Alternate title: Imperative Dungeon Stocking.
These are like Apocalypse World GM moves but for physical spaces. They focus on what game function the area fulfills.
This should let you improvise a dungeon or wilderness, provided you have some decent seed content in head or at hand.
Roll or choose:
- Create mapping complexity
- Offer toy or small reward, disguised, guarded, or not (usually not)
- Offer lore (used to overcome risks or guardians, oversupply to create red herrings)
- Offer reward, guarded or disguised
- Offer reward, unguarded and plain
- Offer risk, disguised or plain
Here's an example off the top of my head. Some of my players' favorite dungeons have been COMPLETELY IMPROVISED, and they had no idea I was doing it. I was "consulting my notes" by staring at a blank page.
THE TEMPLE OF THE CRAB
Area 1: (1) create mapping complexity. They enter a long staircase from a sinkhole, and the staircase spirals down along the edge of the hole. There's a door every fifty feet or so until it hits bottom in a pool (area 2). I'll also use (3) here and say that halfway down there's a landing with a relief carving showing this very place with jaws emerging from area 2, then retreating for years and years once sated by a human sacrifice. If the players sacrifice someone, they can bypass the monster.
Area 2: (4) reward, guarded. The crab god monster will eat them if they enter the pool unless sated with sacrifice. He guards an underwater treasury accessed via moon pool (area 3).
Area 3: reward, unguarded. The treasure guarded by the crab god is here. A staircase leads down to area 4.
Area 4: (6) risk, plain. Here are priest skeletons, 60 of them. They will animate if their rest is disturbed and go about collecting sacrifices.