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The Archmage’s Chambers

Once you are past the wards and sigils that guard the entranceway and have triggered the teleporter, you finally are brought to the archmage’s private sanctum.

The Archmage's ChambersThe Archmage’s Chambers

The Archmage’s Chambers are hidden away deep underground, below the “comfortable” levels of the underdark to an area where the stone walls seem to press in with relentless gravity and heat. Once a small node broken open by opposing forces of elemental earth and air, the cracked tunnels were then shaped, smoothed and reinforced magically to withstand the incredible pressures down here.

The chambers are hot and oppressive, and without the small nexus of elemental air present, there wouldn’t be a cool breeze to make it survivable (and there would be no fresh air to breathe either).

And down here, the archmage keeps their secrets, their spells cut into crystal decanters instead of spellbooks, their twisted homonculi that carry wisps of ancient knowledge, and the six pillars where they store their favourite emotions and moments, safe for all time from the whimsy of human memory.

Originally drawn by David Brawley who runs Tower of the Archmage, I couldn’t resist sticking the design through the custom “Dysonizer” I have sitting at my desk.

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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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The Travellers Caves

“Caves in the hills? Ach, there may be a place – we call em the travellers caves. Twisty, up and down, easy to get confused in. An’ they go deep, way deeper then any sensible person would go. So yeah, if you really think there’s beasties in caves ’round here, that’s where I reckon they’d be hiding.”

The Traveller's CavesThe Travellers Caves

The Travellers Caves are a small complex of winding multi-tiered caves and chambers which bear the evidence of several previous tenants over the years – from animal scat and hair to old broken boxes and cold, quiet campsites.

One narrow passage leads down from the complex into deeper caverns…

This map was drawn on fairly dark paper in a lovely little travel notebook using black gel pens. The dark colour of the paper made scanning a little rough and a bit uneven in places.

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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Barrow Mounds of the Lich & Famous III

One of the most classic tropes of fantasy RPGs in my experience is delving into the tombs of the dead (on purpose or by accident) and where their grave-goods prove to be helpful and often the accounts of their deaths somewhat… premature.

Barrow Mounds of the Lich & Famous IIIBarrow Mounds of the Lich & Famous III

Today we have nine more crypts, barrows, and tombs for exploration and plundering, ranging from simple single-roomed barrows to small complexes. Combined with the offerings in the previous two “Barrow Mounds” offerings, this brings us to a total of 24 mounds and crypts to explore. A perfect excuse to crack out that d24 from your collection!

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 Bronze Vault

The Bronze Vault is a small, multi-level complex cut into the Jappa Slopes and connected to one of the small cavers that dot the hillsides. Once connected to a small watchtower that was built too close to the edge, getting into the complex typically means climbing to the ruins as the door between the cave and the complex is locked, barred, and now rusted shut.

The Bronze Vault The Bronze Vault

In-game, the complex fills the role of any classic “dungeon in the wilderness” setting – a place where civilization once held sway but is now home to monsters hiding in the roots of our achievements. In the grand tradition of the Moldvay Basic D&D set, this is where hobgoblins would hide their prisoners captured from the nearby town; perhaps home to a small cult that cannot worship publicly in civilized areas; or the destination for a treasure map that the party found in a previous adventure.

The Bronze Vault (no grid)The Bronze Vault (no grid)

Personally, I like the treasure map angle – making the secret chamber in section B right by the entrance the treasure room, but with the map showing how to get there from the cave entrance instead of the upper entrance.

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 Bottomless Tombs

While a number of the old shaft tombs of the Etturan Dynasty have been found and explored, there is one that remains a well-kept secret amongst sages, masters of dark arts, and the few adventurers who have been there. Possibly the original shaft tomb of the dynasty, or perhaps a strange discovery that became the inspiration for the ones to come – the Bottomless Tombs seem to have earned their name.

The central part of these tombs is a 30 foot x 30 foot shaft that seems to go down forever. Determining the actual depth has proven to be beyond the abilities of scrying and simple engineering, and areas of both permanent magical darkness as well as areas of anti-magic (as well as a host of hostile inhabitants) make exploring the depths of the shaft an unwelcoming idea.

