Appendix B:
Random Wilderness Terrain


If a wilderness expedition moves into an area where no detailed map has been prepared in advance,
the random terrain determination system below can be utilized with relative ease for a 1 space = 1 mile, or larger, scale.
In using it, however, common sense must prevail.

For example, if the expedition is in the north country the forest will be pine or possibly scrub, while in tropical regions it will be jungle.
Similarly, if a pond is indicated in two successive spaces, the two should be treated as one larger body of water.
The Dungeon Master must also feel free to add to the random terrain as he sees fit in order to develop a reasonable configuration.
In any event, the DM must draw in rivers, large lakes, seas, oceans, and islands as these features cannot easily be generated by a random method.

As the party enters each space, generate a random number from 1 to 20.
Find the type of terrain the party is currently on by reading across the page,
then read down the column until you find the line where the random number generated falls, and simply move left to determine the terrain that predominates in the new space.

If a pond is indicated, the terrain it is in is the same as that of the previous space.

If a depression is indicated, the referee must decide as to its nature and extent.
Generally, the terrain i t is in must be the same as the previous space.
A depression in a marsh is some form of lake.

Note: Glens in forests, paths/tracks, and streams can be included as desired.
    Paths/tracks and streams must lead to/from unmapped spaces, of course.

Terrain Guide:

Plain: tundra, steppe, savanna, prairie, heath, moor, downs, meadow

Scrub: brush, veldt, bush, thickets, brackens


Forest: woods, jungle, groves and copses (light forest)

Rough: bad lands

Desert: barrens, waste, flat, snowfield

Hills: ridges, bluffs, dunes

Mountains: mesas, glacier, tors

Marsh: fen, slough, swamp, bog, mire, quagmire, morass

Pond: pools, tarn, lake
Depression: gorge, rift, valley, canyon

<>                           <> > Terrain (World Map)>
Sub-Terrain Plain Scrub Forest Rough Desert Hills Mountains Marsh
Plain 1-11 1-3 1 1-2 1-3 1 1 1-2
Scrub 12 4-11 2-4 3-4 4-5 2-3 2 3-4
Forest* 13 12-13 5-14 5 - 4-5 3 5-6
Rough 14 14 15 6-8 6-8 6-7 4-5 7
Desert 15 15 - 9-10 9-14 8 6 -
Hills** 16 16 16 11-15 15 9-14 7-10 8
Mountains*** 17 17 17 16-17 16-17 15-16 11-18 -
Marsh 18 18 18 18 18 17 - 9-15
Pond 19 19 19 19 19 18-19 19 16-19
Depression 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20

* 1 in 10 also includes hills.
** 1 in 10 also includes forest.
*** 1 in 20 have pass which leads through the range.

Check each space for the possibility of inhabitation. Use random numbers 01 to 00.
Type of Settlement Population
Single Dwelling 01-03 1-12
Thorp 04-05 20-80
Hamlet 06-07 100-400
Village 08-09 600-900
Town 10 1,500-6,500
City 11 10,000-60,000 
Castle 12-14 * See Castle Tables, APPENDIX C, pp.182-183
Ruins 15-16
        Roll Again
        Village 01-30 
        City 31-60
        Shrine 61-85 
        Tomb 86-00
<make sub-table>
Uninhabited 17-00 -

30-mile Hex Map (citation : contact author, ask for permission to incl.) (get a .jpg of this for use as an image)

Originally Posted by mistere29
Gary, i read in an old interview

"by creating the village of Hommlet and the temple [sic] of Elemental Evil to test some ideas I had about random dungeons, and outdoor terrain so forth."

Could you eleaborate a bit on this. Was the pre-Metzner draft largely designed by the random tables in the dmg?


The village and main temple areas were carefully mapped before I began adventure sessions in the area.
The random generation was used mainly in developing the land around the village and some of the side areas surrounding the main rooms I had done for the temple dungeons.

As a side note, the random tables worked quite well, but they took too long.
I found that it was easier and quicker for me to just bash ahead as usual and put in whatever I liked at the moment.


<note to self: try to be a little more precise with the file names for the images>


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