Friday, February 3, 2012

From the Attic: The Computation Book

The best cool tool for creating dungeons is a really big sheet of graph paper. The only problem is that it is too cool. You want to save it for the extra special dungeon that never seems to get done. But back in the 80s I found another one just as cool and more importantly it get used.  The Computation Book.

No it not a misspelling of this;

A Composition Book. While composition books are great I am talking about this.
The Computation Book.

A Computation is a bound book of extra large sheets of graph paper. Typically about 75 or so sheets per book with stiff cardboard cover. They are typically used to record the results of experiment and as I found out when I was a freshmen in college they make a great place to draw up dungeons, multiple dungeons!.

The above photo two of the two dozen or so dungeons I have drawn in this book. This Computation Book is pretty much the only dungeons that manage to survive the various moves I made. The loose leaf ones are all pretty much gone. Unfortunately I did not record the full keys, luckily I penciled in room descriptions as you see above if you zoom in. The nice thing about Computation books is that you can use the next page for the key if you want.  The page numbering makes it easy to make a index to keep track what dungeons are on each page.

For my Swords & Wizardry campaign up at Gold Star Anime I been having a lot of fun coming up with new adventure using these old maps. Although I am sure the three characters that got turned to stone last Wednesday wouldn't agree.

Computation Books are still being widely used and can found at various office supply stores on the internet or in your town. They are inexpensive, Amazon has one here for little under 12 dollars.

Even after 20 years of having this book, only half of the pages are full so you get a lot of use out of it.


JDJarvis said...

They aren't cheap but they hold up. I've used them as my campaign logs and dungeon roster on a couple occasions. Good stuff.

Peter said...

If I could have found one with the right squares-to-the-inch size, I'd be using one now. It seems like a can't lose situation - bound cover, cheap price, sturdy, and lots of pages.

mattruane said...

They do make graph Composition Books now and they are cheaper than the Computational books.

For example:

kesher said...

Man, I'm a sucker for notebooks like that...

Tim Shorts said...

Love graph paper notebooks.

George said...

Looks great! I use a giant pad of 11"x17" graph paper, but I may have to order one of these because they're so darn sturdy.

By the way, I just got Supp6 - and I love it!

Aplus said...

What mattraune said. I get mine at Office Depot for around $2.

Aplus said...

Here it is:

Quad Composition Book