Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another One Hour Dungeon

I ran across the concept of the one-hour dungeon from Dyson over at A character for every game who pointed me to the original post at Planet Algol. Since I am a bit of a map geek, this challenge is right up my alley. Since my main tool for making maps is my computer (rather than pen/pencil and paper), I set about making the following map in Illustrator. This is where I was at the 60 minute mark:

And at about the 80 minute mark:

The concept is that of a small Dwarven colony (bottom half) and an ancient alien ruin (top half) separated by a chasm. Entrances into the dungeon include stairs to Rooms 1 & 21. Areas marked 35 are bridges that cross over to the ruin. They are in an open cavern where Areas marked 36 represent the bottom of the chasm. Within these areas can be placed several cave openings which function as the lairs for flying creatures who haunt the chasm as well as a means to get to other dungeon levels. Room 45 has a shaft that goes down that serves as access to other dungeon levels as well as an extra-dimesional portal once various items scattered across the ruins are put back in their proper place. The two halves of the dungeon are also separated by secret doors because when the dwarves had to abandon the colony, they did not want others finding the evil the permeates the alien ruins.


  1. Mapping:
    I moved away from computer mapping, and back to trad: Graph/hex paper years ago. It just feels more organic. I don't even employ geomorphs anymore! :-) Sort of a reconnect to the roots, ya know.

    The Map Itself:
    Expedition to the Barrier Peaks/Moria mash-up?
    Very cool. Re-assembling the portal tech and the ramifications of doing so could be interesting for the campaign it's dropped into. Hmmm. The shade looks like non-copying blue.

  2. @velaran
    Given the way I & my group actually play (with lap tops all over the table), working with computers actually makes more sense than pen & paper. Computer generated maps give me a level of flexibility that pen & paper just can't duplicate. To boot, given that fact that I have been using computers in graphic design for (dare I say) decades, that organic feel you have with pen & paper I get with keyboard & mouse...

    The blue is actually Process Blue — one of the least expensive ways to add color to a print project back in the day.

  3. I used to play with PCs and Laptops, but a decision was made to put them aside for the duration. It worked out pretty well. I was surprised, actually.(And pleased, I found, as I had some more hours in the day not in front of a PC!) Sometimes I miss the ol' Campaign Cartographer, though! 3-D maps were a breeze. Of course, that's what the DSG's map Appendix was there to teach you, right? :-) Similarly, I prefer books to PDFs by far now. I was a big proponent of Aldus' Pagemaker back in the day.(My mom, being a typesetter, wasn't, for obvious reasons!) Then again, I preferred Mac to PC, and see what happened there!

    'Process Blue'-interesting. Very classic vibe, though!

  4. Great look on these (and your other) maps. I like the process blue treatment--it's very clean and minimises the risk of 'artistic ambiguity' (did I mention I can barely draw stick figures?).

  5. Very cool! Would that I had the experience with computers that you do.

    Also, this post has been added to my One Hour Dungeon Nexus post!

  6. @Erin
    Thanks for the kind words. Every now and then I find myself itching to do a map in blue...

    Thanks for the link!