Fantasy Map Extravaganza

Cultist’s Hideout

I’ve been meaning to try my hand a drawing a dungeon map for a few days now and I now got to a point where I am satisfied with the results. So my first map is The Cultist Den and you can find it below. 

An old school map of a cultist hideout
Click on the map for full size

The idea with this map was to create a hideout where a bunch of cultists have set up camp. They are in fact preparing to summon some evil creatures, which is why there is a big room to the west. At the beginning of the dungeon there are some traps. The first one is a boulder trap that is activated with a trigger wire. Perceptive adventurers will be able to avoid it by either bypassing the wire or by discovering the secret passage to the south.

Then there is a small pool of what appears to be blood, but is in fact filled with red dye!  The pool is quite shallow and can be walked through quite easily, but if the adventurers decide to circumvent it by going to either side, they will soon enough find out that the walls shoot out quite nasty darts when stepping on the floor in front of them.

The next room contains a pit. The players can either try to go down and climb up on the other side or they can try to jump. Alternatively, a hidden button under both of the platforms make them push out from the walls until they touch each other. What is clear is that failing to jump will not be a good thing! 

The next and last trap room is quite devious. If the adventurers have triggered either the boulder trap or the pool room darts, the inhabitants of the dungeon will be quite aware of their intrusion. In this room,  archers stand hidden behind the walls to the west and to the east. Small openings on the walls allow for ranged combat, and the cultists definitely like to carry bows. If the players want to reach their hidden enemies, they will need to unlock or force the door to the north. After that there are no more traps, but rather some living quarters and storage rooms. Then, the big stairs lead down to the ritual room. This is where the cultists are getting ready to summon their big bad demon or what have you. 

The last room is for whoever is in charge of the cultists. Here they write their letters and have their personal effects.

It was fun drawing a map, though there are certainly improvements I’d like to make. First of all, with the single pen I am using I need to draw the walls twice in order to make them thick enough to be contrasted against the hatchings (the hatchings are the clusters of parallel lines drawn outside of the walls). So I need to get different-sized pens if I just wanna draw once. That way I can draw the walls with a big-sized pen and then draw the hatchings with a small one. 

Second, using an iPhone app to scan the map is less than ideal. To draw the map I use graph paper with bluish lines. When scanning with my phone the blue lines somehow become black. My suspicion is that there just isn’t enough light to be able to bring out the blue color. So everything is black on Photoshop and I’m forced to bring the brightness and contrast up a lot in order to make the grid disappear. This also makes the rest of the map much lighter and looking definitely less awesome than in print. For this map I made everything darker on Photoshop but it takes quite some time to do, so it’s not ideal. Specially, the result is still not as good as what I drew originally.

The last thing is the font I am using. It’s pretty fancy, but I just can’t help realizing that it’s not the most readable. 

For a first map, though, I would say “not too shabby!”.