Sunday, 22 November 2020

More on 'Found Maps'

Earlier in the week, I posted about me using the results of a solo Scrabble-like game to create dungeon maps for RPGs.  This has prompted a couple of people to contact me.

First, I am told that 'Found Maps' are a thing.  I thought it probably was, given the human proclivity for seeing patterns in random things.

Secondly, I want to flag that Goblin's Henchman has come up with at least two methods of creating random maps: -

If you're unfamiliar with Goblin's Henchman, he's an innovator and inventor of several random engines (most notably the Hex Flower) for creating not only maps, but also for stats and replacing dice generally.  Most of his creations can be found either free on his blog or as pay-what-you-want on his DriveThru RPG page.  As is the case with other pwyw products, I would urge that you pay for them: even a few pence shows respect to the creators and improves their standing with the DriveThru algorithms (in the immortal words of Harlan Ellison, "Pay the writer!").

Another fairly well-known method is the use of drop-dice.

But with all due respect to Mr Henchman and others, I'm not really talking about using random engines, but rather suddenly seeing a dungeon (or other) map in pre-existing things.  For example, as a child, I used to lie in bed looking at the cracks in the ceiling, seeing them as rivers on a plain.

Artist unkown to me

Which, of course, brings me to Robert Louis Stevenson, that great proponent of imagination in play and other aspects of life: -

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

I would be interested in hearing of any examples of the use of 'found' (rather than generated) maps.


  1. This springs to mind :

    That is, 2D (QR) barcodes as dungeon mazes!!

    1. Thanks. There's so much on your blog, it's hard to find sometimes! :-)

  2. I like the scrabble idea!


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