Dyson’s Delve

(Last Updated: December 25th, 2010)

Dyson's Delve - Level 1

Dyson’s Delve – Level 1

Dyson’s Delve was started as a bunch of small dungeon level maps in my Moleskine reporter’s pad style notebook. Then I started stocking it and posting the levels as one-page-dungeons to the blog.

In all, there are 11 levels to Dyson’s Delve, and it takes a group of 4-5 B/X or Labyrinth Lord characters from level 1 to level 6.

This page collects the links to the various levels of the delve, so you don’t have to root through the whole mess of a blog for them. All 11 levels are now complete and available for download.

Latest News:

The deluxe download is now available, thanks to Boric Glanduum. This PDF edition contains the full 11 levels as well as my blog-based commentary and an appendix with all the unkeyed maps at nearly full-page magnification. Download Dyson’s Delve Deluxe!

Courtesy of Breakdaddy, there’s also an all-in-one PDF with all 11 levels here:

Interested in reading the adventures of someone who has actually explored the delve?

  • Check out Bugbears for Breakfast – who are playing through the adventure using the Pathfinder RPG.
  • Over at The Mule Abides, James ran a happy little TPK using just the bottom two levels of the Delve, having the players arrive via the underground lake on level 11.

98 thoughts on “Dyson’s Delve”

  1. this dungeon is great, using it for a mega dungeon im working on. saved me the trouble of drawing more floor plans!

  2. This is AMAZING. I will be running it. thank you for sharing, and for the inspiration.

  3. Can’t believe I only just discovered Dyson’s Delve! Beautifully presented. I’ll make sure I drop you a note once I’ve taken the group through this adventure – hopefully some time later this year.

    Greatly appreciated.

  4. I’ve had this printed out for a while and this past Sunday night my group finally got to try it. It’s been a long, convoluted path on how they got to the Delve, seeing as last night was session 11 and they had found the map to it in session 3 (coincidentally, they found the map to this in Goblin Gully).

    It was a resounding success. We played for almost 8 hours and got through most of level 4. The wandering manticore almost killed the 4th level cleric, but when they found the stationary one with double the wandering’s hp, they killed it easily. The 3rd level fighter, Aaron, died to the goblin rat-catcher’s pet giant ferret on level 1, the group’s first death of a pc over lvl 1 in the campaign. Norso the soldier of fortune was eaten by fire beetles. Varley the thief with the 3 int and Vanelian, the gnome baker turned treasure/torch carrier after being chased out of his homeland by an invading goblin force were killed when zombies surprised the party from behind while examining the falling stone trap on level 3. A good time was had by all! Except the people that died. It wasn’t as fun for them.

    My only concern is a bit too much treasure, but I have a small group (3-4 pcs most nights, sometimes 5) and they got a ton of xp Sunday night. I’ll probably go through and cut it in half in some places on the lower levels. That said, it was a nice break from Stonehell (which they’d been in for a couple of months) and they are dying to dig deeper into it this Friday (and it should be a full group).

    Thanks again for putting stuff like this up. This and Goblin Gully have been key components in my campaign (and my group, lvl 2-5, is going to be finding Erdea Manor sometime soon I hope) and my weekly game is much better as the result.

    • Dyson Logos said:

      That’s awesome to hear. I’ve had fun with Goblin Gully on multiple occasions, and have run two games through the Delve.

    • davidbrawley said:

      My Stonehell game today only had one player able to make it, and he still wanted to play but was hesitant to go by himself. I remembered this little gem, and we had fun with the first level!

  5. I have started my role-playing group out in the Delve–I’m putting up the play reports on my new blog, Dragon at the Dinner Table.

  6. I think it would be really cool if you would do a vertical map showing how the levels interconnect! Of all your maps, I really love it when you have multiple levels and a vertical “key” that shows how they fit together. With this one especially, that would be an interesting visual.

    (Of course, if it was up to me, you’d have that for all your multi-level maps. Because you make it look damn good.)

  7. This is a very cool thing module you have written. Scadgrad (the GM for our group) has been running us through this in his Swords and Wizardry White Box city based game and we are having a blast with it. In his game, the its called the Sikorsky delve and he has changed a few bits to fit the setting (Skaven etc.) but I have to say its been a lot of fun. I just posted a recap of our last session where we went through part of it over at Tales from the Tower if you want to give it a read: http://iguanaslair.blogspot.com/2011/08/entrance-to-hollowheim-and-demise-of.html

  8. Salut Dyson.
    Je viens souvent ici.
    Vraiment, ce nouveau concept de mini-méga-donjon est sublime. On a tous les avantages du méga-donjon (dédale) sans avoir les inconvénients (trop grand et lassitude des joueurs). Je suis complètement emballé par ton système et je prédis qu’il aura beaucoup de fans dans la communauté old school.
    Bravo encore Dyson et continue à nous régaler de tes idées.
    Je vais faire jouer ton module à mon groupe de 14 joueurs, je suis sûr qu’on va se marrer.
    A bientôt.

  9. Here is a mini-map reference that fits on 2 pages, or can be put on 1 ledger size page. it shows the connections between levels, and with the outside world. This is to go along with the awesomeness of the original!


  10. For all Italian fans of Dyson’s works, I’ve just uploaded the Italian translation of this great dungeon on my gaming blog!

