Ship Dungeon

1 May

So lately I’ve taken the plunge into role-playing. I’ve role-played in only three very short games before and never DMed. I’m mainly a computer gamer (if I can be called that, I only play when I have the time, which is rarely), yet with a girlfriend who has been a life long DM, I guess it was only a matter of time.

While I’m still clueless on the mechanics of playing (she’s helping me out with that) I have been really into trying to come up with cool settings. The first dungeon I made (which she is currently playing through) was set in a Jules Verne “Journey to the Center of the Earth” style Aztec village with a band of stranded un-dead conquistadors.

It’s only a page big, but has turned out to be mapping hell for her. For instance, I’m sure I gave her a major headache when I tried to describe this  diamond shaped room that had two more smaller diamond shaped rooms in it. Here is the lower half of the map (which she has explored):

Mapping hell

She also recently told me of some contest (I forget the name of it) where I have to create a dungeon that fits on one page. I wanted to do something other than the mundane generic medieval dungeon, so got the idea to use a shipwreck. It’s an enclosed space, that can have rooms, and dangers, and treasures. Then for setting, I tried to blend two things together, Egypt and Napoleonic France. So in short, it’s a sunken French ship coming back from French Occupied Egypt with something mysterious aboard!

Here is the map with just the ship’s outline filled out:


For the ship layout, I modified the design of a (Russian?) brig:


It was the only free ship layout I could find at the time, and it seemed to work nicely. For scaling, I decided to make each square 1 meter, instead of the normal 5 feet. I measured the brig schematics and the ship is roughly 40 meters long. I was able to fit four decks onto the piece of page.

I’m planning on having one deck be the top deck with the captain’s quarters, and then the lower decks will be anything from crew’s quarters, to kitchen, to gun deck, to cargo hold. Perhaps I’ll throw in a dash of Event Horizon. ~_^

As for creating individual rooms, I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do. I was thinking that a sunken ship has a lot of debris, and that things move around inside of the ship as it sinks. This could then create barriers that would form make-shift corridors.

I think it’ll be a lot of fun, and hopefully I can come up with some neat things to put in there.

7 Responses to “Ship Dungeon”

  1. Brian May 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

    Welcome to the world of DMing. And no, it’s not addictive. I’m sure we can all quit anytime we want. 😉

    Yeah, that first map sounds like a lot of fun (love me some pre-Columbian goodness) but a real bitch for mapping. Some of the old-schoolers will tell you that difficult mapping is one of the joys of the game, but I just find it annoying. Different strokes for different folks. I do know that the difficulties increase ten-fold in online gaming, which is why I keep most of my “dungeons” full of easy to map rectangle shapes.

    Assuming I’ve built the links right, here’s the One Page Dungeon Contest. The ship is a great idea. As you map it, consider that the explorers will be swimming through it rather than walking. That might make a difference in how you describe things or lay them out.

    Do you have a link to where you got the ship map?

    Best of luck,

    • Jeanette August 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      Of the panoply of website I’ve pored over this has the most veictray.

  2. godlesspaladin May 2, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    Yeah, the name of the ship is the “Priediestinacja” if you search google images you can find it along with models. Here is one like with a list of blueprints

  3. kaeosdad May 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm #

    Interesting map design. What’s the room on the right with the A-I in circles?

  4. Dr Rotwang! May 2, 2009 at 7:31 pm #

    Addictive? No, not really. The only reason *I* can’t quit is because NO ONE ELSE WANTS TO DO IT.

  5. godlesspaladin May 2, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    The room with the circles and A-I is a small village in a clearing around a fire.

  6. Vulcan Stev May 3, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    Fascinating idea. I wouldn’t mind seeing the whole map of the sunken ship. Sounds like I could drop it straight into a Pirates of the Spanish Main game without much difficulty.

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