(Preliminary) Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2

Please see the updated post for Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2 participation and information.

Trivia: If the squares were all 10′ x 10′, the first Exquisite Corpse Dungeon would be almost exactly 10 acres in area (that’s 4 hectares, for those of you preferring your 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 Exqisite Corpse, especially after the map has been revealed.  So, rather than giving full descriptions of all of the contents of the dungeon, each participant will contribute a couple elements to be used by other mappers, and they will also name the section following theirs.  Each section will have a name (which will be supplied by the previous section’s mapper), a room or feature, an inhabitant, and a treasure chosen (or randomly selected) from the list provided by other participants (details below).

To keep it speedy, there will be two tracks of maps going at the same time (left and right side) and maps coming from the bottom going up, and maps from the top going down. So there will be four sections under way at any time, which should make things go faster.

Two people will need to volunteer to be the Mergers, who will be the last two contributors.  They will get connections from both top and bottom, and one of those will also have to get a connection from the other side. They will each get to name the starting sections (top and bottom) for their half. They will also get to choose between the two proposed names for their section from the two sections they are connecting (or they can find a way to use both if they like).

As much as possible, it would be good to try to have a 4-5 day turnaround when your turn comes up.  Since a lot of people (including me) have vacations scheduled in the next month, if there are times when you’re not available, let us know that so we can keep things moving, and we’ll schedule around you as best we can.


When you sign up to participate in ECD2, you also need to provide the following things, which will get added into the mix as we go. These will be assigned to another participant to be incorporated into their map section in some way:

  • – A description of a room or a distinctive feature found in another section of the dungeon.  Don’t get overly specific or detailed with this.  It should just be a sentence (maybe two, if you can’t help yourself)
  • – An inhabitant (either a singular monster or a type of creature) found in another section of the dungeon.  Keep it descriptive and general.  Don’t provide a stat block or anything that is really system specific.  Give a sentence or two to describe the creature(s)
  • – A treasure or some special aspect found in another section of the dungeon.  This again should be something vague and generalized, rather than statted out and with full particulars.  A simple description

To sign up to participate in ECD2, send your name to exquisitecorpse @ antherwyck.com with any schedule notes and the descriptive elements (room or feature; inhabitant; and treasure or highlight).

If you have a preference for which quadrant you want to be in (top, bottom, left, right) note that as well, and we’ll try to accommodate that as much as possible.  Otherwise, it’ll be the random roll for who gets plucked out of the pool next, which seemed to work pretty well on the first one.

(Note: if this runs into September, which could very likely happen, there are a few days I’m going to be out of touch and unavailable to keep things rolling.)

Map segment requirements:

Size: TBD, pending vote. All maps should be at a scale of 10 foot squares (each square is 10′ x 10′).

Each section will have a name (supplied by the previous section’s mapper), a room or feature, an inhabitant, and a treasure chosen (or randomly selected) from the list provided by other participants.  Along with these features, a short descriptive paragraph can be included.  But remember to keep it brief and avoid references to specific game systems.  Remember , this is still primarily a mapping project.

When you turn in your dungeon section, please also include a list of the squares (reading left to right, or top to bottom for verticals) where you have connections to the next section (e.g. 5, 11-13, 17, 19). That way the next mapper has a more exact layout to work from. Whether or not you draw your own map on a grid, you need to provide a grid on any connecting sides of your section, to aid the next mapper in connecting their map in.

Each map section should also be turned in with a name for the next section of the map. (Preferably something evocative that the next person can use for some inspiration for their section, without getting too detailed.  But something a bit more than “The Tomb of Fred.”)  Perhaps a MadLibs format of ” __(kind of structure)__ of the __(adjective)__  __(noun)__” {kinds of structures being things like tombs, temples, caverns, caves, etc.}

As was the case for the first ECD, all sections should be Creative Commons licensed CC-BY-SA 4.

Balance, adjustment, and refining:

The first Exquisite Corpse Dungeon was a single pass, with no editing or adjustments after the segments were turned in. However, there were some irregularities and discrepancies in the maps. While those discontinuities are not out of character for an artistic Exquisite Corpse, the desire to be able to use the ECD map as a coordinated mega dungeon makes it worthwhile to allow any pair of adjacent map makers to go back and refine the connection between their two segments. There will also be a round of cleanup, editing, and adjustment before the final version is published, although everyone participating is encouraged to make their map as close to finished as possible.

Printing, distribution, and prizes:

The first Exquisite Corpse Dungeon started off just as a thing to do to build some connections among dungeon map makers. There were no plans to do anything with it beyond just having some fun and showing it off to everyone as a sampler of our work. Then, as it was wrapping up, I came across Jarrod Shaw’s Mythoard, and we quickly arranged for a printed copy of ECD to go out in the June Mythoard. Jarrod paid me for these, but with the costs of printing and shipping, plus transaction fees, and the time we put into folding nearly 200 copies, it’s not a profit-making project.

For the second Exquisite Corpse Dungeon, I’m going to try to get Jarrod to contribute one or two Digital Mythoards as prizes for a couple contributors as decided by group vote after the project is completed. I am also going to see if Jarrod is interested in having the completed Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2 as part of a future digital Mythoard. I may also print a few copies of the finished map and make those available through Antherwyck House Games, but at this time I don’t plan on doing a print run for this one.


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2 Responses to “(Preliminary) Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2”

  1. Kevin Campbell Says:

    [begin rant]
    Too much thinking and not enough drawing. The first one was fun. This is looking more like a work assignment. We have people on board and ready. Can’t we just go with the old format? It seemed to work out quite well. Maybe we can get going on No. 2 now and hash out what No. 3 may look like while we are drawing no. 2. I didn’t know what an Exquisite Corpse was until this, but after looking up your Wiki link, it sound like there were a bunch of artists getting wacked on absinthe, folding paper and passing around to the next person to work on. Fun and giggles. I do appreciate the time that you had put into the last one and the time that you are now spending on this. My vote is to keep it simple and perhaps move towards more complexity in the future
    [end rant]

  2. rthorm Says:

    Entirely fair points. Let me raise the question at G+

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