Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Megadungeon Design, Unicorns, Dead Elves, etc.


This sketch represents the basic layout of several different areas of a megadungeon. Which way is north depends on which area you're in and which level you're on. What each color means likewise is area-dependent. On certain levels I only read squares and on others I only read circles. The idea is to print this page out lots of times and annotate each sheet separately.

This is the beginning of the key. Each line represents a level. It's sketchy, but it was very easy to get the basic "gist" of each level by doing it this way. Basically, the more I liked a color, the more I used it in the map, and then I coded it so the more common creatures were keyed to those colors.

Here are some of the girls' character sheets:
Kimberly...
Connie...
Kimberly's stuff, with awesome drawings. (click to enlarge if you plan to enjoy life)
Satine's first TV character, Mirror. That 19 dex didn't save her...

And here's this...

18 comments:

kelvingreen said...

There is something wrong with Dragonsfoot.

Also, I am somewhat in awe of how your brain works, as I can't begin to get my head around your mapping system.

Zak S said...

No that hard.

Basically:
In the middle of dungeon level one, that's the map and the top is north. Different symbols represent different monsters/feaures.

If you go down a level or go off the west, east, north, or south edge of the map, then the area you've entered is represented by the same map--you just turn the map so a different direction is north and all the symbols mean different things.

i.e. a yellow dot means one thing on level 3 north and something else on level 6 west.

the little moon represents north in one area and it represents south on another.

Carter Soles said...

Agreed, I have trouble grokking the map too, but it LOOKS awesome!

Carter Soles said...

Oops, my response missed your explanatory comment, thanks. I get it now.

kelvingreen said...

If you go down a level or go off the west, east, north, or south edge of the map, then the area you've entered is represented by the same map--you just turn the map so a different direction is north and all the symbols mean different things.

Imagine the lightbulb turning on just about here.

There's a still a little bit of residual awe, but the way, but now it's more "crikey, that's clever!" and less "by Jove, he's some kind of quasi-autistic superbrain!"

Or something.

Zak S said...

@kelvingreen

I learned in art school: there actually are no inexplicable superbrains, just inarticulate clever people.

kelvingreen said...

I see. Let's pretend that people who type "but the way" when they mean "by the way" are "inarticulate clever people" then.

velaran said...

@Zak S:
Maps and Charting System:
You are now enabling my hand-drawn map fetish, dammit! Love em! That legend is frikkin awesome. Why didn't I think of this shit years ago? I gotta use something like this. Thank you sir; you are a gentleman and a scholar.

KK's Sheet: Eye-searing technicolor monstrosities like this one on a PC sheet show the love that its owner has for the game! Um, is she RAGING, at the time or is that just a doodle? :-) This is why she's secretly my favorite(that and dead dog flinging!). Ha! Flynt and Steel(Awesome!). Snake Lady Head is 2 sweet!

Connie's sheet.:
Weird graph paper squares goin' on there. How much is a shitload in Vornheim, is it more than an assload? ;-) Has the fact she's a friend of a unicorn ever done her any good? Connie's deviousness is always entertaining, I like seeing her machinations at the table.

Satine's TV character:
'19 Dex didn't save her'.(It never does!) Kick-ass art in the lower left. The fact she's been playing since she was 15 endears her to me, and I find myself wishing her well in her forays into Vornheim.

PC's stuff:
Doesn't SOMEONE(not pictured) have a 10' pole?(Perhaps KK's tentpoles are used?) That's against the Dungeoneer's Code! :-D

As always, looking forward to more Campaign Reports! It'd be nice to see more I Hit It With My Axe, too. Especially if broadcasts were more than just 10 mins at a time. It honestly was my fav program of 2K10!

Dragonsfoot Result:
8-O. It's in AD&D last time I checked. I mean, you'd think there'd be some kinda reference.... That's gotta be a few points off the Grognard Card!

Art School Lesson:
True Dat.

Thanx.

sirlarkins said...

"Yo Satan! Gimmie a beat!" is one of the funniest things I've ever seen on a character sheet.

And yeah, that's pretty surprising about Dragonsfoot.

"the little moon represents north in one area and it represents south on another."

But what do the Black Flag bars mean?

Adam Thornton said...

A dungeon like this needs a monster like a Mondrian. I think it's about 6HD. It attacks with prismatic spray and rectilinearity.

When Jeff Rients borrows it, on Tuesdays he lets it say "I Piet the fool!" before it chows down.

DarkTouch said...

So... what exactly is IN that cold medicine you're taking? I'm rather in awe of how prolific you've been lately.

Ursca said...

After looking at Kimberly's sheet I wondered for a brief moment why you had stats for 'ass' and 'rowing bonus'

Considering the context, it made an unlikely amount of sense.

Ben L. said...

The maps you've put up on your blog, while dizzying for someone with spatial anxiety like me, are just stunning. I can't *wait* to get my hands on the Vornheim City Kit.

Zak S said...

@ben L

"spatial anxiety"?

Jim said...

I'm printing these to ponder over at length. Thanks for sharing!

Chris said...

*turns head back and forth, puzzling at map and key*

"??? giant skull" Punished? Pinstriped? Punshriek? Punkjhrap? (All are good...)

But what do the Black Flag bars mean?

Probably "Caution! Unexploded Rollins" or "H.L.Mencken slits throats here.". Or maybe something prosaic about cave pirates...

You, sir, are a proper crazy mad bastard of the first water, and I salute you for it. Ain't no-one cribbing Zak's DMing notes!

Zak S said...

@chris
@sirlarkins

What the black flag bars mean--per area, is marked in the far right column.

AngryCoffeeMan said...

I just love seeing the handwritten character sheets!