Tag Archive: gridless

The second map in the Goul series is below. You can attach it to the top of the first map to expand the caves. Since the title of the first map was an anagram of Cirith Ungol from Lord of the Rings, I decided to make this title an anagram as well: Edond Solnoch Goul = Old School Dungeon.

Edond Solnoch Goul


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

MP1: Level 2A

This map is a little different from the previous two. The most striking difference is the inked solid walls. Where before I simply used black paint and an airbrush in Photoshop, with this map I used Micron pens to ink the solid walls by hand. Yes, it takes a while. I find it a bit distracting, and wonder if the solid black airbrush job in Photoshop isn’t a better way to go. What do you think?

I also experimented with textures and layering for the cavern floors here. I feel like this was a successful experiment, as it gives the ground a gritty look that the previous couple of maps didn’t have. Again, what do you think?

Level 2A Gridless

Level 2A Gridless

Level 2A Grid

Level 2A Grid

Level 2 consists of four total maps. I’ll continue with the hand-inked solid walls and textured floors for the entire level to keep things consistent. Depending on the feedback I get, I’ll probably go back to airbrushing in the solid walls using Photoshop when I move on to Level 3.

The encounter maps:

Level 2A Printable Grid a

Level 2A Printable Grid a

Level 2A Printable Grid b

Level 2A Printable Grid b

Map Project 1: Map 1

The first map project is a multi-level cave complex with natural stairs. The narrow entrance into this complex is set into the side of a mountain, possibly along a ridge that PCs would have to ascend to in order to gain entrance to the caves. This first map is designated “Level 0”. Subsequent maps will ascend and descend from this main level. I haven’t planned much in advance, and would welcome community input as to what kind of levels and features would be desirable. My only thought at this point is that the upper levels will lead to a dungeon beneath a keep of some sort.

Gridded and gridless versions of each map will be available. Feel free to download these and use them as you see fit. The size of each map will be 11 3/4″ X 16″, and I will break each map into two sections for ease of printing.

For the first map, I am presenting the large versions of both the gridded and gridless maps; printer-friendly versions will be posted soon.

Enjoy! And please, please leave feedback! Thanks.

A subterranean map

Level 0 Gridless version

A subterranean map

Level 0 Gridded version