Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fun with Vertical Geomorphs

Back in April, Jeff Rients threw down a challenge to all the geomorph artists of the OSR to make a vertical style of geomorph for the purposes of creating cross-sections of dungeons. A few months on, and there are now a plethora of "vertical geomorphs" available. As I move forward in working on my own version of the Chateau des Faussesflammes, it occurs to me that using this new OSR resource will be a huge boon.

The Chateau and the Court of the Crimson King have a demi-planar existence that makes it appear as if several different times and places co-exist in the same place. On certain days and certain times, it might be possible to find whole sections of dungeon that are not accessible at other days and times. A fantastic way to simulate this easily is with vertical geomorphs. Using several produced by Dyson Logos, here is the basic layout for an ongoing Chateau-megadungeon:

Since this is generated entirely out of vertical geomorphs, it will be an easy thing to substitute other geomorphs in one or more sections to produce dungeon levels that co-exist in the same space but are only accessible at certain times. Thus, there will be an entire class of treasure maps (which I plan to generously seed all over the dungeon) that will map out time rather than space.

As an aside, there are two things I really like about this particular cross-section:
  • At first glance, the dungeon is really very small. Despite there being multiple entrances to multiple parts of the megadungeon, most are secret. This gives me the ability to peek player curiosity about the rest of the dungeon through treasure maps.
  • I also like the fact that there is a section of the megadungeon (keyed areas 28-31) where going up results in finding a more dangerous area of the dungeon.


  1. I like that 28+ reverse danger too. Coiled inner complexity in a map is always fun to see.

    Good point about the secret entrances too. A useful reminder that using geomorphs we can always just make open entrances secret or block them off, with cave-ins say.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, guys.