A powerful and evil spellcaster, “The Master” has ensconced himself near the middle of a city full of monsters and humanoids that serve him at some level or another. Thus, his security is somewhat lax – relying on walls, a few guards and animals, and his own potent magics.
One of the smaller tricks in keeping himself safe in his home is the use of “nightingale floors” on the porch that runs around much of the house. There are multiple boards in the porch that are purposefully built to squeak when stepped on – not so loudly that it is a bother during the day, but making it obvious when intruders are on site when the master and his staff are asleep or resting.
The home is surrounded by a high wall with six guard towers watching over the three entrances into the compound. Also within the compound are a pair of gardens – one purposefully “overgrown” with trees and bamboo stands (allowing the resident rust monsters a better chance to surprise interlopers) and the other a much more traditional area to walk and relax in near a small fish pond with a number of fruit trees.
This map is an enlarged redraw of “Map H” from the classic AD&D adventure module “Dwellers of the Forbidden City” originally drawn by Steve Sullivan in 1980 or 81 and published by TSR in 1981.
Looking at it again, I’d love to use it as a location in a Top Secret (or other Espionage RPG) game.
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