Sunday, December 16, 2018

Mapping Dungeons to Organic Molecules

ARE YOU READY FOR A POSITIVELY BYZANTINE AND CONFUSING DUNGEON MAPPING SYSTEM?!

I had a very silly idea the other day when I was re-reading Melan's Dungeon Layout Article. Dungeons with loops are great. Y'know what has lots of loops? Big organic molecules, of course!

So, because I apparently need to up my dork levels, here's a system for making a dungeon layout with organic chemistry.

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Let's take a look at the Basic Forms depiction in Melan's article.


Individual rooms are obscured, but through-lines through the dungeon come into clear focus. Y'know what looks similar to this? Skeletal Structures in organic chemistry.

Not too different, right?

So now let's take every atom in the above molecule and convert it into the layout of a dungeon.

If you are interested in the whole picture of drawing skeletal structures and their meaning, you can find a resource here: How to draw Skeletal Formulae of Organic Molecules.

TL;DR: A Quick Guide to Chemical Skeletal Structures
1. Each letter in the structure represents an atom. 
2. This letter matches the symbol on the Periodic Table of Elements.
3. Hydrogen atoms and their bonds are not shown unless it is important to show it. 
(There are many in the molecule above, but they aren't displayed because it would clutter up the image.)
4. Carbon atoms, being the second most common, are not typically displayed as letters.
5. Carbon atoms are instead displayed as junctions or ends of line segments where a letter does not exist. 
This molecule has 2 Carbon atoms
This has 3 Carbon atoms

This has 2 Carbon atoms and 1 Oxygen atom
This has 3 Carbon atoms. Parallel lines represent a double bond.
This has 3 Carbon atoms and 1 Oxygen atom.

This has 7 Carbon atoms and 1 Chlorine atom.
This has 6 Carbon atoms.
! Also, see below for Aromtic Bonds
This has 6 Carbon atoms.
Those parallel lines in the middle are a triple bond.

Mapping Rules

Element
Symbol
Periodic Group
Dungeon Room
Room Example
Carbon *
C
Tetrels
Common
Cave, Hall, Basement, Cellar
Nitrogen
N
Pentels
Not Common
Fountain, Kitchen, Trap, Forge
Hydrogen #
H
Hydrogen
Hidden Room
Panic Room, Secret Study
Oxygen
O
Chalocens
Opening
Cave Entrance, Gate
Sulphur
S
Chalocens
Secret Opening
Hidden Entrance, Secret Door
Fluorine
F
Halogens
Fight
Dragon Lair, Dungeon Boss
Chlorine
Cl
Halogens
Clerical
Shrine, Chapel, Alter, Monastery
Bromine
Br
Halogens
Barracks
Goblin Camp, Fungal Colony, Guard Barracks
Phosphorous !
P
Pentels
Pit
Abyss, Pool, Precipice, Well
Metals !
Na, Mg, Fe, Ni
Mixed
Treasure Room
Treasure Hoard, Magical Item
* Any unlabeled junction or end of line segments is a carbon atom.
# Only when shown on the map.


Bond Type
Dungeon Route
Effect
Example
Single Bond
Unimpeded
None
Hallway, Spacious Tunnel
Double Bond
Inconvenient Hazard
Half Speed
Crawl, Climb, Detritus
Triple Bond
Deadly Hazard
Varies
Sump, Poison Gas
Aromatic Bond !
High Traffic Areas
Double Encounter Chance
Dungeon Highway, Battlefront
Hydrogen Bond !
Secret Passage
Hidden
Secret Tunnel, Escape Route
Ionic Bond !
Portal
Varies
Planar Portal
! We shall cover this in Advanced Molecular Dungeon Mapping


With functional groups {such as Hydroxyl (OH) or Carboxyl (COO)} use only the element most right then down on the Periodic Table (hence the most interesting ones).


So the priority is:
Br > Cl > F > S > O > P > N > C > H

OH = Ignore the H, it's an entrance.
COO = Ignore the C and first O, it's an entrance.
SO3- = Ignore the O, it's a secret entrance.

So, let's try this out with a simple molecule: Pentanol


What we see here is a linear dungeon, comprised of five rooms and an entrance (we ignore the H, because it's attached to an O). This dungeon would match the "Linear" format of Melan's layouts.

Let's do something more complicated.


Cyclophosphamid

What do we have here?

2 entrances (O), one of them hazardous (Double Bond), connected to a Pit (P).
1 Pit connected to 2 Not Common (N) rooms. 1 entrance is on the closed loop with the Pit.
2 Clerical rooms (Cl).
7 Common rooms (Unlabeled).

Okay okay, it's still just a small dungeon with just one loop and two branches. Nothing close to Caverns of Thracia yet. But that's the thing with molecules, right? You can get 'em big and small. In the following post I guarantee they'll get more complicated.

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Last Rule: Ignore the Rules

Seriously, this method works better for inspiration than for a rules-as-written mapping method. You want to add a Hidden Room somewhere? Do it. Want to change a functional group? Do it. Want to change each room's coding? Do it. This isn't even close to a perfect method, so make it your own.

I'll discuss more of the problems and alterations with this method in the next blog post: Advanced Molecular Mapping.


8 comments:

  1. I really want to try this out now, not knowing a thing past my high school chem class.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want some fun molecules to try it out on, I'm including a Gallery of some of the more interesting ones in my next post

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  2. Omg what a wonderful idea. You did a great job with this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Any thoughts on distinguishing cis and trans bonds?

    I think I'd try doing functional groups as everything at once, so SO3 has one secret entrance and three normal entrances (presumably all to different places) right next to each other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had considered at some point discussing more about stereochemistry, with the possibility of rotating functional groups around various axes and stuff like that.

      But I shrugged and threw this out because it would be too complicated to explain to lay people. Figured it would be easier to treat each skeletal structure as a static map.

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