Architect, Landscape Architect, Urban Designer, Land Use Planner, Environmental Observer

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

RPG (role-playing games) and City Geomorphs...

I had never heard much about role-playing games (I had heard of Dungeons and Dragons, of course) and I had no idea about game boards and geomorphs.

I have been putting a book together about architectural plans and I saw a Pinterest post about a tower. It was hand drawn, carefully done, and quasi-historically accurate.

The array of work on the website is phenomenal...

I wanted to know more and like Alice in Wonderland, I went through the rabbit hole of RPG worlds. I learned that the plan was the creation of Dyson Logos, and that he has a complete portfolio of buildings, cities and game boards...

Dyson’s Dodecahedron started out (under the title of “A Character For Every Game) when I decided it was worth the time and effort to make two characters (one starting character, one “advanced” character) for every RPG I own. However, when you have a collection of 200+ RPGs, sooner or later you discover that a project of that magnitude is quite the undertaking. Slowly the blog transformed into a general RPG blog, where I talked a lot about the games I’ve played and how I like to play them. Then I started posting the occasional bit of house rules to go along with those posts.
Then I posted a One Page Dungeon that I had written up for the One Page Dungeon Contest in 2009. I wasn’t happy with the map I drew for that dungeon, and started looking at the maps drawn by other members of my various RPG groups. I started to develop a new style for my maps. Not an “original” style overall – it is strongly based in the cartography I enjoyed from old Palladium and Chaosisum products, but significantly less like the style of the traditional D&D map which is very grid-oriented.
Then I started to post maps drawn in this style. As I practiced the style, I challenged myself to draw a geomorph every other day until I had at least 100 geomorphs. The blog got pretty boring during this stretch, but I learned a lot about mapping and dungeon design, and the blog got a reputation as a mapping blog. That reputation is well-earned now. The main content of the blog these days is my fantasy RPG maps, with a minor focus on “OSR” RPG content. I’ve got a few hundred maps on the blog now for you to explore, along with over a dozen adventures.

"I’m Dyson. I’ve been gaming since 1979 in a variety of game systems, but most often playing Dungeons & Dragons (particularly Moldvay Basic). But that’s not to say I haven’t played other games along the way, with dalliances in science fiction, cyberpunk, urban fantasy, and other game settings."

As I got further in, I learned of a gamer who had put together a program that develops city plans. I could not resist and came up with some of the following -

"Even though I’ve never really role-played before, the role-playing community has welcomed me with open arms since I first created the mapper as a branch off of Rob Lang’s mapper. Now I find myself enjoying the art of map-making and working on a variety of gaming resources for everyone to use.

Things I plan to post here include some of my tiles and mapping work (so others can find it easily without scraping the mapper itself), changelogs and whatnot about the mapper, information on other role-playing related projects (e.g. DungeonMorph dice), and anything else I can think of that might be of interest to the role-playing community. If these things appeal to you, by all means bookmark this blog, add it to StumbleUpon, subscribe by RSS, print out pages and tape them to your bedroom walls, or whatever you want to do. I’m just happy to have you as a visitor."

Being an architect, I was particularly struck by these geomorphs by the designer

"I have no formal background in architecture but I've been doing technical illustration for over 30 years for a number of industries from educational publishing to medical device development, and defense systems."

I apologize to the designer whose name I did not write down, but here some other beautiful geomorphs...

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Recommended Books

  • - Precedents in Architecture
  • - City Comforts
  • - A Pattern Language
  • - The Architecture of Happiness
  • - Architectural Composition
  • - Design Language
  • - Elements of Garden Design
  • - Chambers for a Memory Palace