Map #36 – Destroyed temple

Time for a quick OSR-ish map. The temple of N’Xroth was destroyed decades ago, but locals claim that evil spirits still linger. Perhaps the purge wasn’t as thorough as the Order of the Crimson Dawn would have hoped.

If you prefer, here is version without the grid.


As usual, this map is free (see below), but if you want to tip me, check out my patreon page.

Map #35 – Castle Dread Dungeon I


Some time ago, I drew a castle/monastery that I called Castle Dread. That map had a couple of access points to lower levels and here is one suggestion for what those might contain. I have a couple of thoughts about the rooms, but feel free to substitute as you wish.

First, the main burial chamber has been sealed off. The wall can be determined to be new with an easy perception/etc. check (adjust to your system). Inside you might have either an empty grave or a reanimated corpse of a noble.

Then there are a couple of secret doors. This part of the dungeon contains a few “preparation” rooms, a watch point overlooking the sea and a couple of holding cells. There is also an elevator leading down (I hope to draw the second level later).

Here is a black and white version, if you prefer that.


As usual, this map is free (see below), but if you want to tip me, check out my patreon page.

Dice math – What’s the difference?

Content warning: Sloppy statistics and a chance of horrible mistakes.

One interesting question regarding various mechanics is ‘How long does it take to figure out who is better?’ Characters in the world don’t observe each other’s bonuses but rather the results of the checks and checks have a random component in them. So it is very much possible that a more skilled character loses multiple times to a less skilled one. Luckily, we can use (or abuse) a few methods from statistics to take a stab at this problem.

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Map #34 – Underwater Shipwreck

A ship carrying valuable cargo was attacked or just sunk due to unfortunate weather. However, the (undead?!) crew managed to salvage most of the cargo to nearby caverns. The players might want to loot the wreck out of sheer greed or perhaps the ship was carrying a cargo that was imperative to whatever world-saving they’re doing.

For foes, you can use whatever aquatic creatures you want or as I initially, thought, let the ship have an undead crew that is still patrolling the area and guarding the cargo.

However, be careful not to disturb the kraken!

Here’s also a black and white version.


This map is free, but if you want to tip me, check out my patreon page.

Applied fantasy math – Vampire populations

Some time ago, I became aware of a nice paper – The Transylvanian problem of renewable resources by R.Hartl and A. Mehlmann. You can find an ungated copy here. The paper itself is quite technical and I’m not familiar enough with optimal control theory to fully explore it here. The idea of the paper however is to consider a vampire population feeding on humans and find optimal feeding strategies for different discountings of consumption.

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Map #33 – Castle Dread

Back to ink-only maps. Castle Dread might have started as a monastery or a chapel a long time ago, but due to its location on the coast, it was soon upgraded to a small castle to keep an eye on the marine traffic passing by. However, the castle has has been abandoned longer than anyone remembers. It is still in relatively good condition, but most people stay away from it. Even hardened bandits haven’t made camp there. There are two secret trapdoors that lead to catacombs beneath besides the obvious stairs inside the chapel.

Feel free to place any monsters – or mundane foes into this keep. I will add dungeon levels in a separate map later, but unfortunately, you will be on your own on that front for the time being.

Here is a black-and-white version without the grid.


This map is free, but if you want to tip me, check out my patreon page.

Map #32 – Dungeonpelago

Here’s a small dungeon built inside multiple smaller ‘islands’ next to an underground river. I kept experimenting with the colored pencils and I think this turned out quite nice, but damn that these take time to color!

The dungeon has a few rooms of undetermined purpose and on the right corner, there is a small prison. The bridge to the prison can be lowered in the water to make it at least a little harder to escape even if the prisoners would get away from their cells. If you feel like it, the water can have any number of deadly beast.

Here’s also a version without colors. However, the scan has a couple of fuzzy spots that I noticed only after I had colored the map…


This map is free, but if you want to tip me (and get first access and higher resolution), check out my patreon page.


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Map #31 – River Crossing

Here’s a map of a small village. I experimented a little with colored pencils and some parts turned out OK. No backstory this time, but this should be easy to fit to almost any situation where you need a map of a generic small village.

Here’s a little ‘lighter’ version, if you prefer that.


This map is free, but if you want to tip me (and get first access and higher resolution), check out my patreon page.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Rules are the story

A common sentiment appearing too often is ‘Story is more important than rules’ or some derivative. Frankly, I find this baffling. I see rules as integral to player empowerment and player empowerment is one of the unique features tabletop RPGs can offer over other media. By player empowerment, I mean that players (including the GM) have significant control over the events of the game. Before I get started, I would like to stress that you should keep playing however you like. This is another strength of RPGs. But I hope that this short post would give some food for thought.

Continue reading “Rules are the story”

Map #30 – Hall of arbitration

It has again been a while without a map, so here’s one to get this year started.

This is small hall for negotiation. A monastic order is famous for arbitration and mediation. The disagreeing parties bring offering that they leave at the altars before entering the hall. If the negotiations take a long time, there are a couple of rooms to rest. The monks of the monastery encourage small parties, so usually there are only a handful of people on each side.

To use this in your game, perhaps the players are hired to protect a merchant or a noble during their stay. There are a couple of tunnels from which assassins might enter to try to stop the negotiations. Or if you’re so inclined – or rather if your players are – they might be the ones using tunnels. Depending on your plans, this could be a simple job or a start of something far more sinister – for example, how come the assassins could dig their tunnels freely so close to the monastery?

Here’s a version without background.

This map is free to use according to cc-by-nc-sa, but if you want to tip me (and get first access and higher resolution), check out my patreon page.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.