But this map concentrates on the tombs around the upper portion of the shaft. A total of seven tomb structures have been cut into the shaft at this area, including the Vault of Kezamdomnus which is accessed via the basement of the long-ruined Temple of Shol-Gath. These tombs and crypts are in turn protected by the inherent danger of the central shaft, as well as their own traps, magical guardians, and sometimes even the undead remnants of their inhabitants.

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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Astral Sanatorium of the Mad Mi-Go Brain Cluster

Few (sane) adventurers are aware of the frightening alien intelligences that live on the other planets. Even those that doe are generally unaware that some of these creatures have access to planar travel as well as interplanetary travel. The maddening brain-stealing fungi from Yuggoth are the perfect example of something no adventurer expects to run into on the Astral.

So, what better place to experiment on captive brains?

This free-floating structure is controlled by a massive collection of brains that the Mi-Go have assembled into some sort of brain cluster. A few Mi-Go may be present at any time, as well as a few orderlies (typically strong creatures like ogres who have had Mi-Go brains grafted into their heads). The rest of the population are a mix of kidnapped people lucky enough to still have their own brains; kidnapped bodies used as a chassis for other kidnapped brains; and a few classic “brains in a jar” to round out the mix – all subject to horrifying and bizarre experiments testing the limits of the standard human / elven / halfling / dwarven brains.

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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Spending your Gold Pieces!

In a lot of D&D 5e discussions, you run into people complaining about not having anything to spend their gold on if there are no magic item shops. I wrote up this list and add new items to it every time I post it to social media.

Remember that until 3e, there were no magic item shops and there was even MORE gold since in 1e and prior editions gold was basically the only source of XP. So if you had 40,000 XP, odds are you had at least 36,000 gp.

It’s not a weakness, it is part of the design of the game.

Other things to do with your gold:

