Advanced Fantasy Random Drop Dungeon-The Barrows

Years ago I came across this blog post, Advanced Fighting Fantasy Random Mapping Technique, and tried it out, and eventually bought the book. I revisited this technique recently and found that as I was drawing, it felt more organic, and once I drew in the doors, the map reminded me of something an adventurer might have come up with after exploring. Heck, you can still see a lot of the sketch lines that I left in.

The Barrows on Parchment Paper

The Barrows on Parchment Paper

Not content to leave this as a black and white map, I used a tutorial that I think I found on The Cartographer’s Guild. The Author, RobA, is an administrator, but I cannot find the original tutorial. I hope I am not screwing up by posting it here. Now I didn’t follow all of the steps (I did for another map soon to come) but I still like how it turned out. Click on the picture below to download the pdf to go to the thread where you can download the pdf.

UPDATE: I finally found the tutorial pdf on the Cartographer’s Guild website so I am linking to that thread instead of hosting the file myself.

For those–like me–that prefer maps in black and white for easy printing, you’re welcome.

The Barrows Printable Version

The Barrows Printable

Random Dungeon #15

Random Dungeon #15

Random Dungeon #15

I’ve been holding onto this one for quite a while, because I quite frankly wasn’t sure how I wanted to present it.

When I originally drew it, I imagined it as a underground passage inside a mountain ridge as the sole connection between two larger areas. There was actually a photo somewhere that prompted me to come up with this idea, but I never saved it as I was almost certainly at work at the time.

Either of these two pictures kinda give you an idea of what I was going for.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

A quick description of the dungeon itself. From either entrance, the path left would house chaotic creatures and progress to neutral creatures and continue to lawful creatures. Only those of true neutral alignment could enter the central room. As I thought more about it it seemed unworkable in with any sort of reality. Since I haven’t come up with anything else for you, it is presented here as is.
Table Mountain

Table Mountain

One special note. This was the first map I drew on reverse graph paper. Meaning the lines were white with the quads filled with a very light grey. Someone here on the net mentioned it months ago but f’ed if I can remember where. I made my own sheet in Excel that seemed to work ok. I’d often print out some paper at work if I have a few minutes to doodle. This type of sheet makes scanning a lot easier, because it only needs minimal contrast and curve adjustment to make the ‘grid’ go away. But if I have access to it, I prefer the standard blue quad paper.

The Lost Tomb of Zetis I

The Lost Tomb of Zetis I

The Lost Tomb of Zetis I

I love doing research into items of historical significance that I can use for either my writing or gaming. I came across a map to the Egyptian Pharaoh Seti I’s tomb that I just had to convert. Unfortunately, this tomb moves more vertically than horizontally so to recreate it for gaming purposes, I figured I could use some isometric paper instead of normal quad-rule.

I don’t like the inking on this one because the crosshatching just doesn’t seem to fit, and all of my tests looked like doo-doo. I may revisit using iso paper at a later date to see if I could make the map look more three-dimensional. I really liked the wall I drew alongside the stairwell from the Chamber of Four Pillars, but when I did that all around, it looked like crap.

One note, I drew the stairwell to the Land of the Dead in the wrong position. Most of the maps I found did not show it conclusively, but a map I found later seemed to imply that it might have been hidden beneath the sarcophagus. That would be much better for gaming–if not more expected–but I didn’t feel like redrawing that whole section.

Another note, the room I labeled as the ‘Taurus Room’ should be more appropriately names the ‘Apis Room” is this is used in an Egyptian-themed game.

The Dungeon Beneath the Ruins of the Tower of Zenopus

The Dungeon Beneath the Ruins of the Tower of Zenopus

The Dungeon Beneath the Ruins of the Tower of Zenopus

Since I broke my rules with the Dungeon! map posting, I figured it really wouldn’t hurt too much to break them here with this map. I labelled this map with a handwriting font that doesn’t look anything like my own handwriting–this is legible.

I delayed posting this map (primary inking was completed back in January) because I was debating whether to add in all of the little bits that are decribed in the five pages or so from the manual. I guess the way I drew this map ended up looking way too cluttered, so I left it with only the bits that were on the main map I was working from.

Between this map and the map from T1: The Village of Hommlet I am starting see how my maps differ. It won’t be too long before I start incorporating those differences into my newer maps. I hope you stick around to see how all this turns out. Until then, enjoy.

Dungeon! Board Game Map

Not too long ago I said that I wanted to study some different maps and maybe even copy them in my style to compare with each other and my own. I always liked the Dungeon! Boardgame map so I figured I would experiment with it.

This map screwed my idea for making all of the maps in a similar style. Generally when I make my maps, I first draw the walls, scan the map, print out a copy, and add the cross hatching to it. With this map though my eyes started hurting. The crosshatching just didn’t look right at all with the floor lines. I think this might have to do with the balance between white and dark space and may prove beneficial to my studies of these maps.

Dungeon! Boardgame Map Crosshatching Test

Luckily I was working from a copy so I could go back and try something completely different. I experimented with just a solid grey background. I did that on my large scale map of different sections of my Mentzer Dungeon Level 1 (I may eventuall post it for giggles), and I think it turned out ok. So I did it again with this map but added a little Gaussian Blur. Presented here for your pleasure…

Dungeon! Board Game Map

Dungeon! Boardgame Map

Truthfully, to me it looks bad on the screen with the white corridors and rooms almost glowing off the page. When printed with my laser printer using either PCL 5e or 6, it looks good, though the darker the background the better it looks. Check it out and let me know what you think.

The Dungeon Beneath the Moathouse Ruins

The Moathouse Ruins Dungeon Level

The Moathouse Ruins Dungeon Level


I have been chomping at the bit to start this round of posts. Here is my version of the dungeon beneath the moathouse ruins in TSR’s T1: The Village of Hommlet. I know some in the blogosphere dislike this dungeon because of how linear it is. I played a version of this dungeon as a youngster and that adventure helped to hook me into the game. That damn ogre wrecked us until we realized that there were people back in town offering their services to a small group of adventurers. The dungeon then had a creepy feel to it as we were overly cautious making our way through.

I really like how this map turned out. This is exactly what I was looking for during this experiment.

P.S. We never found the secret passage to the catacombs.

EDIT: It has come to my attention that I made a boo-boo with my layer editing and erased some portions of the map to transparency. While my printout was good, the map showed up poorly in different viewers. I have uploaded a corrected version of the map. Sorry.