MINES OF KHUNMAR to be published (soonish I hope)

A few years ago I released a pdf of notes and maps (about 5 mb — 50-60 pages) of a “megadungeon” of my own creation that had been ‘under construction’ since 1980 or so. It got some approval from those who like big-ass dungeons, like here… or here… or elsewhere.

But the initial release (in 2004), although free, was just a scan of about 90% of the maps (eight levels; each level consists of around 2 to 5 maps) and very brief summaries (written by me) of what was on each level. It was just an outline.

Enter Geoffrey McKinney. He downloaded the ‘outline’ and wrote me to say that he wanted to see it printed. I hemmed and hawed and whined that the original notes were all written in pencil or ink on school notebook paper with lots of abbreviations and cross-outs and spelling errors and my handwriting was crap anyway, so he said that if I scanned the pages, he would type them up and send me an MS word copy. I took him up on his kind offer.

About a year ago, one of the OSR publishers approached me to ask if I would like to see Khunmar go to print. We had some discussions, but after a year we hadn’t made much progress, and, since I have been out of work for a while, I decided that if ever I was going to have time to work on Khunmar, it would have to be now. Previously I had released ‘Exquisite Corpses’ via Lulu and had been pleased with the way that worked out.

So I’ve decided to publish it myself. Whether via Lulu or some other means is still in doubt. I haven’t figured out what set of rules I should make it compatible with, but I’m guessing I’ll just make it as close to ‘generic D&D’ as I can using a rule set like “Labyrinth Lord” or similar.

This is a massive undertaking. So far, without maps or much editing, the manuscript runs over 100 pages. The maps are all poorly drawn in pencil on yellowing graph paper and need to be redrawn. I’d like to use the book as a showcase for my illustration and will be illustrating it myself with scenes of adventurers in the dungeon itself (the picture above is my rendition of one of the encounters involving a giant cyclops and his pet hydra that I painted for my own amusement). I would also want the book to be interesting for the other dungeon masters or mega-dungeon fans to read, so many of the entries (which consist of just the name of a monster, hitpoints and treasure, if any) have to be written and ‘fleshed out.’ There are also lots of errors: missing levels, stairs that lead nowhere, mislabeled rooms, etc. An unrealistically optimistic estimate would say that the earliest it will be even close to being ready for print is a year from now.

But I’m excited and eager to see it through. As an example of how I would like to see the maps done, I’m attaching one of the maps (level 2f) below. Click to see an enlargement.

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