  • Purchase expensive cheeses
  • Purchase expensive wines to drink with said cheeses
  • Hire someone to figure out why all your clothes aren’t already ermine-trimmed
  • Hire someone else to correct the problem
  • Hire minstrels to travel the land telling tales of your exploits
  • Get books written about your exploits
  • Jewel-Encrusted Ear Hair Plucker
  • Send money home to the husband and kids
  • Build a shrine to your favourite deity
  • Build a shrine to your second favourite deity
  • Build a temple to the pantheon of your favourite deities around these shrines
  • When it turns out these deities aren’t part of the same pantheon, fund an entirely new church that claims otherwise. You can even name the heresy after your character!
  • Acquire a taste for imported fish eggs
  • Experiment with strange and foreign narcotics
  • Establish an espionage agency
  • Hire mercenaries and send them on vacation
  • Get involved in local politics
  • Get involved in regional politics
  • Get involved in national politics
  • Get involved in international politics
  • Get involved in transdimensional politics
  • Run for president of Mechanus
  • Purchase a distillery and then hire away the best distillers from their existing employers to take over as the source of elite spirits.
  • Hire a team of exorcists to make sure everything you own, buy, touch or look at is not controlled by evil spirits.
  • Buy wedding presents.
  • Buy birthday gifts.
  • Pay the dowry on your child’s wedding.
  • Buy a boat.
  • Buy a fleet.
  • Man that fleet.
  • Send them off to explore.
  • Invest in local business.
  • Bribe the king.
  • Hire an assassin to take care of that person that insulted you at level 1.
  • Invest in high grade halfling pipeweed
  • Smoke your investment – trust me, totally worth it.
  • Grind up gold into powder and then see if it gets dwarves high when they snort it.
  • Establish trade routes with nearby cities.
  • Establish trade routes with distant cities.
  • Establish trade routes with nearby planets.
  • Establish trade routes with the outer planes.
  • Tithe to the church you claim to worship at, the cult you actually worship at, the local baron, the king, and your guild (there goes 50% of everything)
  • Get married.
  • Get divorced.
  • Have children.
  • Establish a network of informants.
  • Solve homelessness in your city.
  • Feed the poor.
  • Feed the rich.
  • Build a mansion with a massive banquet hall and ballroom.
  • Host grand balls with all the most elite families invited.
  • Host great banquets with all the movers and shakers invited.
  • Hire watchmen to make long rests safer.
  • Hire rangers to hunt while you travel so you don’t have to bring rations.
  • Hire a wagon train to carry rations for those rangers and watchmen.
  • Buy nicer furniture for your home.
  • Hire the weird architect that draws really messed up designs, and give him a huge budget to actually make them real.
  • Hire a team of scribes to follow the weird homeless guy around writing down everything he says.
  • Buy yourself a title (this takes a lot of money, since you basically have to make yourself be the “right kind of person” to get a title, and then likely bribe all the people above you to get it).
  • Hire sages in every major field so when an adventure hook lands on your lap you can spend money hand over fist to learn more about it.
  • Buy art.
  • Commission art.
  • Get a life-sized statue of yourself made of solid gold (that’s 1,500 pounds of gold… that’s a LOT of gold pieces).
  • Get a larger-than-life-sized statue made of yourself in solid gold.
  • Platinum cutlery
  • Gem-encrusted platinum cutlery
  • Buy the cricket in the silver cage that the seller claims was caught on the moon and can tell your future.
  • Set up a crazy wizard in a tower for you to consult on an as-needed basis.
  • Start a gladitorial stable and get involved in the local gladitorial combat scene at the management / owner level.
  • Ivory playing cards
  • Has no one named a town after your character yet? FIX THAT IMMEDIATELY, make your own town! With blackjack and hookers!
  • Assemble incredibly ornate and overly-detailed “kits” for various things. Like your silver-plated vampire-hunting kit in an expensive wooden case that contains a set of stakes made of pungent foreign woods, a hand-crossbow with six different holy symbols on it, a variety of garlic-delivery devices, holy water in expensive bottles, etc.
  • Equip an expedition to find the centre of the planet.
  • Hire dwarves to construct a massive dungeon complex for you to import monsters into.
  • Get involved in horse-racing.
  • Become a respected horse-breeder.
  • Collect a stable of well-bred horses.
  • Hire jockeys and race your stable of horses.
  • When you are bored of your horses, invest in a glue factory.
  • Experiment with exotic perfumes made from monster parts.
  • Flood the healing potion market with cheap knock-offs (guaranteed not to kill you, or your money back!).
  • Hire a team to go into every town before you and equip the town with gold-plated spitoons for your convenience.
  • Outsource the protection of the local forest to high-priced elven mercenary druids.
  • Life insurance in the form of pre-purchased resurrection spells & components.
  • Be the “cool aunt” or “cool uncle” and blow a few grand on each niece or nephew’s birthday.
  • Create a new school of wizardry.
  • Build Hogwarts.
  • Hire a team of gnomes to try to figure out the mechanics behind a man-portable fire-blasting gattling-crossbow
  • Go dragon-turtle hunting.
  • Invest in the dragon-bellies market.
  • Build a flying dragon-turtle-shell boat with ballista turrets.
  • Hire sages, magi, and engineers to explore the option of “nuking the site from orbit”.
  • Commission statues of your adventuring companions in heroic poses.
  • Pay to have all your enemies stuffed and mounted after killing them.
  • Hire monster hunters to increase the size of your stuffed monster collection.
  • Invest in the lead-into-gold alchemy “business”.
  • Make sure your spellbooks have dragon-leather covers, pages of the rarest fine leathers, and ink made of gold and celestial blood.
  • Make a warhammer with a 15 pound solid emerald head.
  • Build the tallest tower in the world.
  • Have masterpieces painted on all your armour.
  • Establish a huge network of mirror-towers to transmit information around the world.
  • Hire shipbuilders and a madman to build the largest ship ever.
  • With sails made of dragon wings.
  • Lashed to a score of water elementals to pull it.
  • Hire a tutor.
  • Hire translators.
  • Learn an exotic language and stop speaking common, instead having your translation team to translate to common, dwarven, etc for you.
  • Get your adventure maps drawn by the renowned cartographer Dyson Logos.
  • Fletch your arrows with phoenix feathers.
  • Hire engineers and try to make every trap from the Grimtooth’s Traps series.
  • Raise an army.
  • Raise a second army.
  • Build a nice vantage point from which to watch your armies clash.
  • Hire a third super-secret army to swoop in and crush the remaining forces.
  • Hire seven soothsayers to examine and interpret your dreams.
  • Buy only the best poisons to feed to the soothsayers who fail to properly interpret your dreams.
  • Pay for the most grandiose funerals for the failed soothsayers so everyone knows how seriously you take this stuff.
  • Bribe the right people to have your horse knighted.
  • Collect the instruments of long-dead famous bards.
  • Buy an inn at every town on the map (or have one built) so you always have a place to stay where they know your name.
  • Griffon-Egg Omelettes.
  • Wereboar Bacon.
  • Mithril chainmail for your pets.
  • Diamond-encrusted cockatiels.
  • Finest marble stables for your horses.
  • Finest marble statues of your horses to go in those stables.
  • Purchase a set of ever-grander mausoleums to eventually bury your worldly remains.
  • Once the biggest mausoleum is done, put smaller ones inside it. Matryoshka Mausoleums!
  • Fund that crazy guy who is building a volcano lair – you know he’ll be a good adventure seed later on!
  • Fund a death cult. This is one that takes care of itself when you get bored.
  • Build a legacy in the form of a travelling halfling circus.
  • Hire someone who’s job it is to hire the exact someone you need.
  • Set up effective counter-espionage to deal with John Creed’s spy network.
  • Try gold-plating your enemies.
  • Hire a team to bring your gold-plated enemies back home and have them jewel-encrusted.
  • Feed your new best friend, the Xorn you adopted in the Elemental Plane of Earth.
  • Start collecting “freaks and oddities” to accompany you and show off just how perfect you are.
  • The material components for “Summon the World Emperor” is a billion gp. There’s no ritual, just have a billion gold and the World Emperor is pretty much certain to show up to claim it.
  • Have a lovely palanquin built so you don’t have to get your very expensive shoes dirty.
  • Buy exotic slaves to carry that palanquin.
  • Start minting coins with your face on them. Sell them at reduced prices to get them into circulation.

