks, treasures, and the prisoners in need of rescue. The author’s bestselling systems from The Classic Dungeon Design Guides, the Oldskull Dungeon Generator, Castle Oldskull, Grimrook, Tyrrhenia, and the Realms of Entropy are distilled here into a lean yet richly detailed set of creation tools following the Moldvay/Cook Basic/Expert (BX) paradigm.

All of the in-depth history, secrets, mysterious rumors, and bestiary lore are laid out for you. Explore the ruined Exham Priory, now the Maw of the Skull, where monstrous rats scurry behind the walls, down through ghoulish sub-cellars, into the Haunted Kingdom of the Wererats, in search of the Majestic Domed City which crowns the Underworld.

This setting is home to Arthurian warriors and magi, Death Cults, Dunsanian gnoles, Gullygugs of Tsathoggua, Norvegian beast cult berserkers, Bwg-Bera bugbears, Lovecraftian daemon rats, Ghost-Slithes, Redcap creepers, Simonside Dvergar and Tomten, Shirelond halflings, elves of the Tylweth Teg, Old Guard Kloker kobolds, lizard men of Ba’al Molochai, mutoid Lubberkins, mycelians of the Seelie Court, grimalkin cats of Ulthar, Aklo undead, Orcneas of the Grendel Modor, Piskies of the Zoogs’ Enchanted Wood, Bloody Bones undead, Hecatean Strixes, troglodytes of the Formless Spawn, and much more.

As the players’ characters advance, they will descend from the Maw into the Ghoulish Crypts in search of imprisoned friends and family. These innocents have been stolen away by wererats to serve as sacrifices of blood and souls in order to awaken the Great Old Ones. What horrors of dream and madness rise, swirling down below?

The Oldskull Underworld Generator series can be used as a set of learning tools for Game Masters, as a prep tool (create an entire unique setting over a weekend for months of play), or as a solitaire storytelling and adventure system.

Rats in the Walls offers everything you need to begin. Every step of design is welcoming and guided. It is all included here, and it all works together. Another fine release from Kent David Kelly and Wonderland Imprints, Only the Finest Works of Fantasy. (64,500 words, 260 pages, in full color with 180+ graphics and illustrations.)

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Disclaimer: This product contains assets that were procedurally generated with the aid of creative software powered by machine learning.

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Stuart B June 09, 2024 8:03 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Kent, QQ regarding the notes in the book that say that there are 13 ways down into the dungeon from the Oldskull Priory ruins. By this do you mean 13 separate ways down to Level 1, or 13 separate ways to various levels, including Level 1? Reading through the notes for generating the first level, it mentions having several, perhaps hidden, ways up from the level to the surface, but I don't get the impression that there should be 13.... Would appreciate clarification of your intent. Great book by the way!
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Customer avatar
Kent K June 09, 2024 6:48 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi there Stuart, good to hear from you. One of the issues with mega-dungeons (as both Gary and Dave noted over play) is that players quit after they can't descend any further. If there is not enough verticality to approach the design, they either get stuck because there's a tough monster blocking the next way down, or they get tired of going through all of the old levels to get into the next undiscovered level. This is where hidden additional entrances that go straight down to deeper levels originally stems from. Ideally, you should have a single major way down to level 1 to control player access in the beginning, with multiple directions of exploration from there. Then, the delvers should find new ways up that are not the primary ascent point as they go deeper. When they ascend and figure out where these places are, they can use them in the future depending on where they want to go. Every dungeon level should have an access point of some kind even if it's just a teleporter. I know people don't agree with this...See more
Customer avatar
JF A May 06, 2024 1:39 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Kent, how does this differ from the Oldskull Dungeon Generator? It looks like there is more flavour content?
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Customer avatar
Kent K May 06, 2024 10:15 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
(Sorry I have limited formatting options, big text block.) ~ Hi there JF, good to hear from you and thanks for taking a look. I took the 7 years of feedback from readers of the Oldskull Dungeon Generator to make Rats in the Walls. Here are the major differences:

[1] I kept what people liked, and dropped what was more selectively liked / disliked. Much more visual and heavily formatted approach, less abstract.
[2] More than double the content / word count; I changed the style from Advanced / streamlined to Basic / mentoring.
[3] I aligned with Old-School Essentials to give more direct references to Moldvay B/X monsters, classes, and treasures without translation being required.
[4] Most people wanted an implied setting, so I took a future project (Oldskull Britannia) and roughed it in to justify the Lovecraftian Exham Priory lore and its place in the World of Oldskull.
[5] Created an over-arching plot based on Cybele, Shub-Niggurath, and Tsathoggua using the original HPL tale...See more
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Customer avatar
JF A May 07, 2024 2:17 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks Kent! It sounds like you really pulled out all the stops and that this is a big upgrade to the dungeon generator. I've been soloing with that and really happy with the dungeon, trap, and treasure generation. I've been doing my own thing as far as monsters though as I'm using BFRPG for base rules and the monsters don't always line up. It sounds like the upgrade might plug that hole!

Another question, is there like an appendix with all the tables? Essentially can I read through the this product digitally, and then print just essential stuff I'll need to consult every time I roll to generate a room or corridor or contents?

It would be great to have a hardcopy of those elements without printing out the whole document.
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Customer avatar
Kent K May 07, 2024 11:05 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi, sure thing, you’re welcome. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the adventures. It might be tricky to pull the tables out of this one because of the heavy formatting and focus on visuals. There are 72 pages with tables.
Reply
Customer avatar
Stuart B May 12, 2024 6:21 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Kent, QQ regarding the notes in the book that say that there are 13 ways down into the dungeon from the Oldskull Priory ruins. By this do you mean 13 separate ways down to Level 1, or 13 separate ways to various levels, including Level 1? Reading through the notes for generating the first level, it mentions having several, perhaps hidden, ways up from the level to the surface, but I don't get the impression that there should be 13.... Would appreciate clarification of your intent. Great book by the way!
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Product Information
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260
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OUG1
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File Last Updated:
May 04, 2024
This title was added to our catalog on May 04, 2024.