A while back I sketched out “SV1A Slave Pits of the Overlords,” a truly skeletal outline featuring an 8.5″ by 11″ graph paper map and a room key. Having now stumbled across the “One Page Dungeon” format over at Sham’s Grog and Blog, I now realize that I could’ve put SV1A in a OPD format with little difficulty.
It also made me realize what a handy little paradigm that OPD is. Or rather, can be with a little tweaking. The biggest gripe out there is that the OPD doesn’t allow for pre-designed backstories, elaborate NPC’s, or complex encounters. But when Michael Curtis released his megadungeon Stonehell Dungeon, he did so with what can really only be called a “Two Page Dungeon” layout. He has the classic One Page with mini-map (a shrunk down grid of 30 by 30 squares), one-line-per-room key, wandering monster list, etc. But it also has a second page (which actually comes first) that has a brief description of the area, some NPC’s, and one or two major encounter areas. Four of these two-page sections make up a single level of the dungeon. Stonehell has twelve levels, meaning that Curtis has basically created 48 OPD’s.
So, I’m inspired. I’ve got a long holiday coming up and thought I’d curl up with a table of graph paper, a pencil, a ruler, some percentile dice and a copy of Central Casting: Dungeons. Four 30×30 square maps sounds about right (each map would be 7″ on a side on a sheet of graph paper) but I like sub-levels, perhaps one OPD each.
This morning I sat down for about an hour or so and mapped out half of level 1A, and it looks good. Sometimes maps from Central Casting can be random, but not in that good sort of way. This one has a nice flow to it, though. I’ll see how far I can get.