My son and I like to sit at the dining room table and draw maps, using the Random Dungeon Generator from the first edition of the Dungeon Masters Guide. I’ve got two copies, so we can sit side-by-side and work independently. It is relaxing. He tells me about his life and I forget about mine. It is a win-win situation. I might scan our random dungeons one day, but the activity is actually more rewarding than the results. I often do it when I’m anxious or obsessing about something, and instead of my brain-gerbil spinning my thinking-wheel loose from its moorings, I sit and roll dice and draw a random dungeon. Recently I’ve drawn quite a collection.
Two dungeons that I will (did) scan and share are these, both based on Robert Low’s novel The Whale Road (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007). This dungeon is the lost forge of Regin, the legendary enchanter who forged Sigurd’s magic sword. In the book, the protagonist Orm descends from the cairn above the dungeon because the door is blocked. Having grown up playing D&D, I’m always thrilled when I run across a dungeon in fiction. There are no orcs or goblins in this dungeon, although Orm is worried about a fetch haunting the forge.
The front door didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, nor did the chamber filled with water that lies directly below the cairn. I think my favorite element is the pine trees on top of the mountain and off in the distance.
The second map is much quicker and coveys a better sense of the dungeon. I drew it today, copying Dyson Logos‘ style of map making.
This is much clearer, and still an attractive map.
Even though I ripped this off from The Whale Road, I’d still use it in an adventure. My recent Diedne imaginings might include a side trip back to the Cave, where Trianoma met and fell in love with Bonisagus (Ars Magica fan fiction, to be sure). I’ve been writing just to write lately, unconcern with the outcome and just trying to rack up hours with pen (and keyboard) in hand. It’s nice to have my forefinger hurt again from writing. A romantic interlude between two powerful and game-icon wizards might be just the ticket.