Thursday, February 23, 2023

#Dungeon23 week 8

This week's entries are done in journal form, but haven't been typed up. I found my concepts evolving as the stuff was grinding out of my pencil barrel, but basically the second level holds a tribe of amphibious people whose sacred grounds were scorched by the lava worms from level 1 (and a future deeper level). On this level, their continued presence is seen as creatures in skeletal form that appear "backward." As the species evolved, things rotated around, like a flat fish. Instead of having arms that faced their belly, their arms reached up around the spine. Something like that anyway. 

After drawing the skeleton doodle in the journal below, I remembered an old drawing that I did which is perfect for the zine. That drawing appears at the end of the string of images. It's one of my favorite drawings from around 2018. I distinctly remember starting it as a horizontal drawing with that skull shape and then turning the iPad to give the whole thing a twist and make it cooler.

This level of the dungeon seems to have three main parts. Part 1 is the bird folk and the Conservator (top third). Part 2 is the fish folk upper levels (their lower/submerged levels will be in a future issue). Part 3 is the mini maze and hall of the bull-cultists, which will lead to the Deep Labyrinth in the next issue. 

My memorable NPC for this level is going to be a time-stuck wizard that lives in the chasm. He knows lots of ice spells and stuff. (I just realized I am cribbing off the Winter Warlock from the old Rankin Bass Santa Clause is Coming to Town! But also a bit from the time-obsessed new year show from the same line. Hmmm. Could we see islands lost in time? A giant buzzard named Eon? And no I'm thinking about the Ice King from Adventure Time as well.) 

I have to say, it has been a slog this month (not Dungeon23 really, but other things that have shaded the month) and I feel like just now, two-thirds the way through, the ideas are heating up! I look forward to typing them out for the zine and making them richer. Thus goes the creative mood cycle. The important thing is, of course, to work through it all and let some days be less brilliant than others. If you stop working, you might miss the good stuff. So every day I try to put pencil to paper and move it around. If the muse is there, the ideas fly. If not, it's like unsatisfying sex.

BTW, I uploaded a new version of BSD1 today. You can get it at The changes were cosmetic: new color cover, improved monster stat blocks (more close match OSE formatting), and the dungeon spread was moved to the center fold. 

Hope your own #Dungeon23 projects are going well!

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