Each session of Desktop Dungeons is played in a randomly generated 20x20 block dungeon. Dungeons are populated with enemies, altars to gods, glyphs, powerups, gold, and stores. There are 6 types of dungeons in the game:
This is the standard game mode. All unlocked enemies may appear in a standard game.
Ranked is unlocked when a player completes the normal dungeon with all standard classes. Ranked is otherwise like a normal dungeon except that monsters have 20% more Attack and Health and scores may be submitted online.
The remaining 4 types are challenge dungeons, having very specific enemy types and unique appearances. Every challenge dungeon has two bosses instead of one. There are also four non-boss enemy types that only appear in these challenge dungeons.
Populated by naga, serpents and gorgons. Players will fight Nidhogg and Medusa. Every 2 Classes that complete this challenge will cause an extra pile of gold to be spawned in the dungeons.
Populated by warlocks, dragonspawn and imps. Players will fight Aequitas and the Matron of Flame. Every Class that completes this challenge will increase the Item Rank Limit for shops by 1.
Populated by zombies, wraiths and vampires. Players will fight the Tormented One and Frank the Zombie. Every Class that completes this challenge will increase the maximum amount of gold you can carry by 5.
Populated by meat men, animated armour and golems. Players will fight Iron Man and Super Meat Man. Every 3 Classes that complete this challenge will cause an extra shop to be spawned in the dungeons.
A standard dungeon level is created with the following object counts:
- 39 Monsters, split into the following: 10x L1, 5x L2, 4x L3, 4x L4, 4x L5, 3x L6, 3x L7, 3x L8, 2x L9 and 1x L10. This grants a total of 149 Experience (just enough for Level 8) to be earned before confronting the boss, unless the various ways of gaining bonus experience is utilised.
- 3 each of the following items: Health Powerup, Mana Powerup, Attack Powerup, Health Potion and Mana Potion. A Thief will cause 4 of each to be created.
- 10 piles of gold, randomly containing 1 to 3 gold each. A Thief will have 3 extra piles of gold spawned for them. An additional pile of gold will also be created for every 2 Classes that complete the Snake Pit Challenge. This creates a maximum of 19 piles of gold, and 22 for Thieves.
- 3 Shops. A Tinker will cause 6 more shops to be created, and an extra shop will appear for every 3 Classes that complete the Factory Challenge. This creates a maximum of 9 shops, and 15 for Tinkers.
- 5 Glyphs. Both Thief and Wizard will cause an extra Glyph to be spawned. The starting Glyph placed at the feet of certain classes does not count towards the 5. No two Glyphs will be the same, but one of them will always be BURNDAYRAZ. Glyphs may also appear for sale in shops, once their rank has been achieved.
- 3 Altars, each randomly assigned to one of the 10 Gods. No two altars will be to the same God.