Dungeon 23 - Wk 25 - Over 500 rooms!

Thanks to a steady pace and a recount, I've reached the 500 point, and then some! I'm at a total of 548 rooms, across 8 levels and 4 sublevels. 

So what have I learned in the first 500 rooms? Nothing earth-shattering, probably stuff you have learned as well in your Dungeon23.

  1. This approach to creating content is tougher than I thought, and easier than I thought. 

    I've gotten into a rhythm of doing something per day. Even if just a single day "grid" area in my Techo. That actually ended up being fairly easy. Plus, having little things like these build blog posts, the campaign of players actively exploring, they all serve as motivators. 

    The tough part is not going whole hog and doing an entire level. Sometimes I'll let myself go and just create, it's fun, it's addictive in a way. For me, it takes just as much discipline to stop at a certain as it is to just do it daily.

  2. The tools matter. I've memorized a portion of the OD&D/AD&D Random Dungeon generator, like the Table 1. Periodic Check, The other tables, I've put into a random generator, so that I don't have to roll-roll-roll myself into boredom. Some parts are good to put into tools, but other parts I like doing bit-by-bit.

    I also found a the combination of Dungeon Architect Cards + OD&D/AD&D RDG works very well.  It's enough variation that I can make what I think are interesting maps out of randomness. 

  3. Higher level challenges are hard. I've made some interesting twists and turns in the smaller sub-levels, but making entire levels be challenging to higher level players is a skill that I've hardly ever had to exercise. I'm finding myself looking at some of the higher level modules and thinking that while they are interesting from BBEG opponents, it is hard to challenge players who have a lot of spells and magic at their disposal. I'm going to need to change the playing field and consider what are the weaknesses of higher level players? That's the big question right now as I am preparing to key Level 8... so we'll see how it goes! 

    Part of the hard part is that I won't know for awhile.. even though we're roughly 10 sessions into the campaign going through Dungeon23, at 2 hours at a time, it's not exactly fast going! The players have been having fun! I am wondering how far they'll get by the end of 2023... if these higher levels will ever get seen. 
That is one other bit that is hard... not sharing a lot of what I've created. I'm not looking to turn the Black Maw into a commercial product. This is very much my own creation and something I want to keep between me and the people who want to play in it. I'm OK with that aspect, but it would be fun if I could share some of the things I've come up with. So that's been hard. But... worth it. I like the surprised reactions from my players when they run into the odd things!

What have you learned in the first full 5 months or the first 150 rooms, if you're doing a room a day?

Dungeon23 stats: as of week 25

  • Levels: 10 (+ 4 sublevels)
  • Rooms: 548 (23 added in wk 25)
  • Levels 1 - 7: mapped/keyed.
  • Levels 8: mapping in progress
  • Levels 9, 10 connected
  • 4 sublevels mapped/keyed
  • Town: Created, 7 locations/NPCs keyed.
  • Surrounding Wilderness: Created, locations/NPCs keyed