Archive for October, 2015

Some Thoughts About the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2

October 30, 2015

As you’ve hopefully seen by now, the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2 is out.

My piece (a double section at the bottom-right of the whole map) was one of the starters.  (Since I do the coordination, I need to be a starter, since I end up seeing everything as it comes in.)  With an Exquisite Corpse, the participants are working almost completely blind.  Other than the edgemost row of the previous section that each person saw as their starter, no one saw any of the rest of the map until the entire thing was revealed.


I find it really interesting how patterns and correlations seem to arise in these.  This time, for example, +Kevin Campbell (top-right) and I both independently created shoreline settlements with openings leading back into the depths of the dungeon.  Both of these sections feature freestanding buildings (for Kevin, the village on the shore between the water and the cliffs; for me, the castle on the island) and streams flowing out from the cavern depths.

The first Exquisite Corpse Dungeon had a lot of central axis organization (maybe because it was so vertical in the organizing principle) that carried through many of the sections, although it was often not communicated directly from one section to the next.

In this one, there are things like the clustering of round rooms from L’Uomo Macchina, Dyson Logos, and George G (the first two saw curves at the edge where the two came together, but nothing in Dyson’s piece shows any curved walls, but George’s section nevertheless has a great, round room.  Or, the abundance of colonnaded halls throughout the whole map.  And in several places, there are large rooms that were left to extend across the border between sections.  It’s also interesting to me that several sections open off to the right (the sea/lake/pond/whatever at both the top and bottom right, as well as two other waterways (in Andrew Durston‘s and Billy Longino‘s sections, as well as the lava pit from Jef Wilkins and Patrick Usher), but only one lonely little hallway (in Ivan Katyurgin‘s section) extends to the left, near the bottom of the map.

Some of these are just artifacts of all of us being dungeon map makers, and wanting to put the cool things (like lava and bottomless chasms and so forth) into our map sections.  But I still find it fascinating to pick up on commonalities that crop up, despite the total lack of coordination.  I think the Surrealists who invented the Exquisite Corpse appreciated when that kind of thing happened, as well.

I’m really, really grateful to all the contributors who helped make this such a fantastic project.  As I noted the other day, this blog doesn’t get a lot of traffic usually, and so it was exciting to see such a tsunami of attention to this wonderful little project.

For me, it’s been great fun running this project, and we’ll probably be back with another one early in 2016.

Stats for the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2

October 26, 2015

This is a pretty slow blog, for the most part.  It’s got a handful of followers, and occasionally draws some activity from cross-posting things to Google+.  On average, there are probably a dozen or so views per day.  Until the recent spike.

Friday (October 23) was when the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2 was unveiled.  You’ll notice the uptick…


It was almost 900 views, far and away the most views I’ve had on any day.  Saturday was even a bit more.  Sunday was more than the previous two days combined.

This is great that so many more people have seen the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon, beyond the circle of its creators.

The Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2

October 23, 2015

The Exquisite Corpse Dungeon is a tricky project, because so much of it takes place behind the scenes.  Even the contributors don’t get to see the final product until the end.  Maybe you recall seeing the discussion a couple months ago.  But then it’s mostly been silent.  That doesn’t mean that things haven’t been happening, though.  And now, after more than 2 months and the work of 22 contributing artists, the newest Exquisite Corpse Dungeon is now revealed.


(there are even larger versions below)

It’s an enormous map.  The full size version fits an 18″ x 48″ sheet.  To keep it manageable, there’s the smaller (JPG) image above, to give you a sense of its scope, then a larger (JPG) version below the cut, and then, if you want to look at an even more detailed version, the PDF (6+ MB) is half size (9″ x 24″) and is amazing.  At a scale of 10′ per square, this map would be nearly 23 acres of dungeon ( 600 by 1680 feet at 10×10 square scale).  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 down along the map.

