dungeon23 weeks 13 to 17 (also bonus stationery notes)

See the archive of all Dungeon23 pages here

I'm still doing Dungeon23 but what I'm not doing is posting very often about it. This is not a great idea given that doing updates in huge chunks means I don't feel like writing very much about each one. But, anyway.

I seem to have settled on doing one unique dungeon a week. I don't like long dungeons anyway. I also quite often don't fill in most of the rooms until the weekend, though I do try to do at least a bit of planning or map-drawing every day during the week.


I've finally settled on pens and pencils for the maps, at least when I'm using black and white.

Item Purpose
0.3mm Graphgear 3000 pencil, 2H lead Notes, map outlines, anything I might want to erase
Tombow Mono Zero square tip eraser Erasing the above
Light grey Pentel Brush Pen Wall shadows, any other shadows
1.2mm black Staedtler pigment liner Walls
0.5mm black Staedtler pigment liner Cross-hatching, if I'm doing that
0.2mm black Uni Pin pigment liner Details on maps - doors, objects, numbers, writing
0.1mm black Pilot DR pigment liner Really thin lines - e.g. swirls around the edge of water
0.1mm grey Copic pigment liner Even lighter lines. Really just grid squares.

Frankly I don't find the brand of the pigment liners matters, they all have a very similar form and function. It's useful to be able to distinguish between them visually though.

When writing the rooms I use a Pilot Capless fountain pen with an F nib, currently loaded with Pilot Black ink. This doesn't work for drawing maps as it dries too slowly and can easily smudge, but it's nicer to write with than any of the above.

The dungeons

Week 13 - swamp casino

This is a mostly deserted casino set in the middle of a marsh, which made the mistake of using haunted marsh gas to power it. I imagine a vibe of lots of brass tubes and levers, moldy carpets, constant vague drizzle. A bit more steampunky than some other fantasy ones I've done.

I think I used some of the tables from Worlds Without Number for this. WWN has an awful lot of content generation tables and they are good, but the ones for "ruins" didn't really feel like they fit my D23 needs in the end - a bit too realistic.

Week 13

Week 14 - warlord's rest

This one I definitely rolled up with the WWN ruin generator - it has explicit history behind it - but also included results from the NPC generator in 2400 Xot and the latter are my favourite bits. A glowing bird that lies, a half-petrified warlord survivor, Penance Worms.

Week 14

Week 15 - train carriage

For this one I couldn't think of anything at all and for some reason came up with the idea of setting it in a train carriage. I have no idea what sort of train this would be, only that it would be strange. I quite like this one too - each of the cabins has some level of interaction with the others, but they all have their own details and challenges.

For thematic hints I flicked through the Tome of Adventure Design - every page in ToAD has a list of random spark words in the margin, which I should use more.

Week 15

Week 16 - spiral reality mine

For weeks 16 and 17 I decided to write for Vaults of Vaarn which I got back into. One aspect is that the titular vaults are generally fairly small anyway - Vaarn is more about having lots of small individual places rather than huge cities or dungeons. (It also has lots of content generation tables and procedures - like WWN, exploration is meant to be a theme.)

Initially I had very little idea of what to do with the ingredients I rolled, but by the end of the week I'd come up with the idea of the increasingly warping Escher spiral of the mine, and now I like that aspect. This is another dungeon that's a bit more "talky" - the miner synths will certainly try to take you apart if they think they can win, but they'll also be prepared to bargain, and you can talk to the deserted hive too.

Week 16

Week 17 - transit station

More Vaarn this week. Wasn't quite as into it this time but some interesting bits - I could pick it up and run it some time.

I did this and the previous week in blue, but I wasn't able to get the array of pens I wanted in blue (just an 0.5mm blue pigment liner and a light blue brush pen), and I found it a bit of a faff to draw thicker lines for the walls, so I think I will go back to black and grey from now on.

Week 17

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