Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Dismal Depths in PDF

I'm going to continue work on this project, so I'll be sharing some of the PDF's as I complete maps along the way. I rescanned the first two maps in grayscale and embedded them again. Level 1A might always look a bit different than the others, but I think redoing it is a waste of time. It's a bit rougher than 1B (yet somehow 'better' looking'). If I ever learn how to "antique" or pick a suitable color in which to to wash them, I might redo all of the images at the end of the project.

For now, as mentioned in Monday's post, I'll finish The Upper Levels, 1-3, and play with the images again at that point, perhaps compiling all of the files into a large zip file that could even be dressed up with some artwork.

I plan to finish Level 1C today, and D&D Cover to Cover is looming so I need to find the time to keep that series rolling.

Dismal Depths PDF's:

Upper Levels Guide 1-3

Upper Levels Bestiary 1-3

Level 1A: Tunnels of the Mole-Men

Level 1B: The Chambers of Zod

One Page Mapper

The One Page Mapper is simply an enlarged 30x30 map with the steps which I used listed below it. Allows a large map draw before scanning and cropping then embedding as a smaller image. I used this Mapper for 1B, but not 1A. This explains why 1A has darker ink lines on the map.

Both Chgowiz and Amityville Mike have already shared some nice examples of this minimalistic style. So what are YOU waiting for?

~Sham, Quixotic Referee


Michael S/Chgowiz said...

I'm really impressed. These are fantastic! My 1E guys should be afraid.

Just out of curiosity, do you hold back your maps that you're going to use in a campaign? Do you worry about revealing too much? I've done some work on my 1E campaign, but I'm worried about showing them.

Anonymous said...

Interesting and I downloaded and will use ideas I got from them but a quick note:

When you name the files with a space in the name, it kept saving as "DD" on my drive - it cut off everything after the space and I have to rename them all or the next file would overwrite.

Michael Curtis said...

Very nice, Dave. I like the Guide the most, strangely enough. Very succinct and sums up what everything means quite clearly.

Your map work, as always, is excellent.

Sham aka Dave said...

Chgowiz: Normally yes, but I doubt any of my current players would bother to try and rememeber the room descriptions and I don't think too many people could even begin to memorize the maps.

The descriptions are so basic that actual game play will determine a lot of the details.

Viriatha: Thanks for the tip, I will have to rename the files with underscores I guess. Hope you like them.

Mike: Thanks Mike! I hope the rooms are interesting or useful in generating ideas as well, if that's what you're taking away from this (as I know Ol' Nameless is your main thrust now).

One of the features of Dismal Depths is that no referee would read, interpret or run it in the same manner.

I should have the next map inked and written later today.

Anonymous said...

@ Viriatha

When you go to save the file, right click the link, select "save as", rename the file making sure you type ".pdf" at the end of the file name - and then it will download as a pdf no problems.

Sham aka Dave said...

Helpful tip, David. I did go back and rename them, btw, so hopefully this won't be an issue any longer.

Norman J. Harman Jr. said...

I never played TT, ODD, CDD, or any old-school. I DM'd 1st ed that was closer to old-school mentality than what I do today. Reading all these old-school blogs and various megadungeon forums I've gotten interested in this area of the hobby I've never explored.

But looking over your keyed dungeons I see, now, how really totally freakin awesome this kind of game can be.

It has made me even more disillusioned with high fantasy, epic, heroic play. Screw that. I want to battle broodlings in their muddy holes and figure out who (or what) the hell Zod is? Oh, and take his(its) treasure.

This is really an excellent format. Each bit is small and not overwhelming like other mega dungeons. I also bet they are handier in play and easier to start/finish creating than a giant map.

Sham aka Dave said...

Each bit is small and not overwhelming like other mega dungeons. I also bet they are handier in play and easier to start/finish creating than a giant map.

Many, many people love gigantic maps. As an 'art form', I think they are splendid, and there are some great examples out there.

For actual gaming, I don't care for them one bit. In fact, I find that such maps are useful for little more than posters to gawk at. Many will disagree, but thats my take on large, unwieldy maps.

Now, take that same mindset and apply it to cram as much text and map as you can on one page and viola, here we are.

I should have two more maps up after work today.

Mike D. said...

Thanks for sharing these Dave, they are fantastic and I hope to run them soon using Swords & Wizardry for my local group.

Your maps are simply excellent. I am envious.

Sham aka Dave said...

Mike: Thank you! Hopefully I can have the first 12 maps done before too terribly long. With the various interlevel connections it might be difficult to run until levels 1-3 are actually written, but an enterprising ref could work around this for now.

P_Armstrong said...

I have been following this on the various blogs over the past few days and it has really energized me. I have been working on developing a hex-crawl based campaign using the old Blackmoor map but reinventing everything else but I have recently felt bogged down. I have taken this one-page idea outdoors so to speak and have been doing wilderness maps with it as well. A great tool to kill players above ground or below ground.

Sham aka Dave said...

An idea I share as well, Patrick. I have a hand drawn map and framework for an Arduin inspired outdoor adventure, and I've been trying to decide how to strip it down to the one-page method.

Sham aka Dave said...

Errr, not sure why I called P_Armstrong "Patrick". Either I am psychic, lucky, or way off base.

My apologies in advance, Paul.

Or is it Philip?


Thanks for the comment anyway!

P_Armstrong said...

You are actually psychic.
Patrick or Paddy.

Jim said...

I'd so love to download these, but the links are broken due to non-payment. Bummer.