on level, level, level, level

I’m in the process of editing/writing something, and I felt the need of adding this footnote:

The level of the dungeon level does not necessarily imply its position relative to other levels, but reflects merely the strength of the inhabitants and the size of its treasures. It’s possible for a dungeon to have a single level, that level of level 10. Four different meanings for the word “level” (character power, spell power, dungeon depth, dungeon difficulty) make me cry. -T.

Gary, if you’ll ever come back, don’t repeat the same errors. Please.

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OSR Conservation Process: first steps

Thanks to a linkon the OD&D Discussion Board I found, unbelievably, another RPG conservation project: PlaGMaDA.

PlaGMaDA focuses on maps, handouts and “manuscripts and drawings created to communicate a shared imaginative space”.

PlaGMaDa, in addition to be run by a very nice guy (Tim Hutchings is a total dude) that is answering to my nagging questions about the OSRCP and let me test Gallery to see if it’s fit, is also a huge repository for ready-made maps and house rules. Which is great in case you need some stuff for your game.

Anyway, yes, I’m most probably going to use Gallery to host OSRCP: there is just a couple of requirements I need to verify before starting to set up the infrastructure and to nag people to start uploading/licencing material. Unless you have better suggestions, of course (please comment).

bits: me and the OSR, Dungeon Design Patterns

Sitting exams is a pain. The fact that I’m 9 years older than my coursemates is kinda depressing. So, I’m not really writing or playing nowadays, just revising. But two gamey thoughts surfaced.

The first one is that I wish I could write what Sham, Robert Conley and Zak S. write, and with their clarity. Despite being quite fluent in English I can’t really write clearly enough at times. And that’s frustrating, as even before thinking about clarity and stile it’s obvious that they manage to come up with way more interesting stuff than I do. And it’s ok to feel that you’re not as good as the finest of a given field, I think. Probably I should stop writing about gaming and start writing and playing games, or write software related to games, or explore ideas about games presentation. Or chill a bit. Having free time would be good.

The second thought is that Sham mentioned some dungeon design patterns in his last post, and that piqued my interest big time and I’m so looking forward to read about them. Design Patterns were introduced by A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander et al., which describes a set of archetypal repeatable generic solutions (patterns) used many, many times in different civilizations to solve problems related to settlements, such as communal space organization, ventilation, comfort, control, access, relationships, privacy, separation of concerns and so on. And those are problems that we meet also while writing dungeons.

One Page Dungeon on A5

Actually, Two Pages Dungeons on American-Format-Smaller-Than-A6 (3×5″ maybe?).

A while ago I succumbed to my instinct to stockpile stationery and I got myself a moleskine-lookalike…

A7 notepad…left page blank and right page ruled…

Awesome for small content… like small dungeons? 🙂

I meant to write one a day, each based on a single card from Everway decks, as exercise in dungeon design, but then I got busy with moving a thousand miles away and other stuff… 🙂