It’s called Mega Dungeon 1. The name alone carries a lot of weight, but it’s the 100 double-sided map sheets that really tip the scales. Those of you with fond memories of the 2nd edition Undermountain boxed sets will be delighted by this giant stack of dungeon maps and the accompanying adventures.
The dungeon itself is a $25 collection of double-sided map tiles depicting an enormous dungeon. The sheets are not printed in color, just black and white, but that doesn’t really detract from their awesomeness much in my opinion. The cartography and art is by Christopher West, and each room looks vivid and interesting. On one side of a sheet you’ll find empty dungeon areas. On the opposite side, the same dungeon but furnished with bits of treasure, statues, barrels and other interesting dungeon odds and ends.
Each sheet is labeled so you can piece together the “official” Mega Dungeon. Of course, the real fun with something like this is mixing and matching various bits of dungeon to make your own massive catacombs. Rooms range from tight and twisty passages to sprawling chambers that must be assembled from multiple sheets. Throne rooms, temples, lairs, jails, mazes, barracks…you’ll find all kinds of stuff in this dungeon. Plus, you’re given explicit permission to photocopy the sheets. Keep the originals safe and make copies that you can draw on, fold, alter and throw away when you’re done.
Just to emphasize how much dungeon you’re getting, Meg and I put together this beast that would surely take several nights of gaming to get through. The next image shows the stack of sheets that were left over when we were done. We’d barely even scratched the surface of what was available to build with.
Just building huge dungeons only scratches the surface of what you can do with the Mega Dungeon. For one thing, you can use the sheets to lay out the encounters for Gaming Paper’s first adventure, Citadel of Pain (actually, Citadel of Pain encompasses the entire Mega Dungeon!). You can also use them to create the dungeons described in All Stars Take on the Mega Dungeon, a collection of four adventures by Ed Greenwood, Monte Cook, Steven Schend and Brian Cortijo.
The adventures aren’t just collections of room descriptions connected by tunnels. They are full adventures with interesting characters, new twists on old monsters, and clever mechanics that allow the dungeons to change and react to the actions of the PCs. They’re mostly underground dungeons, but one is actually a keep (Steven Schend’s hilariously titled “Keep Away from the Borderlands!”). Each adventured is tuned for lower level characters — the highest CR rating I saw was a 6.
The bottom line here is that for $25 you’ll probably never have to buy a set of dungeon tiles ever again (until Mega Dungeon 2 comes out?). Add on the various adventures that utilize the dungeon maps and you’re looking at great value for your gaming dollars. Gaming Paper already has a good reputation for their low-cost hex and square grid playmats, and they’re only building on that with these adventures and dungeons.