This is the first post detailing how I stocked the first level of my dungeon. This post detail my philosophy in stocking the dungeon. The second post will deal with rolling up the rooms and their treasure. The third post will deal with the monsters and assigning them in the various rooms.
There are certain things I'm trying to do with my megadungeon, and one of those things is to keep it old school. Graph paper and pencils to map it, with interesting shapes, 10 foot per square scale, and increasing deadliness as you go down deeper. I'm keeping in mind the weirdness of dungeons, and I'm not going to shy away from magic pools, talking statues, and other assorted goodies. I'm also keeping in mind that this isn't some basement, or castle prison... this is a Mythic Underworld! Not everything will make sense, and in that vein I want to randomly roll what is in it, and try to stick to the rolls I get.
That was the theory anyway. In practice that turned out to be a lot more difficult right from the first level. While I understand that things aren't necessarily balanced, and in fact can be rather highly unbalanced, I ran into a problem that basically forced me to make major adjustments to the results of my rolls.
It's pretty obvious that a series of somewhat improbable rolls could make a level unplayable without the DM stepping in and tweaking things. As it is things are still going to be pretty interesting with some really tough potential encounters, but there will be more about that in the upcoming posts.
I'm guessing that true old school DMs do what I've been doing, tweaking things so that it fits, but I'm not sure. What do you do if you somehow roll a treasure that is great enough to raise a party's level from 1 to 6 in a single delve? Or roll a series of monsters that will slaughter the party? Do you send your players into your dungeon and see what happens or do you tweak it?