Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Note on Random Dungeons

Long time internet based D&D dungeon designers know all about Dyson Logos and his brilliant series of dungeon geomorphs.  They also know about Dave Millar's amazing contribution to our little hobby, Dave's Mapper, which builds a random dungeon using geomorphs created in Dyson's style.  The Mapper has geomorphs created by a couple of dozen artists, and the individual tiles can be rotated, flipped, swapped out, and tweaked in a bunch of different ways.  It's a very powerful tool for inspiring dungeons that rises above the level of "random generator".

Well, now the Mapper has one more contributor.  In my on-going effort to give a little something back to the community, I've added a dozen new tiles to the "side-view" portion of the program - you can even see my name in lights.  (LCD screens are lights, right?)  My surface tiles give DM's a chance to sink a dungeon right below the streets of a town or village with secret entrances outside the wall, through the sewers, and of course vie secret ways beneath pubs of ill-repute.

Don't thank me.  This is my thank-you to YOU.

I've used this tool to build a few levels for my current (under-construction) mega-dungeon by starting with a random map, tweaking the tiles to get the right layout, and then redrawing the map to bring it all together into a coherent whole.  Although there is no way to select tiles based on themes such as "undead" or "underwater", many of the contributors have tiles that have their own little theme.  Once of the artists includes a lot of little niches set into the walls all over the place, so I've used his tiles as a starter for my catacombs level, for example.

So go, play with it a bit.  Enjoy.  Maybe if I ever get caught up on a few of my other projects, I'll add more tiles to the program.

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