Community Atlas: Dendorlig Hall - A Sort-Of D23 Dungeon for Nibirum

edited January 12 in Show and Tell

Those of you who follow the RPG world online will be aware already that all kinds of hell have been breaking loose in recent days, regarding the curious acronym "OGL" and its current and future uses. Those unaware of, or disinterested in, the RPG world - you're very fortunate; DO NOT get involved in this morass!

Consequently, a distraction was obviously in order. So I distracted myself away from my latest Errynor map (not sure that was intentional, however!), and was thinking about another recent suggestion from the online RPG world, with the equally curious acronym "D23". Essentially, the original idea behind this, which I think loosely expands to mean "Dungeon 2023", was to set a personal challenge for anyone interested to design a dungeon room a day throughout 2023, to end up with a 365-room megadungeon for those lasting the course.

As you may imagine, people have approached this with varying degrees of optimism, since trying to persist with this for an entire year is quite an undertaking, particularly given how unpredictable the broader events affecting everyone have been in recent years. Quite a number of folks seem to be giving it a trial-run during January, followed by a "we'll see..." beyond that.

Being no stranger to long-term projects, unfortunately, I learnt about this only on Dec 31st last year, which was a bit late to start planning anything! Several ideas have been mulled over since then though, a couple of which might be of interest to some people here looking for a less challenging way to participate in this project - maybe a small dungeon level a month, say, perhaps using one of the free online random dungeon designer systems to generate suitable base maps, or possibly one or more dungeons containing each a dozen rooms. These could be for contribution to the Community Atlas during the year, though some might need an outdoor area map preparing as well, depending on exactly where they'd be located. I'm sure some of our more active area mappers like Quenten and JimP could suggest some potential locations, for instance, if you can't find somewhere satisfactory yourself.

While this list won't be complete, these are the random dungeon generators I've become familiar with in recent times. I'm sure others here can suggest alternatives:

https://dungen.app/dungen/

https://donjon.bin.sh/d20/dungeon/

https://watabou.itch.io/one-page-dungeon

https://www.d20srd.org/d20/dungeon/

https://osricrpg.com/tools/index.php

This latter site, also known as the "Robe of Useful Items", includes the old Wizardawn content as part of it. Wizardawn, as I've mentioned on the Forum before, is no longer available live online. Instead the OSRIC RPG site has a link letting you download an HTML version of the complete old site, which still works in a browser under Win 10 (at least - not sure about Win 11), though it is a little clunky to set-up. It contains a vast treasury of "Old School" style RPG features and random generators created by various people over many years, however.

So, what have I done? (Or should that be clasping-head-style, "On no; what have I DONE?!") Well, thus far, I decided a sort-of D23 dungeon for Nibirum wouldn't have 365 rooms, but 360, because of course Nibirum's year is 360 days long. So I generated a suitably-sized random dungeon using the Wizardawn system. This creates the map from a large series of old hand-drawn dungeon geomorphs, so comes out a little rough-and-ready, with the sort of imprecisions you might expect. Which I then traced into CC3+, along the way deciding I wasn't going to remove all those imprecisions, so not all the walls are quite straight, or always parallel to the one opposite, or wholly symmetrical, and so forth.

On that "Old School" basis - although personally, I still can't get away from the idea the style's quite new-fangled really (I come from still further away in time with RPGs, after all!) - I went with the Old School Blue Dungeon style from Cartographer's Annual 12. This is a very forgiving drawing style, and uses no effects, so despite the 700-foot-square size of the random dungeon, it only took a few days to put together, a bit at a time:

This is still work-in-progress, as even at this blurry scale, I'm sure you can spot some elements that need adjusting. I know I can! And if not, I've uploaded a larger version to my Gallery! Plus, I may want to add or amend details in places subsequently, once the content description is finalised. A symbol key will need adding as well, I suspect. Luckily, the Wizardawn set-up generates a vast amount of text data as well as random maps - albeit the description only has the same number of labelled rooms, and isn't fitted to whatever the random dungeon design plan looks like, so it takes some work to knock that into a shape that makes sense. Which may be where the "2023" facet comes in here!

That's all to come, but for now, it would be helpful if someone could point me towards a place on Nibirum where such a substantial dungeon might be situated. I'd thought about adding it to the existing Community Atlas megadungeon there, but as it's a megadungeon in itself already, that seemed counterproductive. Ideally, I'd like to place it somewhere that already has a suitable overland map at a small enough scale to show where a dungeon entrance could be, and while it's not firmly fixed, the original was chosen for "Mountains" as the nearby outdoor terrain during generation. It would be nice too to set it on a continent/landmass on Nibirum I've not mapped in before - so EXCLUDING Alarius, Kentoria, Ezrute and Peredur ideally (this is not a hard-and-fast rule, however).

There is an exterior entrance in a large cave towards the top right of the map (area 1), which has a heavily-walled military keep-like structure (3), and an external wall with a double door (the north wall of 2), and while I'd imagine the entire structure is no longer used by the people who originally constructed it, or not for the purpose it was first intended, at least, that may be something to bear in mind when looking for suitable sites on Nibirum for this to go.

More details to follow, if all goes to plan.

MonsenLoopysueJulianDracosJimPRalfScottAItalo Dudejmabbott

Comments

  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    edited January 12

    That's all to come, but for now, it would be helpful if someone could point me towards a place on Nibirum where such a substantial dungeon might be situated

    How about making it the Dendorlig Hall? That's a marked entrance on an overland map.


