Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ancient City of Forbidden Gods

More forbidden gods for you!
This dungeon apparently has a blender in it. That seems a perfectly sensible thing to include in a dungeon, and yet I feel I must slightly apologize for including such an un-dungeonish thing in this setting. Of course that assumes that what appears to be a blender to our eyes is, in fact, a blender. Perhaps it is some sort of astral antennae. On the other hand, if an object is handled and used by enough people in their daily ritual in our world, who is to say that this could not create the requisite resonance to cause a divine focus in some other world.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Microdungeon 10

Still working away on my 10 microdungeon requests. I drew a couple more today. I'll scan them soon. Once they've all be drawn and published, I'll be sending them out to the lucky owners. Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Atomic Castle of Death

When death moved in, the villagers complained, but nobody did anything, because Death is a hard force to impose, and it kept the dragons away.
But after a while people started, well, dying; which is the thing with death isn't it. So a band of adventurers was duly hired. Their task: enter Death's dark castle an induce it, by word or by deed, to stop visiting death on the village. Welcome to the Atomic Castle of Death.

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 20, 2012

Atomic City of the Githyanki

The Githyank build their cities near Ilithid outposts, the better to check the ambitions of their oldest foe.
Aghyth'atch, known as the Atomic City is unique among these. Neither a Githyanki construction nor a former Ilithid stronghold, it was built by unknown beings and may have wandered the Astral depths for millennia before its capture. Even now its sentient heart longs to be back on the unknown errand its creators programmed into its fiber at the dawn of time.

When you help the Atomic Heart on its mission, take +1 forward to rolls inside the city. When you hinder it, take +1 forward in dealings with Githyanki or Ilithids.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Underground Maze of the Githyanki

What are the Githyanki up to in this underground maze? Are they excavating that skull, or did they just find it there? Shard of what?

These new microdungeons are sparking my inspiration more than I expected. I thought I was kind of done with microdungeons, but now it seems like maybe I'm not!

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Haunted Tower of Forbidden Gods

The first of the Microdungeon 10: the Haunted Tower of Forbidden Gods. What makes a god forbidden? Is it enough that worship of the god is outlawed somewhere? Or must the god himself be somehow proscribed? And what manner of authority is required to achieve that feat? Or is there something ontologically significant about the state of being forbidden (at least where a god is involved)?

Labels: , , ,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Who Wants Dungeons?

I need some fresh dungeon inspiration, so I'm trying a little experiment.

I'm going to draw 10 new dungeons, and I'm going to send them to you for $5 a piece.

Update: Only one left! Wow that was fast!
They are all gone! Sorry if you missed it. There will be a next time!

Pick one theme from column A, one from column B, and one from column C. Then post you choices in the comments, or email them to, or DM me at @tonydowler or just come by my house or whatever. All dungeons will be published here.

Column AColumn BColumn C
  1. Clockwork
  2. Haunted
  3. Interdimensional
  4. Underground
  5. Crumbling
  6. Atomic
  7. Monster
  8. Dragon
  9. Tentacle
  10. Make one up
  1. Cave
  2. Lair
  3. Tower
  4. Maze
  5. City
  6. Castle
  7. Factory
  8. Mansion
  9. Starship
  10. Make one up
  1. of the Owlbear
  2. of the Vampire
  3. of Science
  4. of the Hellbeast of mouths
  5. of the Robot
  6. of the Githyanki
  7. of forbidden gods
  8. of Death
  10. Make one up
Pay me $5 via Paypal here, no shipping charged:
Your selection
Or just wait to see how your dungeon looks and then decide if you want to pay for it, that's cool too.

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Details of the Mission

The neighborhood is 1d6 square blocks in size and...
1. Dense residential
2. Medium residential
3. Wealthy residential
4. Commercial
5. Downtown financial district
9. Special (stadium, theme park, missile silo, etc.)
10. Roll twice, and combine, or it's between the two

Your mission is...
1. Scavenge for goods
2. Find a safe camp or defensible area
3. Trade goods for goods
4. Just get through safely
5. Retrieve a specific large, dangerous, or resistant item or person
6. Get a message to someone and bring back their answer
7. Eliminate a threat
8. Sabotage or theft
9. Prepare a detailed scouting report
10. None of these, you're already lost or fleeing

Cal Anderson Park, West

Known threat in this area is...
1. Gangs and mobs
2. One particularly dangerous badass
3. Territory is claimed by rivals or enemies
4. Natural hazards and dangerous terrain
5. Wild animals
6. Someone is actively trying to stymie the mission
7. Traps or ambush
8. Unfriendly locals

