Tag Archives: Megadungeons

Mentzer’s Level 2 Isometric

Mentzer's Level 2 Isometric

Mentzer’s Level 2 Isometric

Ok where to start today. The baby was sick this weekend so I had a lot of downtime while taking care of her and put some of that time to good use. Wifey thought I should have napped more, but the game must go on right?

Anyway, The Scarlet Avenger continued exploring the southern section of Level Two of my Mentzer’s Solo Dungeon. But that wasn’t enough, I wanted to experiment a little more so I created some isometric sheets from the Incompetech Graph Paper web site. The thing I noticed about this map is that it is one of the few that seems like a level hub. It has more stairwells that most other maps of mine, so I wanted to see what it would look like from a different view.

Now I love how the 2 Central and 1 East sections look, but I think I screwed up with the 2 East section. I have all of the maps in front of me and this map still looks confusing. I’d be interested to anyone’s impressions, and how I might go about making it more clear how 1 East and 2 East relate to each other vertically. BTW, I intend to post both of those maps in the future; I just need to redraw them to make them look a little more prettified.

Years ago in meatspace, one of my players remarked on why my stairwells were always so long. Well, I think this map shows why. I have the math somewhere around here that shows that with a drop of ten feet for every twenty lateral feet traveled, I would need about forty lateral feet to get rooms with ten foot high walls and ten more feet to the bottom of the next level up. While I subscribe to the ‘mythic underworld’ philosophy of dungeon design, I just cannot stand dungeons that do not follow physical laws. It is something I have noticed in maps around the net where I see tunnels that pass under corridors but they only drop the distance of five-foot steps. Physically it is something that cannot exist and as a player would bother me.[/rant]

Anyway, hope you enjoy this map. For the most part I like how this one turned out. Feel free to use this for your personal game.

Random Dungeon Map 007

Random Dungeon 007

Random Dungeon 007

Here in Central Virginia, the winter storm shut me in for the most part, so I decided to put my time to reasonably good use and redraw the original 2nd-level for my Expanded Mentzer Dungeon. For what purpose you ask, well let me make a short story long.

First off, the original is in fairly bad condition what with pencil marks and smudges from my erasers and hands. Scanning and using my GIMP-fu was useless; so what the hell, I figured I’d redraw it and experiment with some different techniques I hadn’t tried before on one map. I’m glad I did, because this one actually looks ok.

But why this map you ask. Well, several reasons. Now this level was the first one I drew for my foray into building a dungeon with my random generation charts that I designed after those found in Gygax’s Dungeon Master’s Guide. And quite frankly, I like how it is laid out. It follows my general design principles fairly closely in both layout and stocking. The stocking I will get to in a minute. Or fifteen.

I like the layout, because when I design a dungeon, I try to image how its occupants will use it. Where will they sleep? Where will they hunt? Where are they going to put the PC deathtrap? The layout here allows travel from four different areas of the dungeon, and it allows several areas where I can imagine vermin and other beasts can lair and more intelligent monsters setup positions to control access and defend their area.

Coming from Mentzer’s Solo Dungeon, the only intelligent creatures a character would face are goblins. Now room 6 controls access to two separate areas of the first level and so far the only access to the third level. This sets them up as a fairly strong power center for the top levels. I like this a lot and I suppose that there is another group (or two) in the unexplored areas that are challenging them for that position.

All this said, you will notice that this map is incomplete. That’s because I let the dice fall where they may and ended up with those three additional stairwells. And I got bored with this level. I also like a lot of vertical movement in my dungeons that approach megadungeon status, so I eventually moved on to different levels. If I were a player, that’s how I might approach this dungeon anyway.

Random Map 007 Key

Random Map 007 Key

The other main reason I chose this map is that a commenter in another post asked if I was going to stock these maps I have been posting. I didn’t really have any intention to, but as an experiment, this is what it would look like if I did. (click on the picture of the key to download a pdf of both the map and its accompanying key).

The thing of it is this, I randomly generated the room contents using Moldvay’s stocking chart. Somehow most of the results made sense in the overall structure of this level, and those that didn’t, well a little mental gymnastics helped turn those explored areas into a coherent whole. (I go into more detail in the pdf). Really the only thing I don’t like is that less than a third of the rooms are empty. My dungeons end up with between a third and a half empty. The treasure is also a little on the high side, but I doubt I’d hear many complaints from any players running through this area.

As always, feel free to use this for your personal game. I’d be interested to hear any impressions on the overall stocking density. Don’t forget to check out my Downloads section for my other dungeon maps and creations.

Random Dungeon Map 006

Random Map 006

Random Map 006

This map has a little history. First off, I started it back in December of 2012 and it was originally the 4th level of my Expanded Mentzer Solo Dungeon. I had explored up to room 28 but for some reason stopped before completing room 29. Today, I finally finished building this floor.

Unfortunately, because I finished it from a copy I had made of the original, there seems to be a noticeable difference in the final product. I didn’t think I would be able to recreate the same style of crosshatching so really only started it on the copy as a test. Several hours later, I had finished it and said, ‘close enough’. I think it looks cool enough to post for your enjoyment.

I think the reason why I chose this map to work on was because visually it is one of my favorites in my map binder. To make a short story long, I find this one appealing because it almost resembles the layout of a city with passageways that act as thoroughfares and room clusters that act as city blocks. I also like that there are several choke points that intelligence denizens would be able to use against those nasty invading player characters. And I especially like the northern passage that instantly connects level 3 with level 5.

On a slight tangent, this map was the final one before I created a set of charts to randomly generate maps in the style of Mentzer’s Solo Dungeon. The funny thing is that Random Map 002 came after this one and was the first I had built with the new charts. It is also why the crosshatching style resembles Map 002 and none of the others. I originally envisioned replacing all of the maps with new ones from the fresh charts. Fast forward to today, and I have not done much with the Mentzer Style charts and most of my recent maps have been created with the charts responsible for today’s map.

Mentzer Dungeon Level 1

Wow, it has been nearly a year since I have updated anything here. Well, I have added two new items to the Download section of the website.

First off, one of the sites I go too regularly is theRPGSite for my gaming community fix. One of the threads had brought up the random dungeon generation tables in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide. But what interested me was that the original poster posted several of his maps and said, “he was a sad human being,” presumably because he had nothing else to do. 😛

Well several weeks ago I recreated those AD&D tables to use 2d6 and proceeded to run a 1st-level Fighter through Mentzer’s Solo Dungeon and beyond. By the time he had reached the 3rd-level of the dungeon, he had reached 4th-level as a Fighter, had retained a 2nd-level Cleric, but maybe more importantly had not found the Infamous Bargle. Anyway, I figured I would post the uncompleted map to the first level.

Mentzer Dungeon Level 1So in regards to the poster from theRPGSite, if he is sad, what does that make me? 😀

Note, the northern section of the map is not connected to the solo portion except by a stairwell from the level below or the exit to the surface. Yet.

Note in the second, Room 13 I believe will lead to the area where the solo fighter first meets Aleena and Bargle, but because there were Ghouls, I will not send the party in until certain of success.