#Dungeon23 - Create It AND Play It

I fled the hellscape that is the BlueBird site and found myself on Mastodon - on a server with a lot of other TTRPG types. It has that new, shiny feel to it, where everyone's really cool and nice and so far, the crap hasn't followed. Think pre-Eternal-September Usenet, or the early days of the OSR blogosphere, or the early days of G+. 

Anyway, over the past couple of weeks, a neat idea has percolated around the Fediverse and blogosphere about "#Dungeon23". It started with a guy named Sean McCoy who tweeted about it and posted it on his substack here

The other day I posted on twitter about a cool little project I’m working on for 2023. Essentially, I’m doing a dungeon room a day, every day, and keeping track of it in a little weekly calendar.


Well, I love dungeons and megadungeon play, but writing a megadungeon is difficult! It takes a lot of energy and it’s hard to know when to work on it and for how long. This simplifies things.

A dungeon room a day, every day, for 2023. That’s 365 rooms. I’ll do a level a month, so 12 levels. Every week is a little area of 7 rooms, so I can keep my focus small.

At first, I was worried about my ability to stick to something like that. Having tried those "once a day, every day" things, or even "once a week" or even "once a month" and crashing/burning hard on them, yea... didn't want to set myself up for failure.

Then I saw a picture of the Hobonichi Techo Day Free planner. It freaking has a calendar laid over graph paper. 

As Tony Stark once said: "I need it."


I'm hopping into the whole bandwagon cause... neato planner and those little squares are BEGGING to be filled with devious rooms and corridors. 

I'm doing it randomly, for the most part. No theme, no story, I'll let the story write itself through what the dice tell me. My sources will mainly be:

  • AD&D 1e DMG/Appendix A
  • Kellri's CDD#4 - the classic netbook
  • OSRIC Chap 4 - Random Dungeon Generator

Plus keeping it somewhat in line with my Etinerra world, so the monsters and such would be consistent, but beyond that, nothing else is planned. 

I have to tell you, though, I am feeling it when I go back and reread Philotomy's thoughts on the Mythic Underworld. 

There might be a reason the dungeon exists, but there might not; it might simply be. It certainly can, and perhaps should, be the centerpiece of the game. As for ecology, a megadungeon should have a certain amount of verisimilitude and internal consistency, but it is an underworld: a place where the normal laws of reality may not apply, and may be bent, warped, or broken. Not merely an underground site or a lair, not sane, the underworld gnaws on the physical world like some chaotic cancer. It is inimical to men; the dungeon, itself, opposes and obstructs the adventurers brave enough to explore it. 

That sort of inspiration is going to be in the back of my head. Not a story, but an approach, I guess. 

Finally... I'm going to run the damn thing. I figure get a level on paper, through January, and then on February 1, put together 4 to 6 folks and start delving the deeps. I mean, this thing is being written to be played, right? So let's play the damn thing! 

OD&D/Whitebox S&W. Plus whatever inspiration I take from around the webs (I'm looking at your houserules, Delta/Daniel!)

The problem is going to be how to blog about the dungeon if I'm running the damn thing. I guess I'll reveal the map/key as the players explore it? Not sure, but that's a possibility.

So... guess I'm tossing myself back into the deep end. Meat's back on the menu, boyos! Who wants to delve the darkness below?


  1. Looking forward to following this!

    1. Thank you! I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes.

    2. Oh and is Etinerra your take on Ultima, or was it something entirely else? I remember vaguely you writing about Sosaria and such, using Whitebox rules (I may be misremembering things). Would love to see your Dungeon23 take on Ultima!

    3. Etinerra is my long-running AD&D campaign world - has hosted 3 campaigns (2 still active), lots of one-shots and wargames campaigns - all of which have affected and influenced each other and the entire world. https://etinerra.com/index.html

      I tried running an Ultima campaign but after about 5 games or so, couldn't keep the folks on a schedule, so it fell by the wayside.

      My Siege Perilous rules are based on S&W Whitebox, you are correct! https://oldguyrpg.blogspot.com/2009/09/siege-perilous-ultima-rpg-playtest.html


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