The “Procedural Dungeon Crawl” gets mentioned a lot on All Dead Generations” and many of the pieces here describe its theoretical underpinnings -- but what exactly is the Procedure in the Procedural Dungeon Crawl? Not “What is Procedure?” in some abstracted way, but specifically, what Procedure does one follow to produce a Turn of Classic Exploration play?
Below are two lists that breakdown how I would run a Turn of Exploration in both a Classical way (using OSE similar clones or 1981 Moldvay Basic [B/X] mechanics) and how I actually run my own games (using house ruled 1974 Dungeons and Dragons.) Both function just fine with the other rule set however (some movement distances are different, and by the book OD&D adds procedures for incidental traps that I omit because not every square foot of every dungeon has broken pit traps in it) as they are Procedure rather than mechanics.
Before I go into detail about how and why they work, here are the “Classical” and my own “Neo-Classical” (with plentiful ideas from other bloggers and designers) methods of running an Exploration Turn as I understand them:
CLASSICAL EXPLORATION PROCEDURE
A. Referee calculates and Players note equipment and/or status changes due to passage of a 10 minutes.
B. Random Encounter Die Events are resolved. (Can Open Encounter Procedure).
C. Referee describes surroundings (Can open Encounter or Combat Procedure).
D. Players ask questions about surroundings or events and the Referee clarifies.
E. Players state actions.
F. Referee confirms player actions with clarification of any mechanics used.
G. Actions are resolved. Any movement is calculated.
H. Players note any status or equipment changes on Character Sheets.
I. Roll Random Encounter Die for next Turn.
NEO-CLASSICAL EXPLORATION PROCEDURE
AA Referee describes surroundings (Can open Encounter or Combat Procedure) and applies Exploration Die results from the prior Turn.
BB. Exploration Die Events are resolved and noted. (Can Open Encounter Procedure)
CC. Players ask questions about surroundings or events and the Referee clarifies.
DD. Players state actions.
EE. Referee confirms player actions with clarification of any mechanics used.
FF. Actions are resolved.
GG. Players note any status or equipment changes on Character Sheets.
HH. Roll Exploration Die for next Turn.