Some artwork copyright William McAusland, used with permission

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Digital DoodleMaps

So, these two little doodlemaps are kind of a big deal for me. It is the first time in over four years that I attempted to draw a map digitally instead of using traditional ink and paper.

It is significantly better than I expected this experiment to turn out.

Digital DoodlemapsDigital Doodlemaps

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Prince Delan’s Shaft Tomb

It was the way of the Etturan Dynasty to show the might and connection to the earth of the rulers to dig out underground complexes to serve as tombs. Some tombs were fairly simple affairs, dug down as far as they could manage before the ruler’s death. Others were more massive undertakings – complexes of tombs, crypts, temples and shrines dug into the native stone of the land.

Prince Delan's Shaft TombPrince Delan’s Shaft Tomb

Prince Delan’s Tomb is one of the Etturan Dynasty’s “lost tombs” – roughly 40 tombs who’s locations were lost with the burning of the Tarek Archives. The tomb itself is a style that was made popular by a much earlier Etturan King, with various structures built off a central shaft. During construction wooden scaffolding was assembled in the shaft in order to climb from one level to another. Once Prince Delan was entombed the wooden structure was burned away leaving the central shaft with no easy means of accessing the other portions of the complex.

Much to the chagrin of anyone exploring the site now, sections of the tombs have collapsed, and foul beasts have moved into the bottom of the shaft and live in the walls down there making anything that dangles down to the bottom a danger.

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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September Backstage Pass

If you are a patron of the Dodecahedron Patreon Campaign, I just uploaded this month’s backstage pass.

Generally speaking I upload maps to the blog in batches of 8 to 12 maps at a time, and then schedule their release. Supporters of the Patreon Campaign at the $1 level and above (which includes all new patrons now, because Patreon got rid of the ability to sign up at a sub-$1 tier anymore) get a zip file of the maps when I upload them. For the last two years this has been at the beginning of every month as I’ve sort of gotten into a schedule for my blog work.

