Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Going Deep (into the dungeon)

I've been rather quiet on my megadungeon project of late, and that is because I've been dissatisfied with my efforts up to this point.  The problem is that I was bored with the maps I was drawing.  They just didn't capture my imagination, they didn't seem like the sorts of dungeons I'd want to necessarily play in.  I think I was drawing a dungeon more like an office building, and while an office building might be efficient, it tends to be boring.  I need more chaos in my dungeon, more weird!  The maps I'm most happy with are the ones that aren't actually a part of the main dungeon!! 

I've also got everything pretty much flat.  There isn't any reason why any level of the dungeon needs to be all the same depth, as my levels should be more relative, which can give a greater ability to make interesting areas to play in. While much of the dungeon will be composed of rectangular rooms, I'd like there to be some interesting features for characters to play on/around/with.  Stairs, balconies, rafters, ropes, chandeliers, etc. 

I have a room that I'm really looking forward to drawing up that will take advantage of a number of these features.  Expect to see it shortly!

1 comment:

  1. I know that feeling--the blah+meh=bleh sense of a bland map. What I have been doing is creating a metamap, where each box represents one sheet of graph paper. I have a master sheet for the whole dungeon (here's an example: http://rustybattleaxe.blogspot.com/2009/12/dungeon-schematics.html)

    I make notes for each of the boxes, but I don't worry about doing a map until I am sure that the party is closing in on that area. Then I create the map, the set encounters, traps, random tables, etc. While I have a schematic for ten+ levels of dungeon, the actual map is much less and it is much easier to manage the creative process--in terms of ideas and my own time. I had started doing that a while ago and then the purchase of Stonehell Dungeon helped solidify for me. It also makes it easier for me to creatively borrow other ideas and decide ahead of time where I am going to put it. Your later levels also benefit from what you learn early on in the process. I'm not saying it is the right way, but it has worked for me. I give a lot of credit to Al at Beyond the Black Gate and his dungeon posts.

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