2017-01-11 Actual Scribbles

If you are in the circles of +John Bell on Google+, you might have seen his invite link to the OSR Discord channel. Discord is sort of like Slack with voice chat (it should be getting videochat soon).

So, it’s a bit like IRC, but better. :)

I talked with +C Huth and +James Young. I started talking about Gridmapper. It allows you to create nice dungeon maps. But I don’t use it much.

I guess my adventures are simply not so dungeon based, or they’re based on a dungeon with an existing map. For my own adventures, I’m more of a simple graph person.

Wilderness With Druid

This is a good example for a low-prep session. I might then map that to the existing hex map (you can see the hex coordinates on my notes). But recently the party visited the tower of the most powerful magic-user in the area and it was all “stairs… hallway… zombies… grand hall… bla bla” and no map required and I had none ready.

Drow Fortress

This a bigger map of some drow outpost which I used in that old adventure about Lloth and compared to what was actually used at the table, it was too complex. Almost none of it got used.

I've been thinking about using integration with a graph-generating library, see Mermaid. I guess flowcharts could be used? But is this text-based entry good enough? Are the graphs useful enough? I don’t know.

The notes for our games look a lot messier than what Gridmapper would produce. But if you want to publish something, I’d say that Gridmapper is ideal because it’s a quick, painless, clean, high resolution image of your dungeon map. I’m thinking of One Page Dungeons. I liked them better when they felt like they were something I could have produced, even if I didn’t. Looking at the very polished entries make my heart ache and my fingers tremble, and I think about quitting and just focusing on gardening instead of game prep.

I remember reading about the system an author of a mega dungeon used. Too bad I can’t find a link to the blog post. It was a Perl script which interpreted line drawing instructions. I read that and thought: there must be a tool for those of us that don’t want to polish their map drawing skills. Gridmapper was to be that tool.

But then again, polished maps are overrated. They’re good if you want to publish something, but our own maps look very different.

I feel like there’s too much focus on publishing and not enough normal referees sharing what their hastily sketched homemade stuff actually looks like. A new referee looks at maps in modules or entries in the One Page Dungeon Contest and cries instead of looking at your prep or my prep, laughing out loud and thinking I can do that!!

I want to see the notes you scribbled last night right before people started ringing at the front door. The raw notes where you don’t want to write down stuff that’s obvious because it’ll take as much time to invent it later as it will take you to write it now and read it later. Who cares about the “rough-hewn flagstones”. Nobody.

I want to see your scribbled notes!


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