If you need a super-thin lead pencil to make maps for your 1980s dungeon crawler videogames, this one will do

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/08/if-you-need-a-super-thin-lead.html

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But when my daughter and I fire up the DOSBOX DOS emulator on my Macbook Pro to play Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord

Didn’t you make a Pi-based handheld to play Wizardry at one point?

Thanks, but I still have my .3mm Pentel pencil from back when I was drawing up 1980s dungeon crawls. I don’t think I need to shave off another .1mm, aspecially since my eyes are not like they were in 1980.

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every time a “map your dungeon crawler” thread comes up I swear I’m going to dig out the hardcase suitcase I have stuffed at the top of a closet that has my old nintendo and handfull of games and take a pic of my old maps and finally figure out the name of the game I did them for…It was a brutal, gruelling deathmarch where walking too many steps in any compass direction landed you in the path of absurdly high level baddies. Mapping obsessively was the only thing that kept me alive and made it any fun at all.

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“Welcome to the dungeon!”

I have one of these pencils and I’m very fond of it. I purchased mine from jetpens–not sure if you guys have an affiliate with them. I much prefer them over Amazon for obvious reasons. They also stock lead, erasers, etc. to go with it. They have the clear erasors that BB mentioned a while ago. I got some for my kinds and they love them. So far they haven’t even drilled any holes in them. :slight_smile:

These pencils use a very clever sliding metal sleve to support the crazy tiny lead. It’s got a rounded tip and actually slides against the paper. It takes some getting used to as you don’t see any exposed lead like you normally would. The upside–other than fine lines–is that you can go a lot longer between lead dispensing clicks as the whole length of the lead protected by the sleave can be used. It’s quite a change from the normal mechanical pencil useage pattern.

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Tags: “Roguelike”? It’s a long long time since I was playing Wizardry over a friend’s shoulder in the high school computer lab, but aren’t all Wizardry’s levels completely pre-generated, with none of the randomness that’s a hallmark of Rogue and everything descended from it, directly or not?

Never used a pencil as fine as this one, I mostly used .5mm with a blue ‘lead’ for construction lines when doing artwork for print and publishing, because the blue lines wouldn’t photograph when using Lith film. I had a couple of mechanical pencils, my favourite was/is a Rotring Trio pencil, black finished brass body, and .3, .5 and .7mm leads, all in the one body and accessible at a click.
The .3mm was perfect for really fine detail before inking in with a Rapidograph as well.
I treasure that pencil, I’ve had it at least thirty-five years, possibly forty, but Rotring no longer make the all-pencil version, only a Trio-pen with two ballpoint pens and a pencil, so I was thrilled to find one on ebay in absolutely original condition, just in case anything happened to my original.
Having said al that, I’m certainly going to look at getting one of these .2mm pencils, ‘cos while I haven’t worked in print and publishing for lo, these many years, I still draw up stuff, and I feel a need for one! :grin:

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Oh, the character development curve on Wizardry was so gradual that I had at least the first dungeon level completely memorized! I can still feel it in my finger tips: AAA PPP for the first 20 or so adventures.

“There’s always room for one more.” :slight_smile:

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