Monday, October 11, 2010

Mapping Experiment, Thanks to the Fiendish Dr. Samsara

Matt Slepin posted Thursday about the idea of using subway maps as an inspiration for more abstract dungeon mapping.Well, I thought that was a pretty nifty idea, and tried to do a similar-style map of my own. It's unfinished (level 4 rooms haven't been numbered for instance-- they are all numbered 1...) and may be more trouble than it's worth, but the experiment here was to see what it would look like.

Color-coding different levels and adding black outlines to rooms that connect levels (and ground level access in Red 1), allows for a quick map to develop that looks like it might actually be usable. The down side is that it doesn't give a sense of the room sizes, feel, or contents, which means that notes on the levels would have to be more dense with information. But on the plus side, this simple map could give you information on four levels at once.
It's an interesting mental exercise, and might fit in well with Athanor, with its ancient buried cities, often teeming with technology.


  1. It's a great organizational map for helping show the big picture.

  2. That's awesome. That looks a lot better than the attempt I was making. I'd like to run a session or two with soemthing like this and see how it works. One thing that i think it woudl good for is showing areas with multiple level-connections. Something like a shaft that cuts through several levels.

  3. I think it has merit, and looks similar to an idea I've had for my Mystery Men! project, whereby you create a map of locations connected by clues rather than tunnels.

  4. Bluskreem: As I noted, I posted before I finalized things. I had done enough to feel okay about the idea, which was my point.

    jgbrowning, matthew, and matt: I think there is some merit in using this to organize non-dungeon crawl adventures: event trees, connections of characters, etc. for open-ended adventures or heavily plotted games. A clue tree would be great using this method, as would a timeline of interconnected events, adding a time axis with nodes connecting or diverging either this way or along a set of connected decision trees.