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Return to Dyson’s Delve – From top to bottom!

We return to the maps of Dyson’s Delve with maps of the very top and bottom of the mini mega dungeon.

Dyson's Delve 2019 - The SurfaceDyson’s Delve 2019 – The Surface

The upper ruins are only hinted at in the original Dyson’s Delve – the assumption in the adventure is that the party sneaks in using the hillside cave, dodging the goblin-infested tower on the hill. Here we finally have a map of this area. The ground level is all that remains of an old watch tower. The upper levels have fallen away and most of the stone was carted away by farmers ages past for use in fences and foundations.

A number of stone pillars remain to the south of the tower – the origins of these are unknown but all but one of them are single piece blocks of stone. The centremost of these is made of three pieces of stone precision cut so they rest together without even a hairline gap between them.

Dyson's Delve 2019 - Level 11Dyson’s Delve 2019 – Level 11

At the very deepest depths of the Delve, level 11 brings back the troglodytes we met back on the temple level – the same troglodytes who serve the dragon living on level 10, and guarding the way to his lair. There are a few other creatures on the level as well, and of course the mandatory tentacular beasts living within the lake, ready to eat unwary adventurers.

The lake itself is probably part of the Darkling Depths – linking in turn to the Heart of Darkling series of maps.

For the entire set of Dyson’s Delve 2019 maps:

I’m still in the process of compiling the new version of Dyson’s Delve in a digest-format PDF using all the new maps. It should be released next week to all patrons of my Patreon Campaign.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Return to Dyson’s Delve – Levels 9 & 10

This is the final month of redrawing Dyson’s Delve – today we get levels 9 & 10 of the redraw, and later this week I’ll be releasing the final level (11) as well as the all-new surface level of the mini mega dungeon.

At the end of this month, a PDF will be released to all patrons of the blog on Patreon (regardless of backer level) with the new version of Dyson’s Delve.

Dyson's Delve 2019 - Level 9Dyson’s Delve 2019 – Level 9

Level 9 is home to petrifying monstrosities, a “noble” court of wererats, and a massive worm (but not quite as massive as a purple worm – fortunately B/X D&D includes the smaller Caecilia which fills the same role while being a more appropriate challenge for this level).

The natural cave section on the northeast side of the map contains links up and down between the levels, and is also connected to the main level albeit through a secret door, essentially making these two sections separate.

Dyson's Delve 2019 - Level 10Dyson’s Delve 2019 – Level 10

This level is unusual in that it is broken up into three distinct areas. One can only be reached from level 9, one from level 11, and the last is the route used to get from level 9 to level 11.

This level of the dungeon finally brings in the big bad of the whole dungeon, but he can only be reached after the party has been to level 11.

The big bad guy? It wouldn’t be Dungeons & Dragons if there wasn’t a dragon somewhere in the dungeon.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Shadows of the Ruinous Powers – Session 1

(Being a series of quick game notes trying to account for the events of many sessions of playing through The Enemy Within using the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1e rules)

Session 1

The Enemy Within

  • Kazgar [Gunner]
  • Larry [Bawd]
  • Othmar [Bunko Artist]
  • Gottlieb [Hunter]
  • Wilfried [Bawd]
  • Magnus Gunnar
  • Oscar Jager [Body Guard]

The session begins with the adventurers gathering on their way to Altdorf where Crown Prince Hergard von Tasseninck of the Grand Principality of Ostland is hiring adventurers for 20GC or more per day for “a most perilous mission into unexplored regions of the Grey Mountains.”

They arrive at the Coach and Horses Inn run by Gustav Fondleburger and hire their way onto a coach from the Ratchett Lines of Altdorf which already has a few people riding it:

• Gunnar (Drunken Coachman)
• Hultz (Also Drunken Coachman)
• Lady Isolde von Strudeldorf (Young Noble)
• Janna (Lady Isolde’s servant)
• Marie (Lady Isolde’s one-eyed Kislevite bodyguard)
• Ernst Heidelmann (Physician’s Apprentice)
• Philipe Descartes (Bretonnian Gambler)

They played several games of cards with Philipe (everyone coming close to breaking even in the end) and acquire a few rumours at the Coach and Horses Inn:

