Megadungeon Hall of Fame: Jaquaying the Dungeon

A "Jaquayed" Keep
I was late to the game in discovering Justin Alexander's excellent blog, The Alexanderian, which means that I initially missed out on his series, Jaquaying the Dungeon, which was posted in 2010. Justin invents the word "Jaquaying" based on the game, dungeon, and adventure design principles of Jennell Jaquays (formerly Paul Jaquays).

Justin does a fantastic job of systematizing Jaquays' approach to designing highly interactive, dynamic, and complex gaming environments. These dynamic gaming environments, in turn, provide for interesting strategic and tactical options for players that stand up to repeated play. The essential design element is to provide multiple options and paths so that game play is non-linear (Melan offers similar conclusions in his analysis of some classic D&D modules in Dungeon Mapping, another Megadungeon Hall of Fame article).

Homebrew dungeon and adventure design often focus on (1) genre; (2) cool, unique atmospheric elements; or (3) rationalizations as to why the dungeon or other physical environment exists. All are important, but what often is missed is how the dungeon will be experienced by the players in terms of an adventure path and geographic decision-tree. Justin's series provides an instructional corrective to this omission.

You can read Justin's seven part opus for yourself: