Thursday 12 April 2012

The Quattro Dungeon

There is something about stationary and art supply stores that I just love.  I mean, really.  I’m happier in a Staples Business Depot than I am at Future Shop.  Something to do with all of the untapped potential lying in wait in all that paper, I suppose.  Also, I really like a good pen, with a nice flow and even lines that don’t smudge.

Anyway, yesterday I picked up a Quattro 8 x 8 grid notebook, pictured below.

This notebook has a 2 x 3 inch grid, 1/8 divided, with 80 acid-free sheets.  I’ve included a scan of the interior, with a pencil beside it for size comparison.  The overall book is 3.4 inches x 5.5 inches.  The grid is 32 squares by 24 squares.  Assuming a scale of 1 square = 10 feet, that allows each page to hold an area no more than 320 feet by 240 feet.

My plan for the Quattro dungeon is this – each page holds a separate area, which links to at least one other page in the notebook (and probably 2-4; sometimes more).  The entire dungeon uses all 80 pages, and no area is larger than can be fit on a single page.  Connections might be long halls, stairs, chutes, chimneys, etc., but the areas must be clearly divided.  What I am imagining here is a hive of relatively small interconnected spaces to explore, extending outward and downward.

I might decide that some area needs a larger scale map, and that some pages will break this down to smaller scale.  Conveniently, the Quattro notebook breaks down 4 squares x 4 squares, and 8 squares x 8 squares, allowing one to create 40-foot or 80-foot scale maps and then break them down with ease (assuming no area uses more than 4 x 3 80-foot squares or 8 x 6 40-foot squares).  I have, in the past, found this sort of scheme useful for creating cavern complexes connected by long passages.

The result will be a potential 491,520,000 square feet of area to be mapped, and while each map will undoubtedly use less than its full potential, this should allow for an area large enough to be considered a megadungeon, mapped on a notepad small enough to conveniently fit into a jacket pocket.

And the notebook cost me about $2.50 Canadian at the Curry’s Art Store near Yonge & College (north, on the west side, across from Wendys).  Nice pen and coloured pencils are extra, of course!

Now, I’ll grant a priori that this may make me an über-nerd, but I find the very idea inspiring.  Simple to carry maps, large area mapped, and a cool format as well.

What’s not to like?

Thoughts?  Opinions?  Want to see some finished images when I map them?


  1. I believe that stationery and art supply addiction goes hand-in-hand with old-school gaming. And manual typewriters.

  2. I'm right - write? - there with you on cool stationery, and I hope you'll post the results in the future.

  3. Updates!! How is the Quattro Dungeon going?

  4. Sorry; I just assumed minimal interest and moved on to other things. Now that I see that isn't necessarily the case, I will have to try to revisit this.