The road to Altdorf is troubled by bandits. Only last week a coach failed to get through. These are troubled tmes and it’s about time that the Emperor started looking after the common folk.
• The village of Teufelfeuer was recently burnt down by Fabergus Heinzdork, the witch-hunter. Fabergus had discovered that the villagers were in league with demons – something to do with them eating raw meat!
• A small village in the Shadow Woods is having some trouble with wolves. Seems their militia can’t even handle a few mangy dogs!
• The roads are getting worse because the Emperor is not bothering to maintain them anymore – he is too busy spending money on the Imperial Army.
• The weather is going to take a turn for the worse. It’s going to rain tomorrow and for a few days after.
• A merchant returning from Grossbad was attacked by a small band of Goblins. He managed to flee but his consignment of ale bound for Regensdorf was stolen. Still, at least the Goblins will be so drunk that they won’t pose a threat to anyone else!
• The roadwardens are all corrupt and can’t be trusted.
• The Mayor of Grunburg was burnt at the stake a few months ago for being in league with “Chaos Spawn”. He had been overheard talking to his cat and feeding it human blood in its milk. More than one witness proclaimed that he had heard the mayor telling his cat to “Drink your bloody milk!”
• There’s a dark rumour going around that children are being sacrificed to foul demons near some wee village in the Forest of Shadows – Regensdorf I think it was.

The trip the next morning is a disaster, with hungover coachmen, wheels flying off the coach, people vomiting in Lady Strudeldorf’s impressive box of hats, and finally a mutant ambush that includes Rolf Hurtsis, a thief who was known to Othmar. The mutants were cut down and all characters received 75XP.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Shadows of the Ruinous Powers – Intro

For the last year I’ve been running a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1e) campaign running through the classic “The Enemy Within” series (with a little bit added or subtracted here and there).

We play almost every second week, and are almost 30 sessions into the campaign now (and our math indicates we’re looking at another 46 sessions to get to the end).

Some time (18 months?) ago, Cubicle 7 had the full Warhammer FRP 2e collection up on Humble Bundle, and it came with the 1e rulebook too. And they announced that they would be releasing the Enemy Within in PDF also. Excited by the chance to pick them up, I decided I would run it finally (after being part of a botched playthrough once as a player). So I started shopping around online and somehow now I have just about the whole 1e collection in print.

One thing with the Enemy Within – it is a pretty open-ended campaign where the players can easily “go off the rails” and stop running through the campaign as written and run off and do their own things instead. This is something I love as a GM – but I also really want to run the campaign in its entirety. So that was the deal when I put out the call for players. We would be playing WHFRP1e as written, and we would try to keep things on track to stick to the adventures in order to play through them all.

With that social contract in place, we’ve only had one occasion where we’ve actually had to stop play for me to tell the group that I love their plan, and I would run with it and have a great time, but it would mean ditching the adventures as written and moving into running whatever the party gets into at that point. So the party took it as a “if we lose now, we know that we really survived this already with our main plan”, and then metagamed a few ideas as to why they would stick it out instead of skipping town that night. A few other times we had a bit of metagaming regarding their next step (I’ve never had such a hard time getting a group to take a free vehicle to segue into the next adventure!)

I’ve been taking a lot of notes during the progress of the campaign, and instead of keeping them locked away for the players and I to read, I figured I would start posting the game reports here to the blog. The actual play reports the players get are also stuffed full of maps and illustrations from the adventures we are playing, but those are all copyright by their respective owners, so they won’t be appearing in the blog formatted play reports.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Temple Walk

Colloquially known as “God Alley”, the Temple Walk is a set of courtyards and walkways winding between 13 different shrines, temples, churches and reliquaries to various deities and godlings of the city. Not all the deities of the city have shrines here, and few of the larger faiths are represented – the area is too tight and confined for the churches with larger congregations, and the temples here gently push away any of louder cults in the area.

The Temple WalkThe Temple Walk

Because of the narrowness of some of the alleys and spaces in the Temple Walk, it is a pedestrian-only part of the city (enforced by a few “church police” volunteering for one temple or another and working the entrances to the walk). And it is a pleasant change from the bustle and noise of the nearby markets – a sudden break to quiet spaces of contemplation and prayer.

