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Dungeon Geomorphs & Dice!

Dungeonmorph Dice & New Geomorphs

We have crossed that Kickstarter funding line, and the newest set of DungeonMorph Dice will become real! With only a week left on the 2019 DungeonMorph Dice Kickstarter, I figure I had better get some more designs out there so you can see what some of these awesome dice will look like!

2019 Inkwell Geomorphs Set 32019 Inkwell Geomorphs Set 3

There are a total of 15 dice in this set, which means 90 different geomorph designs to fill them all. Here are four designs for the various cavern dice in the set (clockwise from upper left)

  • A big honking cavern with a bit of a multilevel design to it.
  • A set of caves that have been partially reworked into “dungeons”.
  • Multi-tiered caves with overlooks, natural stairs, and a bridge spanning over one section.
  • A dungeon / cavern interface in the form of what is probably a shrine or temple, worked at one end and natural caves at the other.

For the next seven days only (until May 23rd), you can get in on the Kickstarter and get these awesome 1″ Dungeonmorph dice, or a variety of other related versions (Dungeonmorph fonts, cards & battlemaps!)

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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 Bubble City of Oublos

The great city of Oublos-Dorren was destroyed decades ago by a massive pyroclastic flow followed up by a slower engulfing surge of lava from the Searing Mountains eruption. All of the city except for a small “bubble” almost exactly 180 feet across centred on a small temple of Lazotl – a local deity of misfortune and revenge.

The Bubble City of OublosThe Bubble City of Oublos

The priests of Lazotl got the warnings of the impending eruption through a series of poison-induced visions and managed to erect a protective spell over their temple and a few buildings in the area through the Reliquary of Kesh, an artifact that had “fallen” into their possession.

Travel in and out of the “Bubble City” is now only achieved through magical teleportation by those who know the way, and through a glowing green magical portal on the peak of the temple of Lazotl. The portal opens up to two different places in the world above – stepping through the north side of the portal leads to a small basement shrine of Lazotl in the nearby fishing village of Ashford (which was reduced to a few homes during the Searing Mountains eruption).  Stepping through the south side of the portal leads much further away, to the frozen plains at the edge of the world.

The Bubble City of Oublos (no grid)The Bubble City of Oublos (no grid)

The bubble city is illuminated by this portal in a flickering green light, as well as the mix of Lazotl worshipers, thieves, and a few mercenary adventurers that use the bubble city as a “safehouse”.

PCs would most likely find the bubble city in search for the Reliquary of Kesh, or hunting for one or more of the dastardly residents of this small bubble 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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Temple Crypts of the Wraith Priests

Beneath the walls of the roofless ancient structure of l’Église de l’Oubli are the Temple Crypts, still tended to by the Wraith Priests of the order.

Hidden behind massive ghost-iron masks, the wraith priests float nearly silently through the temple crypts guarding sacred relics that were stolen long ago and muttering prayers to the silent gods of this place. They watch the small side stairs into the crypts but avoid the larger (main) stairs because sun still shines down this way, reminding them of the times when the church was whole and they could walk in the sun.

Temple Crypts of the Wraith PriestsTemple Crypts of the Wraith Priests

These underground structures are a mix of natural caves and worked stone and include an underground spring that once provided the water for the church. The waters of this spring are said to have a number of effects, and those standing in the waters or consuming them may be blessed depending on the will of the silent gods (roll 1d6, only works once per character per month)

  1. Increase one random ability score by +2 for 1d4 hours
  2. Gain darkvision for 1 hour
  3. Gain the ability to see invisible for 1 hour
  4. Healing as per a basic potion of healing
  5. 6. No benefit
Temple Crypts Hex CollectionTemple Crypts Hex Collection

And for those working with the existing TFT Megahexes, I’ve included a few additional tiles here that you can print to help build the structure shown when combined with those in the Megahexes box. The image is at 600dpi and 1.5 inches per hex.

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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2019 Geomorphs & Dice!

