Dungeon23, Week 6

Map of Level 2-A

5. Ten racks of high-quality stolen clothes, worth 1200gp to the right buyer.

6. Swimming pool. 8′ deep. Mosaic of naiads and sea creatures at the bottom. If it could be removed, it would be valuable.

7. Broken statues and discarded furniture litter the room. Mold and fungus grow in spots. In front of the west door is a patch of green slime covering a silver owl worth 800sp.

8. Vermiglio the Merchant has set up shop here. Much standard gear is available. Chest of various coins, totaling 300gp. He is strictly neutral, but his daughter Ludmilla may be drawn into schemes.

Map of Level 2-B

9. Laboratory. Two elves synthesizing potions. One elf knows the sleep spell, and the other knows magic missile. Alchemical compounds worth 600gp, and a potion of diminution.

10 .Massive winding staircase leading down. Provides access to every level from two through seven.

11. Lizard Pen. Two giant lizards. No treasure.

Dungeon23, Week 5 – Welcome to the Second Level

1. Guardroom. Five veteran fighters. Locked chest with 1500sp.

2. Museum of mounted skeletons, securely attached to pedestals. Various creatures. Several of them have gold teeth and gold ornaments (1000gp). Attempting to remove them will activate a room-wide magical field of reverse gravity.

3. Crypt. Seven ancient sarcophagi along the east and west walls. Pressure plate in south-west corner floor will drop an intruder into a 10′ pit, and the sarcophagus will fall on top of them. No treasure.

4. Five veteran fighters. One has copper necklace worth 900cp. Six large barrels full of brine. Each holds a pickled corpse.

Dungeon23, Week 4 – The Bugmen

Map of Level 1-D

22. Six purple bugmen (treat as kobolds) are guarding six crates of stolen merchandise. The crates contain mundane goods like cloth, metalwork, and tools. Total value is 250gp.

23. Five purple bugmen gathered around a table, eating from bowls of sugar and discussing their next raid. The bowls are platinum and worth 50pp.

24. Chapel. Oversized statue of a purple bugman in the corner.

25. Five purple bugmen studying the ancient mirror on east wall. It can be used for divination, if the proper magic commands can be discovered. Two silver candlesticks (500sp) stand beside the mirror.

26. Bugman common room. Tables, chairs, nests, dartboards, terrible smell.

27. Armory. Two purple bugmen, with better than average armor and weapons. Racks of short swords, daggers, chain mail shirts. Chest containing 1400sp, obviously trapped lock with a poisoned needle.

28. Shrew kennel. Six giant shrews, chained to posts along the walls. If agitated, the shrews can easily break their chains.

29. Unsellable junk and broken furniture. In the back, someone has dumped the corpse of an orange bugman. Under one wing is written “Olmer Evek”, the name of the purple bugmen’s human associate. Near the corpse is a pottery jar containing 600sp.

30. Assembly room. Long, elevated table along the west wall. Dozens of chairs scattered around. Chewed pine sap (a bugman favorite) stuck under several chairs.

31. Bugmen’s Den. Eight purple bugmen and one chief (double hit points and better armor). Chief wears platinum ornaments worth 250pp.

Dungeon23, Week 3 – The Haunted Laboratory

Map of Dungeon Level 1-C
I’m declaring my map-drawing style to be “pleasantly retro.”

15. Disused laboratory. Block has fallen from the ceiling in the northwest corner. One booted, skeletal foot protrudes from underneath. Non-hostile ghost of a thief haunts the room. If block is moved, the key to room 21 is under the crushed skeleton.

16. Walls painted black, with constellations and celestial bodies all over in luminous paint. A sage who studies these star charts would learn insights on how to improve astrological predictions.

17. Gnawed bones of various creatures line corners of the room. Eight giant centipedes crawl through the detritus. An enameled bronze dagger (800cp) can be found.

18. A nest of three giant gecko lizards. A potion of ESP is hidden among the gnawed bones. The door at the end of the corridor to the south is locked and extremely difficult to open without the key from room 15.

19. Empty room. Tracks on the floor show that many creatures have traveled through here. Stairs leading down to Level 2.

20. Decayed remains of a library and laboratory. Six skeletons stand guard. In the library is a manual of skill at arms. The door on the east wall is locked and extremely difficult to open without the key from room 15.