So, if you are impatient for my maps (or just want the convenience of a monthly zip file of the high resolution versions), check out the Patreon Campaign. All money raised goes directly to… well… everything I do. We like to call it “The Feed Dyson Fund”.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken on Mad Fenrick’s Manor!

Release-The-Kraken

It is time, once again, to delve into the back catalog of maps here on the Dodecahedron and pull out two more to be re-released under the free commercial use license thanks to the amazing support of our Patreon backers. Mad Fenrick’s Manor and Basement were released in April and May of 2014 and are back!

Mad Fenrick's ManorMad Fenrick’s Manor

A few miles from the nearest outposts of civilization, just over those hills to the west of here, are the old estates of the Trent family. Sitting almost smugly on a hill in the midst of overgrown hedge mazes and fallow fields is the manor of “Mad” Fenrick Trent. Sure the first parts of the structure were initially built by his grandfather, and the last Trents to live in it were his great-grandchildren, but Mad Fenrick is the Trent who put the most work into the half-fortified squat monstrosity.

Of course, a massive cobbled together and defensively structured manor like Mad Fenrick’s Manor doesn’t stop with just the main level and a few towers. In the main courtyard of the manor is a set of stairs that originally lead to the Trent family crypt, but that now connects to a small dungeon (as well as Mad Fenrick’s Root Cellar, Mad Fenrick’s Family Crypt, Mad Fenrick’s U-Store-It, and Mad Fenrick’s Large Rodent Repository, of course).

Mad Fenrick's BasementMad Fenrick’s Basement

With the manor grounds now abandoned, who knows the sorts of things that crawl about beneath the old manor house. Whatever they are, they are probably very lonely and would love to play with any visitors.

And to be true to the originals, I’ve included versions without a grid:

Mad Fenrick's Manor (no grid)Mad Fenrick’s Manor (no grid)

Mad Fenrick's Basement (no grid)

Mad Fenrick’s Basement (no grid)

It would, of course, be absolute foolishness to claim that these maps weren’t in turn inspired by the classic Tegel Manor adventure which I first encountered as a player and that has haunted my games ever since.

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 Caves of Chaos – Dyson Logos Edition!

I’ve been posting the individual Caves of Chaos redrawn in my style (Caves A-F) (Caves G-K) – so this was pretty much inevitable. Here they are all collected into a single massive map. This was done at 1200 dpi at ledger size (11 x 17 inches) so you can print it out, fold it in half, and slip it into your module (probably between the cover and the module proper).

Each of these files is roughly 6 megs, far larger than most of the maps posted to the blog. Click on them to get to the full-sized 1200 dpi version.

The Caves of Chaos - AssembledThe Caves of Chaos – Assembled

Originally I made this just as an accessory to go with the original map and adventure. Something a little more clear to my eyes without the contour lines, trees, numbers, and in black instead of blue because I’m an old man and my eyes just don’t like the low-contrast blue. I also didn’t include pit traps, so the maps could be used by those who want them on the table.

The Caves of Chaos - NumberedThe Caves of Chaos – Numbered

But for ease of use, I realized that the room numbers could come in handy. So I made a numbered version to help those DMs who want it. And then, because I know I’m in the minority in my hatred of the blue maps… I finally broke down and made a blue one for y’all.

The Caves of Chaos - BlueThe Caves of Chaos – Blue

So enjoy your adventures through the Caves of Chaos. I’ve been going there regularly since 1979.

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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More Caves! More Chaos!

Last post I put up six of the various caves of the legendary Caves of Chaos, a cavern-infested box canyon overrun by vile humanoids northeast of the Keep on the Borderlands. But Five is the true number of chaos (ignore the fools who claim it is 8), so here are five more caves of chaos, including the dread Shrine of Evil Chaos!

Bugbears and the Shunned Cave (Caves G & H)Bugbears and the Shunned Cave (Caves G & H)

The residents of these caves are significantly stronger individually than those of the earlier caves in the set. This set includes the lair of the foul bugbears who are fortunately few in number, as well as the wet “shunned cave” which is home to an owlbear and a foul ooze.

