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    …one approach that I specifically avoided is defining any sort of vault on a grid.

    …procedurally generated vaults feel more organic and offer more potential for interesting surprises.

    This philosophy is an interesting departure from my favorite roguelike, Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, which makes extensive uses of vaults (predefined rooms). This allows a certain beauty, recognizability, and consistency to parts of the game. For example:

    • The Ecumenical Temple, a zone in the early portion of the game where you can choose your god from an altar, has a number of pleasant, symmetrical, safe-feeling variations. (There are no monsters in the Ecumenical Temple.)
    • The bottom of the Lair (the first or second branch of the dungeon) has a few boss-room configurations that you can recognize and know if you’re prepared to enter, i.e. the Fire Dragon river, the Spriggan forest, the Dire Elephant vault, and a few more, each with different sorts of danger and tactical nuances.
    • You prepare the entire game for Zot:5, the deepest level of the game, in which the orb chamber is always the same shape – which requires immense, step-by-step patience to not attract too many extremely powerful monsters.

    If I ever get tired of DCSS (bound to happen eventually) I’d like to try Brogue and feel out the differences. I have a feeling my conclusion will be, “not the same but also good.”