If we set the wayback machine to nearly a decade ago, there’s essentially a full year where I posted nothing but geomorphs to the blog. Behind the scenes I spent a couple of months working on geomorph concepts to figure out what format worked well enough that it was not too apparent when you moved from one geomorph to the next.

I was originally going to work with Erol Otus’ “Geomorphic Mini Dungeon Modules” format of 11 x 11 with entrances in the sixth square on each side, but it was way too obvious when you moved from one to the next – it felt like you were exploring geomorphs instead of a cohesive map.

After about a dozen designs, I settled on these 10 x 10 geomorphs with entrances on squares 3 & 8. The design caught on and there are thousands of geomorphs available on the net that use this structure now.

As you can see in the photo, I’ve started drawing them again. I’m making a dozen or so new geomorphs that I’ll be posting to the blog over the next while. As with most of my modern work, they are available here as 1200dpi images – but there’s a whole other way you can get them…

Joe at Inkwell Ideas has launched a new Dungeonmorph Dice Kickstarter. The new geomorphs that I post to the blog will be appearing on these new dice. The last batch of Dungeonmorph Dice were awesome – big wonderful chunky dice with a huge number of geomorphs drawn by myself and other geomorphers from the community.

I’m really excited to be part of doing this again.

Every die in this new set will have at least one face that I designed.

2019 Inkwell Geomorph Set 12019 Inkwell Geomorph Set 1

Here’s the first set of geomorph designs. The first two are prison/jail complexes (but likely only one of these two will appear on the final dice). The bottom row contains a worship area (a fairly large underworld temple) and a set of magical pools a la In Search of the Unknown.

Now, these high resolution designs shown here are not how they will look on the dice – these are 1200dpi drawings with each geomorph being 2 1/2 inches wide so you can use them in your games. Bringing them down to a resolution that can be engraved on a 1″ die involves the skillful reduction of details to maintain the structure and all the primary details to make them easy to read at the smaller size (and able to be engraved consistently and legibly).

So go check out the Kickstarter now, and get in on these Dungeonmorph Dice!

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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Lesser Temple of the Heretics

Most of the temples of Zueshel were destroyed after the Seven Heretics struck down the God-King – however a few rebuilt into pyramid-temples dedicated to the heretics themselves. Most of these contain (or at least claim to contain) a holy relic of either the death of Zueshel or from the later deaths of the Seven Heretics.

Lesser Temple of the HereticsLesser Temple of the Heretics

This particular temple claims to have the son of one of the seven heretics entombed in the reliquary below it. It serves both as an administrative centre of the rural province it is in as well as a place of quiet contemplation. Pilgrims carry water to the temple and pour it into the pool in the northeast corner as they silently ask for the intervention of the heretics or the child below into their daily affairs.

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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Temple of the Seven Heretics

These lands were once the territories of the god-king Zueshel who was struck down by the Culling Blade wielded by each of the Seven Heretics in turn. Through the blade it is said that they each gained a portion of his power. Modern heretics say that this runs against the very beliefs of the Seven Heretics, who struck down Zueshel while announcing that he was no god to begin with.

Temple of the Seven HereticsTemple of the Seven Heretics

Regardless, with the end of Zueshel’s reign, the people turned their worship to the Seven Heretics and a number of temples were built around the land. The greatest of these is said to house their bodies in a secret crypt, where they remain as they were when the heretics died – never decomposing.

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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Temple of the Mad Titan

I’m often asked about the scale of the maps I post. In truth, I don’t include a scale on my maps because either it is pretty obvious (when drawing houses and similar structures – where a square is 3 to 5 feet), or more likely because I want the end user to pick a scale that works best for them. In the inner workings of my head, you can assume that I’m thinking at a scale of 10′ per square when drawing most of my maps as that is the traditional scale for D&D maps which is where I cut my teeth.

Temple of the Mad TitanTemple of the Mad Titan

But for the Temple of the Mad Titan, 10 feet per square just isn’t going to cut it. Let’s crank this one up to 20 or maybe even 50 feet. A structure of Brobdingnagian proportions, the temple is made of almost inconceivably large blocks of stone and rests atop a massive cloud. At the heart of this immense structure is the throne of the mad titan.