    Check it out at

  11. Dyson:
    I started running my kids through the Delve on New Year’s Eve. Nearly had a TPK, too. If you’re interested, http://thedwarvenstronghold.blogspot.com/2012/01/game-report-new-years-tpk-almost.html

    Thanks again for the great work!

  12. Just wanted to say that I LOVE this dungeon. From the design of the maps themselves to the layout and stocking – it’s brilliant.

    I volunteered to run some old-school D&D for some friends and i wanted a classic dungeon that had all the hallmark elements of the old adventures. I thought about dropping them into B2 but i wanted something where the difficulty escalation was more obvious and your deeper = more dangerous fits the bill perfectly. Thanks so much for this!

    Our game is happening next month – I’ll post a write-up afterwards!

  13. Dyson, thank you for this and all your other wonderful projects. I ran a group through DD Deluxe by slotting it into The Keep on the Borderlands and my own Greyhawk campaign homebrew. It was wildly successful.

    Best regards,


  14. Just took a three hour road trip with a group of middle schoolers. My son and I rolled up some characters the night before. We used the first level and gave the blank map to the players The backstory was they were in a tavern and met an old man whom they bought drinks for, he gave them the map saying he was too old for adventuring anymore. Worked out great as the players came back to him for advice. My son was the DM (with help from me as I drove) and did a great job. Thanks for all your work. He said he really liked being the one that knew everything and quickly caught on that he needed to be creative while running the campaign.

  15. Ya see, this place is beautiful. ’nuff said.

  16. Dyson, is there the chance to have another new fantastic mega-dungeon like this in the future? I WOULD PAY FOR IT but I want it, pleeeease 😉

  17. HI.. on the Lulu page.. what does this mean? was there another releae?

    This hardcover release replaces the previous Limited Edition release. It does not contain the additional adventure from the Limited Edition – it is purely a hardcover release of the material in the standard softcover release.


  18. Wow. That just looks amazing. That’s a fine dungeon you’ve created.

  19. In the version published in the Dyson’s Delve book, many of the creatures have an asterisk or two next to their hit dice. I could find to indication in the book of what those meant. Can you elucidate?

    • That’s standard notation for special abilities in the classic B/X rule set. It just means that they are “more than just a creature of X HD”.

      • I just noticed that in my search for what the hell a Thoul is. Thanks, I’ll go back and read more B/X.

        I’m at a disadvantage, since I’m new to all versions of D&D and don’t have the basic institutional knowledge. OD&D is the only version that I’ve read the entirety of, and that was 40 years ago. Perhaps I should read B/X cover to cover.

  20. Just a note: The “All Eleven Levels” PDF has “Goblin Gully” in the Acrobat title bar.

  21. Just wanted to say that I’m running this (albeit under OD&D, so with a few tweaks here and there). We’ve had two sessions so far, and are having a lot of fun. So far the party have managed to turn one small goblin on L1 into a new leader (every time they meet him he has more followers, often found doing press ups and star jumps), who they are hoping will help them enter L3. Meanwhile the cleric tried to convert the goblin outcast on L2 (who they found with a flask of moonshine), ended up getting into a drinking contest, and then the dwarven thief robbed him blind.

    Thank you very much!

  22. I just ran a party of mostly new players through part of the first & second level. Great time — they parleyed with the goblins at the entrance but unwisely decided to camp out in the ruins. Hope we have a chance to continue the adventures of Boss the Dwarf, Commander General Laureen (MU), Dontcrossme (Fighter), and a halfling with a normal name I forget. 🙂

  23. I’ve run through the first five floors or so of this and Goblin Gully with a party for 5th Edition, and it was a great time! I gave them the expressed goal of killing the Goblin King; and although the campaign has drifted away from the Delve- it left a big impression on them. They’ll never forget how bad of an idea it was to use Thunderwave against the crypt flies (and waking all the ghouls in the next hallway).

    With another party, I just ran them through Goblin Gully, and they’ll facing down this beast next session. It’s gonna be good.

  24. I made a Tekumel version of this and ran it at U-Con in the Tekumel Track. I want to make a #Narcosa version; I figure the Delve would make a great drug factory with each faction producing a different drug.

  25. Jonathan said:

    I’m planning on running this soon, but I’m unsure what the intended scale of the maps is. Is this a standard one square = five feet? That seems to make the rooms and hallways quite small. One square = ten feet seems to make some things too big. If there is no intended scale and it’s left to the DM, I’ll probably go with 10 ft squares, but I wanted to see if there was an intended scale or if anyone had experience running it at either scale.

  26. Playing Dyson’s Delve has been a glorious experience.
    Thank you, Dyson!

  27. I would like to use for Roll20. Has anyone converted the dungeon maps to VTT?

  28. We should mention that we livestreamed a full 24 hours of the Wandering DMs group, playing through the entirety of the Delve in a single weekend! 24 full hours of furious play from top to bottom.

  29. Kevin Urbanczyk said:

    the dungeon looks absolutely awesome — i love the mapwork .. i plan on tweaking it for PF2e — and having a party run thru it 🙂

  30. Would there be anything that needs to change for a DnD 5e party of roughly 6 characters? I’m not understanding the B/X or Labyrinth Lord references.

    • Substitute appropriate monsters as needed, and don’t reward XP for killing / defeating monsters, but instead check the level expectation of each level and milestone them appropriately I guess.

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