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2010 february compilation
tony © 2010 dowler
“A few months ago, I was at my printer's when I spied a box of 4" x 3" cardstock note pads. "What are those?" "Oh just some leftovers from a print job. Want some?" I took 10 of them, 200 pages in all. Within a few days I picked on up and started sketching a dungeon map on it. Pretty soon I'd done a half dozen. I started drawing more maps and handing them out as presents or business cards. I was having a blast. Fast forward to December. I'd drawn about 60 maps and given away more than half of them. I'd been toying with the idea of starting some kind of blog again, which is when it hit me: a microdungeon blog. This is a blog of maps for dungeon-exploration games in the style of Dungeons & Dragons. I love dungeon maps. I think they're art. But mostly I think they're fun. I've got enough maps to last the next five months, and I'm not even half-way through my paper yet.” I wrote the above at my blog on January 3rd, 2010. I’ve since had the idea to compile each month’s offerings into a handy pdf. This is the second such compilation. I hope that you enjoy and gain as much inspiration from reading and looking at the dungeons within as I have in drawing them. ~ td, 17 february 2010
All contents ©2010 tony dowler
Compilation & Editing The Fantasy Cartographic
Shrine of the Doomed Celestial What the Miners Found Final Resting Place Pit of the Dutiful Fiend Alienation Thinking Too Much Find the Center Pit of the Red Mummy Under the Escataur Mausoleum The Barrow on the Hill The Casks I… Am… A… Robot Flamesprite Tomb 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Shrine of the Doomed Celestial
The Sage began: "Gods we know how to deal with. Powerful, yes, but predictable. Follow the assigned rituals, observe the observances, and you won't go far wrong. Demons are worse. But with demons, it's not hard to figure out what they want. And though they cheat, they're quite straight up about their methods if you bother to ask. But angels... angels are another thing altogether..." The scriveners have a perfectly articulated theology regarding the doomed celestial; why it's doomed, who doomed it, and so on. But frankly, nobody but them understands it. What's clear is that the doomed angel lives in a shrine, and nobody goes there unless they really need to. The angel is ostensibly on our side, it's true, but it has a penchant for meting out unpredictable and dangerous announcements, prophecies, punishments, and visions. But today we need something from the shrine, really need it. How you get it is up to you. Just don't come back without it.
first published at year of the dungeon on 01 february 2010
What the Miners Found
The Elves say that the cloudfall hills came into existince after a battle of the gods when the greater portion of the flying Kingdom of Eb fell to earth in a great heap. True or not, miners in those hills do occasionally bring up the strangest things: old plates and weapons, pillars and polished stones, strange monsters with petrified bodies. But today the shift went down and nobody came back up. The shift foreman who went after them came back, but he's kind of messed up and he can't talk any more. If the mines don't operate, the town will die, and it won't do any good for the kingdom either. Someone has to go down there and find out what happened.
first published at year of the dungeon on 03 february 2010
Final Resting Place
Saint Sabogan's final resting place is half a legend and half a joke. Folks turn up from time to time who claim they know where it is, but they usually turn out to be charlatans or madmen or both. The truth is, nobody knows where Sabogan's tomb is and the relics of this oldest and most revered saint are irretrievably lost. At least, that's what you think... until one day you turn up irrefutable evidence pointing to its location. In fact, it's right here in the city, in a branch of the old catacombs under a smallish but venerable temple. It's a maze down there. In ancient times, they tunneled all over the place, trying to bury their dead as close to the saint as possible. It's a gloomy maze of dangerous tunnels, but it's where you'll find what you're looking for.
first published at year of the dungeon on 05 february 2010
Pit of the Dutiful Fiend
Something is amiss in the mountain retreat of the flower monks. No monks came down to trade at the winter festival, and a delegation sent to investigate fled home in mute terror. The abbot has been dabbling in things best left undisturbed. It’s time to send some stout professionals to find out what happened at the mountain retreat of the flower monks.
first published at year of the dungeon on 08 february 2010
Some dungeons weren't built by anybody. They weren't formed by natural or arcane processes. They grew. When enough people think some idea, there's a dungeon for it somewhere. When enough people feel one way, their feelings creep together and coalesce like a cyst underground, to give those feelings shape. Woe be to the adventurer that enters this sort of dungeon--unless, by chance, they recognize the feeling that gave it birth, and recognizing it, know how it may be slain.
first published at year of the dungeon on 10 february 2010
Thinking Too Much
Don't over think it.
first published at year of the dungeon on 12 february 2010
Find the Center
The quest for the heart is so commonly undertaken that it has entered common parlance as a metaphor for any journey where you seek something of value. But true delvers know that the quest for the heart is neither easy nor common. As mazes go, the challenge is not extreme, there being several navigable paths to the center. However, the barriers on the way are so pernicious, that more than one confident seeker has been sent packing. You've probably met some; disillusioned adventurers who loudly claim there is not heart after all, its a chase after smoke, an illusion, a ruse. But the heart is there still and, if the tales are to believed, well worth the finding.
first published at year of the dungeon on 14 february 2010
Pit of the Red Mummy
The artifact you seek lies in the tomb of Gazeahl the Red, but do not seek it in his sarcophagus. Better that what lies there rest undisturbed. Seek rather the mausoleum of his three celebrated servants. There it lies for certain. What? You want to know which of the three holds it? How the hell am I supposed to know? Go try your luck, just don't blame me if you awaken something you wish you hadn't.
first published at year of the dungeon on 15 february 2010
Under the Escataur Mausoleum
Out on the Old Abian Road where the necropolis of the old city sprawls, there's a second city to mock the first. Where the city is a hive of commerce and a capital of politics, the necropolis is a metropolis of decay, filled with prowling thieves and unquiet dead. But this is not to say that the place is without value. The dead, too, sometimes ply useful trades, or perform useful civic functions. Many a guild wizard has found himself forced to turn to the denizens of the necropolis for knowledge or even aid, though the price is always high. And even the old nobility pay a tithe to the graveyard ghosts for the protection of their family tombs. The merchants of this, the city's quietest corner have their own rules, their own festivals, and their own humor. After a successful transaction, they always send the customer on their way with a cheery epitaph: "Well be seeing you!"
first published at year of the dungeon on 17 february 2010
The Barrow on the Hill
A lonely malevolence, grown twisted and hungry in its stone cell Stalwart guardians, their original mission forgotten, but their zeal undimmed A frightened community, teetering on the verge of explosive retribution A determined explorer, full of confidence and careless of danger A glittering treasure in the dark, secret key to a sleeping god’s dreams
first published at year of the dungeon on 19 february 2010
A crumbling ruin that provides harried travelers a respite from a vengeful storm An imprisoned spirit desiring immediate release A piece of forgotten lore, immensely valuable to some, but in the wrong hands, a terrible danger A convivial band of thieves under the sway of a charismatic leader
first published at year of the dungeon on 22 february 2010
I… Am… A… Robot
A terrifying colossus patrols the wasteland, its mission unknown The soul of a demigod, imprisoned in the heart of an alchemical golem A battle-hardened soldier leads a band of desperate mercenaries A simple magical charm that holds the secret to fabulous wealth
first published at year of the dungeon on 24 february 2010
A brazen but charismatic con-man, wielding a misleading map A seductive curse, offering great power, but at a terrible price A devouring flame seeking ever more to slake its growing appetite Exploding ghouls. Do you really need to say anythring more than "exploding ghouls"?
first published at year of the dungeon on 26 february 2010
year of the dungeon 2010 february
© 2010 tony dowler
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