On the Five Room Dungeon

Dyson's Dodecahedron

Over the next two to three months, I’m going to start each week with a five-room dungeon every Monday. There are a variety of reasons for this, but let’s tackle the actual concept of the five-room dungeon first.

The traditional structure of the 5RD is as follows:

• Room 1: Entrance And Guardian
• Room 2: Puzzle Or Roleplaying Challenge
• Room 3: Red Herring
• Room 4: Climax, Big Battle Or Conflict
• Room 5: Plot Twist

And between the various locations we have connectors – halls, voyages, doorways, etc.

In most 5RD designs, the 5 “rooms” happen in sequence, you go from 1 to 2 to 3, etc.

These obviously don’t need to be rooms, and for this series, I’m not sticking to the methodology in question for the write-ups for these maps, but I’ve taken the challenge to draw a bunch of maps that have only five…

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Boss Rush Banter: What Video Game Has the Best Fireworks?

Happy Fourth of July to all the Americans celebrating today! In light of the holiday, we thought we’d ask, Which video game has the best or most iconic fireworks? The following are a few contenders we had in mind.

Super Mario games: Dating back to the classic Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment system, this franchise has often incorporated fireworks into games to celebrate player accomplishments. In this NES classic, players could earn fireworks by finishing the level with the last number on the timer being a one, three, or six.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask: In the famously unique Zelda game, the three-day cycle in Clock Town ends with the Carnival of Time. The carnival is accompanied by a vibrant fireworks show, which would be great if the demonic-looking moon wasn’t crashing to the earth. Can’t say you don’t get your money’s worth for the…

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Towards Purposeless Prep

Roleplay Rescue’s Blog

Been thinking about how to make the so-called “lonely fun” of prep more enjoyable as a GM and I’ve come to a couple of decisions. In essence, the trick is to make the prep for adventure as playful as possible. Make it more fun by treating it as an episode of play.

Building on Brown’s insights into play, the first decision I have made surrounds the idea that a key property of play is having, “apparent purposelessness”. Counter-intuitively, this means it’s far more fun to prep an adventure when you don’t need to than when it’s looming on the schedule.

Designing an adventure for the session I have tomorrow is work. I have a clear goal – to provide an entertaining session tomorrow – and so I set to with that purpose. I might draw and key a map, choose monsters, set up clues, whatever… but it’s all done on…

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My Summertime Games

Gaming Omnivore

As this past week was the 4th of July, I thought it would be fun to write about the games that I associate with summertime. I have made a list of the games that always remind me of those childhood summer days where my brother and I would come back inside, typically from playing baseball in the yard, grab a couple sodas from the fridge and then proceed to play some games during the hottest hours of the afternoon. Beginning with….

All-Star Baseball – “America’s Pastime.” I’ve spent many hours on a variety of baseball games, starting with La Russa Baseball ‘95 on Sega Genesis as a kid and continuing all the way to present day MLB The Show games. It was difficult to name just one baseball game as my favorite, but my most vivid memories are playing the All-Star Baseball games during the summer/fall months on my N64…

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Minecraft: More Than Ten Years Later and Still Going Strong


It’s kind of amazing to me that Minecraft is over a decade old now and yet is still very relevant in today’s gaming landscape. How many games can boast a similar feat? I mean sure there are games that still inspire today’s works and plenty of games that people still play, but how many games can claim both of those qualities and still be a legitimate major force in the business? Precious few, that’s to be sure. A major factor is almost certainly the sheer freedom and creativity allowed by the private server systems and indeed fans’ own ingenuity, but I think the core of Minecraft is just that plain good. I’ve only ever engaged with the vanilla game, and I still can’t help but come back every so often to explore and build within a new world.

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Retro Arcadia Weekly Spotlight #38

Retro Arcadia

Time for our regular quick-fire reviews and impressions of what’s been under the spotlight at Retro Arcadia this week, old and new and a bit of both…

The original P-47 arcade game is a top five horizontal shoot ‘em up in my book, but until I listened to the new Video Wizards podcast this week, covering the big news, games and culture from the month of April 1995, I had no idea a sequel even existed! P-47 Aces is one of the most addictive games I’ve come across for a long time, mostly down to it’s initially infuriating but ultimately fair enemy density. Otherwise, it picks up after the first game, with eight more levels of gorgeous World War II inspired destruction, a madcap soundtrack and a choice of four unique aircraft. I’m going to be spending some serious time with this now I’ve found it, and if you haven’t…

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Cross Roads Weekend Gaming: What are We Playing?

What do you do when it’s a 4-day weekend? You play some of the hottest games available!

F1 22© 2022 (Image: Codemasters, EA Sports)

LeRon Dawkins: Host of Cross Roads

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak © 2021: available on PC and Nintendo Switch
image courtesy and copyright of Capcom

Everyone that knows me knows that this day was coming. Monster Hunter Rise:Sunbreak is here and the holiday weekend is the perfect weekend to embark on new hunts in new territories! My backlog is just going to have to wait for the time being.

Stoy Jovic: Co-Host of Cross Roads

F1 22 © 2022: available on PS5, PS4, PC, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One
image courtesy and copyright of Codemasters, EA Sports

I’ll be getting into F1 22 this weekend. You know I love my racers just as much as I love my survival horror games, and…

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What Popular TV Show Needs a Video Game Adaptation?

As we prepare to head back to Hawkins, Indiana for the final two episodes of Stranger Things season four (releasing today on Netflix), I can’t help but wonder what a video game set in the Stranger Things universe would be like. Surely it would have to be a role-playing game ala Dungeons & Dragons; or maybe a Zelda-style adventure with the Upside Down acting as the Dark World version of Hawkins. Either way, I would love to go on an adventure with the gang from Stranger Things. Which got me thinking – though there are some great comic adaptations and some ok movie adaptations, there aren’t many fantastic TV show video games. Which popular TV show deserves a great video game adaptation?

Two TV shows immediately come to mind, for me. The first is the Jennifer Garner/JJ Abrams spy-thriller Alias. Yes, an Alias game already exists…

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Syp’s gaming goals for July 2022

Bio Break

June 2022

  • June was a little more unfocused in gaming than I would have liked. Getting the whole house to myself for a week resulted in a glut of gaming time, which I spent playing through the entirety of the excellent Life is Strange: True Colors. It’s rare that I go on a start-to-finish gaming adventure in the span of a few days like that.
  • Most all of my MMO gaming was spent in Lord of the Rings Online. I half-heartedly worked my Minstrel through Lothlorien while dabbling with many different alts — some new, some more established. By the end of the month, I settled on alternating gaming nights between my Minstrel and Lore-master on the Treebeard server.
  • Speaking of full adventures, I went through a five-chapter campaign in Wildermyth. Good times and weird mutations were had by all.
  • I tried and was largely unimpressed by 

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The Midsummer Lands Combined

Dyson's Dodecahedron

It is done (for now) – all six of the Midsummer Lands hexmaps are done and released, and now we’ve got them combined as a single map. As with all the maps in the set, there is no set scale for these maps, and the items on the maps are not to scale with each other so we can see points of interest like towers, cities, and caves. If you really need a scale for this and don’t want to pick one yourself, go with six miles to the hex.

The Midsummer Lands – Combined

This version on the coloured background is a 3000 pixel wide jpg file – which means it will print on ledger sized paper at almost 300 dpi – more than good enough for most uses. Click on the image to open the large version. The image at the top of the article is a photograph…

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