D&D General Maps, Maps, Maps! Dungeons, Ruins, Caverns, Temples, and more... aka Where Dyson Dumps His Maps.


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Index Card Dungeon – Catacombs 1

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The Catacombs. This deep map under the dungeons of the Index Card Dungeon is the only one in the set that connects to only one other map (the stairs and shafts up to Dungeons Map 3). These ancient catacombs are blighted with a fowl and dark supernatural “shadow fog” that reduces light sources to one third of their normal brightness, and the whole area is of course guarded by shadows of those who died down here.

But of course, there are grave goods to be plundered by those unafraid of the dark. A number of tombs and crypts are down here in the shadows, and while some have been plundered, the shadows and a few wraiths have managed to keep the rest of them undespoiled.

This is the seventh of ten index card-sized dungeon maps that all connect together. Each is designed to fit on a traditional 3 x 5 index card (at six squares per inch), and you can write up any notes about the level on the reverse of the card. The first five maps were posted last month, and the last five are being posted this month.

The 1200 dpi versions of the map were drawn at a scale of 300 pixels per square and are 9,000 pixels (30 squares) wide. To use this with a VTT you would need to resize the squares to either 70 pixels (for 5′ squares) or 140 pixels (for the recommended 10′ squares) – so resizing it to either 2,100 pixels wide or 4,200 pixels wide, respectively.

 

Index Card Dungeon – Shallows 1

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As indicated by the name, this section of the Index Card Dungeon is mostly flooded, but only to a depth of a few feet. Water comes in from a small waterfall in the lower left corner of the map and gradually moves north to Caves Map 1 where it drains out through cracks in the stone of the pond in that area. Morlocks have taken up residence in these shallows, hunting blind fish and harvesting a fungal algae-like scum that grows in the nearly still waters. They live in fear of the degenerate elves that reside within the temple structure on the lower right of the map (that then extends to Temple Map 1).

This is the eighth of ten index card-sized dungeon maps that all connect together. Each is designed to fit on a traditional 3 x 5 index card (at six squares per inch), and you can write up any notes about the level on the reverse of the card. The first five maps were posted last month, and the last five are being posted this month.

The 1200 dpi versions of the map were drawn at a scale of 300 pixels per square and are 9,000 pixels (30 squares) wide. To use this with a VTT you would need to resize the squares to either 70 pixels (for 5′ squares) or 140 pixels (for the recommended 10′ squares) – so resizing it to either 2,100 pixels wide or 4,200 pixels wide, respectively.


 

Index Card Dungeon – Tunnels 1

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The tunnels connect three other maps in the Index Card Dungeon – Caves Map 1, Dungeons Map 1, and Shallows Map 1. The tunnels are home to things that scurry and ooze, and a few who have been driven out of the other parts of the dungeons but not out of the complex entirely. At the far end of these caves, hidden from view from the rest of the dungeons, is a chamber with a three-tiered dais set with small stone orbs on pedestals. The orbs seem very resistant to being moved from their seats, held there by strange magics.

This is the ninth of ten index card-sized dungeon maps that all connect together. Each is designed to fit on a traditional 3 x 5 index card (at six squares per inch), and you can write up any notes about the level on the reverse of the card. The first five maps were posted last month, and the last five are being posted this month.

The 1200 dpi versions of the map were drawn at a scale of 300 pixels per square and are 9,000 pixels (30 squares) wide. To use this with a VTT you would need to resize the squares to either 70 pixels (for 5′ squares) or 140 pixels (for the recommended 10′ squares) – so resizing it to either 2,100 pixels wide or 4,200 pixels wide, respectively.

 

Index Card Dungeon – Temple 1

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Down beyond the flooded shallows of the Index Card Dungeon is the Temple of the Dark Rites - home to a small clan of degenerate elves who were once the masters of the few morlocks that survive in the shallows. The elves live in perpetual darkness and self-denial, consuming only food and water summoned magically from other realms. They no longer remember the names of those they pay lip service to, just that there are rites that must be performed in specific ways to appease the dark lords that sealed them down here unknown ages ago.

Sometimes the shallows fill up with water faster than they can drain via the cracks in the stone basin of the caves, and the temple has been flooded in this manner a few times - including recently enough that the lower section of tombs remains flooded with a few feet of brackish water. In these tombs is a secret door that leads deeper - and while the elves are aware of it, they have a taboo that strictly denies them opening it or even discussing it. Should it be found and forced open, they would not pursue or even acknowledge anyone beyond the portal.

This is the last of ten index card-sized dungeon maps that all connect together. Each is designed to fit on a traditional 3 x 5 index card (at six squares per inch), and you can write up any notes about the level on the reverse of the card. The first five maps were posted last month, and the last five were posted this month.

The 1200 dpi versions of the map were drawn at a scale of 300 pixels per square and are 9,000 pixels (30 squares) wide. To use this with a VTT you would need to resize the squares to either 70 pixels (for 5′ squares) or 140 pixels (for the recommended 10′ squares) – so resizing it to either 2,100 pixels wide or 4,200 pixels wide, respectively.

 

Miserth Keep – Main Level

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Home to Lord and Lady Miserth, Miserth Keep sits on a rocky outcrop outside of the near-ghost-town that bears their name (Miserth’s Ford). These cruel and greedy nobles have little interest in their people, except to dole out harsh punishments to those who fail or cross them. They have a small number of guards and servants within the keep, but they also lack any loyalty to the family and only obey out of fear. The keep is made up of the keep proper at the south end, the gatehouse at the north, and curtain walls connecting them. A small stables and a well are in the courtyard.

Miserth Keep itself is old and gloomy, with thick walls and narrow windows. The small courtyard was once used to host parties for those rare non-nobles they felt were worth their time, and is still decorated with decade-old pennants and banners from the last such event – which make for strange decorations as the courtyard today is only used for punishing and executing those who they take a disliking to.

