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Here's a problem I encounter when creating buildings for D&D: I quickly run out of specific room types. For instance, when I create a temple, I can think of the main worship area, chambers for the priest/shaman and temple servants, and maybe a few utility rooms like the kitchen or a storage room...then, I just run out. Googling doesn't seem to help, either, as I get lists of specific real-world temples (which are either too specific to a real-world religion, or don't give me more than I've got).

Since I am architecturally challenged, I was wondering if anyone knew where to find good room lists for various kinds of buildings for fantasy RPGs, including (but not limited to):

  • Temples
  • Military Bases
  • Wizard's Abodes
  • Catacombs/Barrows
  • Upper-class Urban Homes

These wouldn't be random generators, but just a list of rooms common for each type. I've seen a couple of generic dungeon room names, but nothing specific to a particular type of enclosure.

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That sounds like an interesting topic for a wiki of its own… Maybe I'll have a go at getting one started after the 101 other things I have to do. (Two weeks left on one page dungeon 2012 and I only figured out what I want to do for it last night). –  Quentin Apr 12 '12 at 8:52

5 Answers 5

Historical buildings are a great source of real floor plans: guild halls, merchant adventurer hall, churches, and castles will all have a visitor's map which you can easily adapt to your game.

Another great source is archaeological digs of pre-dark ages sites: Carthage, Rome, Greece, etc... all have many great floor plans that are easy to adapt.

Catacombs exist in real life (Paris has a large one) and you can easily get hold of the maps for it. Of course, you can get mines and caves plans as well and expend those.

For example, a quick google search for "tibetan monastery floor plan" got me this temple with floor plans, photos, and explanations. You could use this as a small/medium temple in your world with great ease.

Finally, there are a lot of computer games out there with dungeons: just get one of the strategy books (or walk through) and you should have a plethora of unrealistic dungeons filled with monsters that just wait for the PCs to come and kill them.

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I'm actually confident in my abilities to draw up a map. I'm just that bad at knowing what goes on in them, especially if I'm using my own temples and my own made-up deities. I've seen and used Greek temples, Aztec ziggurats, and English castles as guides. Perhaps temples aren't the best example, either. I'm looking for lists of rooms--the layout doesn't matter, I can do that--that serve certain functions, which then coalesce into a practical structure. Which I will then turn into an "unrealistic dungeon filled with monsters that just wait for the PCs to come and kill them." –  amp108 Apr 13 '12 at 7:35
    
This is where floor plans do help a lot: they tell you what the room was used for. Look at The Louvre at the apartments of Napoleon III for an example of a (very lavish) Empire type private quarters: even the names of the rooms will give you clues as to what it was used for. –  Sardathrion Apr 13 '12 at 7:37

Paizo's GameMastery Guide might work. In the Adventures chapter on p. 179 there is a table for rolling up random dungeon rooms (Table 7-4). It's may be a bit broader then you are looking for but it does have 50 different rooms to play with. The pages following that chart also off mundane/exotic room characteristics and minor/major dressings to place in the rooms.

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Personally, I use the Stronghold Builder's Guidebook, a sourcebook designed for third edition D&D, for exactly the purpose you describe. In fact, I don't use it for anything else.

I reccomend it highly. Not only does it have lists of rooms and the kinds of things that are likely to be found in them, it also has lists of groups rooms commonly placed near each other for a specific purpose.

Before I started using it, I didn't even realise when I made weird mistakes like making dungeons without privies, or not placing pantries adjacent to kitchens, or not having sufficent accomodation for the servants required to run the banquet hall. I probably still am making a bunch of mistakes, come to think of it, but at least I'm avoiding the obvious ones.

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Iconic Dungeon Chambers

I've used this lots of times for interesting room ideas.

The document is designed for random room generation, and I know that's not what you're looking for, but it has a lot of good room types that I would have never thought of on my own. Scan through the first column and it could give you a few new ideas for rooms, though you'd have to determine what kind of structure they fit in on your own.

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Snagged! This will be useful for on-the-fly generation of those unexpected wandering encounters that are "30-300 orcs in a lair"… –  SevenSidedDie Apr 20 '12 at 22:07
    
I came across this answer, but the link is dead now. Is it available anywhere else? ( @SevenSidedDie ?) –  Grubermensch Jul 15 at 2:18

Check out some of the books by David Macaulay, especially "CASTLE". He does agreat job of showing how structures were built brick by brick. In addition to. "CASTLE" he also has written books about pyramids, cathedrals, and Roman towns.

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Welcome to RPG.SE have a look at our FAQ when you get a chance. This is an interesting answer, but could be better with a couple of things, one of them is a link to the book (Amazon is fine, even encouraged here), the other is a bit more description as to why you think this book is better than another at solving the problem as presented in the question. –  wax eagle Apr 17 '12 at 2:40

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