So ... slow work day? Every day?
Thanks, this is kind of what I was secretly worried about, lol.this is not Artpunk D&D.
Why is this gonzo? Are the Tasloi bee-riders in Dwellers of the Forbidden City gonzo? If Squeen is concerned about gonzo gatekeeping I worry for us all.I think it took a hard turn in the direction of gonzo.
I've been slow to respond to this, because it's a tough question.
Not that you need to use CC3, but it's continually updated. They released a major update a few years ago, which freshened up the interface a little without changing it (buttons in same place, etc.) What it didn't change was how you use the program, so the tutorials from 2008 still work, and is why they're still up.I've been slow to respond to this, because it's a tough question.
I think that complex maps do encourage more exploration---when we intrigue the players, their characters follow!Most importantly, does a topologically-complex map invite exploration?
That makes sense. I group basic encounters into four main types (with full explanations at https://grodog.blogspot.com/2017/05/dungeon-strangitude-variations-on.html if you're curious):So the question is whether the topological complexity of the environment inspires the PCs, which turns in part on the DM's ability to explain it. And I suspect it depends, it isn't as simple as topological complexity, it may depend on what kind of complexity.
Since players spend much of their time interacting with #1 and #2, while seeking #3 and #4, the only ways to provide variety in literally-empty rooms, chambers, and connecting corridors sometimes seasoned with dungeon dressing is via the dungeon map design itself. That, in part, helps to define _why_ corridors have many common width options (5', 10', 20', 30'+), why intra-level stairwells are important, why moving walls, streams and wells, airshafts, trapdoors up/down, stairwell landings, etc., etc. are important to keeping the exploration interesting, because most of the time the level's design is what the encounter is (i.e., nothing or dungeon dressing). Etc.
- Nothing: literally nothing to see here—search for secret doors and move along; I try to insure that that a number of seemingly-empty rooms are, in fact, empty, to help dungeon dressing stand out further
- Dungeon dressing: spot color to maintain the game’s flow, provide distraction, and avoid player boredom; some dressing will be simple spot color, while some will be “special” dungeon dressing---dressing with inspirational potential that could build into a something of significance, and perhaps even a true encounter, depending upon the players’ actions in response (i.e., when I'm winging it); in general, dungeon dressing should also highlight the unique aspects of a level in the small, details that make A1 differ from A4 (I dislike the term “special” so if you think of a better adjective, please let me know!)
- Encounters: the usual mix of monsters, treasures, traps, hazards, riddles, puzzles, tricks, enigmas, and other dungeon features that wreak havoc upon PCs
- Centerpiece encounters: the unique and distinctive encounters that resonate with players across the years of a campaign, like the Black Reservoir and Great Stone Face of Castle Greyhawk, and the Unopenable Doors and Terrible Iron Golem of Maure Castle
Agreed: I'm not particularly fond of intentionally trying to confuse mappers. I just happen to like building complex maps, which may be confusing (although I do try to describe them clearly).I do know that I don't like maps that are designed to confound mapping.
I have a blog post (or perhaps more properly a TTS article, I suppose) I've been noodling on for awhile about interstitial encounters, which I think your way-points may also sort of point toward. More soon!I really like these little adventure "way points" as part of a longer journey.
BTW, I love these examples! Great prose in the blog-article.Centerpiece encounters: the unique and distinctive encounters that resonate with players across the years of a campaign, like the Black Reservoir and Great Stone Face of Castle Greyhawk, and the Unopenable Doors and Terrible Iron Golem of Maure Castle
Through taunting riddles, strange portals, the sheer busyness of its elaborate frescoes and bas-reliefs—and hideous death traps, of course—S1 Tomb of Horrors builds an overwhelming feeling of dread in PCs (and players, perhaps!), and of ancient, undisturbed secrets best left unsought.
Some mysteries of dungeon dressing are not meant to be solved immediately, if ever—otherwise they’re not mysteries, right?