Monday, February 7, 2011


I stopped in at Gamma Ray Games this weekend to pick up a game and stumbled upon something awesome.  There was some art up on the walls: framed pieces of cardstock with little dungeon maps inked on to them.  As someone who once doodled maps onto notebook paper I was immediately won over.

Apparently this is the work of one Tony Dowler.  A year ago Tony acquired a large stack of this cardstock and set out to make 3 microdungeons a week for a year.  I think at first there was some connection to actual dungeon design, but after doing it for awhile the bizarre starts to creep out, like cupcake dungeons.  The dungeon starts to become like a little haiku, with the obscure room labels giving us a piece of the author's mind.  I pretty much love everything about it.

There are compilations available for parts of the microdungeon journey.  Here are two good examples:

And showing that not all things need be micro: this.

I love cartography.  But there's something about this style of map making that really resonates with me.  I love the willfully inconsistent perspective amongst the buildings.  I love the different line widths and the textural hatch marks.  I love the starkness of it all where the life has to come purely from line work (although to be fair I love it colored too).  It's simple and playful yet organized.  Delightful.

This all comes at a time where I've been mulling over The Hobbit and thinking I totally need a replica of Thror's Map for my wall 'o maps.  Perhaps it's time I finally put pen to paper myself to see if I've still got the skills.