Hey there and welcome to another TTRPG Community interview! These are low key, prewritten interviews which are available to fill out on this page. If you are a part of the TTRPG space in almost any way at all, there should be something for you!
Today, we’re hearing from Dungeon, short for DungeonDelves!
Please introduce yourself and the content you create!
Hello! I’m Dungeon (They/She) and I make TTRPG comics across the socials under the name DungeonDelves! People started calling me Dungeon for short, and I was like “Huh, that’s a kind of cool name!” and it just stuck. I also take art commissions and stream all my tabletop related art projects on Twitch.
How did you get started in the art/mapmaking/design world? What motivated you to begin doing this for TTRPGs?
Back in 2017 I had a lot of time during my day job where there wasn’t anything for me to do. Rather than become disheartened, I decided to try and use the time by creating a blog on Tumblr and drawing something simple to post there everyday. I decided to pick a theme of Tabletop RPGs because I knew that was a topic I could always draw inspiration from. I named the blog DailyDungeonDelves, and began talking about how excited I was for the games I was playing at the time. Once people started refering to my work as “comics”, I began working on my panels and formatting, and the rest is history.
When everything hit the fan in 2020, I like so many people connected with the online TTRPG community in a way that I wasn’t able to before. I met so many cool new people, and was encouraged to create a collection of my comics (Dungeon Delves: Vol. 1) to sell. I felt incredibly humbled by the response, and am always blown away by the support I have from this amazing community. Since then I have created stickers, postcard prints, and a 2023 wall calendar of my artwork. I am currently finishing up Dungeon Delves: Vol. 2 to add to my ko-fi store, and am hoping to add a Vol. 3 to the collection sometime in the future.
I was also introduced to the world of streaming. I have since participated (and ran my own) Actual Plays on Twitch, with the ones I run myself using vtuber animated models for the characters in order to create a cartoon-like stream full of silly, one shot games. Because of the time it takes to create all the art, I tend to only run these once or twice a year.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from my friends, and our adventures around the table together. I am also inspired by other people whenever they excitedly gush over their campaigns and characters. I find that listening to people when they’re in the throws of passion talking about this hobby creates the most relatable content: we all love to feel the rush of rolling a critical hit, or despair when failing a death saving throw.
What was the first TTRPG related piece you ever made? Are you still proud of it?
Okay, let me check my blog archive to figure out what the first comic was…
So it’s a two page comic. The first page has the caption “Day Before RPGs” with me, Dungeon, holding a plate of salad, sagely announcing that I’m on a diet. The next page is captioned “Day Playing RPGs” with me stuffing my face full of junk food and pizza in front of my computer, the GM over the headset frustratedly asking, “Who is chewing again?!”
As mentioned above, this was WAY before I considered my doodles to be “comics”, so there are absolutely no panels, the text is scribbled on at the top, and the line weight of the drawings is super thick for some reason. However, the soul is still there. You can quite easily see how this was the starting point when comparing it to one of my most recent creations. It is relatable (I am forever cursed to break my diets on game days), cute, and not too serious – which is what I always strive to be.
So in a way, I’m proud of it because it was the start of an amazing journey. But I’m happy to see how much I’ve improved over the years.
What’s your favourite thing about being an artist, mapmaker or designer within the TTRPG space?
My favourite thing is the honest to god genuine support that people give. Across social media this looks different on different sites, but it always warms my heart. On Tumblr, it’s seeing people spam tags in their reblogs like “this is me,” and then proceed to describe a situation in their campaign related to the comic. On Twitter it’s quote reblogging about how they feel seen. On Instagram it’s people tagging their tabletop group in the comments, and start sharing in-jokes with one another about their games. People always make me smile when they interact this way, and so its my goal to, in turn, make people smile by creating silly comics that they can share with others and continue the cycle of positivity.
AI generated art has made a huge impact on the community. As succinctly as possible, can you sum up your opinion of it?
