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Roll for Initiative: CCA Libraries as Dungeons

Calling on all Dungeon Masters of California College of the Arts!

With Halloween approaching, and to celebrate the launch of CCA’s Game Arts program, we invite you to sink your teeth into these reimaginings of Meyer Library in Oakland and Simpson Library in San Francisco. Each library has been reborn as a classic dungeon map, perfect for tabletop roleplaying games.

In this alternative world, Meyer Library is a fantastical, arcane college of magic. The printers have been replaced by printing presses. Candles and orbs cast light into the corners, though it cannot reach the shadowy realm atop the stairs. Treasures await in the dark recesses of the archives, but one must be wary: the college’s secrets are guarded by a tarot-reading chimera.

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Meyer Library (click to expand or download)

Meanwhile, Simpson gleams from the brass pipes running above and around the library, steam escaping from their vents, retrieving books through clockwork winches. Crystalline screens glow, providing information to the studious patrons of the library. Naturally, the unique sculptures at the Simpson Library circulation desk are recreated here - those innocuous shapes have a powerful influence in the world of roleplaying games.

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Simpson Library (click to expand or download)

These maps are ready and playable for any tabletop game that uses a 5’ grid system, such as Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder. The .jpgs can be hosted on a Virtual Tabletop such as Owlbear Rodeo, Roll20 or Foundry. Universal VTT files are also available for advanced Roll20 and Foundry users. Dungeon Masters of CCA: what perilous adventures can you devise for these dungeons? Let us know if you set an adventure in these mysterious libraries!

If you want to learn more about tabletop roleplaying, CCA Libraries have the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set available for checkout, as well as the Castle Ravenloft board game. In addition, we have the wonderful Art & Arcana: A Visual History, which chronicles the evolution of art design across the decades of D&D. It is available for checkout. There are also plentiful research articles in our online collections about the cultural, emotional, and creative aspects of tabletop roleplaying.

The Meyer and Simpson Library maps were designed by Daniel Ransom, Instructional Services Librarian at CCA, using the software application Dungeondraft and art assets by Forgotten Adventures.