I draw the occasional D&D map


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The Marmoset Savant is a very small, very shy, marmoset wizard of moderate level and impressive knowledge. They are probably the shiest deus ex machina I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with.

As one of the land’s smallest sages and wizards, the Marmoset Savant is rarely found in the same home twice. Once they have divested themselves of important information to get the adventurers back on track to saving the kidnapped child / saving the kingdom / saving the world, they pack up their goods and build a new home where they will be needed next.

The marmoset savant doesn’t divest their knowledge easily, however. As a shy and tiny wizard, they often need to be lured out of their tiny home of jumbled blocks with interesting trinkets, new magics, or exotic nuts & berries.

Of course, the layout of the marmoset savant’s tower can be used for any other eccentric tower-builders, and can be on a more... human scale for most adventurers to explore. Or perhaps the marmoset savant is no longer of marmoset scale and has grown large and mighty - and is now the size of a halfling.
 

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As we weathered the storm anchored off of Cruuk’s Shore, it was impossible to not notice the constant cascade of lightning striking to the standing stones by the old ruins that the sailor’s insisted on calling “Salanan’s Peril”. The bright flashes would leave terrifying ghost images upon the eye of bearded folk engaging in bloody sacrifices within the circle.

The warlord Salanan didn’t built the structure that sits in ruins on Cruuk’s Shore, but the ruins bear their name because they fought to maintain the structure here and prevent the Order of Talotos from engaging in their rituals at the standing stones across the small river.

It is said that the battle against the order went well for Salanan until the Year of Blue Dragons, when a series of fierce storms forced Salanan and their troops into the old structure which was then torn down by blast after blast of lightning that sundered the structure and scorched the land around it.

[video=youtube_share;v62juxcGuKM]https://youtu.be/v62juxcGuKM[/video]

I also recorded a short video of me drawing this map, since most of my existing videos show me working on dungeon maps. It is extra-short as I compressed it down to 20 seconds for easier sharing on social media.

Normally I get obsessed watching the hatching seem to pour out of the pens when I do time lapse videos of my work, but in this case, I just end up focusing on the hot-swapping of pens as I work.
 

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In Search of the Unknown is one of my favourite modules of all time. But there are times that the map annoys me as the main level is more hallway than rooms (and that’s with 38 rooms on that level). So today we get to explore an alternate version of that venerable dungeon.

I ended up splitting the main level of Quasqueton over two levels (the second will appear later this week). In the process I added a few new rooms to the dungeon layout and removed one or two.

I’ve also made a version of the map with the rooms numbered for use with the classic adventure module. The numbered rooms correspond with the original rooms in the adventure, and the lettered rooms are new to this map.
 


Oh that’s such a cool idea! Thinking of any others?

Not particularly. I've got the upstairs of this to post later this week, and I haven't redrawn the basement caverns yet which I need to do and post next month.

There aren't that many dungeons that I love AND feel need a redraw at this point.
 

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My revised map of the main level of Quasqueton (from the classic B1 module “In Search of the Unknown) just didn’t have enough space for all the rooms on that level even after reducing the amount of hallway space, and I wanted to keep it so you could access most rooms via multiple routes, avoiding other sections of the dungeon level if you need to.

So here’s the upstairs, containing two of the best-known rooms of the dungeon – the strange magical pools and the overgrown fungal garden. I purposefully placed the gardens right against the rock face. In my mind, there are metal shutters along the top of the west wall that are well concealed from the outside. These shutters have rusted shut – allowing rain water into the room without allowing sunlight.

I’ve also made a version of the map with the rooms numbered for use with the classic adventure module. The numbered rooms correspond with the original rooms in the adventure, and the lettered rooms are new to this map.

I haven’t had a chance to get to the basement caves of Quasqueton yet, but I expect I’ll have them done by the end of the month so they will show up next month on the blog.
 

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There are tunnels and passages that lead deep under the land to the ever-dark homes of the various so-called “deep races”. These descents are typically marked on the rare maps of these underlands as either primary, secondary or tertiary passages.

These passages lead on for miles and thus only their general routing is typically mapped, but of course, the underdark is not a place you wander expecting to never encounter anything or anyone. Thus we have sample sections of these passages mapped out to provide more detail when running into drow or sverfneblin patrols

Here are five sample stretches of Primary Passages – these passages generally have fairly even flooring, with ceiling heights of 20 to 50 feet (averaging at around 35 feet) and widths generally of 30 to 40 feet. Some portions of these passages are worked to make travel easier, but they are mostly natural and generally fairly straight.

The original Descent into the Depths of the Earth was published 40 years ago and included one sample stretch of each of the three sizes of passages. The original primary passage example has been reproduced here (the second from the right), with four more drawn to add variety to the encounter options.
 

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While most traffic into the depths of the earth tries to stick to the primary passages, there are those who wish to travel either to less-ventured places off the main passages, or those who wish to avoid running into major patrols of the various races down below.

Secondary passages are generally 20 feet wide and have fewer worked areas than the primary passages. The roof varies from 15 to 40 feet above the floor, with 25 feet being usual.

In addition to being smaller and less worked, secondary passages often have more obstacles than the primaries, as the “civilized” denizens of the underdark have had less reasons to build over or around them, or have stopped using the tunnel completely because of the obstacles.

The original sample secondary passage from Descent into the Depths of the Earth has been redrawn on the far left, and is now joined by 4 additional sample passages.
 

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