13 March 2021

Art Resource Week: Mini-Dungeon Maps

This month, we have designed 8 unique dungeon maps, ready for you, as a DM, to populate with any adventure you can imagine! Each map has been designed in an old school, classical style, and has been left intentionally unfurnished, so that you can use them wherever you want. All of the adventures that I create, I make a map for. These are usually specific to their adventures, and designed to be quite detailed to fit with the overall theme. Whilst this is usually great, we asked ourselves what people would find helpful for drop-and-play in any situation. our answer? A set of miniature dungeon designs, built to easily fit any adventure!

When I began DMing, I would often find maps online, and use them as inspiration for my adventures. This worked out well enough, but it meant that I was left with pre-furnished maps that didn't actually fit my narrative well. I eventually started using simple black and while outlines of maps to represent my intentions, but felt they were visually lacking. The perfect middle ground? Pre-made dungeon maps, just lacking any detail!

We hope that the maps in this pack will help you not only in providing a backdrop for your adventures, but also maybe inspire interesting ideas with their layouts! The 8 unique maps are each 25x25 squares on a grid, though they are also available without grids so you can re-size them as needed. Each of the eight maps are available in three styles; classic stone, sandy, and blue, and each in available both with and without grid.

The maps, whilst devoid of decoration or defining features, were each designed with specific purposes in mind. Some were designed with the thought of providing a place of worship, whilst others were made to resemble the insides of castles or keeps. No matter the intended purpose, however, you can use them for anything you like.

The main reason that we designed them in this way, was so that we could visualise a way/ways that they could be used. Even just through the creative process, we came up with multiple adventures that one could easily run on each map. Maybe at some point we'll put some onto paper, and release a short PDF of them?

Some of the maps were designed in a symmetrical style, whilst others were designed in a more sprawling style. The map above is a great example of a "Multi-Path Dungeon", as I briefly talked about during my latest adventure (Volcano Adventure). These are a great way to allow the party to pick between two separate paths. Is one filled with monsters, whilst the other is trapped? Or maybe do the party have to split up (heavens forbid, I know), and complete puzzles down each route to continue to the end?

We want to leave this up to you, for your own adventures and creativity to shine, but hope to have maybe sparked an idea along the way...

A couple of the maps also include a combination of natural and man-made areas. Dungeons that use both can really stand out, as they can combine both urban and wild encounters. Was this a temple, in which a monstrous creature(s) invaded from below? Is it, instead, the site of a cult, and the tunnel is to the location of a ritual? So many possibilities for this style of map, I look forward to hearing how you use them in your games!

As always, these maps are completely free for you to download. You can find the files over on Drive Thru RPG, for no charge (though you are always welcome to donate to support the blog). If, however, you just want to donate to help us continue making resources for DMs, GMs and anyone else, you can always drop us a donation over on Ko-Fi. When you buy through DriveTrhuRPG, I receive 65% of any payments, which is always lovely, but Ko-Fi take no fee from donations, meaning we get nearly your entire donation (minus paypal fees, of course). If you do feel in a giving mood, you can go direct to my page by following the link above, or even just donate directly on this page, by clicking on the button to the bottom left of the screen!

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