Sean's Picks of the Week (0108-0112) - Maps Are a Treasure Week!
  • Sean's Picks of the Week (0108-0112) - Maps Are a Treasure Week!

    This week we went exploring at the SPOD - exploring the world of maps for RPGs. Maps have been a treasured part of the hobby since the very beginning, when Dave Arneson took some basic graph paper, crafted a dungeon, and had his friends explore it in search of the daughter of the Elven King. That, my friends, was the true birth of the classic RPG experience as we now know it. To that end, here's a bunch of map-oriented products for the physical and virtual tables.


    With the immense popularity of this fantastic bundle from Alex Drummond and WarDrumRPG, I’m going with the theme of Maps Are a Treasure Week for the SPOD this week. The Epic Isometric Bundle is specifically designed for the ever-growing virtual tabletop community, but any GM is going to find extraordinarily useful stuff in a pack like this.

    Just check out this sampler “poster.”

    This set is made possible by my kickstarter backers.

    Everything you need for a great campaign.+ all seperated map elements.

    13 Large themed isometric maps in .jpg format

    Ancient Catacombs (multi level), Celestial Paths, Crypts Of Hatred, Dark Forest, Grasslands, Night Castle (multi level), The Dark Caves(Multi level), The Green Midlands, The undermarket + Wizards Tavern Interior, Wizards Quarter.

    88 hero/monster Isometric icons in .png format.

    112 items in .png card format for easy handouts.

    22 spell effects you can use on the maps and in conjunction with the player icons in .png format

    • Maps and player icons hand drawn in a consistent isometric style that you can use to create your own adventures in digital tabletop software such as Roll20.
    • Classic Core set includes huge maps, encounter areas, interior and exterior areas, player icons, monster icons, loot handouts, traps cards, and spell effects that can be placed on the maps and work with the icons.
    • Easy to import into your tabletop software of choice.

    Epic Isometric Advanced set. (332 piece set)

    This set is made possible by my kickstarter backers.

    Create small encounter areas or massive multi level dungeon fortresses for your players to explore.

    Everything you need to create epic isometric maps,dungeons,encounter areas.(Digital tabletop friendly formats) Set includes…

    • 332 Highly modular elements for Infinite layouts.
    • Themed seperated isometric map elements in .png format perfect for constructing large levels for digital tabletops, Or import directly into your digital tabletop.
    • Easy to import into your tabletop software of choice. I use roll20.
    • Easy to use in photo editing software. Highly compatible .png format.


    Heroic Maps is doing exactly the kind of work that needs to be celebrated during Maps Are a Treasure Week here on the SPOD. Kennelfield Winter Castle is a prime example of their best – excellent, believable design; beautiful colors; clean, gamer-friendly layout; expansively huge areas to explore; and completely VTT (virtual table top) ready.

    Kennelfield Winter Castle

    Originally a small wooden tower, over the years successive generations of the Kennelfield family have improved the site, creating the present day structure. A huge square keep dominates the castle, with strong walls producing an inner ward. The castle includes a great hall, chapel, smith and stables, living rooms, cellars, kitchens and more.

    • A set of printable battlemaps compatible with any RPG/Dungeon-Crawl game. Use as a standalone gameboard, or combine with any same-scale tileset.
    • Contents: A multiple level map consisting of a 5 storey castle, spread across 5 30×30 battlemaps, each depicting a different floor of the fortress.
    • Cellar – includes kitchens, pantries, dungeon, stores, servant sleeping quarters.
    • Ground floor – courtyard, guard room, gates, great hall, chapel
    • 1st Floor – Lord’s hall, galleries, living areas, library
    • 2nd Floor – Lord’s Solar, roof tops, battlements
    • Roof – pitched tiled rooftops

    Also included are 300dpi full size jpgs, for poster printing or VTT.

    Also included are Roll20 VTT ready files, sized at 72dpi and 140x140px per square (all less than 10mb)


    DramaScape is another master player in the map-making game for RPGs, making them a must-see for Maps Are a Treasure Week. This particular selection is for all the sci-fi fans, with a special nod to those who backed or are buying Pinnacle‘s Flash Gordon setting (the full setting book is coming soon to DriveThruRPG).

    The Space Ships Bundle is a rather impressive collection of ship interiors useful for your tabletop or your VTT (virtual table top) gaming.

    (The following description is from the SciFi Rocketship, pictured above) –

    This product is a full-color, map of a SciFi Rocketship, with Hex, Square and No Overlays. The Zip file contains the VTT (Virtual Table Top Images for online play).

    “All we know is that the sky has suddenly turned black on the horizon. You need to leave now and find out what is going on in the skies of the eastern continent. Prepare for launch! “—Captain Kurtis

    SciFi Rocketship includes a single interior and three different exterior paint jobs of a rocket ship.

    SciFi Rocketship is intended for use in near future science fiction games. It could also be used as a high-tech rocket ship in modern games.

    Adventure hook for use with this map:

    Unnatural Eclipse: When the eastern sky is blotted out by black shapes and dust, Captain Kurtis sends the group to investigate the situation in a rocket ship as a scout and report back.

    When the group gets to the eastern skies, they see them covered with winged insectoids flying over a massive crashed meteor filled with large honeycombs.

    The insectoid creatures don’t take kindly to the presence of the group’s rocket ship and immediately swarm the ship! The black insectoids have large heads with two yellow compound eyes and antennae and thick mandibles, a thorax with two arms and two legs ending in four digit claws with two black wings, and an abdomen with two segmented yellow stingers protruding from its end. The insectoids have trouble with the metal armor of the rocket ship but soon start attacking the weaker glass on the cockpit…

    Can the group survive the swarm and retreat back to HQ to report the situation? Or will they dive right into the swarm, crash land the rocket ship, and fight their way into the meteorite hive without back up?


    There are times when you really want to make your own maps – especially in the style of the old Greyhawk maps we all fell in love with way, way back when! If you are looking for an easy-to-use, easy-to-customize tool set to craft your own RPG and fictional world maps, the Hex Kit Desktop App is where you want to start. Be sure to check out all the customizable and color options to add in.

    This is another Pick for Maps Are a Treasure Week.

    Hex Kit is a desktop application for building hex maps to be used with table top role playing games. Rather than being bogged down by features and complications, Hex Kit is built to be intuitive and quick to use with an emphasis on art.


    • Multi Platform: Hex Kit runs native on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
    • Simple to Use: It has just the right tools you need to quickly put together a detailed map, as well as a few tools for displaying your map at the table.
    • Detail Variation: No need to hand pick each tile as you build your map; pick a hex style and the software randomizes the selection as you click and drag across the canvas. Tiles can be rotated and flipped with just a few mouse clicks as well. If you find the painting too broad, you can also select individual tiles.
    • Player Facing Display: Hex Kit has a display mode that shows your map in a separate window; drag it to a second screen or show it on a projector. You can hide parts of the map with fog of war and reveal the map as needed. Changes made in paint mode update in the display window in real time. Did your players burn that village down? Delete it from the map, and it’s gone.
    • Store Information: You can store a label with a description for each hex directly in the map.
    • Custom Tiles: Hex Kit comes with a small selection of old school themed, black & white tiles that you can use to get started. You can create and import your own tiles, or even install more hand illustrated tiles from Cecil Howe.
    • Export: Hex Kit will export your map as a PNG file that you can print or even use with a virtual table top.
    • Random Maps: If you’re in a hurry, or just want to goof off, you can generate a random map and then edit it to fit your needs.
    • More Tiles: Hex Kit comes packed with classic, black & white tiles out of the box. Additional, full color hand illustrated tiles can be purchased downloaded here in our DTRPG store.

    NOTE: The Hex Kit desktop application only comes with black and white tiles; full color tiles are additional purchases.


    Those who’ve been following me a while know one of my favorite people is Tom Tullis and one of my favorite companies is Fat Dragon Games. It should be no surprise, then, that I close out Maps Are a Treasure Week with this set of both 2D and 3D maps and terrain tiles for you to use for your sci-fi games. Tom’s got a ton of support for various genres, and has recently gotten into the 3D printing market as well. Check out the Star Tiles bundle and look around at all the other amazing stuff the portly drake has in store.

    STAR TILES add a new dimension to boring miniature tiles…literally. We’ve combined 2D tiles with 3D props, allowing you to create a visually stunning tabletop for your players quickly and easily. This set includes 26 large 1″ (25-28mm) scale 8″x8″ tiles and enough 3D props to stock your starship or space station. All props are designed for the novice card modeler and can be built in minutes. All prop art is created by award winning artists and is 300dpi for maximum detail.


    So there's your Picks for the week, all focused on cool maps and related tools to make things that much cooler at your table (real or virtual).

    This weekend is primarily work for me - with Genghis Con coming up, we've got a lot to do to get ready to launch our Freedom Squadron: Global Operations Force initiative. Stay tuned for more on that...

    The Adventure Continues!

    Note that I use affiliate links in all my posts as a way to generate additional revenue for my efforts; I make my Picks and other article choices, however, based on the desire to share a wide variety of things with you. Thank you for your support.

    Sean Patrick Fannon
    Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, much more
    Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. EthanSental's Avatar
      EthanSental -
      Having backed the isometric battlemap and trying it in play, it takes some getting used to as the maps look great for whoever is sitting at the bottom of the map, anywhere else is hard to make out. I ended up throwing mine away and using my trusty 30 year old chessex or FG on my TV in the table.
    1. Vexorg's Avatar
      Vexorg -
      I'm surprised Heroic Maps has not been featured before. They produce a TON of high quality work.
    1. mosaic -
      I love Heroic Maps. I've printed a few on a regular printer and taped them together, and managed to print one on a large-format printer once, but my favorites are the one he has available as nice, think cardstock tiles. Absolutely beautiful. BTW - he's also got a Petreon going, where he does a lot of little maps and takes a lot of input from subscribers - .
    1. doctorhook's Avatar
      doctorhook -
      The isometric maps are meant for digital use, correct? I haven't heard of these before, but I'm intrigued! I'd like to see more of what using them looks like in practice, though.
    1. alexdrummo's Avatar
      alexdrummo -
      Quote Originally Posted by doctorhook View Post
      The isometric maps are meant for digital use, correct? I haven't heard of these before, but I'm intrigued! I'd like to see more of what using them looks like in practice, though.
      Check out a vid of putting a map together in a digital tabletop

      Here are some more screenshots
    Comments Leave Comment