I recently came across an interesting concept posted on Twitter by the name of #Dungeon23. Sean McCoy suggested a challenge for 2023 to make a single room of a dungeon for every single day of the year. It seems immensely daunting on first glance—a dungeon room every single day?!—but something about it seemed alluring to me. In particular, the following bit of advice from that post bolstered me:

The greatest creative advice I ever got was “have something to show for your time.” I’ve found a lot of success on always shipping projects every year. This is one of those projects, once you realize you can create a dungeon of this magnitude, your whole world opens up with what you can do. And it’s insanely fun too!

Sean McCoy, about #Dungeon23

The bugbear that tends to prevent me from starting projects is the undermining thought that somehow I have to produce something that’s “good”. Consistently, I’ve found that to be a fundamental untruth; whenever your aim is to produce something, it has to be just and only that: something. So, that’s what appeals me about this idea as well. The idea is just to make a little thing each day and see the compound interest on that repeated action. Sean points out a little earlier than the previous quote:

If you can’t think of what to write that day just write “Empty Room,” see how easy that is?

365 rooms written like “3 orcs, 25 gold pieces.” is better than 5 rooms written like “In this beautiful hand carved obsidian room sit 3 orcs arguing over a dice game. 25gp sit on the table, each of them…” See what I’m getting at? The goal is the finish line. Just get to the finish line. Trust me.

Sean McCoy, about #Dungeon23

I’ve gone ahead and gotten a Leuchtturm1917 B5 Composition softcover notebook to work in, both because I like having a dedicated item for a specific job as well as that working manually helps focus me better than digital work. It’s the first time I’ve worked in a B5-sized notebook, and I have to say I’m loving the sizing and paper quality of this thing. I specifically went for the dotted paper version so that it can be a good fit for both writing as well as drawing.

Today, I see that people have been expanding the concept, branching off into hashtags like #City23 or #Hex23, though I agree with the voices suggesting to bundle it all under #Dungeon23. Nevertheless, I enjoy the idea of using this impetus to not make a single megadungeon but rather to make it a hexcrawl adventure with multiple dungeons. The only thing I haven’t worked out yet is what the consequence ends up being for the “thing per day” mindset (i.e. how many of those are dungeon rooms and how many hexes?).

2 thoughts on “#Dungeon23”

  1. “Finished is better than perfect,” as a friend of ours always says. And it’s a bit like NaNoWriMo — the quality doesn’t matter, it’s the output that’s being measured.

    1. That’s exactly what I’m trying to remind myself of. I haven’t run personally-devised scenarios since I was a student, and I recall how much fun there was in just building things from scratch. Ironically, now with much more experience and knowledge, I’ve not even tried doing something like that.

      And hey, even if nothing comes of it, it’ll be fun on its own.

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