Monthly Archives: April 2015

Moldvay’s Haunted Keep

Moldvay's Haunted Keep

Moldvay’s Haunted Keep

I made this map based on the map and examples of play in Moldvay’s Basic D&D Rulebook. I envisioned it as what a character–in this case Morgan Ironwolf–would have created while adventuring. I was thinking that it could have come into your PC’s possession after they defeated a group of hobgoblins, thereby implying that maybe they got it after defeating Morgan’s party. They were down to just Morgan and the Cleric if I remember correctly.

I followed the old parchment tutorial a little closer this time and think the result is better. I also tried something a little different with the lettering. Normally I would have done a simple gaussian blur on the type, but in this case, I duplicated the layer, darkened the underlying text by half, and then applied a gaussian blur of about 3 pixels. On my screen, it looks like the type is indented rather than floating above the parchment like my notes on the lower left. I have since found another way to make the ink look like it bled from a tutorial on The Cartographer’s Guild, but it is more complicated and I haven’t tested it yet to see if it looks better. I am currently working on a new series of maps using that tutorial, but it is slow going, very slow going.

As for my other maps, I am running out. I have two that are ready to post and another seven or so dungeon maps in production, but I am not sure I will be able to finish them in time to keep up with the Random Map Monday pace. It’s not that I am losing interest, quite the opposite. I am just not sure that keeping to the schedule is helping drive views to the blog on Monday. Since I have been running this Random Map Monday series from January, I have not seen any substantial increase in traffic on Mondays. I had expected that four months in, more would have come. It is not lost on me that maybe my maps just aren’t a good draw to the site. My character sheets are more viewed/downloaded by an order of magnitude.

Back to today’s map, for those that want the printable version of this map, here you go.

Moldvay's Haunted Keep Printable

Moldvay’s Haunted Keep Printable

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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.