Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The RJK Level

Not all that long ago I was on the phone with RJK. He was telling me the events surrounding EGG's running of Sturmgeschutz and Sorcery. Following that, Rob moved into a descriptive history of Burmania, accounts of the fabled Supplement V: Kalibruhn, the orcs of the Greyhawk Castle dungeons, and so much more. I can't begin to recount what was said, but I can share the map that I drew while Rob was conveying some of the earliest histories of D&D to me.

The map started out as a doodle. I had the thought that it would be cool to draw a dungeon while listening to the history of D&D as told by someone who had really seen it from the inside out. I didn't tell Rob what I was doing. I just sketched freely as he talked. By the time the call was over I had a rough level mapped out. In the following days I fleshed it out in my customary style. I didn't plan this out. It just sort of happened—and I ran with it. Overall, I'm really pleased with the results. I hope you like it, too.



If you need a map, take it and use it. I'm sharing it under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. If you follow that link you will be able to read about the conditions that apply to this work. In a nutshell: (a) you can't use it commercially, (b) you must attribute it to me, and (c) you must share any derivative works that you create. Now that that's out of the way, I'll divulge a little about the design of this level.

Typically, I use all available space when transliterating my brain waves into dungeon maps. In this case, for whatever reason, I left some space at the bottom of the page. The RJK Level runs 310 feet from east to west and 320 feet from north to south. This makes it slightly larger than the well-known one-page dungeon format that is popular with some. This is accidental, but will no doubt please certain intrepid DMs. In any case, as RJK continued weaving tales, I decided that I would use the free space for the map's legend.

At another point during the conversation, Rob told me of one level he drew in which he used a wide ranging corridor to whip adventurers from one side of the map to the other. That technique resonated with me, so I decided to give it a try on this map. I also made a conscious effort to incorporate other elements which I sometimes neglect, like shifting blocks, underfloor passages, etc.

So there you have it: a new, unkeyed map. I want you to take it, print it out, key it up, run it, and share it! I have purposefully avoided discussing areas of the map that have meaning to me. What I really want is for you to take this map and make it your own. When you do, drop me a line. I'd love to hear how you use it.

If you like this map then you really ought to check out Pied Piper Publishing's DUNGEON SETS™ product line. Each set contains six full-sized dungeon levels, interconnected and unkeyed, just like the one above. (Full disclosure: those maps come from the same pen as the one above.)

5 comments:

E.G.Palmer said...

Cool! Have you posted this at Dragonsfoot, or Knights&Knaves?
You could have a,"Populate this Dungeon" contest.

grodog said...

Nice work, Ramsey! :D

Allan.

The Rusty Battle Axe said...

This is very very cool. Considered it borrowed (under the terms specified above). Thanks so much for sharing.

G. Benedicto said...

That's beautiful.

ze bulette said...

Very sweet and clean, thanks!