The Exquisite Corpse Dungeon


TheExquisiteCorpseDungeon-CC BY-SA 4

If you’ve been following the project and the discussion over on Google+ this past month, you may have seen some of the discussion going on about the Exquisite Corpse dungeon, or you may have caught one of a number of excellent mapmaking artists mentioning their participation in this project.  But there’s been little to see.  But now, earlier this week, the last of the twelve segments of this dungeon was completed, and the whole thing has been put together to yield this rather amazing map.

This has been a remarkable project. Many of your favorite artists creating maps and dungeons and maps for games got together and produced this massive collaboration. This is a dungeon made up of 12 segments, each drawn by a different artist, who knew nothing about what had been done before other than the last little bit of the preceding segment that someone else had drawn and that they were connecting to.

As it was spelled out at the beginning, an Exquisite Corpse is a blind collaboration project, where each contributor knows little to nothing about what has already been done on the project, and only has a few threads of connection to use as their starting point. Most of the artistic exquisite corpses I’m familiar with run just 3 or 4 contributors, so the 12 person version is quite an undertaking. What has struck several of us about it, already, is how some elements seem to carry through in areas, although none of it was coordinated or pre-planned.

Each contributor was asked to draw a segment of a dungeon 30 squares wide by 12 squares tall.  They knew nothing about what had been done before, other than that each of them was given was a copy of the bottom row of the previous segment (so they knew where to make the connections).

It’s been a lot of fun having this group collaborate in this way, and everyone has been dying to see what the whole thing looks like. But, of course, it’s been necessary to keep it under wraps until it was done. It was worth the wait, and the excitement has been building leading up to this.

Thanks, once again, to all who participated in this project. It turned out magnificently.


There are a couple larger versions of this, if you want to have a closer look. A full-height PDF (36 inches tall) is pretty sizeable (over 8Mb).
[Full height download PDF TheExquisiteCorpseDungeon-CC BY-SA 4]

There is also a 3-page version which breaks the dungeon, but which should fit on regular 8-1/2″ x 11″ or A4 pages.
[3-page download PDF TheExquisiteCorpseDungeon-3pg-CC BY-SA 4]


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14 Responses to “The Exquisite Corpse Dungeon”

  1. Exquisite Corps Dungeon, etc | sword peddler Says:

    […] This was my entry to for the April 2015 Exquisite Corps dungeon.  If you are not familiar with an exquisite corps, it is a sort of parlor drawing game where one sheet of paper is folded three ways and three separate people draw a body on the folds without seeing the drawing before them.  As in, one person draws the top most portion of the body, folds her portion so only the bottomest lines show, the next person draws a portion of the body, and folds it so only his bottomest lines show, and the third person draws the bottomest part of the body seeing only the bottomest lines of the portion preceding his section.  Rodger Thorm put this thing together and it came out really cool.  At the end of the month a total of 12 folks had contributed to the thing.  You can download it here, in all the three feet long glory it entails.  Thanks Rodger, Dyson, David, Kevin, Billy, Scott, Scott, Nate, Nate, Jens, and Paul.  Rodger’s unveiling of the map can be read here. […]

  2. A. N. Mcarrow (@anmcarrow) Says:

    Oh, this is so interesting and I see it too late… =_=

    Do you repeat equivalent mapmaking projects in future?

    • rthorm Says:

      There has been a lot of interest in seeing an Exquisiste Corpse II, and also in doing other things with this one to extend it further. I think there will probably be another round of Exquisite Corpse Dungeon this summer, perhaps, but nothing is definite as of now.

  3. The Complete Exquisite Corpse Dungeon | Dyson's Dodecahedron Says:

    […] You can download the high resolution originals from Rodger Thorm’s blog. […]

  4. jimmd68 Says:

    Very cool! I just stole it.

  5. Followups to the Exquisite Corpse | Antherwyck House Games Blog Says:

    […] was definitely a wave of excitement about the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon when it was unveiled last week. It’s amazing how much interest this weird little project has […]

  6. BaronGreystone Says:

    Neat dungeon. I have a question. It’s concerning the fourth “slice” down, I think it’s by Paul Baldowski, Boreders. What is represented by the large “smiling lips” shape in the center? Is it a gorge, or a rope bridge, or something else? Thanks!

    • swordpeddler Says:

      That is a chasm, I believe. A lot of mappers use that sort of dried up lip look to form chasms where the bottom is not visible. There is always a lot of discussion about the best way to do it, and that is generally the industry standard.

    • Paul Baldowski Says:

      As swordpeddler indicates, that’s the ‘traditional’ way I have always used to draw a chasm. However, when I drew it my wife said, “Are those lips?” I could see her point – and given the demonic skull buried in the wall, it might well be the mouth of a hideous and monstrous entity. I like that idea… especially when the adventures come along and cross the strange bridge.

  7. Ролевое КБ имeни Карандаша и Бумаги | #Карты — Dungeon Burime (картографический флэшмоб) Says:

    […] Посвящается The Exquisite Corpse Dungeon. […]

  8. (Preliminary) Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2 | Antherwyck House Games Blog Says:

    […] measurements in metric). A couple people wanted to see some description along with the maps in the first Exquisite Corpse Dungeon, and that seems like a good idea. But it’s hard to do descriptions in the spirit of […]

  9. A section from the Dungeon Burime | Antherwyck House Games Blog Says:

    […] long after the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon wrapped up, I got a couple of pings on the blog being reposted on a Russian language site.  It […]

  10. The Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2 | Antherwyck House Games Blog Says:

    […]  The individual sections are the same size (30 squares wide by 12 squares tall) as the ones in the first Exquisite Corpse Dungeon, but this time the map is twice as wide, so sections are side by side, as well as connected up and […]

  11. Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 4 | Antherwyck House Games Blog Says:

    […] Exquisite Corpse Dungeon […]

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