Wednesday, March 23, 2011

11 year old Matt writes dungeon map key

Still on the topic of my magnum opus megadungeon that I wrote at the age of 11 (the map is in this post):
I just don't think the pencil writing from the map key is going to reproduce well enough to read, so here are the first 5 entries (no fixing of grammar or anything):

2nd level

1. this large room has the air of a checkpoint. a small booth is next to the door, and inside are: a whistle, a sword, and an i.d. card.

2. 8 orcs hps 8,7,6,6,6,5,4,3 are playing cards in this room. The room is devoid of detail other than the table and 9 sleeping furs.
Every round the party is in the room, there is a 10% chance of another orc, hps 7 entering. He carries 4 dead sumatran rats. (food)
treasure - in a hole concealed by the rug is a ruby studded bracelet worth 1,500 gps.

3. this room is bare stone, but 3 normal arrows lie on the floor

4. as players [something is erased and written over here] enter the room, a bag drops from the roof, and bursts on the player first in the marching order. The bag contains 11 giant centipedes hps 2 each, +4 on save vs. poison
1,900 cps

5. Empty

My favorite room:

[handwriting changes a bit at room 34, so I must have continued writing the key a bit later - especially since I apparently had it mis-numbered: 34 is changed from 35, and 35 (an empty room) is squished in between lines.]

34. the first player to walk in this room will meet a nasty surprise! as he walks in, he will suddenly realize that he is surrounded by a sturdy cage. Before he, or any other character can react, the secret door closes & locks, as does the cage. Then the unfortunate spies an ogre grinning devilishly at him. The ogre pushes the cage, which is meshed - ie - no chopping at the ogre, away from the door, and presses another one in its pace. The ogre (hps [erased, but you can read that it was 18])begins to start a fire, and sharpen a butcher knife.
He owns 850 gps. in the lining of his clothing

Unfortunately nothing remains from my Greyhawk campaign that I ran in the early 80s, which had a large group playing in it. Goblinear Crag was basically a dungeon that I ran just with my best friend Jim, who had four characters that he ran as a whole party:
Glynn the Grey (Cleric)
Tyriene Redbark (elven FT/MU)
Aphsai the Monk
Morwin the Golden Crescent (thief)

This was all so long ago that I don't remember any stories from the adventuring in the dungeon except one - I do remember the tense situation in which every member of the party was unconscious except Morwin - and even Morwin was down to one hit point, so there must have been some truly epic battle. Anyway, I can remember the tension as Morwin would drag one of the other characters forward 120ft, go back, grab the next, and then once they were all moved forward, start over again 120ft at a time. All the while, wandering monster checks were being rolled, and if the wrong number came up, Morwin was going to head for the hills and leave Jim's other three beloved characters to get eaten. They must have survived, because we used those characters much later, even in a college game.


  1. Wow. Room 34 is pretty amazing, especially for being the work of an 11-year-old. Thanks for sharing!

  2. That's a great key. I like the bursting bag of centipedes. I'll have to use that myself!