If you’ll look to the right-hand side of this page, you’ll notice that I’ve collected all three of the upper levels of Stonehell into single zipped files, one for each level. Looking back at the work that I’ve done over the last four months, I’m very pleased with how the dungeon has developed incrementally during that time and I’m eagerly anticipating what remains to be done.
In the process of reviewing the completed levels, which is something I’ve been doing a bit of lately, I’ve begun to see little flaws in the overall scheme of things. Nothing too troublesome, but as the dungeon has evolved with each new section and level, I’ve discovered some minor details that I’d like to change now that I know for certain what lays deeper in the bowels of the place. For a while now, I’ve been considering going back and doing a small amount of rewriting in order to make the dungeon tighter and to give it a bit more of an overall thematic structure.
The more that I considered this, the more the idea began to grow on me. I saw the opportunity to improve on the general two-page format and began to consider collecting various background information and the dungeon’s crunchy bits under separate headings to make referencing those aspects of the dungeon easier during play. I’m now convinced that to do so would be for the best.
Due to this plan, I’m suspending doing regular releases of new dungeon sections for the foreseeable future. My plan is to go back and make the changes that I feel I need to do, collect the background, monsters, new magics, etc. into single chapters and to assemble a definitive upper works of the dungeon to help tie the whole thing together. Once this is finished, I’m going to collect these sections, along with Levels One through Five, and make the entire first half of the dungeon available as a single release. I think the end result will be a much better dungeon that can be explored canonically as a whole if one wished to do so, without sacrificing the ability to take parts of the dungeon and plug them into an ongoing game.
My decision to do this shouldn’t be misconstrued as a growing lack of interest in Stonehell; quite the opposite. I’ve already finished mapping the fourth level of the dungeon and have completed the notes for the first two sections of it. I’m writing those sections up in the slightly altered format that I intend to eventually apply to the completed levels in order to see if it functions the way I intend it to. So far, it looks good.
I’m not going to attempt to set a deadline for the completion of the upper half of Stonehell. As last week reminds us, one can never completely expect what each week will bring. I might plow through my rewrite quickly or it may be a slow, painstaking process. In either case, I will make Stonehell into a better place (from the referee’s point of view anyway. I can’t promise the adventurers an easier time). I’m comfortable taking the time to do this now because, if the post game reports that I’ve been seeing from people exploring Stonehell are any indication, I’ve got a big time buffer before any of those adventurers start edging close to Level Four. I’d also like to do this now rather than finish up the first half of the dungeon completely and then have to go back and make the adjustment over the entire thing. It’s less of a time sink that way.
I’m also anticipating being up to my eyeballs in One-Page Dungeons over the next month due to the One-Page Dungeon Contest, so I believe that it’ll be for the best to suspend regular posting of Stonehell levels so that I a) don’t burn out completely from staring at the template over and over again and b) avoid influencing Stonehell or unconsciously plagiarizing contest entries while I’m writing up each new section of the dungeon.
Please excuse this temporary state of affairs. I truly believe that the end result will be a much better dungeon because of it. Thank you.