Welcome back to Dungeons of Yesteryear!
When you were a kid, did you have a binder full of D&D maps that you drew yourself? And ruled paper with dungeon keys, that in retrospect may not adhere to any sensible rules of dungeon ecology?
Yeah, you weren’t the only one. Us, too.
In Dungeons of Yesteryear, we open up our own notebooks and show you some of OUR old dungeons. We’re hoping they conjure up as many good memories for you as they do for us. Let’s compare notes on dungeon keys, encounter choice, and, of course, whether that demon lord just hangs out in area 2-2 waiting until adventurers wander by for a light snack.
And sometimes, those dungeons turn into entire worlds…
Today we venture into the past of DCC author and co-host of the Picks From the Print Mine Twitch show, Dieter Zimmerman. While Dieter doesn’t have any dungeons for us to explore, he does have a couple of his old campaign settings to share with us.
Here’s Dieter’s description of the first one:
The first setting was based around the independent city of Chenay. The setting was pretty bland and cookie-cutter, to be honest, but it did have a couple of interesting things: centaurs as a PC race, Mongol-like nomadic warriors who looked up to the city and tried to start a settled city of their own, and elves that were horribly mutated by magic gone wrong (corruption FTW!). Crafted circa 1993 in my early college days, only 1 or 2 adventures ever took place here, which is a shame given the amount of work I put into it. I had a calendar, several pantheons, and a detailed map consisting of seven 8.5″ x 11″ maps! Also noteworthy, despite the setting’s lack of use, is the first appearance of several NPC names I’ve used over and over since then.
Dieter wasn’t done with just one campaign world, though. He shared with us another of his creations, brought to life after the first one was retired. Once again, here’s his description:
The second setting was created a few years later and based in the country of Actonael and its capital city Acton. My campaign ran for about a year, and then another of the players ran a second campaign in the same setting. The interesting thing about the map for this is that it was made using the first edition of the Campaign Cartographer software. Also, because the players had nearly as much hand in creating the world as I did, I kept an exhaustive glossary of all the people and places that got mentioned, no matter how minor. (I had a rule that players were free to make up new NPCs and places on the fly during the game and they’d be as real as if I made them, but they had to HAVE A NAME.)
A big thanks to Dieter for sharing his designs with us! We love seeing the early days of world-building from some of our talented creators! Be sure to watch him over on Picks From the Print Mine on Twitch and YouTube!
Do YOU have a Dungeon of Yesteryear that you’d like to share? If so, we’d love to see it. Please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps your trip down memory lane will take you right into a Dungeon of Yesteryear.