21. Abandoned living quarters. Bed, desk, shelves, wardrobe, etc. Small silver statue of a nymph (1100sp) in the wardrobe. Tapestry of hunting scene (250gp) on the wall. Desk contains a small memo book with notes in code.

Dungeon23 – Week 2

Continuing into a region of ancient tombs…

8. Looted tomb. Faded votive paintings on the walls. Scraps of smashed wooden sarcophagi on the floor. Five orcs, each one has 2d6 gp.

9. Mummified animals in boxes and urns. Four dwarves exploring. Mummy preparation tables on west wall. Copper utensils worth 1200cp.

10. Dusty funerary statues of animals. Statues are wooden, decorated with flaking paint.

11. Robbers’ Trap: Gold-banded chest at the south end of the room. The southernmost ten feet of the room is an obvious pressure-plate. Stepping on it will trigger the ceiling to fall. In the chest is a gold statue of a dead robber, worth 500gp.

12. Three sarcophagi along west wall, each decorated with paintings of animals. Sarcophagi will levitate and hurl themselves at intruders (1d6 HP damage, attack as Ogre) unless the intruders are carrying a mummified animal. Sarcophagi contain copper plates (1200cp), copper jars (1000cp), silver statuette of jackal (600sp).

13. Looted room. Remains of smashed boxes and coffins on the floor.

14. Prince’s tomb. One ghoul gnawing on bones. Richly enameled sarcophagus worth 2200cp. Contains necklace of gold and gems (1,500gp).

Dungeon23 – Week 1

So here are the first seven rooms of the Lost Catacombs of Som-Eguy. I’m going with a “sparse key,” with only a couple of sentences per room. In part, it’s my tribute to the legendary Castle Greyhawk dungeon, but I also think keeping things small will help me keep this project going all year.

1 – Entry Hall: Grand staircase leads up to the surface. No wandering monsters encountered here.

2 – Statue gallery converted to a hive for 25 giant killer bees. Honey in hive acts as potion of healing.

3 – Six orcs with mining tools, preparing to dig into the west wall. No treasure. Amenable to bribes

4 – Stone bench on the east wall, decorated with carving of lounging skeletons. Anyone sitting on the bench will be stuck until freed by a combined strength of two other people.

5 – Six plain sarcophagi in two rows down the center of the room. Each one contains a skeleton. The second sarcophagus searched also contains a scroll with the web spell.

6 – High-ceilinged chamber, choked with webs. Home to two crab spiders. Among the detritus is a split sack with 39 copper pieces.

7 – Fungus garden, with carpet of moss and enormous toadstools. Tended by eleven pixies. Some of the mushrooms are edible and nutritious, if the pixies will share.

Day One, Room One

Map of Level 1-A

My Dungeon23 plan is to put up a list of the rooms I’ve created at the end of each week, but I couldn’t let the first day go by without posting something.

So here we go, down the mossy stone stairs, torches held high…

1-1 Entry Hall: Grand staircase leads up to the surface. No wandering monsters encountered here.

Let’s Build a Dungeon in 2023!

For the past couple of years, I’ve been playing role-playing games quite a bit, mostly as a player in my son’s long-running D&D campaign, but also as a referee in my own free-form, improvised fantasy adventure game. (Think P.G. Wodehouse meets Drop Dead Fred in Magic Pixieland.)

Miniature of Brother Snood
Brother Snood, the jolly, skull-cracking cleric of St. Rango.

Recently, I heard about the rapidly-spreading Dungeon23 challenge, where people create a dungeon room every day for all of 2023, ending up with a sprawling 365-room megadungeon of their very own. This sounded like a lot of fun, so I’m going to give it a shot.

Poorly-drawn graph paper dungeon map
Level 1-A. Also on display: my rudimentary cartography skills.

After some unsuccessful experiments with making a dungeon level that literally followed the layout of the month’s calendar page, I decided to fall back on the old reliable: graph paper and pencil. If I come up with a nicer mapping solution, I may switch over to that, but I didn’t want to get stuck looking for just the right tool.

So here we go with the first section of the first level of The Lost Catacombs of… Some Guy. (Cool name TBD.)