The Temple Walk - no gridThe Temple Walk – no grid

The two gates into the Temple Walk both lead into the same market area of the city, providing a respite from the haggling, shouting, and constant attempts to sell you things you only vaguely want or need (but you could change that, making it a startling transition point between market and government areas, for instance). Instead this district specializes in quiet monks and priests quietly and sternly attempting to sell you salvation and gifts of the gods that you only vaguely want or need.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Rosewood Street Sewers

The sewers under Rosewood Street are large and open compared to most in the city. Built out of much older structures that were repurposed ages ago, the sewers are a mix of utilitarian and overly ornate.

Rosewood Street SewersRosewood Street Sewers

While most sewers are made of brick, clay, or masonry – a few feet wide and tall enough to walk down (especially if you are shorter than the average human), much of the structures under Rosewood are of old stonework with vaulted 8-12 foot ceilings. Parts were once the basements of a much older temple and palace – now with pipes breaking through the walls to pour waste water and other wastes into them.

There are three points of access into this section of sewers (if you don’t count the many drain and flow pipes that are too small even for the skinniest of halflings to travel). From street level there is a secured and locked trapdoor that leads to the stairs on the lower right side of the map. There is also the basement of the Bill Guisarme Tavern on the lower left side of the map that has locked doors into one of the larger chambers – supposedly one of the smaller guilds of thieves have the keys to those locks. And finally there is a normal sewer access below street level on the left side of the map where the waste from this section runs slowly downhill to other parts of the extended sewers of the city.

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Slaughter in the Halfling Village [NGR Play Report]

In our weekly Neoclassical Geek Revival game I had to make a new character because last session ended in what I think was the most perfect TPK I’ve had in ages. We actually almost succeeded at our mission (we run about a 25% success rate currently), got home, and then succumbed to our wounds – dying from disease and mutation and injury in the end-of-session “downtime”.

So I made a new character to join our brave guild of adventurers – Gerold Taskooveras (Jerry). Jerry’s background had him start as a beggar, become a pickpocket, and then spend a few years locked away for his crimes. He’s just been released from jail and has travelled into the hinterlands to make an “honest” living. He’s two parts rogue, one part fool.

Instead of going back (once again) into Elfbreaker Mountain to try to reclaim the dwarven ancestor’s corpse for her clan, we chased after a halfling who had been through town a couple of hours before trying to post a notice on the town notice board, but who left when he couldn’t reach it and no one in town would stop laughing at him long enough to help.

Next thing we know (after a quick NPC death at a “one of us lies, one of us tells the truth” riddle at a pair of bridges), we are setting up the defenses for a small halfling village (think Willow) against barbarian raiders. Thirty barbarian raiders. My foolish thief and a moderately high level elven warrior (who was not at the last session, so he didn’t die). Guerrilla defenses, tower defenses, and a lot of fighting later and we manage to hold off the raiders for two nights… but on the third night we end up in a duel between the elf and their leader. Except they also brought their three wise women to banish the foul elf from the land.

So… we can assume that the halfling village doesn’t exist anymore. We kind of hope the raiders wiped it out completely because otherwise stories might come back of how I picked up the elf and ran for the hills instead of standing to fight.

Remember that 25% mission success rate up there? Yeah, this was another one in the 75%.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Red Descent

If you are going to build a secret temple to a pariah god that is not intended to be worshiped at, why not go whole hog and build it at the bottom of a deep and nearly inaccessible desert cave?

The Red DescentThe Red Descent

Dedicated to a god of betrayal, none would worship here regularly (for fear of being in turn betrayed by other worshipers for their faith in this pariah god). Instead the site sees the occasional “solitary” pilgrimage – small groups trek across the desert and climb down into the red rock cavern to the lowest level where the group leader “examines” and “researches” the dark temple down here.

As a respite in the desert, various subhuman tribes have been known to set up semi-permanent bases in level 1 and sometimes level 2 of the descent. At the bottom of level 2 is a massive tripod of old wood and rusted steel that once suspended some sort of elevating platform that accessed levels 3 and 4.

The Red Descent (no grid)The Red Descent (no grid)

The third level contains a free-standing arch of obsidian that appears to have operated as a magic portal of some kind, and still detects as magical. Perhaps those who have true need of the temple below still have the magic devices to open this archway from elsewhere and slip in and out of the temple without alerting those above. Or perhaps the archway only opens when the unworthy enter the temple, summoning guardians from other worlds to defend it.

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Return to Dyson’s Delve!

It’s been almost nine years since Dyson’s Delve was released piecemeal on this blog. I labeled it my “mini mega dungeon” – an eleven level dungeon where each level’s map fit nicely within my small graph paper pad (nothing over 17 x 17 squares in total area).