The 1200 dpi versions of the map were drawn at a scale of 300 pixels per square and are 6,600 pixels (22 squares) wide. To use this with a VTT you would need to resize the squares to either 70 pixels (for 5′ squares) or 140 pixels (for the recommended 10‘ foot squares that make sense with this design) – so resizing the image to 2,100 pixels or 4,200 pixels wide, respectively.

 

Miserth Keep - Upper Levels

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Home to Lord and Lady Miserth, Miserth Keep is slightly less unpleasant on the upper levels of the keep proper – but still contends with narrow windows, cold stone construction, and a lack of real space for the family and retainers.

The north side of the keep is the gatehouse with the guard barracks above it (never very warm because of the murder holes above the main gate). The gatehouse tower extends higher and contains the captain’s quarters and is topped with battlements for the poor sod on watch duty.

Connecting the gatehouse to the keep on the south side are the battlement-topped curtain walls with doors into both structures.

This first level of the keep proper is mostly a long hall connecting the two sections of curtain wall with a cold hearth, a chamber set aside for the lord and lady to plan and confer with the captain, and the tower stairs up and down.

The next floor of the keep contains the chambers of Lord and Lady Miserth, and a barren study that was once the nursery for previous generations of Miserths. The top floor of the keep contains a pair of smaller bed chambers, one with a fireplace that was once for the commander of the troops, and a smaller “prince’s” chamber that has been long unoccupied.

Finally, the tower atop the keep has three raised beds where vegetables were grown, now mostly gone to seed.

The 1200 dpi versions of the map were drawn at a scale of 300 pixels per square and are 6,600 pixels (22 squares) wide. To use this with a VTT you would need to resize the squares to either 70 pixels (for 5′ squares) or 140 pixels (for the recommended 10‘ foot squares that make sense with this design) – so resizing the image to 2,100 pixels or 4,200 pixels wide, respectively.

 

Miserth Keep – Dungeons

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The dungeons beneath Miserth Keep purposefully do not link to the keep proper, instead linking to the gatehouse – this is still not the most secure option, but because of the cliffside entrance/exit, this was a decision made to prevent access to the keep proper without crossing the bailey.

The upper level of the dungeons is centred along a large hall, with access up to the gatehouse tower, and the cliffside. The chamber on the upper right is propped up with a number of wooden joists and supports designed to be easily torn down, collapsing the space between the gates of the main gate of the structure. The roof is thicker than the chamber is tall, so doing so does not provide access to the dungeons from above, but it will drop the floor of the entrance by 4 feet or so, and make it very rough terrain.

The lower level contains the actual dungeons, the keep’s cistern, and an old shrine. The deepest level can be reached from the guard room of the dungeons or via a small passage carved between a cell in the dungeons to what used to be a cell down here – this was designed to be used when someone needed to pretend to be a captive in the dungeons, but was either an informant or a plant set up by the Miserths (allowing them to leave the cell at night via the guard room and report back to the family as well as eat and sleep in more comfortable chambers).

The 1200 dpi versions of the map were drawn at a scale of 300 pixels per square and are 6,600 pixels (22 squares) wide. To use this with a VTT you would need to resize the squares to either 70 pixels (for 5′ squares) or 140 pixels (for the recommended 10‘ foot squares that make sense with this design) – so resizing the image to 2,100 pixels or 4,200 pixels wide, respectively.

 

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Edge Strip Dungeon

Measuring in at 8 squares / 2 inches wide by 88 squares / 22 inches tall, this dungeon map was specifically drawn to be used as a sidebar in a book, rather than as a full-feature dungeon map. If reduced to 11 inches tall (for a standard 8.5 x 11 book) this is an inch wide, and if reduced to 8.5 inches tall (for a digest-sized zine for instance) we come down to just over three-quarters of an inch.

Obviously, this one comes with a commercial use license so it can be used in books as a sidebar or other incidental art.

 

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Dungeon of the Fire Opal

Most old-timers are more than a bit familiar with this dungeon – but almost every generation of D&D Dungeon Master has probably brushed against it. It originally appeared in the AD&D1e Dungeon Master’s Guide in 1979, and then appeared again in the 3e DMG in 2000, and the 5e DMG in 2014. In the 1979 and 2000 versions, it was also accompanied by a description of what playing through a small part of the dungeon could be like.

For this version, I also referenced Jonathan Tweet’s full write-up of the dungeon from Dungeon Magazine issue 84 where it was keyed for level 3 characters in the early days of Third Edition. I used this adventure as a guide to placing details in the various rooms and hallways, but not so much so that one would have to use that adventure to make up cool stuff for each area.

Two of my favourite parts of the whole map are the descriptions of the secret door in 3 and the secret door in room 28.

Room 3 has a secret door that is significantly above floor level, and a series of notches in the wall just beneath it. The notches used to hold up the wooden raised platform on the south side of the room (the wooden beams would be pushed into the notches to hold the structure up) and the secret door was meant to access this raised platform. It’s this kind of background that makes me think harder when drawing and detailing my own maps.

Room 28 has a secret door that leads in two distinctly different directions – depending on how you open it. Just finding the secret door and triggering it to open will lead to room 29, but knowing the extra-secret triggering mechanism will open it up instead to the stairs at area 30 – the real treasure room of the monastery dungeon.

The 1200 dpi versions of the map were drawn at a scale of 300 pixels per square and are 10,500 pixels (35 squares) wide. To use this with a VTT you would need to resize the squares to either 70 pixels (for 5′ squares) or 140 pixels (for the suggested 10′ squares to match the original) – so resizing it to either 2,450 pixels wide or 4,900 pixels wide, respectively.

 

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