Moving up to the 1st floor, I’m really happy with what we find. No factions of note, but a ton of fun trick/special rooms.

Special rooms are one of the rooms I struggle with creating the most, so to see so many great designs is a treat and inspiration. Some specific highlights include room 17 with it’s night casino and room 22 with it’s insidious yet entirely harmless fox plush.

I’m mildly annoyed that the & Mag version of this floor has the wrong map at the back, but we’ll only be putting up with these mistakes for 1 more week. Hopefully there will be a solution to this problem before then. (foreshadowing)

Another critique comes for rooms 50-53. It’s not immediately obvious that all 4 doors to room 53 have 4 individual locks on them, as this is not described in the text. I do like the "4 trials" design, but it’s position in the castle feels semi-arbitrary, and while great, the reward for solving these trials doesn’t seem to line up with the verisimilitude presented in the rest of the castle.

On the upside, there’s a fun bit of environmental storytelling where all of the men’s spaces (such as baths and washrooms) are relatively bland and barren, some effort was clearly used to make the women’s spaces much nicer. There’s an implication that some lady of the house liked decorating, and had a perchant for purples and dolphins, something that could be fun to dig into.

Something that’s been bouncing around in my head, but didn’t really crystalize until this week is the amount of treasure just laying around. Traditional dungeon design guidelines call for much less treasure in random rooms, but I’m coming to like this denser arrangement, as it provides a more engaging room-to-room experience. I know part of this is a knock-on effect of the setting (a noble castle) and the original publishing format, (daily posts) but I may give this denser setup a try in my own works.

Next week we move onto the 2nd floor of the Inner Ward and the last area published by & Mag. Hopefully I’ll have something to share before next Monday on what happens going forward.

Other Works