Dungeons & Dragons, Fantasy, Labyrinth Lord, Maps, OSR, RPG, Side View
Today’s map is a sneak-peak into one of two adventures I’ve got brewing on the back-burner. The full title of this map is “Secrets of the Frog Idol – The Cenote Shrine” – it’s a map for an expanded version of my Challenge of the Frog Idol adventure that I wrote a few years ago. The goal is to stretch the module into a much more detailed sandbox environment with less emphasis on the fetch-quest element and more on the Black Mire, the various cults and ruins in the area, and so on.
The villagers above this particular cenote are unaware of the shrine that is beneath them, using the cenote as a place to dispose of their dead, aged, and infirm. The cave entrance to the cenote is hidden in the forest, protected by a foul beast that lives within it and is clever enough to only eat the occasional goat of the villagers instead of the villagers themselves.
The shrine itself is a long abandoned temple of the Frog Idol, now partially flooded and ripe for plundering.
The Cenote Shrine was drawn using Sakura Micon pens and was scanned and contrast-enhanced using Photoshop. It is made available for your use courtesy of Lorne Cooper, Simon Forster, Jeff Russell and the rest of the amazing people who pay to make these maps possible through my Patreon Campaign.
Love the simplicity of the design yet complexity for the explorer. The levels and flooding will force players to develop techniques to get to the remote areas and of course the DM will have to ensure there are enough carrots out there so that the players know there are challenges to be undertaken.
Cenotes are so under-utilized. Shouldn’t it have more water though if it’s not being used as a well? Kind of surprising that the villagers would use it to dump bodies.
OK, I’ll stop now and just be thankful, as always, for the excellent maps!
Dyson Logos said:
The water level in the cenote depends on the local water level.
The villagers at this particular village already have easy access to water from a river and the cenote has always been a place of death, thus they toss bodies into it. It also marks the edge of the village territory and the beginning of the territory of the foul beast that lives in the cave entrance to the cenote. The dumping of the dead serves multiple purposes – it helps indicate the barrier between life (the village) and death (the wilderness); it follows on ancient traditions (the shrine below was once a place of human sacrifice); and sometimes it serves as a food source for the beast when times are slim. They don’t trust the water in the cenote because it has been contaminated for as long as they can recall.
Dyson Logos said:
(The trick is that I can justify anything I draw – that’s how I work when I draw a map now. I draw it, then I figure out what the heck it is)
Awesome stuff, Dyson! I look forward to seeing the expanded version of Challenge of the Frog Idol scenario.
I like. Good realism, and more vertical/ cross-sectional maps are always good