5e, Caverns, Cragmaw, Dungeon, Dungeons & Dragons, Extreme Dungeon Makeover, Fantasy, Labyrinth Lord, Maps, OSR, RPG
The goblin trail leads to this cave, and presumably within they are holding the missing dwarf and fighter – maybe as prisoners, maybe just as food. But the origin of the cave isn’t geological in nature. This cave is part of the old coolant processing facility that was part of the nearby space elevator (the city of Winterspire is built into the foundation of that same elevator, this is one of 16 sub-spires that supported the original construction).
The goal of this redraw of the Cragmaw Hideout adventure map is to inject a little bit of a different feel to my D&D5e campaign. It isn’t set in the Forgotten Realms, it’s set along the remnants of much older technologies that everyone has forgotten. Yet the bits and pieces of those prior ages are so abundant that people don’t take notice that they are in any way special. In game play the passages and systems of the coolant plant are described as “smooth passages” and “big lumps”, “small lumps” and “protrusions”.
The goal is to make it feel just that little bit different, to inject a bit of a Count Brass feel to the setting. Obviously these caves were made by magic at some point, and unknown magics were used to produce the waters that flow from them. Unless you are a sage who specializes in these things, that’s all most characters will care to learn. You can see the map I drew for the players of the region here.
And since I’ve been adding grids to my maps lately, here’s a version with a few screened layers added: grid, shrubs and water.
I totally recommend this process for learning everything about an adventure before running it – redraw the map as you read the adventure. In the end it should run as well as any adventure you have written yourself since you’ll be that much more familiar with the material.
This map was drawn on plain white bond paper (stolen from my printer) using a Sakura Micron 01 pen. It was scanned and contrast-enhanced in photoshop, and then the three additional screen layers were added there also.
It is made available for your (non-commercial) use thanks to the awesome patrons of the Dodecahedron who support the blog through my Patreon Campaign.
I’ve been reading over the adventure in the boxed set in hopes of running it as the first D&D campaign for my young daughters. I’m really inspired by the idea of this being a post-technological setting rather than bog standard FR. I was already going to retool the adventure to remove the unnecessary violence and presumed racism of the setting; now I think I want to tweak it further.
Your map’s better than the original, BTW, as if you didn’t already know. 😛
Hi, I am as you quite inspired by all the maps and also by the boxed set you mention. I am just curious about your claim about presumed racism. That was not my first thought when i read the adventure, but do you care to comment on that? I do not like to introduce an adventure that i may have misunderstood and contains racism. First time DMing and want everyone to have a good time
Sorry, I meant the presumed racism in D&D in general – you know, “orcs bad elves good” and so on – not something specific to the adventure, and not like some hidden Klan message or anything. 🙂
Ah ok. You got me worried there for a second. Your comments though started me thinking of male vs female characters. I cannot control who my players play, but why are there always male bad guys and female helpful NPCs?
Yeah, that’s definitely obnoxious. And when there are helpful male NPCs, they’re usually portrayed as “failed” males – simpering, bumbling, or having been emasculated in some way – or they have evil intent. And when there are female villains, they’re hypersexualized and/oror portrayed as incompetent or even more nutso than male villains.
Venger Satanis said:
Great stuff as always, hoss!
Love the idea of redrawing the map of an adventure you’re planning on running. Good tip.
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