Archive for June, 2011

Cirthin Goul

Here’s a complete version of the Cirthin Goul map. Stock this natural labyrinth with crunchy monsters and traps for your players, plop them down in the lower right-hand corner, and see if they can climb their way through the winding passageways to the upper left-hand corner. Those things that look like natural staircases are natural staircases, and the things that look like bigger versions of those with vertical lines are sheer drops that will require ropes or special skillz to scale.

These are pretty quick and fun to do, so I’ll be posting a series of Blank Worlds, one every Monday for at least the next three weeks. If you find a use for this map, leave a comment and let me know about it. Thanks!

Blank World 2

I sketched out a multi-level cavern while I was in a hotel in Texas. When I got back, I inked it. Unfortunately, when I went into Photoshop to add shading layers that would clarify the varying levels, I found that I’d made an error in the drawing. I may be able to correct that, but I’d been planning on posting the map today and I’d like to stick to that, at least in spirit, or half-assed, or something. So here’s an error-free fragment of the map. I’ve been reading Lord of the Rings and really like the words Cirith Ungol, and so I did a blatant word jumble of that to name this location, Cirthin Goul.

Cirthin Goul Map Fragment

This is an outline of a recursive land mass that can be as large or as small as you’d like to imagine. It could be seen as an unbroken chain of sub-continents, populated with many different nations of people; a swampy island only a few miles across; a polar region seen from top-down; or anything else that you can imagine. It’s been left blank so that people can fill in the details as they imagine them.

Blank World 1 Large




Blank World 1 Printable

I spent some time filling the stone of this cavern with linework, then gave it a tanned, aged effect. Unfortunately, I left some pencil uninked, which shows up faintly yet clearly in a small chamber in the lower left area. That will be gone in the next iteration, but I figured I’d post this now.

I’ll be out of town until June 20th, and I doubt that I’ll be able to post while I’m gone, but I’ll be posting more original maps when I return.

Tanned Cavern Map

Keep Again

I keep on tweakin’ the keep. I made some changes to the levels and layers, and here’s the latest iteration. Look! It’s in both a gridded and gridless format.

Keep Grid

Keep No Grid

Every now and again I may post a “cultural mug shot” like this one–a profile sketch of a cultural or racial type plus a brief box of fluffy flavor text. Most likely these will be from a specific setting that I am developing, but they may have some wider appeal to gamers. If they serve to inspire someone, then I’ll consider my job done.



Paddorns are a short, robust folk. They can be quite strong for their size, though they do not have muscular builds. Their proportions are rounded, and females are particularly curvy. Both genders frequently have substantial bellies, and all paddorns have large round or bulbous noses and thick lips. They may have pronounced brows or prominent chins. Their ears have disproportionately large lobes. Their facial features overall are exaggerated compared to most other races. Facial hair is rare, and limited to sideburns and mustaches on males; paddorns cannot grow hair on their chins. Males weigh between 60 and 100 pounds, and females are slightly lighter, between 55 and 95 pounds on average. A paddorn over three feet tall is highly unusual.


Paddorns have yellow-white, pale jade, brown, ash gray, or black skin. Their hair is thick and most often black, but may be brown or gray. Paddorn eyes may be black, brown, gray, or green.

Clothing and Decoration

Paddorns prefer neutral and grim colors, such as gray, black, and dark brown. They wear hooded robes or a hooded cloak over a tunic and breeches. Their clothing is plain and functional, although they do sometimes ornament their bodies with bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings, and tattoos. Large plug-style earrings are frequently worn to accentuate their large earlobes.


Most paddorns are solitary individuals, shunning the company of others. They are slow to make friends, quick to become defensive or angry, and stubborn. Many paddorns are argumentative, verbally abusive and able to hold grudges for years or decades. Others are sullen and bitterly silent; these brooders are capable of holding grudges longer than the average paddorn, and sometimes become obsessed with revenge. All paddorns are short-tempered. Many other folk consider them to have thin skins and to take things too personally.