With nearly double the number of contributors this time, there are a lot of new faces, as well as many of the artists from the first Dungeon back and contributing to this one, too.  Contributors to the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2 are:

Nate McD
Patrick Usher
Jens Loldrup Larsen
L’Uomo Macchina
Josephe Vandel
Andrey Makarov
David Millar
Nate Marcel
Matt Bonhoff
Matt Widmann
Ivan Katyurgin
Scott Aleric
Kevin Campbell
Andrew C. Durston
Marc Majcher
Dyson Logos
George G
Jef Wilkins
Michael Patrick
Billy Longino
Sarah Richardson
Rodger Thorm

I’m grateful for the creativity of all of these people and their contributions to this project, and their enthusiasm for it.  There’s a lot of talent in that list (an awful lot!), and if you pay any attention to maps in gaming and RPGs,  then you recognize at least a few of those names.  If you are looking for someone you can work with for a project of your own, this is a really good starting point for finding someone.  Most of these people are readily found on Google+ (you can check in at the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2 Community to find them, or just search a name on G+).

More detailed maps are after the cut


The Shattered Corridor

October 16, 2015

Like the map from a few weeks back (Divided Chambers of the Rift), this map is also organized around a central, axial hallway, although the two maps are not otherwise designed to be connected (though you could use ’em that way if you wanted, I suppose).


There was a general narrative of a prison break going through my mind as I was drawing this one up.  The central blasted area being due to some energetic wall removal, or the like.  Several of the rooms in the top area have metal bar doors (including the mangled one at the half-destroyed room, upper middle and the one ajar at the similar room to the left, as well as the two small ones to the right.

There is also the idea that, after the breakout, the facility remained in use for a time, with some repairs made to the hallway along the top (with the block hatch walls) in order to re-connect the two sections.

In addition to the left- and right-side entrance/exits, there is also the tunnel with the watercourse leading deeper into the unknown depths.

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project.

Update: Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2

October 15, 2015

Ahoy, Exquisite Corpse Dungeon fans!

Behind the scenes today, the wheels are in motion to get Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2 finalized.  All the contributors got their first look at the whole thing for the first time, and they are excited!

Subscribers to the October +Mythoard Digital Hoard will be getting a copy of this huge map, and, as with the first Exquisite Corpse Dungeon, there will be a copy we’ll be sharing with everyone.

This time, the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon 2 is more than twice the size of the previous one, with 22 contributing artists.

Burrowed Nesting

October 9, 2015

A couple other maps are in process right now, but I’m unlikely to get them scanned and uploaded in time for a Friday post, so I’m pulling out this old one from a few months ago that I hadn’t yet posted.  It’s kind of a throwaway since it’s a smaller 3 x 5, but still manages to have some interesting character.


The lighter hatch and the broken lines give it a looseness suggesting a sandy burrow, rather than something carved out of more solid rock. It seems suggestive of a section of giant ant farm (or a lagomorph lair, if your tastes or preferences don’t run to formicidae).

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project.

Penmorfa Longhouse

October 5, 2015

This is a page from the Wilderness of Ordurak adventure.  With the picture and map and the general descriptions, it probably works fairly well as a standalone encounter location, even if some of the specifics are incomplete.


This is what came of the Wilderness sketch from a few months back.  This is written for a larger DragonQuest adventure, but other than changing a couple of money references, I think it could readily be used for just about any game system.  And you could also take the picture and the map and re-purpose it for a completely different kind of encounter.

This is being shared for personal use, and I am happy to have the link shared if you want to point someone else at this, but please don’t distribute copies of this.  I know it’s going to happen, regardless, but I’d rather it wasn’t you that does it. Thanks!

And, if you do use this in your game and have some notes about how it went (or just if you read through it and have some feedback), I’d be glad to hear about it.

Geomorphs of Paths

October 2, 2015

Evidently my current run of geomorphs is continuing.  After posting the last ones, I had a couple ideas and very quickly had these sketched out.  Since they’re already sorta experimental, I thought I’d try a couple other patterns with them for variety’s sake.  And this is what you end up with…


Each is just a set of connections, rather than any rooms or chambers. But it gave me a chance to try a couple of other styles to add to my sampler of options.  I was especially pleased with the goblin tunnels (right), but all three are interesting for their differences and their character.  The middle block is also a bit reminiscent of the Aladdin Sane maps of a few months ago, and the one on the right got me thinking about the idea of dungeons for specific design periods – Art Deco dungeon, anyone?  Maybe that’ll turn up here someday.

As with the others earlier this week, copies of these are also in Dave’s hands to add to Dave’s Mapper.  When I’m making geomorphs, I’m trying to always send them to him, as well, so all of them should eventually be part of that project.

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project.