I've been designing some dungeons and underworld enconters for Dragon Warriors recently and I've had a thrill that I've not had for a while - I bought some square graph paper and I'm drawing black lines on it to represent the corridors and rooms of a dungeon, red box D&D style.
I've not done that for years, probably way more than a decade. I drew the dungeon from the opening, a long staircase into the crypt, and then branched off random rooms and corridors, all the while trying to imagine why it was the designers had built it all this way and what the rooms were originally used for. Before i knew it I'd created four dungoens and a huge undergorund city.
I remember my fondness for dungeon creation way back in the 1980s when I first got into the hobby. I'd draw tons of maps I'd never use - I've no idea what happened to them all - and I'd even try to emulate the look of the maps in the red box Basic D&D set. It was really great fun and it helped stoke my imagination.
So I've kind of come full circle. In the early nineties my desire to tell a story overtook my desire to adventure in pre-planned maps and so I spent years avoiding generic 'dungeon crawls'. Now I'm playing an old school game in which heroic adventurers travel in search of fortune and glory (and a way home to the 'real world' from the fantasy land they have found themselves in) and I feel this need to draw black lines on square graph paper again.
I'm really looking forward to my players delving into my creations.