Saturday, May 7, 2016

Deciphering Dyson

I can't imagine there are any readers of my blog who are unfamiliar with Dyson's Dodecahedron. It's a must-read RPG blog -- and his lovely maps have gone isomorphic, which I simply adore as the most helpful kind of dungeon maps.

Recently as I was looking over one of Dyson's maps, I found a spot I couldn't rightly interpret, nor helpfully explain to Dyson my perception in the comments to get clarity. So I made some pictures to hopefully get across my problem to enable him to fix my understanding.

The map is found at the top of this post: Return to Durahn's Tomb. At the top of the stairs to the overlook above the elevated niche to the entry room is where my interpretation problem begins.

In the detail shot below, as I look at the right angle niche above the half-square dais or platform, the stairs appear to lead to an undifferentiated space. I can imagine that the red lines I've added below would differentiate the space, but they'd represent a sheer drop from the stairs which I doubt Dyson intended.

In the detail shot below, I have added a landing for the stairs in green lines that turn into a gallery above a lower overlook, but getting those two spaces to make sense together is also not exactly obvious.

Funny enough, if I flip the entire image (below) the problem with that intermediary space disappears entirely and the area becomes an octagon, and the only things that then would need fixing are the sarcophagi and the main entrance.

So, I look forward to Dyson's explanation, and I appreciate the time he spends sharing his labors with us foremost, but also in helping me get clarity.

If you have never supported Dyson's work before, now is as good a time as any. If you're looking for a one-time purchase, I've enjoyed his Dyson's Delves II, but you could also contribute to his Patreon account to keep these works coming and released into the wild.


  1. Hey there, I am pretty sure if you look at the Original floorplan, you'll see that the lines in Red and Aqua, do not match up to anything in that Original.

  2. The Room you are trying to figure out is a 2 level octagon.
    The bottom level has 5 side, 2 of which are stairs leading down.
    The upper level has 8 sides, with one being stairs leading down and 2 sides being shear walls going down the the lower level.

  3. Hey Kurt, thanks.

    In the red and aqua lines, I was not trying to add something to the isomorphic map that I thought was missing from the original floorplan, I was trying to make spatial sense of the isomorphic map as it is, adding elements to try to illustrate or clarify why I was having trouble understanding the middle and upper central portions of the map.

    Earlier, Paris Crenshaw messaged me and if I understand him correctly, he reads the map as you do. I can make myself see it that way, but it causes other problems for me, and I would probably need to do more modifications of the map to explain why. It appears to be some mix of some or all of the following elements: the hatchwork on the terminating walls of the upper portion of the octagonal room, the angles of those walls, and the level relationship between the octagonal room and the landing between the two flights of stairs to the left in the isomorphic map.

  4. I just whiopped this up, maybe it will help:!136144&authkey=!AL4-08xn5nB4-6c&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg

  5. Kurt's got it.

    The entrance zone we'll call +0

    The blue section is one set of stairs higher (and one grid square higher on the grid if you could see the original grid, which you can't) so it is +1.

    The green section is two sets of stairs higher (and two grid squares higher) than the entrance so it is +2 (or +1 above the blue section).

    The red section is another set of stairs higher, so it is +3 above ground level.

    Wherever there is grid drawn on the ground, the ground is flat and level.

    Basically, if your brain sees it all fine upside down - that's the exact relationships involved, just reversed.

    Also, upside down, the sargophagi make great creepy little pits.

  6. I just whiopped this up, maybe it will help:!136144&authkey=!AL4-08xn5nB4-6c&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpg

  7. Theodorous,
    I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was that you were seeing and your red and green linework made no sense to me. I'd written you off as a loon until, ironically, I checked out Kurt's helpful diagram. Suddenly your plight became obvious and now I can't unsee it.