There were a few places where I stretched the standard adventure design parameters a bit (while treasure is within the bounds of the treasure type tables of the game, they are significantly weighted towards the rich end of play in order to provide the XP needed for a party to level up at a rate of roughly 1 character level per 2 dungeon levels completed).

Over those nine years my cartography has seen a slight improvement and I’ve been redrawing the various levels of the Delve this year and posting them here two at a time.

Towards the end of this month, I’ll be posting the last three levels of the Delve’s new maps, as well as a never-before-posted map of the surface area where the delve is located.

What I’m doing right now though is collecting all those maps and redoing the layout of the adventure into a coherent whole to be reissued as this month’s Patreon-Exclusive release. Aside from the new surface area there will be a minimum of changes from the original adventure. I’m adding some development notes, and I’m working on a two-page appendix for running it using the most current edition of D&D – but the heart of this is still an 11-level B/X D&D dungeon adventure designed to take characters from level 1 to 6.

All patrons of the Patreon Campaign will receive a free PDF of this exclusive reissue – and it will remain exclusive to patrons for roughly a year before it becomes a commercial release.

dysons-delve-promo

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Old Turnip Inn

We don’t know why we call it the Old Turnip… it’s just always been the Old Turnip. Well, I guess about 30 years ago it was the Old Turnip Eatery and Inn, but that didn’t last.

You can tell it is old just walking past. The windows are out of square now as the building has settled over the years, and it still has a small outbuilding for horses from when this was the East Gate district, before the new curtain walls were built under Geoffrey the Bold’s rule.

The Old Turnip InnThe Old Turnip Inn

With only two fireplaces, the upstairs gets a little cold in the winter, but the rooms are cheap and the blankets are warm. The current owner, Haknoi, is an unusually thin dwarf who is rumoured to buy liquor and ale stolen from other inns in the city.

The woodwork is old and stained from ages of use and abuse, but a close look will note old sigils against the undead, dark magics, and the evil eye inscribed into many surfaces, including the undersides of all the tables.

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Phoenix Diadem

Portals between worlds are crafted from potent materials in places where the energies of the world intersect with that of other places. Sometimes these ‘ley lines’ are conveniently found where the sky meets the earth and the portals can be built on the surface of the world itself.

But more often they meet in places deep or high. And thus we build “dungeons”.

The Phoenix DiademThe Phoenix Diadem

The Phoenix Diadem is such a place – built beneath the world and linking it to other places. But it is not just a portal; it serves as a prison to those whom it calls forth. There is insufficient space here for the great birds who fly in the liminal worlds between the planes of water and air (referred to as the para-elemental planes by some sages learned in the ways of the many worlds). Within the diadem they find themselves trapped, forced to subservience in order to be able to return to the cold skies of their world.

The Phoenix Diadem (no grid)The Phoenix Diadem (no grid)

Even without the spells and rituals to summon forth the great para-elemental birds, the placement and design of the Phoenix Diadem allows things to “leak through” between worlds. Smaller elemental phenomenon occasionally breach into the diadem, and some unfortunates have also been lost here, having “successfully” pushed through from the Prime to the homes of these creatures.

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken on the Guildhall of the Ancient Masters

Release-The-Kraken

Every month we go through our back catalog of maps and the many patrons over on Patreons vote on which two should be re-released under the free commercial use license. For older maps I also work on upgrading the quality of the scan where possible.


Much of the daily life in Archsford, the City of Glass, is managed by the Council of The Ancient Masters – a collective guildhall representing all the major guilds and many of the minor guilds in the city (Glassblowers, Masons, Cartwrights, Stevedores, Coopers, Merchants, Mourners, Physicians, Scribes, Charcoal-Burners, and a few others).

Guild TempleGuild Temple

From the Guildhall, they organize the city watch and defenses, as well as festivals, trade agreements with other cities, tax collection, and many things that one would expect to be handled by the Duke of Archsford and his civil service.

The hub of the Council is the Guildhall and temple of the Ancient Masters – a combined keep, place of worship, and town hall. On entry to the structure, the large main hall is usually populated with small lean-to shops (and the three chambers on the left are more permanent stores selling wares imported by members of the guildhall from strange and exotic lands). The rooms on the right are dedicated to the civil service and records of the guild.

