The Hive Battle Map – Launch

Free version DOWNLOAD – Find the full version on my Patreon

Introduction

The air in the tunnel is warm and moist, a slight draft brings the sent of earth, mould and a strange acidic aroma from the depths below. Ahead you spy a small clump of luminous yellow mushrooms sprouting from the mud wall, casting an amber light across the tunnel. As you move forward you sense something new and unsettling. It feels like the air is becoming thicker, your eyes struggle to focus for a second in the dim light. Instinct makes you reach for the tunnels wall. Almost imperceptibly the walls are vibrating with a low hum that you feel more than hear. You realise, without consciously doing so, you have taken two steps forward, your hand keeping contact with the wall as you do so. You feel a need to continue, to find the centre of this place and the source of the now audible hum.

You press forward, passing multiple small chambers, until finally you reach your destination. This new chamber is huge, its walls and ceiling covered in glowing mushrooms. More ominous are the hundreds of dark holes that line the walls and ceiling. From each one you sense the same hum that has guided you to this place, along with the hum you now hear clicks and high pitched tweets. Walking to the centre of the chamber you wait, anticipating what is to come. Something is watching, no, many things are watching, waiting for a sign, or a signal. You sense your next action will determine the outcome of this encounter. One way or another.

  • 30×30 Grid map

Variants

  • Mushroom (Base)
  • Desert
  • Ice

Notes and Tips

  • Make sure to describe the sound of many creatures, lots of clicks, ticks and tweets. Try to creep out your players a little! (assuming they are all OK with it obviously)
  • Have things climb along the walls or across the ceiling.
  • This nest could be the home of any number of huge insects, including Wasps, Ants, Bees or Termites.
  • Other creatures that could live here: Small snakes could cover the floor (Indy style), while huge snakes slither in and out of the tunnels. Rats or Moles, or giant killer rabbits. Just add Dire to the start and you’re good to go!
  • This could work as a Tri-Kreen village.
  • You could link some of the tunnels together, so mobs vanish into the tunnels and leap out at the players from somewhere new.
  • The players could enter from any number of tunnels or from the ceiling if they have maybe found an entrance from above.

The Barrows Battle Map – Launch

Free version DOWNLOAD – Find the full version on my Patreon

Introduction

A brisk wind blows across dozens of small grassy mounds, creating ripples in a sea of rolling green. Craggy grey stones thrust upwards, monuments to kings and queens long since passed beyond myth and legend. An ancient roadway weaves its way through the mounds, rarely walked by mortal feet. Some of the mounds contain dark openings framed in stone, yawning black maws ready to swallow those foolish enough to enter them. Legend tells of riches buried here, treasure beyond imagining, but dark things are buried here too, things that are best left undisturbed.

  • 30×30 Grid map

Variants: 

  • The Barrows, Day
  • The Barrows, Night
  • The Barrows Night, Wisps

Notes and Tips

  • Line of sight could be interesting on this map. Plenty of cover.
  • A procession of undead march along the road at dawn and dusk.
  • Each entrance has a guardian spirit that is activated if someone tries to enter.
  • Spirits rise from the top of each mound when the sun sets and perform strange rituals. If the party replicates these on each mound at the same time the way to the horde is opened… oh and also it frees some kind of terrible and vengeful spirit. Vengeful spirits are obligatory on a map like this.
  • Spirit lights flicker among the mounds at night.
  • Silver coins sit in piles on many of the stones. Each one is a prayer to keep the dead from returning to haunt those still living. It would be unfortunate if someone moved them.

Granny’s House (Witch’s Cottage) Battle Map – Launch

Free version DOWNLOAD – Find the full version on my Patreon

Introduction

You aren’t really sure how you got here. Your mind rebels whenever you try to remember the walk up to this picturesque little cottage. The smell of wild flowers and pine forest mix on the warm breeze in a strange contrast of delicate floral notes and earthy dampness. A bright white picket fence pokes out of a colourful bed of flowers at the front of the property. A short gravel path leads to the door of a small single story cottage, perfect in every detail. You catch another sent on the breeze, the smell of pies being baked. You realise you haven’t eaten all morning. Maybe the owner wouldn’t mind a few friendly dinner guests? What could be the harm in having a quick bite? …roll a Wisdom save.

  • 30×30 grid

Variants

  • Witch’s Cottage, Day, Evil (Base)
  • Witch’s Cottage, Day, Good
  • Witch’s Cottage, Night, Evil
  • Witch’s Cottage, Night, Good

Notes and Tips

  • The front garden is completely perfect in every way, however the rear, which can’t be seen from the road is overgrown and full of weeds.
  • Illusions can be used to find the true nature of the cottage.
  • The back of the garden leads directly into a dark pine forest, with all the possibilities that holds. 
  • Things could enter the garden at night and prowl around the house.
  • If you go with a witch, maybe they head into the forest at night to go do witchy things, jump over fires, make weird little corn figures, that kind of thing.
  • The front of the property could be situated on the edge of a village or far from civilisation on some lonely moor.
  • This could be used as a player home, there is a ‘good’ variant of the map without the chains and cauldron.
  • The shed to the right is a place that could hold captives. If you are running Hags, I’d suggest they have some kind of permanent ‘silence’ spell cast in or directly around the shed.
  • The fairy ring (mushroom ring) could be used to teleport mobs onto the map, or even teleport the players away.
  • The Witch that lives here could be having trouble with the ‘wee folk’. Which leads to a confrontation between the players and a bunch of Will-o’-the-Wisps, Fairies and the like.
  • The Witch could have any number of wild fey beasts locked up in her shed. They make horrible blood curdling noises at night, howls, screeches, that kind of thing. The local village mayor has hired the party to investigate. I like to think she takes them for ‘walkies’ in the forest behind the cottage.

Winter Racing Battle Map – Launch

Free version DOWNLOAD – Find the full version on my Patreon

Introduction

Winter has descended on the city, the temperature has plummeted, freezing drains, water buckets, and ponds. Even the great river has frozen, its journey to the sea temporarily halted. Frost and ice cover the streets making them treacherous, while above, the clouds, grey and looming, promise snow. At this time of year the people of the city take to the frozen river and celebrate the turning of the seasons with a spectacle of skill, courage and strength, the Winter Race is here once again!

  • 30×30 grid map

Map Variants

  • Frozen River
  • Frozen River, