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 non-annotated version and the DM notes.
The Hollows are the closest thing Brazenthrone has to slums. They’re the poorest neighborhood in the city and, secretly, the home of the local Thieves’ Guild. They also have the lowest ceiling of any chamber in the city.
Rising only seven feet above the floor, the walls of the buildings here go from the ground to the chamber’s roof, making the streets more like winding tunnels. The second level is actually a separate chamber altogether, located directly above the first. Imagine going to work in the mines, then coming home to a place every bit as cramped. That’s life in the Hollows. There’s more information about the area– particularly the Thieves’ Guild– in the DM notes, if you’re interested.
There are five more parts of Brazenthrone to go and I think the next one will be the Mushroom Farms. There’s going to be a distillery there that makes something called “Dwarven White Whiskey,” which is a drink my players encountered once at a tavern. I’ll explain more about it when the map is done.
But before that, I’ll be drawing last month’s Cartographic Congress winner: an abandoned fortress with a lighthouse at the end of a peninsula, taken over by pirates and turned into a black market trading port. Well, I’m gonna start sketching that out! See you in a bit!
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!
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!
Ironbird Aerie might look like a truck stop for airships and flying mounts, but that’s only because it kind of is. This is the first of two versions of this map, the second of which will be a little lower-tech, with no gunpowder weapons or mechanical engines. It won’t take long to modify and I should have it for you tomorrow.
I’m also going to make some tokens for flying creatures to go with this. The list I’ve got so far includes: dragon, griffon, hippogriff, pegasus, nightmare and giant eagle. If there’s anything notable I’m forgetting about, leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list.
If you need an airship to roll into this place on, might I suggest the highly reasonable Century Pelican or the highly unreasonable Tempest of Reckoning?
There’s an annotated version of this map and DM notes available to patrons.
I think this is the first map I’ve drawn where everything is outdoors. No buildings, no caverns. Weird. That’s not the only unusual thing about it. I tried a few new things with this. I lightened the grid, I made the grass look more… grassy, and I used much brighter colors than I normally do.
I’m really happy with it and I think it’s one of my favorite maps I’ve drawn. Unless people object, I think I’m going to start doing maps this way from now on, with the exception of Brazenthrone, since I want to keep everything looking consistent with the rest. Anyway, let me know what you think!
By the way, I’m giving the patron content for this map to everyone (you can get it here). I put a lot of detail into it and I want everyone to be able to see it, which is easier in the higher-res versions.
There are no DM notes and no annotated version for this map because I don’t really have much to say about it. Usually, there’s some sort of story in my head about a place when I draw it, but I don’t really have one here. Everything is there because I thought it looked interesting. Who’s the mossy lady with one hand? I don’t know. What’s the round stone surrounded by water? No idea. What’s with the face in the ground? Not sure, just felt right. This could be an elven garden, a druidic enclave or someplace in the feywild. I leave that to you to figure out.
Anyway, I hope you like it! Next up is Brazenthrone’s Oreworks (26 on this map). Let me know what you think about the Great Garden, I’m honestly really curious to hear!
An explanation of who Burke was and why there’s a chamber of Brazenthrone named after him is in the DM notes, which I’m giving away to everyone. As with most of the other residential chambers, all the buildings in Burke’s Hall are houses, so there’s no annotated version.
Next up is the Great Garden, which I described in the last post. I’m still not completely sure what it’s going to be like, but I’ve got some ideas and I should be able to turn them into something cool. After that, we’re doing Brazenthrone’s oreworks (at 26 on the city overview).
The oreworks is the area outside the iron mines, where ore is stamped, smelted and made into steel. This is a map that’s going to take a little research, since I want to get things right and, like most people, I’m not especially well-versed in the details of the medieval steelmaking process.
Also, I’m making some more tokens for my game and I’ll post those once they’re done. I’m not going to lie, they’re some pretty weird stuff. The most normal thing might be an ice troll. The weirdest? A horse-drawn sleigh. Yeah, like Santa. Except the surprises in the back of this one are going to be mind flayers. My game is going to some strange places, haha.
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.