But he is rarely found there – but always nearby. He is bound to the throne by magical chains that give him some freedom of movement within the structure, but not quite enough to get to the massive entrance and thus he is trapped here with freedom always just in sight. Some days he stands in the great hall in front of the heart chamber and raves against his captors and the world. On bad days he will hide behind the throne or in one of the nearby alcoves, hiding from the light of day and the fresh air.

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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Palace of the Sands

We trekked across the Dry Reaches, searching for the lost Ziggurat of Mur. On the fourth evening we came across the ruins of an old palace or temple, slowly being conquered by the sands.

Palace of the SandsPalace of the Sands

Originally we aimed towards it as an obvious location for a night camp to keep out of the cold desert wind as well as to conceal our fire from other (less friendly) explorers. But immediately we spotted the signs of habitation – trails in the sand, scales, and buried dry scat. We explored quietly but found no actual residents – although one of the upper rooms was being used as a sort of larder with a number of desert lizards hanging from hooks in the ceiling.

They waited until most of us were inside exploring to strike. They climbed out of the sand around the palace, attacking our pack animals and burro handlers before surrounding the palace. They looked like lizard folk, but orange, yellow and brown in colour. They slept in the sands, mobilizing to hunt in the morning and evening. The sand devils were ferocious, fearless, and fought until there were but a handful remaining who ran off into the desert making strange howling noises.

We did not sleep that night, waiting for their return.

This map was inspired by a conversation about this illustration above – that not enough ruins in RPGs have doorways leading to open space where wooden structures or collapsed areas once stood.

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 Temple of Boom

The first thing you note when descending the stairs into the ancient jungle temple is a hissing sound, like sand pouring through a massive hourglass. The walls down here are a heavy greenish stone, set in massive blocks without mortar. The main chamber at the base of the stairs is a multi-leveled affair, with tiers, stairs and columns breaking up the large space.

The Temple of BoomThe Temple of Boom

Then the skeletons slip forward from the darkness and begin firing volleys of arrows at intruders while giant spider crawl down behind the cover of the columns to attack.

More skeletons, these ones riding on the giant spiders, are based in the two chambers behind the stairs leading into the temple. And the hissing always seems to be getting louder from the doors at the other end of the chamber.

Temple of Boom (no green)Temple of Boom (no green)

In the oddly shaped chamber beyond, the hissing continues but the waves of skeletons & spiders cease. Old spider webs criss-cross this space and in the northern most portion of the chamber there is the MacGuffin – the (chest / sword / orb / skull of a minor god / preserved toe of a saint / egg of the bullywug queen / ceramic pig) that you have been seeking.

It is only when you pick it up that the hissing stops.

Run.

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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Four Expeditions to Wyvernseeker Rock

Vance is at it again over at his blog “Leicester’s Ramble“. He’s taken the map of Wyvernseeker Rock and written up four nice short adventures / extended encounters that use it.

Wyvernseeker RockWyvernseeker Rock

The selection of adventures include:

  • the classic “temple overrun by goblins” (and even here it has a great touch in the form of a captured giant lizard and the leader of the goblins can command by consuming his potion of animal control)
  • a despoiled barrow that is now poisoning the river and those who drink from it
  • (my personal favourite) an old rangers’ watch that is currently used by strange mechanical men to contain some mind-bending alien creature within
  • and finally the home of a wise hermit who can help the party to find whatever MacGuffin they are questing for this week.

Totally worth investigating the four and putting them aside for when you need a quick evening of adventure.

