Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Dungeon Designs

I've taken time off from blogging while I did some study in the last six months. Let me know if you missed me.

What I've still enjoyed, though, is some gaming. In amongst it I bought a copy of Skyrim in the 2nd-hand bin. It's my little treat after submitting assignments or finishing a subject.

Although there's a lot I could say about it, the thing that really has my attention are the designs of buildings, towns, and dungeons. Straight lines are few and far between. Most dungeons are built into caves and straight walls are rare. Some caves include a specific place for a crypt, or an eating hall, or some other living space. Those kinds of spaces usually include intentional lines; mostly straight, some curved. The distinction between the natural formation and the artificial formation makes a difference. It announces the intent of the space. Bandits may have stumbled onto a cave to use for their hideout, but they also want some comforts.

I could say similar things about the towns and buildings as well. An entire building of straight line rooms - as you might see on a gridded map - only happens for the very rich or powerful. A lord or jarl could have one. A bandit probably won't.

All of this has been very instructive for me. A dungeon crawl (still do them, they're fun!) isn't going to be in a maze system with an art deco layout. It's more likely to be a natural cavern, or minor tunnels, with amendments by the dungeon builder. There might even be natural tunnels that simply narrow to a point. Any dungeon complex that is made up of entirely artificial lines is going to be for a powerful occupant and their hoard of gold.
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