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I’m a big fan of set piece battles like the princess rescue scene in Conan the Barbarian, but it’s difficult to find good encounter maps. Most DIY dungeon maps out there are just a series of rectangular rooms, which, let’s be honest, are boring as hell.
I think a good dungeon cartographer needs to consider what it’s like to walk through the dungeon he-or-she is drawing, to explore it, get lost in it.; otherwise, the layouts and room design just becomes repetitive. Dungeon cartography isn’t about just being able to draw a straight line on graph paper; it should be a creative endeavor on the level of populating or writing the history of the dungeon.
And at the core of this problem is the lack of set pieces, places where shit goes down. Of course, any room can be such a place in a good dungeon, but sometimes you gotta have a place where the big bads gather. I’ll be posting a lot more of these types of maps in the future.
So here’s the multi-use Orgy Lounge/Cannibal Soup Kitchen of the [Insert Terrible Monolithic Cult], inspired by that scene in Conan the Barbarian. It’s not a full dungeon, obviously, but can be easily dropped into a dungeon or castle when you need somewhere to run a large battle or sneak-about.
Today, we present this lovely piece of real estate that absolutely oozes with gloom and terror, perfect for the burgeoning blood sorcerer. It comes fully furnished with cells to hold virgin sacrifices, channels to dispose of organic and fluid waste, a cozy torture chamber, and a single study/bedroom for quiet contemplation, maniacal plotting, and beauty sleep! There’s also plenty of cave space if you’re feeling lonely and feel the need to take on apprentices. Act now!
Two maps in a week! It’s madness!
Below is a map from my upcoming Southfarthing Confidential halfling police procedural campaign setting for 5th ed. It details the environs of the village of Curdlebrook, an area detailed in the book.
The plan for Southfarthing Confidential is to release a setting/rules book and an adventure, which has finally been titled: “Southfarthing Confidential: Between Midnight and Breakfast,” which is set within an inn along the Whiskyander River you can see in the northwest corner of this map.
It’s been… Well, longer than I care to investigate, but here’s a new map.
Expect more to come along with updates on Southfarthing Confidential, Spear! Fang! Raygun!, and the ever-promised Part 2 of “Thieves’ Guild Built in the Subterranean Ruin of [Insert Generic Anthropomorphic Urban Rodent God of Your Choice]’s Temple.”