  • Sounds like a plan, Monsen! Checking the Atlas maps and notes, would I need to connect it to Scott's "Darklands" as well? I'm a little hazy as to how far underground those might be, though there are a couple of small chasms already in this "Blue" that could be loosely claimed as descending far enough, without needing specific inter-map links - that by label 168 and in chamber 295 for instance (which latter could be converted to a chasm instead of a rocky cave wall - the original hand-drawn feature there was rather ambiguous).

    JimP
  • The other choice I was also thinkig of is one of the subregional maps of the Dunor Valley in Ezrute. Though I think the Mt Dendorlig choice to be really a great choice.

  • While this list won't be complete, these are the random dungeon generators I've become familiar with in recent times. I'm sure others here can suggest alternatives

    Challenge accepted! 😁

    This is my (current) take on procedural dungeon generation. Forever a "work in progress" it seems (haven't touched it in a long time). I've had so much fun creating it, perhaps someone else has fun using it:

    I also keep a hand-curated list of generators (which hasn't been updated in ages) here: http://rpg20.com/about.php#dungeon

    Autumn Getty
  • That is a lot of rooms. I dare you to say redo it in isometric :P

    JimP
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    edited January 12

    @Wyvern wrote:

    Checking the Atlas maps and notes, would I need to connect it to Scott's "Darklands" as well?

    I would say that's completely optional. According to Scott's description, those are "deep underground". They're also continent-scale, so his map isn't at a detail level that would show any potential dungeon levels, so if you want a connection, it could be as simple as putting a trapdoor/hidden stair in any room and saying it leads to a long tunnel going down to the Darklands, or as you mention, just describing one of your chasms as being really deep....

    Loopysue
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 37 images Cartographer

    Wow! I'm kind of jealous that I don't have the time while I'm busy creating new stuff all the time, but on the other hand...

    I'm not really sure I would manage to stick the course.

    Good luck, Wyvern! :)

  • Thanks for all the comments, "likes", and so forth folks! Much appreciated.

    "Dendorlig Hall" it is then (and topic title amended to reflect the fact)! Please reserve it for me in the Atlas @Monsen, if not already!

    @roflo1 - Yours is another fun dungeon generator, and one that for some obscure reason hadn't come up among my Google searches previously. Looking through the list you have there (for random dungeons only), I note several links are broken now, and one of the sites that still exists, Dizzy Dragon's, isn't an "https" site, which sometimes get flagged or blocked by certain browsers/browser settings now. Might be worth reviewing and amending the whole page now?

    No thanks, Julian! I prefer to set my own challenges! But this might be an interesting project for another mapper here?

    @Loopysue - Maybe just one of the smaller twelve-room dungeons might be a possibility for you though? Might even fit to your creation schedule if there's a fresh dungeon style coming up later this year that will need a sample map preparing, say...

    Thanks for the comment re Scott's "Darklands" map too, Remy. I've been checking over the maps and descriptions for the Malajuri area since I last noted anything here, and as you wrote, couldn't find anything suggesting direct links to the surface world, though there is a somewhat "compartmentalised" layout to my blue dungeon map already, which could suggest a possible faction or two from the Darklands might have established an outpost or two here. I'll have to think about this further!

    LoopysueJimProflo1
  • Yours is another fun dungeon generator, and one that for some obscure reason hadn't come up among my Google searches previously.

    I don't know why it doesn't show up anywhere. Well, other than me not doing a single thing for SEO. :)

    It's always been more of a playground than a proper webpage. But it kinda works. And there's a couple of things there that no other generator does. So I keep it online.

    Looking through the list you have there (for random dungeons only), I note several links are broken now, and one of the sites that still exists, Dizzy Dragon's, isn't an "https" site, which sometimes get flagged or blocked by certain browsers/browser settings now. Might be worth reviewing and amending the whole page now?

    Yeah. I know. I should do that. (soon-ish) ;)

    JimP
  • Thanks @Autumn Getty, and good luck @roflo1!

    The final FCW file for the Atlas is going to be a bit different to the image here for this dungeon, as I've started making alterations to fit how I see it as being Dendorlig Hall, rather than a generic random dungeon as shown so far. Not least is the map's probably going to be inverted, so what's currently shown as north will be more southeast, to fit better to the area map (the cardinal directions will be roughly those suggested by the corner "arrow"-shapes of Room 17, for instance; at least on current thinking!).

    As the random design created a lot of oddly small rooms and buildings (?) in a cave in the current map's top right, and drawing on the map notes for Malajuri, I'm thinking this part is a gnome settlement under King Dendorlig XXX, which has only recently been reoccupied, with much of the dungeon remaining little to unexplored. Thus the gnomes might be looking for cannon fodder adventurers to explore and map further for them. What's more distant from that top right corner remains a little vague in mind currently, however!

    Actual mapping progress has been delayed by other matters, however, not least events yesterday relating to the first paragraph in my initial posting here (yes, it's all still dragging interminably on, like slaying a dragon that has far too many hit points...).

    More when I know what it is (on the mapping and dungeon notes only!!!).

    roflo1
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 37 images Cartographer

    That sounds like the beginning of a dastardly plan to confuse the players from the outset. Turning the map upside down is a good one! LOL!

    JimP
  • Well, it just fits better to how the Dendorlig region is set-up actually Sue (as the GM would say anyway, of course... 😉😈).

    Loopysue
  • I used to tell my players that South was the top of the map... they hated it, but it was to show them it wasn't a parallel Earth.

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