The northern chamber is the main worship hall for the ancient masters themselves, the ancestor-gods of the temple. Most truly important meetings with the senior members of the guild are usually handled in this chamber and the room to the west, pacing around and occasionally intoning chants and rites while engaged in negotiations and power-brokering.

Beneath the temple are the crypts. This well-hidden substructure is only accessible via a secret door under the chair set in front of the statues of the three ancient masters in the main hall. Down here are the three crypts of the masters, who still whisper advice and prophecy to scribes who sit outside the crypts with one ear to the cracked masonry. A larger chamber past the crypts holds the scrolls of what the scribes have gleaned from the masters, as well as a secret door to a deeper crypt where something darker is entombed.


kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Frogs’ Reliquary

Even bullywugs have saints, holy frogs, and sanctified leaders and allies. They aren’t common, and they are revered. This bullywug reliquary dates back to the rule of the Verdant Administrant and The Empire of Gold.

The Frogs' ReliquaryThe Frogs’ Reliquary

The reliquary itself is collapsing into a much deeper dungeon. It can be entered from the jungle entrance in an old bullywug temple, or by climbing up out of the deeper levels below. But getting into the reliquary proper to acquire the holy relics within requires collecting the Agate, Jade, and Lapis keys that are sealed into tombs around the space.

The Frogs' Reliquary (no notes)The Frogs’ Reliquary (no notes)

 

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken on the Crypt of the Smith!

Release-The-Kraken

Every month we go through our back catalog of maps and the many patrons over on Patreons vote on which two should be re-released under the free commercial use license. For older maps I also work on upgrading the quality of the scan where possible.


The Smith’s Reliquary was crafted from heavy blocks of stone banded together with huge bands of steel that wrap around the structure like the hoops on a barrel. These bindings have rusted through the two hundred years this reliquary has stood, discolouring the stone of the building as well as the walkway and the cobbled street that passes along it.

The central chamber within is the reliquary itself, with a massive anvil in the centre of the space, flanked by tools and half-complete weapons and iron hardware of immense size. The back of the chamber is a huge furnace, long cold but for a few coals that are kept burning by the priests, replaced every few hours as they burn out.

Crypt of the SmithCrypt of the Smith

Behind the central chamber is the resting place of the Smith. Either a mighty titan of the craft, or possibly an actual godling struck down somehow. But the sarcophagus is a lie, and within it is but the corpse of a stone giant embalmed and secured against grave robbers.

The true tomb of the Smith is hidden deep beneath this structure. In the priests’ chambers on the left side of the map is a small secret door behind which is a secure area containing a key as well as a variety of minor artifacts of the church (the first nail crafted by the Smith, a hammer head that has been shattered from heavy use, leather tongs that held his works, and so on). The key in turn unlocks the secret door hidden beneath the anvil in the main reliquary. But first one has to pull the four massive iron bolts that hold it in place and then slide this hundred-ton piece of steel aside.

Crypt of the Smith (no grid)Crypt of the Smith (no grid)

Beneath the trap door is a set of stairs leading down to a natural cave with heavy and poisonous sulfuric fumes bubbling up through mud pits. The whole cave is wet and hot and oppressive. At the far side across a small bridge over the mud pits is the actual tomb of the Smith with a shaft of blackest obsidian through his chest – still breathing, but never waking.


kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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2019 Geomorphs – Set 4

Nearly a decade ago I spent most of a year drawing and posting geomorphs to this blog. This year’s Kickstarter for a new series of DungeonMorph dice from Inkwell Ideas brought me back to drawing them again… with the slight stylistic improvement of a decade of experience.

2019 Geomorphs - Set 42019 Geomorphs – Set 4

Clockwise from top left we’ve got:

  • Shrine / Temple complex with secret reliquary.
  • Forge / Workshops
  • Magic Pool
  • Crypts / Tombs

And of course, while these geomorphs work great with each other (and the thousand or so compatible morphs collected by Dave @ www.davesmapper.com ) but also with the four dungeon levels of the Geomorphic Halls.

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The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Return to Dyson’s Delve – Levels 7 & 8

Once again we return to my classic “Dyson’s Delve” with another pair of maps from my 2019 redraw of the mini mega dungeon. This entry brings us to the mid-deep levels of the delve, where we find evil cultists and a second entry point into the dungeon.

