Dungeon Crawling

Hopefully Luke or Thor can shed some light on how they map dungeons. Are there any tips you can add along with the dumbed down basics like “you’ll a sheet of paper and pencil”. Dungeon Crawling seems like a lost art that I never had.

Mapping in Torchbearer is pretty special. You’ll only need a pencil and something to write on. No graph paper or drawing skill required.

That said, it’s often useful for GMs to have a map to work from. I highly recommend it. If you aren’t ready to make your own maps, try grabbing something from someone like Dyson Logos. He has a bunch of fantastic maps you can grab for free. He also has a really awesome book of maps called Dyson’s Delves available on Lulu.

I use this for my dungeon crawling games: Dave’s Mapper. It’s entertaining to try to justify every room, specially if you are completely improvising the session.

Stay cool :cool:

Perfect! Thank you.

Dyson’s maps are great! So I dug around and wanted to share this. http://www.allakabor.com/eqatlas/atlas.html … It’s funny how early 2000s zones make the most excellent map. Any body else this this as a great setting?

Good example: http://www.allakabor.com/eqatlas/unrest.html

Yep, that’s my go-to for OSG (mainly Donjon).

Check out a Brutus Motor-only map with 5’ grids–could be right out of an original module! Just perfect (especially compared to some of the … sketchier… tilesets). Fabulous resource, all around!

(I’m currently fascinated by making Spaceship maps with the Cube setting! I mean, it’s probably the only map type that makes sense as a cube, eh?)

Hi Thor,

can you explain how Torchbearer’s way of handling maps is? For now I see that there might be a DM-map and a player-map.

For the DM:
Do we need that map just to give good descriptions of the dungeon? Is traveling through those dungeons only dangerous if the GM introduces something like “nature/weather” as a twist? Is the map more an encounter flowchart?
Do you suggest more linear or complex original GM maps? I thought about those questions after reading Dungeon layout map flow and old-school-game-design.

For the players:
Is the map nore an encounter/problem flowchart? Can clever players dodge mayor enemies by taking an alternate route that is detectable by their map?


The map designates where the treasure and monster lairs are and the location of other challenges for the players to overcome. It functions very much like a map and key in old-school dungeon crawling games. I recommend that you not start off with large, complex dungeon environments. The game can handle them, but it’s likely to take your players a bit of time to get the rhythm of dungeon crawling in Torchbearer–when to camp, when to press on, when to earn checks, when to return to town. At the same time, I recommend you take pains not to create maps that are too linear. Maps that offer multiple choices for moving through the location give players interesting decisions to make.

This set of articles is pretty illuminating: http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/13085/roleplaying-games/jaquaying-the-dungeon

Great articles! Thanks for the link.

I am not sure if both authors are identic - but Melan’s artcile on Enworld is quoted on the series on thealexandrian. Thanks for this input, seems really oldschoolish without the extrem mapping for the player side - wonderful.


Dyson’s maps ordered.