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Monday, June 10, 2019

Semi-Random Maps

No Map Monday this week, because I took the weekend off. Thought I’d take the time to talk a little about someone else’s maps, and some ideas I had related to it.

Dyson Logos had some posts last month about geomorphic halls. These are dungeon level maps with 1 to 3 blank squares where geomorphs can fit, the idea being that each GM using one of those maps would have a unique dungeon, because of the geomorphs, and the geomorphs could change each time the dungeon is revisited. I believe Dyson actually posted maps like these a couple years ago as well, and traces the idea back to the City of Lankhmar TSR product which had unmapped squares on the city map and a booklet of city block geomorphs.

I’d wanted to do something similar for a while. It was part of the idea behind the mega-dungeon plug-in modules on the Maps page. The difference there is that I was imagining a more generic tunnel map with a few “empty” rooms added, then you’d plop down one or two plug-in modules somewhere on the map and change the empty rooms to the indicated “support” rooms.

I had a similar idea related to the “Watchtowers of the Golden Hills” pamphlet dungeons. Before I did the pamphlets, I had been thinking of a sort of interlocking set of dungeon modules based around towers. The PCs would be searching for a particular dungeon, but wouldn’t know exactly where it was, only that they’re looking for an old ruined or abandoned tower as the entrance. I had some geomorph tricks or other random dungeon gen tricks in mind so that each GM’s version of the tower dungeons would be different. The inspiration for this was more or less the Judges Guild Frontier Forts of Kelnore module.

I may still do the tower thing. At least, my current plan is to make a couple more tower pamphlets and 1 to 3 larger modules with tower entrances so that GMs can run a quest in a similar way, letting players explore ruined tower entrances trying to find the “real” dungeon.

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