Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dungeon Geology 2

So I rambled a bit on mine 'logic' and how a bit of history and geology may be incorporated into a setting or map.  

So we enter our mine:

What will we find? As I mentioned, the shafts and tunnels will chase along the jointing and veins of valuable materials.   (note the jointing in the photo above  - the tunnel follows the joints).

Here's a historical mine map - with both cross-sectional and plan views - a pretty good little dungeon map in its own right...

And here are a couple of mine-based maps by the indomitable Dyson... - these definitely have a primitive mine vibe, and appear to be based on the shaft and adit plan for following veins, perhaps along joint patterns. The upper map also includes such realistic details as abandoned mine equipment and a flooded lower level.  The lower map resembles our historic map, above, with sloping passages and multiple vertical shafts.

Part of the attraction and flexibility of this style of mapping or construction is that it affords many options for play - multiple entrances and routes to goals or levels make for a "Jaquayed" dungeon, looping pathways can allow a foe to circle back or flank a party, and objective hazards abound (traps, cave-ins, open or obscured shafts).  The party may descend through levels, or skip entire levels via direct routes in and out.  

Also, you get a very 3D experience.  Note that the lower map can be interpreted/used as either a plan view, or a cross sectional view.  If a cross section, suddenly a significant portion of the adventure challenge is rappelling and scaling in and out of shafts and chambers.

And remember those dwarf skills of sensing sloping passages and new construction/digging?  Here is where they can really come into play.

Of course, a mine may not be the only subsurface feature - incorporate it as a constructed level beneath a temple, followed by a natural cavern.  Mix it up a bit and give the party the sense of moving through multiple environments created by different groups or forces.

Next up, I'll sketch up a small "mine" level using a couple of the concepts that I have discussed...

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