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Occasionally I talk about making a megadungeon. I’ve done a few large adventures with 90+ encounter areas such as Dyson’s Delve and Erdea Manor, but I keep talking bigger stuff. Stuff more in line with the Darkling Depths maps I posted during the summer.

My thoughts on the Darkling Depths, other megadungeons in general, and my own geomorph mapping project lead eventually to the concept of the Delve of Dread. The Delve of Dread is a mother of a megadungeon project – not intended to run as deep as say Rappan Athuk, but to have larger, sprawling maps and to follow some of my ideals in megadungeon design.

I’ve been keeping a file of ideas for the Delve, and originally I titled it “Bottomless Delve of the Flail Snails” instead of the catchier “Delve of Dread”. While I still kind of prefer the first title, it also feels like it is over-marketed towards the g+ OSR community with the Flail Snail reference.

So here’s the first surface area of the Delve of Dread – the Ruined Tower, Skald Manor, and the Tonsured Cave.

Delve of Dread - Surface Detail A

Delve of Dread – Surface Detail A

But beneath these we have the first level 1 map of the dungeon. Accessed through either the Ruined Tower or the Tonsured Cave, this level provides two points of access to level 2A of the dungeon as well as a massive shaft that leads down to lower levels. The secret door behind Skald Manor leads to level 2A directly.

But in the quest to get to level 2A there’s a nice big 100′ x 100′ blank spot on the map. A blank space with eight suspiciously symmetrical access points. That’s right, go grab a dozen of your favourite geomorphs from my own Geomorph Mapping Project or from Dave’s Mapper. Every time the party re-enters the dungeon, or whenever you are feeling particularly mean, swap out the geomorph that goes in that spot.

Throw those complacent adventurers for a loop when their maps are suddenly wrong.

Delve of Dread Level 1 A

Delve of Dread Level 1 A

Both of these maps from the Delves of Dread were drawn with 05 and 01 Micron Pens on 20 lb 4-quad bond paper. They were then scanned, contrast-enhanced and in the case of the surface map it had the tree screen added.

At this point, these are the only two maps of the Delve of Dread. But more will come!

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