Currently we’re in the wild west of AI art. I believe that we will have to live with it in some way, but in its current format it is scary, disrespectful, and allows people to take art for granted.
Do you play TTRPGs as well as create for them? What system is your favourite?
Of course! I play many different TTRPGs from the bigger names like D&D, WH40K systems and World of Darkness, to smaller indie systems and one page games like Honey Heist, Golden Sky Stories, and Masks: The Next Generation.
My favourite system changes a lot, but I always feel a lot of love for Monster of the Week. It is a Powered by the Apocalypse system, where players roll 2D6 and add their ability bonuses to determine the outcome of their rolls. It is very simple and RP heavy, inspired by spooky TV shows like Supernatural and Gravity Falls, which is a genre that I absolutely love.
What’s the next project people will see from you?
Dungeon Delves: Vol 2 will be available for preorder in the next few months! It is a collection of comics about being a Games Master for TTRPGs, and will contain many remastered comics (as well as some brand new ones especially for Vol. 2). What do I mean by ‘remastered’? I mean redrawing in a nice, clean vector style, and reworking old ideas to make them funnier than ever before (and of course updating my art style)!
[Note from gothHoblin: Dungeon Delves: Vol 2 is now available to preorder!]
Of all of the things you’ve created, which one is your personal favourite?
It is a tie between my 2023 wall calendar and my Halloween Actual Play: The Secret Spooky House.
The wall calendar is the first time I have printed my comics in colour, and I am so happy with how it turned out. People have been posted images of them using it to remember what days they are playing tabletop games, and that makes me feel incredible. I currently have extras in my ko-fi store at a heavily discounted price.
The Secret Spooky House is a one shot Monster of the Week Actual Play involving Aida from Hoard of Tales (@in_the_pan on twitter), KumiKuriosities(@kumikuriosities), and LaLioneCosplay (@lalionnecosplay). The three of them play a trio of sisters exploring a haunted house. I am extremely proud of all the character models I made for the show, as well as background art, full frame illustrations, and animated effects which were triggered live by chat whenever one of us said the word “spooky” (I programmed in a command and told the audience to spam it like hell whenever they heard that word, so the audience watching kind of took on the role of the ghost)! I was also blown away by my player’s performance as they really emboddied the sisters, and did an amazing job of bringing all the art to life. The edited version is available to watch over on Youtube.
Tell us about your process when creating. Do you have any tips or tricks for other creators in the same space as you?
I have really enjoyed streaming art on Twitch over the last year or so. It has given me a chance to interact with my audience and to get their input as I create, which I think has vastly improved my creations, so I highly recommend it.
The other piece of advice that I usually offer creators is to never wait around for when you’re “better at art.” I certainly didn’t think that I was able to be a comic artist when I started posting doodles on Tumblr, but if I didn’t start posting I wouldn’t have ever got to where I am today. If you have an idea for a project but you’re not sure how to make it, give it your best shot anyway. You’ll learn SO MUCH from the experience, I promise. Worst case senario is you fail, learn a thing or two, and try again with a better understanding. Best case is that you figure out you’re smarter than you thought you was and succeed. Either way, you’re creating, and that’s the best thing you can be doing.
Shout out a fellow creator! Who in the TTRPG community inspires you? Why do you admire them/their work? Please provide a link to their website/social media.
Can I shout out a few? There are so many talented people!
First, @KazTheDM on Twitter. He is also a terrific artist and streamer. Kaz does great character art commissions, and also runs a regular TTRPG game on Twitch which is beautifully illustrated by him. I admire his layouts and colour palettes, and consider his work a huge inspiration!
Next is the Tabletop Creator Hub on instagram. The Hub is a group of amazing creators (which I’m part of!) who make tabletop releated merch. There are so many talented people there, and they are a very kind and supportive group who have helped me so much since I joined. Their website is an amazing place to find nerdy crafters and artists if you’re ever looking for a gift, and I highly recommend checking everyone there out.