Minotaur's Labyrinth (Cave I)Minotaur’s Labyrinth (Cave I)

As if to drive the point home that the end of the box canyon is dangerous, it also includes the labyrinth of a mighty minotaur – enchanted of course so that the intersections are always in the wrong directions and it becomes ridiculously easy to become lost and confused.

Gnoll Lair (Cave J)Gnoll Lair (Cave J)

South of the final Shrine of Evil Chaos (and connected via secret passage) is the lair of a small number of the fierce hyena-warriors that some call beastmen and others call gnolls.

Shrine of Evil Chaos (Cave K)Shrine of Evil Chaos (Cave K)

And finally, the Shrine of Evil Chaos itself – the centrepiece of this collection of caves, ominously looking down over the box canyon from the back. This extensive set of caves has been finished and cut and most of it bears little resemblance to the natural caves that were once here. This is the home of the evil that is bringing the many humanoids of the caves together in one place and keeping them from each others’ throats.

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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Six Caves of Chaos

Venture with me to 1979 and my first encounters with kobolds and other darstardly goblinoids. For today we are investigating six caves (some interlinked) in the dreaded Caves of Chaos.

Kobold Caves (A)Kobold Caves (A)

The Kobolds keep themselves in a small set of caves with long tunnels – better for guerrilla engagements and to be honest, it is frightening for many low level characters to see tunnels leading off into the darkness well beyond the limits of your light sources…

Orc Caves (B & C)Orc Caves (B & C)

The two orc tribes live next door to each other, although the tribe on the right has significantly more living space within their caves. They also have the distinct downside of being closer to the floor and to the entrance of the box canyon, making them one of the most likely lairs to be attacked by raiders or adventurers. The leaders of the clans also have a secret meeting space because sometimes being orcs is enough to keep you together when things are getting rough.

Goblinoid Caves (D, E & F)Goblinoid Caves (D, E, & F)

On the south side of the box canyon are three goblinoid caves. Inhabited primarily by goblins (down near the entrance of the box canyon) and hobgoblins (higher up and deeper into the canyon), these two labyrinthine cave complexes link to each other and a third – the small cave of the local ogre, one of the more frightening and potent humanoids in the area.

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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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More Barrow Mounds of the Lich and Famous

Burial mounds are a staple of fantasy games and stories. Today’s offering is a collection of six more burial mounds for those occasions when you really need to loot a a small tomb or small tomb complex right now.

More Barrow Mounds of the Lich and FamousMore Barrow Mounds of the Lich and Famous

This set of tomb maps go from simple single-chambered mounds to multi-chambered mounds and finally to a pair of mounds that incorporate multiple crypts and passages such as “Shadow Dragon’s Tomb” on the lower right.

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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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Fear my delicious undead unagi!

Drew this map during tonight’s D&D game (player map, so not 100% accurate to the DMs map).

We had decided to take over this little island fortress of dwarven design as a safe place to sleep because it had been a long (and painful) day of adventure so far. Of course, such a nice little fortification already had someone squatting in it (we call the lizard person Zuul, because it has mastered the use of keys and had every bloody door in the place locked)…

When it told us to leave, and had zero interest in letting us crash there for the night, it turned into a home invasion and we sent them packing (unhurt!) into the night.

The highlight though, was going into the fish storage room and animating the smoked eels with an animate dead spell. Zombie smoked eels were then tasked to guard the water entrance to the fortifications and keep Zuul away while we slept.

Because really, who expects to be attacked by delicious smoked undead unagi, right?

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Tombs of the Steel Makers

Up on a steep face, by the northern fire mountain, we found what we had been looking for – a cleft into the mountain that lead not to a natural cave, but to a construction of the ones we call the morlocks.

