Any campaign world worth its salt has an array of dungeons, crypts, castles and all manner of places scattered around just waiting for adventurers to explore... but they all need names. How else can you spread rumours or legends about them? Since when did a bard sing about adventures 'in the third dungeon to the left'? So here is a set of tables to help you come up with convincing names for all these essential features of your campaign world.
If you already have ideas about the contents of your dungeon (castle, crypt, whatever...) then you might prefer to pick an appropriate name using the options and framework provided. If all you know is that you want to have a dungeon, the name may even spawn ideas of what to put in it, so feel free to roll the dice and see what happens. If the result sounds plain silly, discard it (unless you have a silly side to your campaign world, of course). Similar strategies may be used to name regions or parts of the dungeon as well.
The first table deals with the structure of the name itself. You may have descriptors, proper names, tribal names, and something describing what the actual complex is as well. Once you have chosen (or rolled for) the framework you can then proceed to other tables to choose or roll for appropriate descriptors, tribal names and so on. There are also tables of sample names for entire dungeons, levels, rooms and features. These give an idea of what can be done or can, of course, just be taken and used. These tables together present a vast array of options and even if you don't find precisely what you want, you may find you are part-way there and just want to substitute one word in the name you've rolled up to make it an exact fit for what you have in mind. It's great fun to play with - and generates things that sound pretty much like old-school module titles!
But there's more... a full ten pages of legends which may or may not be true about your dungeon. Maybe they'll inspire you as you actually create your dungeon, or perhaps one is a reasonably close fit to what you've decided is there already. So what if it talks about snapping turtles rather than whatever feature monster you chose to put there. The legend may be a bit out of date (your featured monster ate the snapping turtles) or just not very accurate. Legends deal with features of the dungeon, the creatures that dwell there, events that took place there or even famous adventurers that braved the portals of the place in the past. Finally, just in case your party is reluctant, there's a collection of lost treasures. Who knows what they might find...
A useful little collection, especially if your mind tends to go blank when you are trying to think of a name for somewhere.
Return to Names and Legends page.
Reviewed: 12 September 2019