Monday, October 3, 2011

The Endless Stair: Dungeon Inspiration

I've been busy working on a 3-page dungeon design for The Endless Stair, an idea I had for a mega-dungeon, and have been searching for inspiration from the plethora of cave maps available on the internet.


My disenchantment with the traditional graph-paper-constrained dungeon maps continues to grow, as I pore over the myriad underground systems mapped by cavers.


The deeper I fall down this rabbit hole, the more tempted I am to dispense with graph-paper altogether, in favour of a scale legend and dimension map-notes.

7 comments:

Simon Forster said...

I say go for it. I'm all for innovative and different maps.

John Harper Brinegar said...

The main problem I see with this (frankly wonderful) idea is using your scale legend and notes to give the players a clear sense of the environment their characters are in. It will also be difficult for the players to keep a map, but you may find that advantageous (cue evil laughter).

Brunomac said...

As far as the endless stairs go, I think you need the Stair Stalker from White Dwarf Magazine (just lame enough to be left out of the Fiend Folio.

WV: "Brappers" - one of many nicknames I have for loud farts.

David R said...

I wouldn't mind mapping like that, but I haven't quite wrapped my brain around how to do it quickly and easily in play. At least not for a classic dungeon with many rooms; a naturalistic cave dungeon would be somewhat easier. I guess just jump in and try it, and as the man said above, not even tell your players, let them figure it out.

The Happy Whisk said...

Just popped in to say that I hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

Niccodaemus said...

I found this great site for an actual tin mine in Cornwall. I'm incorporating it into the first adventure set in Shatterworld. Here's the mine link:

http://www.rosevalemine.co.uk/

mining in Cornwall is an ancient practice (started about 4000 years ago!)

It has some interesting features, photos, as well as side elevation. It is sloped towards the sea cliff wall for drainage. There are two "levels" (closest thing I've ever seen in real life to dungeon levels)

For natural caverns, my thought is to take a traditional cavern map, and turn it on its side and use it as an elevation. Give you all sorts of ideas for bridges, bottomless pits, etc...

the blog for my rpg world:
http://shatterworldrpg.blogspot.com/

Red said...

I've been experimenting with using Google Sketch as a mapping program. I skip nearly all the features and just use it to do my 'grid' but in 3 dimensions.

I've been meaning to do a blog post on that showing off some of the dungeon. But time - I've been in school, work, gaming and 'occupied'.