Tombs of the Steel MakersTombs of the Steel Makers

The narrow cleft lead to a trapped chamber that struck us with an invisible force from all sides, snuffing our torches and forcing us to rely on the light granted by Zuul, opener of the ways, to progress. The main passage within was round in cross section, but with a flat floor. Metal doors blocked further access within. (Who has such steel that they might use it for doors? surely these are the tombs of the steel makers who already know the riddle of steel – our kin have only just learned the art of iron working!)

The steel makers are probably the ancestors of the degenerate morlocks. Within these tombs we found a number of funerary urns of finest steel and absconded with them to bring back to the people. There were other marvels too – strange gems strung together on copper wires, vast vats of strongest wine, and glass pillars reaching from floor to ceiling. We believe that perhaps the smallest room is a magical access to areas above or below this one – but tomb robbers who explore too much instead of running when they have found the riches they can carry quickly become the entombed, so we left before exploring more.

(Being the description of finding a small and seemingly abandoned high tech structure in the mountains – we are tribesfolk on the cusp of the iron age in Zzarchov Kowolski’s Neoclassical Geek Revival RPG, and find all this exciting and yet mystifying.)

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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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The Wreck at Banana Bay

Word came back from some fishermen that there was a cog beached at Banana Bay – one of the few decent approaches to Esborough Island. So we loaded up a small expedition to check it out – it is usually pretty hard to get any of the locals to head to Esborough because of all the “haunted” ruins about the place, but their willingness to loot / rescue the ship was enough to motivate them and thus finally gave us the chance to explore the place a bit also.

Wreck at Banana BayWreck at Banana Bay

But the boat was in even worse shape when we arrived – the port side burned through roughly midship, with the ruined interior of the ship laid bare to the elements. As the locals started digging through the wreckage, we climbed up the low cliff face and up to the ruined tower that looks down on the bay. Within we found the burned bodies of a half dozen sailors, and the first of the cinder wraiths. They look like smoke with embers floating within them, vaguely humanoid in form. They travel on the wind, they strike with fierce anger and a fiery hatred for the living.

We left several of our people behind as we abandoned the island again to the burning dead. They can keep the cog, and whatever was in that locked chest in the tower…

MissGladiator’s mother gave me this leather-bound “banana paper” notebook that she picked up in Cuba. I wanted to try it out – but the paper is so coarse that it actually shattered the felt nib on a micron, so I’ll have to try using it exclusively with my gel pens and see how that works. I love the paper thickness (about 3-4 times as thick as 100 pound cardstock), but it is hard to work with.

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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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Goblins at Herlihy Farm

Old Herlihy Farm has been abandoned for a few years. It was a few weeks since anyone had seen France Herlihy at the marketplace before anyone went out to the secluded farmhouse to find she had expired in her sleep. With no Herlihys left in town, the livestock was split up between a few local farmers, and no one paid the site any more attention as it slowly collapsed.

Herlihy FarmHerlihy Farm

But now the Gutbound goblin gang has moved in. They are on the run from the most fierce of all things, a goblin paladin trained as a hunter of his own kind. Who knows what crimes a goblin has to commit to be hunted down by his kin in this manner, but the Gutbound goblin gang did them.

Now they are hiding in the secret basement of a burned down outbuilding on the Herlihy Farm. Trying to keep their heads down and out of trouble until the paladin Gomox moves on to hunt for them elsewhere. But the Gutbound aren’t the most clever of creatures, and it isn’t hard to find the trail beaten into the grass where they travel from their secret refuge to the old rain barrels in the collapsed barn to collect water.

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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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Pride Dice!

For the last two months I’ve been drawing something every day to learn how to draw more than just maps. Today’s piece started as the five platonic solids, and I threw in the d10 in a separate illustration to bring it up to six (even though the d10 isn’t a platonic solid).

When I combined them together, I decided to colour the set in the traditional pride colours, but I would much rather go with the 8 colours of the original pride flag (the missing colours are pink at the top for sexuality and turquoise after green for magic / art).

So the question is, which dice do I add? I love the d5, but from most angles it isn’t really immediately apparent as to what it is. The other odd-sized dice (7, 9, 11, 13, 15) are all very awkward looking. So I guess either a d16 between the 12 and 20, or a 24 or 30 at the bottom.

Which dice would you use?

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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