Dyson's Delve 2019 - Level 7Dyson’s Delve 2019 – Level 7

This level is a change from the earlier levels of the dungeon – instead of a mix of creatures and dungeon denizens trying to get along, this is an evil temple with a surface exit, acolytes, clergy, and visiting representatives of a powerful creature who lives much lower in the dungeon.

The surface exit is important, in my opinion, when building a megadungeon. It allows the adventurers to skip the earlier levels when re-entering the dungeon in the future.

Dyson's Delve 2019 - Level 8Dyson’s Delve 2019 – Level 8

Level 8 is the smallest level of the Delve, with only 7 distinct “rooms” (a few of which are subdivided into separate areas). It also has the honour of being home to Owlbears.

Seriously, who doesn’t love OwlBears?

Heathens.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide Perspective Map

When I got a copy of the Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide some 33 years ago, it was a flood of information, rules I would consistently ignore, scraps about the underdark for the first time since the D series of adventures…

And a collection of pages at the back on drawing perspective-based maps. Not the isometric (axonometric) projections of Castle Ravenloft, but grids set at various perspectives and rotations along with instructions on photocopying and cutting them up, or tracing them in order to draw multi-tiered maps of some of the larger spaces in the underdark.

33 years later, I finally did it.

I ended up choosing a grid that looks a lot like an isometric projection instead of a perspective piece, and following the directions for tracing the grid for a section, then moving the grid and tracing the next section produces very… vertical separations between elevations.

Dungeoneer Survival Guide Projection 1Dungeoneer Survival Guide Projection 1

The end result is a multi-tiered open space to explore – a large uneven “cave” (that has definitely been modified by the residents over the ages) with ramps and stairs between sections.

I’m definitely going to take another shot at this using a grid that has a stronger perspective and probably a smaller space to try to make something more like a traditional cavern. But I’m spectacularly happy with this piece, and glad that I finally drew it after 33 years of “planning to draw it”.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Geomorphic Halls – Level 4

This is the fourth level of the Geomorphic Halls, a dungeon designed around my dungeon geomorph design to produce levels that have specific waypoints and landmarks, but also areas that shift and change between visits.

This is the final level of the Geomorphic Halls – except for that one small tunnel that has been dug out to the west, leading perhaps to other complexes or the fabled “underdark”.

The east side of this level of the complex is a span of natural caves and a quiet lake which in turn is home to a small island at the base of spiral stairs that descend from the low ceiling (and from the level above).

Geomorphic Halls - Level 4Geomorphic Halls – Level 4

As with the other levels of this dungeon, you can use any of the geomorphs from my own Geomorph Mapping Challenge, or the thousands of other compatible designs from sites and blogs all around the net.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Ruins of Greymail Clanhold

Greymail Clanhold has fallen. Word of the tragedy has only recently made it down from the mountains, but the stories paint a bleak picture of the hold being invaded and the dwarves destroying much of the structure to keep it out of the invaders’ hands.

The Ruins of Greymail ClanholdThe Ruins of Greymail Clanhold

But that is only part of the tale. There are still dwarves once of the clan in the ruins. They survived the siege through cannibalism and they were the ones responsible for collapsing the extensive hold to deny it to their foes – killing most of the non-combatants of the clan in the process.

These guilt-wracked survivors hate themselves more than anything and only survive out of a twisted need to defend what is left of the clanhold – and yet they are still the only ones destroying it. In the time since the siege and fall, they have smashed the statue of the clan founder by the entrance and dragged the larger parts out of the clanhold to throw them down into the ravine below.

The survivors are in great pain, and seek their own deaths defending the clanhold one last time.

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This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Vanshiro Reliquary

Reliquary Map WIP

A quiet structure for the contemplation and learning about the life and trials of the paladin Eneshra and their eventual transformation into the dragon Vanshiro who flew into the west and who’s occasional returns to these lands are a mix of myth, hearth-tales, and the one time it landed on this very hill  to speak to the Grand Eclesiast and deliver the three emerald scales.

The Vanshiro ReliquaryThe Vanshiro Reliquary

Four generations later there is no longer a Grand Eclesiast at all. One of the scales was used and destroyed in the Battle of Long River, another went missing with the last Grand Eclesiast who travelled south to find the Eye of Kin. The final scale is supposedly still here, kept under guard by the small number of faithful priests and paladins who maintain the reliquary.

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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