This article originally appeared in Pyramid #5
DUNGEON MAPSPublished by Wyrm Works
Designed by Chris Hartford
"You see stairs going down . . ." With that line, thousands upon thousands of adventurers have launched their careers in the lucrative field of dungeon-delving. The dungeon is a tradition as old as the RPG field itself. Wyrm Works, based in Zionsville, IN, has set out to make the construction and stocking of a dungeon much easier with a line of gaming maps.
At GenCon this year, Wyrm Works was on hand with five different sets of maps. Each set contains from 20 to 30 pages (8.5" x 11"), printed black (with lots of gray shading) on one side, blank on the other. Some of the maps in each set stand alone, while others link together to form much larger complexes. The crisp computer-generated cartography includes many different features: doors (including regular, double, secret and vault), statues, curtains, fountains, stairs/sloping passages (with notes on steepness), windows, altars, water, whirlpools, cliffs and rubble. In addition, information is provided on details like ceiling height and other architectural features.
Potential buyers should note that these maps are not "stocked." They're just blank maps that the GM will have to spend quite a bit of time to flesh out -- starting with numbering the rooms.
Map set one is Bricks and Bones. It is a "generic" map pack for general use by a GM -- everything from towers to temples to monster lairs. Set two is Capella's Asylum, a huge underground complex (32 total maps) built by the proverbial mad wizard. The mining levels of Asylum are very nice, but the half-dozen pages of the maze levels would be a nightmare to GM or play in. Just tell the party they're lost in a maze, and roll a d20 to see how many hours it takes to get out! Set number three is Dragonest, a mountainous complex that serves as the home for potentially hundreds of dragons. This is one of the best-constructed complexes -- it actually looks like the type of place dragons would hang out in. Set four is Witchaven, a complex based around a live volcano. The central point of this set is the casting room, a cavernous construction where the witches can cast spells around the mouth of the volcano. Other features include slave pens, a large auditorium and plenty of private housing. Set five, Alkavan's Bazaar, is a bit different. This collection features various city buildings such as shops, a bank, a library, an assassin's guild, and so on. In addition, two versions of each map are included -- one completely blank, the other with notes as to what is likely to be going on in that area of the building (living quarters, torture chamber, etc.).
The retail price for Dungeon Maps is $12 each for sets one and two, and $10 each for sets three, four and five. If you find yourself in need of a large, ready-made adventure setting, you may want to pick one of these up. If your local game store doesn't stock Dungeon Maps, you can contact Wyrm Works directly at PO Box 356, Zionsville, IN 46077.
- Loyd Blankenship
Article publication date: February 1, 1994
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