Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Hargravian Descriptionator, part 1

I made this after going over the room descriptions in a couple three of Dave Hargraves' Arduin modules.  Tables for ceilings, floors and miscellany to follow.

d100 WALLS
01-02 black basalt
03 black basalt with silver and gold flecks
04-05 black marble
06-07 black obsidian
08 black onyx carved with obscene pictograms
09-10 blood red jade
11 blue fur!
12-13 blue marble
14 brilliant green crystal with flickering, dancing points of light
15-16 burnished copper
17-18 coal
19-20 covered with lichens, moss & slime
21-22 cracked, crumbling tan sandstone
23 deep red carnelian
24 dry, crumbly red sandstone
25-26 dull red quartz
27-28 dusty granite
29-30 dusty, cracked, crumbling basalt
31-32 fired brick
33-34 glittering mica with strange swirls of green copper
35-36 granite covered with black velvet drapes
37-38 granite covered with silver leaf
39-40 granite covered with tapestries depicting pastoral scenes
41-42 granite painted purple
43-44 green nephrite
45-46 green obsidian
47-48 grey granite behind purple silk drapes
49-50 grey granite covered by 4" thick glass
51-52 grey-green malachite
53-54 iron ore
55 magical mirror surface
56-57 milky white marble
58-59 old grey iron festooned with spider webs
60-61 old, dry pine paneling
62-63 pale blue marble
64-65 pale golden sandstone
66-67 pale red translucent glass
68-69 pale violet marble
70 pale violet marble with white swirls and golden flecks
71-72 pale yellow marble
73-74 pale, streaked green jade
75 paneled with polished cherrywood
76-77 pearl grey stone
78 phosphorescent blue plastic (emits deadly gas if burned)
79-80 pitted, corroded, acid-etched bronze
81-82 polished copper
85-86 polished granite
85-86 red marble with silver swirls
87-88 red painted limestone
89-90 red, crumbly sandstone
91 rough white quartz with iron pyrite sparkles
92-93 rough, grey granite
94 rusty, flaking iron
95-96 solid granite
97 translucent black obsidian
98 unfinished diamond
99-00 wet grey granite with lots of moss


  1. Are these descriptions attached to entire dungeons or dungeon sub-sections, or do they sometimes describe individual rooms?

    1. Hargrave would give elaborate descriptions of individual rooms, so the chart above was derived from individual room entries. The rough diamond room and the blue fur room could be across the hall from each other. Meanwhile, the hall could be completely without description.

  2. Does the blue fur room have a mirror on the ceiling?

    If it doesn't when my character gets there, it will later.

  3. Anonymous12:19 PM

    It's funny because it's true! You left out the "bright red velvety fur that smells strongly of roast beef."

    By a happy coincidence I recently picked up Arduin Dungeon #3 (for character levels 5-8), my only exposure to that series. And holy carp is that thing brutal! Unless I just don't know how strong 5th to 8th level characters were in 1979, the thing reads like a parody of killer dungeons.

    Nor is Gygaxian naturalism in evidence; it's pretty much just killer monsters chilling in rooms guarding treasure. (Also, some of the the treasure will kill you if the guardians didn't.)

    On the bright side it's got frogmen riding flying air sharks on the cover, and monster entries like "a mated pair of 8+1 HD, 72 HP, Dex 16 Sun Bears. They also know where the secret switch is located (and can use it!) that controls the Dropwall."

    So it's got a pretty good gonzo vibe if the DM can expand on that instead of just reading out of it in a static encounter kind of way.

  4. Hm. 19-20 says "covered in lichens, moss & slime" but doesn't say WHAT'S covered. Maybe I'll just run with it being MADE OF "lichens, moss & slime".

  5. You forgot to use more quotation marks, Mr. Jeff. Every other "Line of Knowledge" needs at least one word tagged in that way for the full Hargravian experience.

  6. That is totally awesome. Thanks for that, Jeff!

    D&D needs more LSD in it.

  7. If 98 comes up, the players might end up trying to sell the walls.

  8. Thank you, this is invaluable. I'm tired of 'stone walls, spots of mildew, faint scent of algae.' A world where the norm is 'black onyx covered with obscene pictograms' and 'blood red jade' is a great world.

  9. Thanks Jeff, saved for later :)

  10. that settles it. I will have to finally track down and read Arduin.