Friday, December 16, 2022

#Dungeon23 Challenge for 2023

Dungeon 23 logo

Dungeon23 Logo designed by Lone Archivist and generously made available for free through the CC BY 4.0 licenses.

"Megadungeon for 2023. 12 levels. 365 rooms. One room a day. Keep it all in a journal"

Sean McCoy posted a few days ago about writing up a megadungeon - by hand, in a notebook, journal, or planner - one room a day for the entirety of 2023. His post at Win Conditions (his substack newsletter) goes into more details. His original Prompt List is available separately. There are quite a few other bloggers posting tons of links to resources of every sort and kind imaginable, so just search on "Dungeon23," or use the hashtag #Dungeon23 and you'll find plenty to keep you occupied.

What I'll be doing (or at least attempting) is creating one room a day, every day for 2023. By hand. All messy, imprecise and whatever. This is perfect for a daily practice for one hour each day, or something like that. I may scan it all in later and clean things up, add some bits and pieces after the fact, but the primary focus is to design one good room per day for the year and see where this process takes things. I really like the idea that this megadungeon, or series of littler dungeons, will be developing organically through daily practice.

With luck (and Perseverance) I will end up with 365 rooms (maybe more). Sean recommends breaking things up into 7-room sections by week to keep things manageable. He is also collecting each month's rooms into a level, so there'll be 12 levels. Sounds pretty decent. I may or may not do that. I don't know yet.

I am planning right now to only post once a week as to my progress, maybe more often, maybe not. I'm approaching this as a fun daily exercise/experiment sort of thing, not a tedious task that gets in the way of other projects, and I do have a lot of backlogged stuff I want to work on in the coming year. But starting my day with an hour in the morning doodling and writing about a fresh, new dungeon of some sort that even I don't really know anything about -- yet -- well, that sounds excellent to me.

My copy of The Worldbuilder's Notebook from Swordfish Islands just arrived yesterday, so I'm all set and ready to go...but I am going to hold off on things until closer to the First of the Year. Like Sean said:

Don't overthink it. Don't make a grand plan, sit down each day and focus on writing a good dungeon room.

That, to me, sounds like an excellent way to start out the New Year.


  1. Good on you - I looked at that project, but its more than my little brain can handle these days. And good thoughts on your other projects as well. Still holding out for that Wermspittle sourcebook. ha.

    1. This challenge came at the right time for me. I could use a simple, daily-practice sort of thing to help me get back up to speed, so I'm going for it.

      We just managed to get nearly 80% or so of all my random files, folders and what-not sorted into a nice Ikea bookshelf unit so things can approach some level of being organized. Now we're going over everything and getting them all sorted out by priority. So, hope to see some real meaningful progress on some of these projects soon.

      Wermspittle is still going, still building in the background. I have a ton of notes and sketches (and some maps) stacked up on one of the three shelves dedicated to that place, its denizens, and its surroundings. Bujilli is also getting tinkered with fairly often. Just need to set aside some dedicated time and build some master pages/templates and pull all the serials (so far) together for editing. Less pain, less brain-fog, mean real progress is getting made at last.


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