The area can be described as...
1. Largely untouched with good scavenging
2. A scene of massive destruction
3. Scarred by fire or other disaster
4. Heavily damaged by battle or mass violence
5. Containing an organized community
6. Overgrown and near collapse
7. Eerily well preserved
8. Divided between two armed camps
9. A known local source of particularly useful scrounge
10. A generally agreed-upon neutral area for trade or parlay

Local color
1. Strangely silent with oppressive, heavy air
2. Misty and dark with little visibility
3. Grisly trophies affixed to posts and walls
4. Locals who offer abundant apparent hospitality
5. Heavily overgrown with dense, unnatural plant life
6. A once-was landmark now festooned with weird offerings
7. A madman, lost in delusions, spouting weird half-truths
8. A place of worship
9. A scene of rare beauty
10. A tableau of destruction, a grim reminder of hopes dashed
Art by Tim Wistrom

Labels: ,

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Smoke Man

It wouldn't be right to say that Capitol Hill is abandoned now, but it wouldn't be right to call it inhabited either. Now it's just a few souls hanging on to the ragged edge, living by scavenging or trade with one of the better established holds. Still, you can find a bit of hospitality if you know where to like. Like the smoking man. Everybody needs something to trade, and he trades smokes. Could be he cleared out the tobacco stores after the End. Or maybe he found a truckload, or even a warehouse, but this is the one place in Old Seattle where you can still get smokes, the way they were made back then. 12th and John, just past the wrecks.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Domed Sunken Mystery Stygian City of the Hidden King

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fantasy Maps

Amazing post over on Boing Boing right now regarding Fantasy Maps. Go read!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

15 Years After the End of the World

In 1889, the City of Seattle suffered a great fire that destroyed the entire downtown. Resources to fight the disaster were inadequate, and in some cases made things worse. Attempts to halt the fire by using explosives to demolish buildings in its path failed and, when already-burning buildings were detonated, only served to spread burning debris further afield.

Some people never learn.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Becoming an Artist, the Continuing Tour

Last week I sent out a carefully constructed email to a curator at an art gallery where I occasionally drop in to look at art and chat. I included some samples of my work, a bit of information on who I am and what I'm doing with my art, and a request to come by and talk about having my work exhibited in the gallery. I received an enthusiastic response along with a price list for how much I'd need to pay to have my art hang there. Now the gallery is in a pretty sweet spot, right on the edge of downtown with plenty of foot traffic. But paying to have my art displayed is not where I want this whole thing to go, and seems a dubious way to start out.*

So I did some research, came up with a list of galleries that might be interested in a brand new nobody artist like me, took my Friday off work, and went visiting. The artist-owned Soil Gallery in Seattle shows new artists and is interested in stuff that might not otherwise get seen. I was surprised to see that their membership includes some artists I like, and have even met. You can submit a proposal to have a show there at certain times of the year. What really blew me away was the quality of the stuff they've shown. This sets a really high bar, but it's a bar I can aim for. It was a great exercise to get a solid glimpse of one path ahead.

Also, by accident, I ran across a small independent gallery called Fictilis where I chatted with one of the owners for 20 minutes about the aesthetics of shipping containers. I was kind of blown away by the place. Everything in the place was pretty cool, and they have a couple of upcoming exhibits that I could imagine getting my work into. This was also pretty uplifting.

And then I came home and said the hell with all that and jumping through anybody's hoops by my own, and dammit I'm going to make some pictures.

North end of Cal Anderson Park, 15 years after the end of the world.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Autonomous Art

Today I happened across a piece of art that pretty much addresses the issues I was raving about yesterday, Ward Shelly's Autonomous Art.

Ward's graphic of the evolution of the Art World lays it out pretty succinctly. The upper thread forms a bubble, "the rarefied aesthetic realm", through which runs "control of the means of recognition, distribution, and valuation". The lower thread runs through "economic growth" to the "culture product" and into "happiness becomes a consumer product". The diagram makes implies these two threads are merged or merging, but doesn't really make it clear. The final notation on the top says "assuming a critical pos(e)ition but absolutely dependent on capital/industrial economy", which points to a note on the bottom "what happens when the economy tanks--?"

Also, there's this interesting little arrow off the Internet labeled "out?"

Wards work is pretty awesome. Definitely check out his History of Science Fiction. I guess the point is that art is always changing. I'm not going to seat it to much trying to keep up with the "Art World."


Squids like cupcakes!