[“Trespassing in Dyson’s World – Wyvernseeker Rock” @ Leicester’s Ramble]

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Hebdo du 19 novembre 2018

Dans l’ombre de la foret noire, les agents de l’empereur de Prusse s’avancent. Leurs pas gravissent une colline que d’aucuns assurent qu’elle est en réalité une pyramide antediluvienne. Tombeau d’un antique seigneur d’une civilisation oubliée, ou temple d’une divinité fort peu chrétienne, les trois Lames du Rhin n’en savent trop rien.
Mais une chose est sure, les activités occultes sur lesquelles ils enquêtent depuis des mois convergent vers ce lieu reculé des terres de la famille Brandebourg Harendorff. Aussi se sont-ils enfoncés sous les sombres frondaisons de cette forêt hantée pour faire la lumière sur les disparitions qui se multiplient dans la région.
À mi-hauteur de cette colinne, leurs oreilles perçoivent de faibles chants remontant de sous la terre. Leur mastiff a les poils hérissés et, eux-mêmes, sentent un frisson leur parcourir l’échine. Suivant les chants, ils parviennent à une caverne aux parois bien trop régulières, très vite décorées de bas-reliefs païens qui ne peuvent qu’inspirer l’inquiétude. Ici, une scène qui n’est pas sans rappeler les chevaliers de la table ronde, mais dans des armures d’un autre âge. Ici, par dizaines, l’expression artistique de l’usage d’antiques savoir arcaniques. Et là, l’expression d’une futur ravagé, dont un observateur consignerait les horreurs dans son journal sans sourciller. Et pire que tout, l’évocation d’un dragon endormi et de ses rêves païens.
Les trois Lames suivent ces histoires, l’inquiétude allant croissant avec le recit qu’ils lisent sur les murs de cette caverne. Et ce n’est pas les hérétiques adorateurs qu’ils trouvent au bout de celle-ci, réunis autour d’une idole monstrueuse, qui les rassure d’avantage.
S’ils ne veulent pas que l’Inquisition ne se mèlent de cette affaire, les trois lames devront s’occuper de cette secte eux-même. Et tant pis pour cette vieille famille prussienne…
 
(1326 jeux, 13409 ouvrages, 31 systèmes, 15831 critiques, 504 jeux amateurs, 1179 éditeurs, 2337 bios, 5234 utilisateurs)

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : les dernières news du jeu de rôles)
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Bastion of the Prince of Clubs

Surrounded by the cyclopean ruins of the Temple of the Abyss, the Prince of Clubs retreats to his green and black granite bastion to while away the ages between the godwars he is forced to fight. A champion of the forces of change & chaos, his own existence seems stolid and phlegmatic – a weapon to be drawn in battle and then carefully returned to the Bastion.

Bastion of the Prince of ClubsBastion of the Prince of Clubs

This map of the Prince’s Bastion covers the above-ground structures – a squat dome and towers built of enormous 7 to 12 foot blocks of granite supposedly brought here from the veridian hells to make the structure resistant to most magics of this realm. For decades at a time the Prince of Clubs can be found seated on his throne, pondering the passage of eras and his role therein. The smaller throne at his side is occasionally home to his partner, the Archon Tamaru.

From the throne room of the Bastion, a pair of stairs lead down to the deeper chambers which will be detailed in a later map (or any number of dungeons from the blog can be substituted here as well).

This is the second map I’ve ever stippled. I don’t expect you’ll see many more – even though I love the visual effect, the work involved is… punishingly slow.

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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Hebdo du 29 octobre 2018

Nombreux étaient les jeunes gens qui se pressaient aux portes du temple de Spielaïdo. Il faut dire que l’enseignement de ses moines y était réputé dans tous les royaumes. Les quelques élus à l’initiation au Judroï qui y entraient étaient promis à un grand avenir. D’autant que l’Empire du Milieu a grandement besoin de leur aide. Malgré le soutien des ninjas partis dans leur seconde croisades, des Xia et autres épéistes voltigeurs qui arpentent les routes des campagnes, les morts continuent à souiller la région de Wai Shin Tong.
Dans l’Empire du Soleil Couchant, les choses ne semble guère aller mieux. Là, les combats y sont dignes des Chanbaras. Mais les morts continuent de marcher sur la terre des vivants.
Nul ne sait même quel mal a fait apparaître ces monstruosités. Certains évoquent des numenéras d’autres Âges, mal utilisés. Ou une guerre éternelle entre les anges et les démons. Mais d’autres pensent que les réponse se trouve dans le légendaire Empire du Soleil Invisble. Malheureusement, nul homme ne sait comment y parvenir. Seuls les gobelins en détiennent les clés. Et qui serait assez fou pour passer un marché avec des gobelins ?
Peut-être vous ?
 
