A to Z: K is for Khunmar!

Today is brought to you by the letter K.

Khunmar (as in “Mines of Khunmar,”) starts with the letter K. Khunmar is my magnum opus, my megadungeon, my Castle Greyhawk, my Castle Blackmoor, my Stonehell, my Castle of the Mad Archmage

The fellow at right has discovered why you should ‘go’ outside rather than dump a load in Khunmar.

I am definitely repeating myself here, but, in case you did not know, Khunmar is a big-ass dungeon drawn on graph paper, sheets of notebook paper, etc. I started it in the 80s, kept adding to it over the years and now it remains, a testament to the fact that for much of my teenage years I did not have a life. Fastforward a few decades. I found the binder in my parent’s attic. “I still have this?” I took the maps with me and scanned them, then wrote out brief outlines of each level and put them together in a pdf that I released for free over the series of tubes we call the internets.

Since there were around 8 levels (each level occupies an average of 2-5 sheets of graph paper) and lots of side and sub levels, the low res document was about 6 mb in size. People liked it.

Geoffrey wrote me and said how much he liked the dungeon and offered to type up my handwritten notes. Every few weeks I would scan a couple pages of my chickenscratch and email it off to him and he would patiently puzzle out what I had written 20+ years ago and type it. I think it took him a year or even two to finish that thankless, Herculean labor. Then a publisher (I’m not sure if I should refer to them by name so I will err on the side of caution) expressed interest in publishing it. For one or two years we exchanged emails but nothing happened. Somewhat frustrated but with no malice, I finally wrote to them and said I thought they should either commit or I would pull the project and try to do it on my own. They expressed regrets but indicated they were more interested in another megadungeon that wasn’t Khunmar, so, to my regret, we parted company.

This leaves me where I am now. Every six months or so I blog about “this is the year I will finish and publish Khunmar!” and then another six months go by before I work on it again… but, now that it is such a huge undertaking and 100% on my shoulders, I find myself a bit overwhelmed and undersupplied with time to give Khunmar it’s due. So I am somewhat leery of making any promises at this point other than to say that although not much progress has been made since my last post on the subject, I have every intention of finishing Khunmar… I just don’t know when.

3 Comments on “A to Z: K is for Khunmar!”

  1. Il Male™ says:

    I'm pretty good at editing, and would be glad to do it in change of a free copy ^^

    And I'm also skilled in designing maps with Photoshop!

  2. if you aren't absolutely sold on releasing as a commercial product, you could always just release incremental updates through your blog. It would help keep the motivational fires burning, without the pressures of having to have a final deadline looming overhead.

    btw, love the pic. I had just written up a similar situation, but was thinking of taking it back out. Now I'm sold.

  3. JDJarvis says:

    Making dungeons other people can run and enjoy is a tricky thing. Keep at it as you can deal and we'll love ya for it.

    As for using a potty in a dungeon…the last thing I imagine I'd have to worry about is when to go to the bathroom in a dungeon…oh look an anemic kobold with one good eye intent on stabbing me in the soft bits with a bent copper knife… well now I don't have to take a comfort break.

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