I thought it was time to fill you people in on the progress of the Stonehell compilation project as some time has passed since I mentioned the start of that endeavor.
As of tonight, the fourth level of the dungeon is 90% complete. All the maps are finished and all four quadrants have been stocked and keyed. There are a few niggling details that need to be finished up before I can check it off my “to do” list but I’m comfortably residing on the fifth level right now.
The fifth level has half of its map completed and the second half is in a rough draft in my head. I’ve completed the stocking and keying of the first quadrant of level five but, as with level four, there are still a few minor tweaks to do before I’d call it done. I had hoped to start on the second quadrant tonight but it’s getting late and it’s best to break away now rather than have to redo parts of it later. I know for certain what’s going to be lurking in that section, as well as who has taken up residence in the third quadrant, but the fourth part is still unformed as to residents, trickery, and general dungeon shenanigans. I’m optimistic, however, as some of my more funky sections have been birthed when I started putting pen to paper without any preconceived ideas and just started creatively interpreting the dice to form something memorable.
Once level five is in the can, I’ll be heading back up to the surface to detail what exactly sits atop Stonehell in the sunlit lands. My first impression is that the surface level is going to be smaller than the average dungeon level – maybe three sections tops and possibly only two, and will mix a few dungeon-esque encounters with some wilderness beasts. Maybe a last chance for adventurers to find a little friendly help before heading down into the dark. The emphasis is on the dungeon itself, however, so I don’t want the outside world to overshadow the corridors beneath it.
After the surface is finished, it’ll be time to go over the completed three levels with an editing pen, make some adjustments, and reformat those levels to jive with the lower two. A few pages of a general dungeons notes, an appendix consisting of some useful tables and other referee treats, and I think it will be ready to see the light of day.
I’ve already got some interesting plans for the second half of Stonehell but I anticipate taking a little breather in between the completion of the compilation and the start of level six. I’m going to try and get quadrants two and three of the fifth level close to completion before the deluge of One Page Dungeons arrives for judging, which I anticipate will put all work on Stonehell to a grinding halt until those have all been adjudicated.
To whet your appetites and keep you interested, some of the features of the lower levels include: humming stones, giant glow worms, a gold mine, ogre moonshine, a chasm to elsewhere, a ghost unlike any other, and the “Great Hunt.” I’ll be checking in with updates as they develop.