How to Host a Dungeon, by Tony Dowler, is a fantastic example of an easy to use game tool. As described in the introduction it is, “…part solo game, part toy, part toolkit for creating dungeons in the style of the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game.”
Even though it refers to it as a solo game there is no reason this cannot be used with 2 or 3 people. Not so much as a ‘game’ in that instance, but as a toolkit.
The directions were very easily followed, and the supply list consisted of things typically found around the house. As long as you can find some blank paper, pencil, some dice and a few token counters you are set to go. Oh and one must not forget you need a hand; however, we can assume if you can hold a pencil then you indeed have one to use!
The game/toolkit is split into four ages: the Primordial Age, the Age of Civilization, the Age of Monsters and the Age of Villainy.
To begin with, a simple line is drawn towards the top of the page. During the Primordial Age, you begin to roll dice, and where the instructed die drops on the page is where certain physical characteristics appear. They might be Mithral deposits or caverns and the like. Not to mention the introduction of an Ancient Wyrm or two.
Once this stage is complete you move onto the Age of Civilization. This first begins with the introduction of a Dwarven mine shaft. Note that you do have the option of choosing the Drow instead of Dwarves. The Dwarves expand, as they do, underground. With some more roles of the die and using a finger or thumb for the required measurements you begin to create a whole Dwarven empire; complete with Great Halls, Workshops, Barracks and Treasure Rooms.
Next in the line is the Age of Monsters. With a few more rolls of the die you create castles, farms, cities, wizard towers and begin to send expeditionary forces into the underground caves. Some adventuring parties return with treasure and help to continue the building of life on top of the ground and others meet their fate at the hands of goblins who have been breeding deep beneath the surface or a Giant Spider or two!
The Age of Villainy would begin when the previous stages are complete. We actually didn’t continue into this stage for two reasons. Reason number 1: It was getting to be pretty late in the evening. Reason number 2: We actually thought that it would be a fanstastic place to throw in your own adventuring party and use the map we created.
This is a perfect game to sit down with a friend or S.O. who plays and do some plotting on a quiet afternoon or evening. I also found this to be a very creative way of randomly creating a dungeon for your gaming group to adventure in.
Overall, I would highly recommend this to someone who likes to run the show and especially wants another great tool that they can use to enhance their current or future campaigns.
[5 of 5 Stars!]