Alexander’s Solo Dungeon

So it’s been a while, and boy do I hate the way this editor works. If I did it right, either image should give you a link to a PDF I created that describes a dungeon my seven-year-old son and I played over the course of three (maybe four) sessions.

It’s a small dungeon, but one I think turned out exceptionally well. It’s one that I think Alex will look back on fondly for a very long time. Click on either image and make sure to get the PDF. More after the break.

You see, it’s the first dungeon he explored by himself, and he did it with a custom character class we call the Grim. It’s a grim reaper based on a youtube video for a game called Totally Accurate Battle Simulator. His class looks like a grim reaper with a scythe and tentacles and has about six abilities that mimic magic-user spells. At first level he can cast Burning Hands by swinging his scythe that shoots black and purple flames. At third level he can use his tentacles to grab and hold people. By 11th-level, he can just straight up use Death Spell. He loves it and keeps asking to play.

I also was able to test a custom character class based on the Red Mage from Final Fantasy I. We built both classes (including a Hedgehog class) with BX Options Class Builder, and they both worked great. The Hedgehog class we’ve tested in the dungeon that the whole family plays in. Check out the commentary for a much more in depth discussion.

After setting up this post, I guess in the grand scheme of things, this editor is not a big deal. Just don’t like having to relearn these things every time I post. Cheers.

Local Campaign Area Map

Well it has been awhile. I’ve been busy with all sorts of stuff but I wanted to share this.

I started it today and think it really turned out well. I had found this tutorial: [Award Winner] Hand-Drawn Mapping (for the Artistically Challenged) at the Cartographer’s Guild years ago, and I have used it periodically throughout. Recently a co-worker started getting involved with D&D and needed help with making maps. Lots of it. So I thought of this and showed it to him. With a portable copy of GIMP and his hand drawn mess, we ended up with something he was happy with.

That brings me back to today. It looks like we are going to start a Zoom game, and I’ve been putzing around with making a quick campaign using Dungeoncraft from Dragon Magazine and the AD&D 2e World Builder’s Guide. But I needed a quick map. I have been making quick hand-drawn hex maps, but wanted to play around with this tutorial. So in between three hours of yard work and reinstalling two lazy-susans, I started on this.

Local Campaign Area

Local Campaign Area

I think it looks wonderful and am happy to share it (for non-commercial purposes) with anyone who should happen on by. Cheers.

Feeding fans starving 4 Action around da World!

Despite what I said a few weeks ago, I never really retired, just semi-retired. I regularly check this site and love that it still gets traffic. So keep it up.

And now for something completely different…

I may be late to this, but there is just something I love about it. So I post this without further comment for your pleasure.

For more action check out their site: It appears there is another movie coming in June.

Congratulations UVA

Leave it to the Cavs to bring me out of retirement. 🙂

I’ve been a Hokie fan ever since I came to Virginia in 1999, but I’ve almost always rooted for the Cavs. Great job tonight. That was an amazing game. Take it all the way and show everyone the power of the Commonwealth.

I would have loved to see UVA v. Tech but alas it was not meant to be. Congrats to my Hokies for not making into the NIT. 🙂

Save Vs. Dragon and Typography

Richard over at Save Vs. Dragon has started a series of posts on Typography. I’ve tried to comment on both posts (as of this posting) and either or is being stupid. So I figured I could post the links to his posts with a few comments of my own.

Typographic Pet Peeve #1: Automatic Leading on Titling with Type Elements of Multiple Sizes

Typographic Pet Peeve #2: Default (and/or Bad) Letterspacing/Kerning

Lymdonshire Story Hour

Over at theRPGsite I started a thread for a Story Hour I had written over two years ago as a quick exercise. Shit the game itself was an experiment, but fun times none-the-less. It is not super polished (hell, there is still verb tense disagreement buried in there).

What I really like about it is that it is different from most Story Hours I’ve read. This one is almost more about the players at my table than the characters in the game.

I’ve written almost 14,000 words and intend to post them all in due course, but it will really come down to if anyone (aside from me) is interested in the nonsense and general goings-on at my table.

You can find the thread at this link: Lymdonshire Story Hour

UPDATE: So here it is, July 2016 and I haven’t made another post to that thread. Shame on me. I actually haven’t been to the site much since it was redesigned. I do not like it. Now it looks like every other forum site. For some reason it seems to have lost its character.

A Sample Dungeon

So this minor little winter storm hit this morning and I found myself alone in the house with the kids having gone to school and my wife having gone to work. I didn’t really feel like writing today, and I’ve been stuck on drawing spiral staircases for three or four maps in the queue. So what was I to do? I threw on some Netflix and watched a few horror movies. The Veil with Jessica Alba and Thomas Jane, Mercy, a movie based off a Steven King short story, and Homebound were all fine if not predictable. Unfortunately, I could not just sit around watching movies so I picked a quick project I could complete without thinking. That leads us to today’s offering.

About a year ago I posted a small number of maps published by others that I had redrawn in my style. This is a continuation of that experiment. I have a version that I had started last year, but I had miscounted the size of the grid I would need. I would have run off the page had I tried to complete it. I had fully drawn in all sorts of rock fill and my standard cross-hatch fill and with a sigh of resignation, filled it away. Today, I started from scratch.

More talky-talk after the map.

A Sample Dungeon

A Sample Dungeon

This one was fun and annoying at the same time. To start, I d/l WOTC’s redraw of this map that they had posted on their site years ago. It is a nice looking computer generated map that in a few cases ended up being confusing. I didn’t realize it until I looked at a picture of the black-and-white version in the 1e DMG. That is why some of my corridor widths are off.

The big one though is that if you look real close, you might notice that I had to computer edit the room that on the original maps are labelled #5. The WOTC version has the room open to the corridor whereas the 1e version looks like it is only accessible for the secret passageway from room #4. I made it match the original. I never noticed it before but it seems kinda stupid to have that secret passage run under the stairs connecting the room if one could just stroll down the fucking corridor. Anyway, I fixed it on my map.

(Tangent-I didn’t want to fix it on my hand-drawn map and go through the whole process to make the version I posted for you today. It took about a dozen tries since I got my newish scanner, and I’m still learning how to get all my crosshatching to show up fine.)

I debated whether to label the rooms on this map to match those in other published versions but thought better of it. It takes me forever to label a map, and I just don’t think you’d gain any real benefit from my time investment.

Anyway, I hope I didn’t waste your time with this post. Cheers.

If you are looking for additional thoughts on this map from around the net, these are a few links I chased today:

The Monastery of the Order of the Crimson Monks hosted on


A series of posts at Cave of the Dice Chucker
Sample Dungeon Part 1
Sample Dungeon Part 2
Sample Dungeon Part 3
Sample Dungeon Part 4

UPDATE: Dyson posted some of his thoughts on the original map found in the odd-edition DMGs.