(1324 jeux, 13380 ouvrages, 31 systèmes, 15822 critiques, 504 jeux amateurs, 1176 éditeurs, 2334 bios, 5223 utilisateurs)
 

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : les dernières news du jeu de rôles)
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Guildhall and Temple of the Ancient Masters

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.

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 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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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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Death Frost Doom

Black Book EditionsLamentations of the Flame Princess. Une nouvelle plongée dans les entrailles du temple de la mort sur la montagne glacée.

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : les dernières news du jeu de rôles)
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Four Against Darkness – Crypt of the Queen of Bones

Back for another game of Four Against Darkness!

One of the things I noted after last game is that they recommend what is effectively a half-page of graph paper as the maximum size for a dungeon (whereas the Temple of the Jade Gorgon took up most of a full page). The reduced page size makes for a more dense feeling dungeon, and also means you run out of room faster thus precipitating the battle with the final boss monster.

Crypt of the Queen of BonesCrypt of the Queen of Bones

This session involved fighting a LOT of undead – skeletons, zombies, skeletal rats, more skeletons… and the final encounter was once again the terrifying Medusa. This time she only managed to petrify two party members, and I’ve armed myself with insurance against future medusa encounters as I’ve found two blessing scrolls throughout the dungeon – so the elf and the rogue both carry one in case the cleric gets petrified.

The crypts also included my first run with a secret door and a puzzle/trap that we easily defeated. I used my methodology from running many games using the AD&D random dungeon generation tables to mash areas together when they collide, so the dungeon layout has more loops in the overall design – if a room comes really close to another doorway, just link them together and make it easy on yourself.

At the end of this session, the party was a mix of levels 2 & 3, so we’ll need to head down again and try to even things out. Or I could just keep emphasis on the Jale Man Barbarian to make him a slaughtering machine – his rage attack killed the Medusa in this dungeon in a single round of mashing and smashing.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Four Against Darkness – Temple of the Jade Gorgon

On Wednesday, I decided to give myself the “day off” to just play games and ignore any work or chores or whatever. Ordered out for food, and pulled out “Four Against Darkness” for the first time.

It is a solo dungeon-delving game and this was my first run through it. The book says your first run should take about an hour, with later games taking about 45 minutes, but I found my game took about 150 minutes to play through – with lots of flipping through the book. But it will definitely get quicker now that I know most of the systems in play.

Temple of the Jade GorgonTemple of the Jade Gorgon

I’ll be honest, this first delve felt a little too easy. Maybe I was just really lucky, so we’ll have to try a second game to be sure. But part of the problem I foresee is that as characters gain levels, the dungeons (at least in the first book) don’t – so once you’ve survived a few dungeons, you should be hell on wheels.

But I’ve got a lot of adventure modules to try out also. I’ll take the base game for another spin or two, then move on to the modules.

Highlight of this session was the Jade Gorgon. At the beginning of the encounter she turned everyone in the party to stone except the cleric. Which was good, as the cleric has the Blessing spell which reverses petrification… So I guess just one different roll would have massively changed the whole climax of the adventure.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Savage Caves

The ruins of Saurguard Haunt are but burned stones and bits of rain-cleaned charcoal. But it is a harder task to burn down the small dungeon that sat beneath it.

The Savage CavesThe Savage Caves

Used as a traditional dungeon to hold prisoners under Saurguard – the dungeon was being expanded to include a temple to the proscribed lords of damnation when construction breached into a a cave slightly beneath the level of the temple and proceeded down through the limestone to the hillside beneath the Haunt.

Of course, you can’t just leave places like this open and unguarded and not expect foul things to move in… The lower entrance to the savage caves has been claimed by giant spiders who have killed off the entire bat population that once lived here, and who knows what foulness has taken over the ancient dungeons?

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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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