Monday, July 15, 2019

Making a Kilodungeon

What is a Kilodungeon?

It's a megadungeon, but about a thousandth of the size!

Okay, okay... It's just a small megadungeon. I don't think I have the stamina or the patient group to run a true megadungeon, so I'm electing to create a mini one. I'm challenging myself to try and write at least 1-3 rooms per day to crank this thing out in like... 3 months, maybe?

Under Gallax Hall. It's got five levels. We're probably looking at 20-50 rooms on each level, tapers a bit as it goes down. Top Level designed for characters level 0-1, each level down ups the challenge by approximately 1 level.

I walk past this building every day, and it gives me ideas.
(Angel Hall, University of Michigan)

Ideas I Want To Implement:
  • Gallax Hall is a university building in Wizard City. Just above the megadungeon is the university and city itself. The first level of the dungeon begins in Gallax Hall's basement.
  • This first level of this megadungeon is a place where 'normal' people still must occasionally travel. It's horrendously dangerous, but that doesn't stop the university from having classes there. Classroom space is at a premium, after all.
  • Hence, the first level of the dungeon has a lot of 'normal' stuff - black markets, professor lairs (offices), roaming hirelings and escort services, merchants. The sorts you'll find just outside the dungeon.
  • If the first level is the semi-mythic underworld, then the second and subsequent levels are, like, SUPER-mythic underworld.
  • Timekeeping. Keep a mini paper clock or the like and move it about as you enter/traverse the dungeon. Enough clocks are present in the dungeon that referencing time shouldn't often be an issue. The school runs on Metric time (10 hours/day, 100 minutes/hour). Certain professors/janitors/ghosts/monsters are present at particular times. Every Turn is 10 metric minutes (about 7 minutes our time).
  • Build a bunch of shenanigans around said timekeeping: wandering encounters, secret entrances, puzzles, mini-heists.
  • Graduate students will murder you.
  • Other students will murder you.
  • The Custodial Staff will murder you, then skillfully dispose of the body.
  • The Professors will torture and possibly murder you, for SCIENCE. Not coincidentally, the Department of Torture is located in the basement of Gallax Hall.
  • And of course your typical university locals will try to murder you: roaming statues, serial killers, tomb-of-horrors-style juggernaut cleaning machines, tricentennial ghosts, haunted food trucks, rioting students, well-educated hobos, animated manifestos, the lack of affordable housing, and an imbalanced and malnourished diet.
I'm thinking of releasing this thing piece by piece on a weekly or semi-weekly basis, but to do that, I'd need to find some dungeon graphing software that works well with Blogger. If you have recommendations, please comment 'em below.

((Update: the first two levels of the dungeon are finished!)) 


  1. Do you just need to make jpg images of the maps and stick them into your blog posts? I really, really like Alex Schroeder's Gridmapper.
    I usually right click and save, go through opening the images in MS Photos and right clicking to the menu item "open with MS Paint" wherein I save as a jpg and mess with the maps more. Good luck! I'm looking forward to more. Your university posts are very fun and funny!

    1. Heck yeah! This is exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for. Thank you!

  2. This makes me very happy! :)
    Let me know if you miss features or if you have ideas regarding usability.

    1. Super glad! Thank you for the free program!

  3. Also, can I add your blog to the Old School RPG Planet?

  4. D'oh! You're only there. How did I miss these posts? :)

  5. It would be nice to finally get an answer about what's really in the cafeteria's mystery meat.