The previous “alternate version” of Whiskey Point was identical to the regular version. I guess I saved the wrong file without noticing. Sorry about that. I especially apologize to anyone who was staring at the two files, trying to figure out what the difference was.
Anyway, I just noticed this, so I’m posting the actual alternate version. The difference is at the top floor of the lighthouse. If it still doesn’t look different, reload the page. You may have the old file cached.
Here’s an alternate version (explained below) and a ballista token I made for no specific reason.
Whiskey Point is a ruined fort and lighthouse which has been reclaimed by pirates, who patched it up and now run a black market from inside its walls. Other pirates come here to fence their loot and have a few drinks before getting back to work.
The alternate version only has one difference: at the top of the lighthouse, instead of a pyre, there’s a crystal. In this version, the idea is that the lighthouse is actually an arcane weapon that fires powerful beams of light. Should you use this version of the map? Look, I’m not trying to tell anyone how to run their game, but I just want to say two words to you, okay? Just two. Laser pirates.
Next up is Brazenthrone‘s Mushroom Farms. It won’t just be a cave full of mushrooms. It’s also where most of the city’s breweries are. And it’s where all the city’s funerals are held, since it’s the farthest downriver and the dwarves of Brazenthrone do Viking-style funerals. That’s where the deceased is placed on a boat, then the boat is lit on fire and sent down the river. Dwarves aren’t known for their love of boats, but they do live under a mountain and they can’t have dead people stinking up the place.
Here’s the alternate version of the Red Towers for those of you who prefer a drier greenskin lair. I was thinking of calling it “Stinky Uluru,” but I didn’t think anyone would get it except Australians and people who played Civilization 5.
I decided everyone should have the annotated version of this map. It seemed like some things might be a little confusing without it. Anyway, here’s some other stuff. Check the previous post if you’re not sure what the tokens are for:
Next up is another Brazenthrone map: the Hollows. This is the bad part of town, where your players can go to fence some stolen loot, join the thieves’ guild or just score drugs. This is the sixth-to-last chamber of Brazenthrone left to go! After two years of drawing, it’s nearly finished! Can you believe it?
Greenskin Rock got a new name and this is it. I like sea stacks and I like the idea of something living in one.
You’ve got all the things a semi-primitive demihuman race needs in here. There’s an eating area with a fighting pit, a shrine to whatever unpleasant-smelling god these heathens worship, along with cells so the sacrifices don’t wander off. There’s a kennel for wargs or wolves or… Yorkshire Terriers? Whatever kind of pets the inhabitants are into. Plus a brewery, a rookery, a well and a few other things.
By the way, I did something new with this map. Those planks on the ground level are sort of like primitive drawbridges, which can be pulled in to keep people out. I made an alternate version of the map with the planks removed and I made the planks into VTT tokens, so DMs can place or remove them, should the need come up in your game. These can also be printed for those of you whose tabletops are non-virtual. Anyway, here’s all that stuff:
There’s going to be another alternate version of this map as well, which I should have for you in a day or two. This map seems like it could just as easily be a rock formation in the desert and, since it’s easy enough to change, I’m going to do it. Anyway, hope you like it! I’ll be back with the low-humidity version soon!
This is a new, unnamed chamber of Brazenthrone currently being excavated. It’s at 19 on this map. This is where dwarven cities come from: lots and lots of tedious digging. Fortunately, that’s a thing dwarves happen to be into. For them, hammering away at rock is like… taking a walk in the woods. Or petting a kitten. You can hardly even call it work.
With that done, there are now six chambers of the city left to draw. Six! There are three small residential districts, plus the Iron Mines, the Mushroom Farms and the Old Palace. I don’t see any way that this doesn’t get finished by the end of the year at the latest.
Coming up next is Greenskin Rock, a cluster of sea stacks with a goblin or kobold community living inside. After that, we’re back to Brazenthrone with the Hollows (12 on the map above). It’s a residential district, but there are two things that make it a little more interesting than most: first, it’s the bad part of town. Crime, heroin, bad language… they’ve got it all. And second, it’s where the thieves’ guild is secretly located. I’m not sure where I’m going to hide it away, but I’ll come up with something interesting.
All right, I’m gonna get to it!
Here’s the alternate version of Ironbird Aerie without the cannons and fancy engines. Some DMs make their players kill a dragon the old fashioned way. Others let them blow a hole through its chest with an 18-pound smoothbore siege gun, spraying chunks of Sky Godzilla into the next county. Both are perfectly valid options and now this place can accommodate either.
