When I say “dungeon density” I do not mean, at least not this time, the frequency of monsters and/or treasure within the mythic underworld. Rather, I’m talking about the physical density of the construction. Are the rooms, corridors, and chambers packed tightly together? Or are there a smaller number of chambers spaced more widely, connected by longer passageways? Certainly, different labyrinths will take different approaches, but what sort is more common?
Check out this which I put together from the Dungeon Geomorphs put out by TSR back in the earlier days of the game:
Notice how there are very few sections of solid stone, with most corridors and chambers separated only by thick walls.
Compare that to this created using the Myth-Weavers Random Dungeon Generator:
Now, the Myth-Weavers generator produces lots of horizontal and vertical corridors, but otherwise my dungeons usually look more or less like this. Much more than like the geomorphic sample. Notice the amount of solid stone (gray) in the second map compared to the first map. The number of rooms in my designs will generally be similar to the lower map, and I will not usually have dense maze-like areas such as are found in the lower left corner of the first map.
I understand that everyone will do it slightly differently, and that each dungeon may have a particular character to its design, but I wonder if the sorts of designs the geomorphs result in are common. Even if they aren’t popular today, were they back then? Is that why the geomorphs are like they are? Or was it simply an attempt to cram as much onto one page as possible?
Update: Here is a snapshot showing the three geomorph sections I used to create that first map:
As I’ve got them scanned in to my computer, I can rotate and flip them as desired. I did do a little “cleaning up” of the map after joining three sections.