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Thread: Rebooting the World's Largest Dungeon

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  1. #1

    Default Rebooting the World's Largest Dungeon

    Inspired by MadCartographer's attempt to build the World's Largest Dungeon, I've finally taken the plunge as well. I played through this bad boy a few years back and I want to dust it off and give it another whirl. Two of my current group played in the first time around and they'd like to take another crack at it. Since we only did about half of the regions, I'll just excise those and concentrate on what they didn't do. Still lots of material to play with.

    I'm planning on making a number of changes. One thing I want to add is verticality. Stairs, platforms, pit traps and chute traps that lead to other areas, that sort of thing. So, I'm going to break up each region into six or seven levels with various methods for traveling between levels. We'll see how that goes.

    Also I want to avoid the big monster small room problems with the original, so I'm going to expand a number of the room.

    Additionally, this is going to be a 4e effort, not d20, so I have to really concentrate on making each section of each level work as a sort of stage complete with props, things to challenge the characters and various other terrain effects. I'll be adding those later as time goes on, quite possibly the night before play.

    So far, I've been using Gimp and Rob A's Subterainean Map Prettier script. I took the original pdf image (freely available from AEG), chopped out the bit I wanted to work with, used the threshhold tool to make it black and white and then cleaned it up. Then I fiddled for a while making sure all the walls and whatnot snapped to the grid. Maybe not as artistic as it could be, but I hate half squares.

    Here's two versions of the first map, sans any dressing. The first is higher res and probably a very bad idea for any sort of VTT play. The second one weighs in around 500k, so it should be fine on Maptool or Open.

    Criticism is most certainly welcome.
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  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected tilt's Avatar
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    wow - another BIG job ... but sounds great with the 4e conversion - looking very much forward to seing what you come up with... for now, my only criticism is for the high-res map, the walls texture seems a little blurry
    regs tilt
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  3. #3
    Guild Journeyer MadCartographer's Avatar
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    Hussar, I like yours alot better. Nicely done. Wish I could do as nice work as yours. (someday I shall, I hope).
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  4. #4

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    Hey Mad C, don't fret too much. My talents are pretty much entirely computer assisted. That script for Gimp from Rob A is the artist here, I'm just banging away.

    Essentially, what you do is draw a black and white template of the map - outline the walls in one color and everything else is in the other. I use white for floors and black for walls, but that's not all that necessary. Once you have the black and white template, run the script that I linked to above and voila, pretty map. All I've really done is create a couple of brushes - one 5 pixel brush for creating walls and one larger, 27 pixel brush for doing bigger areas. I set the grid for 12 pixels and click on snap to grid. Add a transparent layer over the imported image from the pdf files and redraw the walls and whatnot, making sure everything snaps to grid. The first time took me a while, but, it seems to get easier as time goes on.

    I then scale up my black and white template to 50 pixel=5 feet scale and then run the script. The first map, above, is blurry because I ran the script and then scaled up. Hopefully this next area - the area immedietely to the right of the entrance, will look better.

  5. #5

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    Ok, banged away at the next area.

    As I said earlier, I'm making some changes. In the standard map, this would be the rooms immediately to the east of the entrance. Instead, I intend to add some stairs to the room in the bottom south east that lead to the room to the bottom south east of the second map. I then rotated the map 90 degrees counter clockwise and placed this second map on top of the first map. I also added a stream flowing through the upper area which will drain from the pond in the west into the secret room in the first map (the room with no entrances in the upper center of the first map)

    I need to label these maps to reduce confusion and make it easier to type.

    Like I said, I'm very much learning as I go. This was my first stab at a stream. Looks not too bad, but, I'm not sure if I'm totally happy with it.

    This area is intended to be filled with a fair number of kobolds and their naga leader (who hangs out in the pond room). The kobolds are one of the four factions in this region. The original WLD had a kobold tribe hanging out in Region A, so, who am I to buck tradition. 4e doesn't have darkmantles though, so, no flying squids this time around. ((Good, there were entirely too many of these the last time around)). The other three factions, at least for now, are a group of dwarves under the thrall of a sucubus, a group of dark ones and shadar-kai and also the Dungeon's own inhabitants- mostly cruthiks and constructs for now.

    I'll post more about what's actually going on in the Dungeon (at least my take on things) as I get the energy.

    So, anyway, enough rambling, here's Region A, Area D in both hi-res jpg and low res jpg for VTT play.
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  6. #6

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    Well, continuing on.

    This area is a rebuild of the north western corner of Region A. In my rebuild, it is now placed below the entrance and Area D (which I did last time). Interestingly enough, when I placed the maps on top of each other, I realized that the water from Area D would not drain into the Entrance area, but would flow straight down into Area A, which meant I needed a puddle. Still working on trying to make that pretty. I think it's worked out rather well, but, meh. Also toying around with the distortion on the dungeon builder script. I wanted this bottom layer to look a lot less "finished" than the rest of this region. I slapped on some noise over top as a layer as well. That seems to have "dirtied it up" nicely.

    Anyone have any thoughts?Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

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    No real update tonight. Just a quickie to let anyone know what I've got planned. As I said, I chopped the Region A up into smaller chunks and I'm rejiggering everything to add verticality and some other features. Also expanding this and that to allow for larger arena's for encounters. It's starting to get a bit challenging, making things line up. I can see that the next couple of areas are going to be a right PITA.

    Anyway, here's a quick graphic to let you know what I've planned. I've chopped the region up into seven areas, Entrance and A through F. I've placed the areas at different elevations and stacked some of them to allow for things like chutes and pit traps to let you travel between areas. Adding more ways to travel is one of my goals.

    On another note, the basic premise I'm working from so far is that the WLD is a living creature. It's a sort of parasite, growing and spreading below ground until it eventually buds (I knew that World Eater was going to come in handy) and generates new Dungeons out in the wilderness. The initial region, this region, is the newest growth for the creature, thus everything is fairly clean and neat. The inhabitants, by and large, don't know anything about this, but the WLD itself generates various "antibodies" in the form of Far Realmsy type tentacular horrors to ingest invaders. Region A, as I have planned it out, is currently the home of three factions (well, the Dungeon itself would be a fourth, but it's not particularly good at making informed decisions) that are trying to take control of the region.

    Anyway, more on that later. Here's that graphic:
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  8. #8

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    Well, the next area went easier than before. I'm finally starting to get into a bit of a routine - learning as I go. Drew out the area in black and white and then fiddled with it a bit to get the rubbley areas. That took a bit of figuring, but, I think I'll do better next time. This is Area B, on the same level as the entrance and is intended to be the base home of a group of kobolds and their naga goddess.

    Onwards and upwards. Area C should come next. Finish that up and I'm about 2/3rds done the region. Schweet.
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