Love this. I have this open every time I do a solo journaling rpg on here. It helps flesh out characters, backgrounds, settings... thank you!
Dungeon Year Design Journal
A downloadable design journal
Print Version Available:
What is a Dungeon Year?
Build anything you can imagine, one piece a day.
The Dungeon Year is a daily creative challenge, mental exercise, a game itself, and a moment of meditation. You can start your Dungeon Year on any day in any month, and take as long as you want to complete it.
The idea was started by Sean Mccoy, the game designer behind the Mothership RPG: To build a megadungeon one room a day in 2023 consisting of 12 levels, with 28-31 rooms each, called #dungeon23.
His initiative sparked the idea of this journal and the Dungeon Year: To create something, one piece at a time until you have completed 365 details: rooms, characters, cultures, maps, stars, gods, items, and more.
And when you’re done, perhaps you’ll have a massive interstellar spaceship, a new world to explore, a community of people and their relationships, a city, and yes, maybe even a dungeon.
Create anything you want.
How To Use The Journal
The day entries are what makes up most of this journal. 365 entries in total. Each one has a place for you to write your notes, encounters, tables, or descriptions, and grid for drawing and sketching. At the top of each entry is a place for an ID, Date, and Connection.
In the ID field, give your day’s entry a unique identifier or number that you can reference elsewhere in the journal if needed. This can be as simple as the page number, or the date.
Connections are what this individual thing connects to. If it’s a room in a dungeon, it’s the adjoining room IDs. If it’s an NPC, perhaps the connection is the building they're in, or who they have a relationship with.
Dot Grid Paper
The dot grid pages are a perfect spot to sketch out the larger concepts of what you’re trying to make, or as a place to put it all together. For instance, if you were making a city, once a week, you can take what you made in each daily entry and add it to the city map that is on the grid.
Each day that you work in your design journal, tick off a day on the tracker. We have designed the tracker to be used either as a simple counter, or as a calendar. How you use it is up to you. When you fill the tracker up, your Dungeon Year is complete.
Tables & Generators
When you need a source of inspiration, turn to the tables, generators, prompts, and oracle provided on the following pages. Below are two small tables that help you answer questions.
Most tables are ‘d66’ tables. To use them, roll two six sided die. One acts as the tens place, the other the ones place. For example, if you roll a 3 and a 6, look up the “36” position on the table.
You can combine results from multiple tables! Whatever the outcome of rolling on a table, use what you like, and change or discard what you don’t. These resources are there to help you - not restrict you.
- A day tracker
- Not organized into calendar dates - start your journey at any point, and cross off your days until you reach 365.
- Full spread dot graph pages
- 365 room/area design pages
- Multiple formats available!
- A5 Booklet - The original. One page per day.
- A5 Condensed - Each spread is for a week instead of two days. Easier to print, fewer pages.
- A4 Portrait - Print them off and put them in a 3 ring binder.
- A4 Landscape - A pretty awesome format, in our opinion.
- Larger inner margins setup for wire-o and 3-ring binders.
- Minimalist design for easy printing!
You may use, take, and modify the journal as you see fit. You may print the journal at home or with a commercial printer for personal use. You may use this journal for commercial use if you have modified or otherwise used it to create your own content.
Translators: you may translate the journal and reupload it on your own account, or offer print copies for sale in your language. We ask that all digital versions remain free. Let us know about it, so we can help you tell others about it!
12/22/2022 - v1.2 Release Notes
- Over 20 rolling tables added - with 2,060 entries total!
- New introduction with instructions added.
- Small tweaks across the design
- Updated Landscape margins so they'll actually fit in a 3-ring binder.
12/13/2022 - v1.1 Release Notes
- Renamed journal to "Dungeon Year Design Journal" - no worries if you don't finish it in 2023.
- Updated front and back covers.
- Dot grid is actually square and equidistant now.
- Added A5 Condensed layout option that combines a week across a single spread to reduce page count and the overwhelming feeling of filling a page each day.
Click download now to get access to the following files:
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I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying the journal! I hadn’t considered using it for solo games, that’s a great idea!
The work put into the descriptive lists of your rolling tables is absolutely stunning! As another creative, I know how time consuming and mentally taxing that task can be! I'm looking at this as an excellent tool for use with content generation generation.
I did a flip through of our physical copy on Twitch! Here's the YouTube vod!
I just finished watching it! Thank you for sharing this! Loved the pen test you put it through. And you’re right: It’s a big, chonky journal.
oh these are amazing… jaw drop
I love the different layout options!
This is really great design - can't wait to use it.
Just absolutely immaculate work here, this is lovely. Customized to perfection.