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Revised Sample Level from Underworld & Wilderness Adventures

As many know, in the original printed version of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS volume 3 (“The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures”) Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson presented a sample dungeon level. Accompanying that example was a graphic illustration that visually demonstrated a number of these concepts. In other words, it’s an example of a dungeon map!

As Zach Howard notes, there are actually two versions of this illustration. An original (and much clearer) version that was replaced in later printings with a new version that obscured (rather than clarify) much of the examples that Gygax and Arneson used.

Honestly, neither map is perfect, though given the restraints that Tactical Studies Rules faced in 1974, I suspect it was the best the company could do at the time. That said, I thought it would be fun to use the sample map as a springboard to create both a more modern version and also clarify points that the revised version hid.

My version, first in colour and then in black and white, is below. Grab your copy of OD&D volume 3, starting on page 4, and use that to refer to my versions.

Oh, a few points of clarification: each version of the original published map are exceptionally unclear regarding section 8. Specifically, the “evil man” reference looks (at least to my eye), to inhabit section “J” – but that section does not exist in Gygax and Arneson’s printed notes. Also, the original printed version appears (again to my eye) to include dungeon hallways leading away from section “I” and disappearing both to the east and to the south. The revised printed version of the map eliminates these hallways but I’m unsatisfied with that ‘correction.’ I added them back in my version.

Anyway! These were quite enjoyable to do and hopefully you like them, too. Besides, why should Dyson Logos have all the fun?!

Postscript: I primarily do comics! If you'd like to check out my current series, WOLF'S HEAD, please visit https://wolfs-head.vonallan.com/2020/03/wolfs-head-previews-and-purchase-links.html

Von Allan's revised colour version of the Sample Level Map found in OD&D Book 3 The Underworld and Wilderness Adventures
Von Allan's revised black and white version of the Sample Level Map found in OD&D Book 3 The Underworld and Wilderness Adventures

Wolf's Head by Von Allan

Link to Von Allan's Wolf's Head comic book series

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