I've been reading adventure logs on a few other blogs (notably A Character for Every Game) and I have gathered some good ideas for some pocket dungeons and possibly fleshing out a small chain of islands in Cold Bay, the waters west of Iron Keep (see the masthead for this blog). This is in addition to my ideas about pocket dungeons in the Iron Hills (the hills north of Iron Keep, where all the iron mines are). Time to put pen to paper and draw these out and populate them.
Tangentially, I've been eyeing molskine pocket books at the local Broders, particularly the ones with gridded pages, perfect for drawing maps. They come in a variety of sizes, but are a bit pricy at a time I'm short on cash, so I've just been eyeballing them a lot, but not purchasing one. Then it occurred to me I own a) pads of letter-sized graph paper, b) a binding machine (the kind that uses the plastic combs), and c) scissors. So I cut a pad of graph paper in half, cut a plastic cover in half (creating a front and back cover), and recycled a digest sized comb from a TripTick my wife got from AAA. [TripTick are bound booklets available to AAA Plus members that provide maps and directions for trips in discrete chunks, like Google map instructions. They are very cool and handy, especially if you do not have a GPS device in your car.] Voila! My own digest-sized booklet of graph paper, perfect for mapping small dungeons and writing encounter descriptions. Better yet, it has 100 pages in it (instead of 64) and I can add or subtract pages at my leisure. Boo-yah!
I've also realized I need to add more hostile NPCs to the campaign, preferably NPCs with class levels. The PCs are getting to the point where animal encounters are not worth the time to layout anymore (unless it's dire lions, then I can always find the time). It does mean that I can no longer be a lazy DM and just run things out of the Bestiary, but that's a price I'm willing to pay for cool encounters.