Finally, I want to shout out @HoardOfTales, @WickedGameRPG and @SomeOtherHeroes on twitter for their Actual Play streams. All 3 groups have wonderful GMs, players with immersive characters, and wonderfully woven stories which are great to listen to. Also a special shout out to @RollForGood – a group of nerdy Europeans who stream twice a year (May and October) to raise money for charities voted on by their community.
Do you offer commissions? How can interested folks find out more information about this?
I do! I take commissions for emotes, cute character portraits to use as virtual tabletop icons, and full character sketches and vector art through my ko-fi page. All prices and terms are listed there, but you can message me through any of my social media accounts if you have any questions.
Are you available for commercial hire? Do you enjoy taking on commercial projects?
I am! Please contact me via social media and we can open up a discussion from there should you need something for your project. I always enjoy helping other people bring their visions to life.
I am also available to work on motion graphics and video content for commercial projects, as that is my day job! There are examples of my animation work on my carrd link and you can message me via social media if you are interested to chat rates.
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give to people looking to hire you for either a commission or commercial work?
You can never give me too much information on your project or commission. The more information I have, the more I can understand what it is you’re after (so please, tell me EVERYTHING about your character, don’t hold back!). I will most definitely get in contact with you if I have any questions before I begin.
Are you playing in any TTRPG campaigns at the moment? Tell us about your favourite character!
Yes I am!
I’m playing a Strixhaven campaign. I’m a Sorcerer Barbarian named Aero (full name Erebus), who is a canine shifter. Aero is an excitable puppy with high strength and chrisma, but a very low intelligence score. He has a friendly jock persona, and has recently joined the cheerleading squad! I adore playing him, he is the glue who sticks the party together and gets along with everyone. I have yet to explore the darker side of Aero’s powers (his sorcererous origin comes from the shadows and undeath, with his father being a revenant), but until that time comes I’m just having fun being happy-go-lucky, collecting poisonous frogs and hitting mimics with my sword!
What’s your favourite book, TV show, or film?
Ooh that’s a hard one! I think my favourite TV show has to be Avatar: The Last Airbender. I watch it, like, twice a year, and never get tired of it. It’s as close to a perfect story for me – I love all the characters and the setting so much!!!
Which subject do you wish you knew more about?
Blacksmithing and sailing! Blacksmithing is a hobby I hope to one day take up (when I have the space), but sailing is because I run a seafairing campaign. Some of my players know quite a lot about boats, and I find myself saying “er… sure!” a lot, or failing in a description because my knowledge is lacking. The players usually work with me though so we both understand what is going on eventually!
What is your favourite smell?
Lavender. It reminds me of the bush I had in my garden growing up, and I loved watching all the bees hover around it in the summer.
If you could listen to only one song for the next 7 days, which one would you choose?
Right now its “Decretum” by Astrophysics. Its a synthwave cover of Sayaka’s theme from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. I often have it on repeat when I’m writing up senarios for my games as a GM.
If you could give the current chapter of your life a name, what would it be?
Adulting The Best Way I Know How
What is the worst gift you have ever received?
A scented candle that smelled terrible!!! It was like an old, achient chocolate bar. Have you ever smelled that? It’s like dust and decay, but with a hint of sweetness from it’s former life as a treat. It’s odd… and certainly wasn’t a candle I used!
If time, money and skill were no object, what would your ultimate cosplay/Halloween costume be?
Undyne from Undertale. I just think she’s the coolest and would love to wear her armour.
Would you rather own a horse the size of a cat or a cat the size of a horse?
A horse the size of a cat. Anything horse sized is scary!
Where should folks go to find out more about you, and/or check out your work?
You can find me in many places! I have all the links collected on my carrd link here: https://dungeondelves.carrd.co/#socials
Disclaimer: The information and answers contained in the interview posted above represents the views and opinions of the interviewee only and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of myself (gothHoblin). The appearance of an interview on this website does not constitute an endorsement of the interviewee or their statements.