So...it's been awhile. The last year-and-a-half has seen way too many hours at work, and not nearly enough at play. But things are levelling out a bit, and I'm working to carve out some regular time to share my sparkling RPG insights again.
I'll start off the revival with my entry to Inkwell Ideas Geomorph Map Contest, a bi-weekly cartography fracas in which contestants submit a 10x10 square map tile featuring a "secret ingredient." The inaugural competition's secret ingredient is a throne, and (apologies for the late notice) the deadline for entry is midnight April 20th, PST. The winner gets a set of DungeonMorph Dice.
I'm not a good artist, and my dungeons tend to look at little too ordered and planned out. But churning out a geomorph every two weeks could teach me how to improve my technique. The other nifty benefit is the creative exercise of imagining an encounter in broad terms, then mapping out the area where it takes place.
Here's the plan: I'll post every geomorph I submit here, along with a short write-up of my thoughts behind the design. Your constructive criticism in the Comments section is welcome. In return, all the geomorphs I make in this series will be released under the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
Explorers may enter the ruined hall of the Stone King through one of four heavy stone doors (1/8 chance + Strength bonus to force open), four crude stone arches, or a flight of granite stairs. Those who sit the Throne may Turn/Command Undead as a cleric of equal level; each coffin contains one of the Stone King's ancestors, who may be called forth and commanded as a wight. Entering forcefully through a door awakens the wights, who emerge and attack within 2-7 rounds; entering through an arch or the stairs confers no such risk. Each wight has a 10% chance of wearing or wielding enchanted chain or a bladed weapon.
A sincere "thank you" to Greg MacKenzie for providing the geomorph template and symbol library used above. Greg's a great graphic designer, a tireless creative outlet, and a good friend. You can check out his prolific body of work over at Busy GameMaster. Thanks, Greg!