Next up is an area of Brazenthrone currently under excavation. This unfinished and unnamed hall is at 19 on this map. After that, we’re doing the next Great Vote map, Greenskin Rock. This map will feature one or more sea stacks with a goblin or kobold community living in tunnels inside. I’ve wanted to put a sea stack in a map for a while now and my day has arrived! Also, the flying creature tokens I mentioned will be along sometime in the next week or so.
Anyway, I don’t think the Brazenthrone map will take long, so I’ll be back with that soon!
The annotated version is here.
Eldfjall is an arctic island in the northern seas, a bountiful hunting ground for whaling and seal-hunting. But it’s so far north that crops can’t grow and even a fire won’t keep away the bitter, year-round cold. Still, one brave group of settlers found a way to make it habitable: they built their homes in the caldera of the island’s volcano, using the heat it gives off to stay warm and grow small gardens to supplement their diet of fish, seals and whale. This town wasn’t built around a volcano by chance, but by necessity. It’s not a threat to the town, it’s the heart of the town. It’s what gives it life and, without it, the town couldn’t exist.
Eldfjall is the Icelandic word for “volcano.” I don’t know much about the Icelandic language, but that word is so Skyrim it makes my brain tingle. Also, Eldfjall is a pretty Icelandic place. Cold, volcanoes, whaling? That’s everything Iceland is famous for minus Sigur Ros.
Next up is Brazenthrone‘s Burke’s Hall, at 23 on the overview map. Then it’s the Great Garden: a huge, elaborate garden with ponds and a great sacred tree.
DM notes for this map are available to patrons.
Grotto. While drawing this map, it occurred to me that “grotto” might be… not the ugliest word in the English language, but the ugliest word for a thing that’s usually beautiful. Say it: grotto. Grotto. Ugh.
Yeah, so anyway, the Opaline *ahem* Grotto is a natural cavern with unmined opal deposits in the walls. There’s also a small cave system behind one of the houses leading to the Bitterwash River in case your party happens to need a shortcut.
Since I’d originally drawn this as a rectangular chamber on the Brazenthrone overview map, I updated it with the new shape. The print and VTT versions of it are here (they’re free). I know I updated this the other week and I apologize to anyone who just printed it and is staring at the screen like, “This f#@%* guy…” But this is probably the last time I update it. Unless it’s not.
Next up is last month’s Cartographic Congress winner: a city built around a volcano. After that, we’re going back to Brazenthrone for Burke’s Hall (23 on the overview). And then I’ll be knocking out a map from the Great Vote. I’m thinking the Great Garden sounds good, but I reserve the right to change my mind to Greenskin Rock. Screw it, I’ll put up a vote on the patreon. Decisions are hard.
There are DM notes for this map available to patrons.
Skywatch is a little unusual as castles go, for a few reasons. The obvious one is that it’s on a rock in the sky. Historically speaking, the most common place to build a castle is on the ground. I’m told that’s where over 50% of castles are.
The less-obvious quirk is the castle’s defenses. Most castles rely on the idea that the lower parts are easier to get to than the higher parts. So there’s a curtain wall. And there’s a big, strong gate at the bottom. That doesn’t work here, since, presumably, anyone attacking Skywatch can fly. Any door is, more or less, as easy to get to as any other. And a wall? The only thing that does is block the view.
Another special necessity for Skywatch is the observation platform and arrow embrasures at the bottom, which prevent the sky beneath the castle from becoming a blind spot.
So how do you defend a castle in three dimensions? I suppose that depends on the wider setting. Are there airships? Dragons? Griffon riders? Aarakocra? In any case, I’d imagine that the main thing is to handle them at a distance, since the usual plan of setting up a height advantage for the defenders isn’t going to work out very well.
Thanks to Roose, who proposed this map to the Cartographic Congress! Next up is Brazenthrone‘s Opaline Grotto, one of the more interesting residential areas of the city.
There’s an annotated version of this map and DM notes available to patrons.
With this done, the shattered wreck that is Brazenthrone‘s Old Quarter is now finished. Next up is last month’s Cartographic Congress winner: a small castle on a floating island in the sky. Following that, we’re going back to Brazenthrone to do the Opaline Grotto (24 on this map). Then it’ll be the most recent Cartographic Congress winner, a city built on an active volcano. So, you know, Hawaii. Not really. Kind of, though.
I’ve got another bunch of tokens I made for my game as well and I’ll have those up in the next few days. There’s some town guards, pirates, mind flayers and a hill giant that one-shotted an NPC in my game the other week. The dude valiantly charges forward and says, “You take the goblins, I’ll handle the big guy!” And then that giant did to his head what Tiger Woods does to golf balls. Good effort, though, buddy. Good, solid try.
There are DM notes and hi-res print and VTT versions of this map available to patrons.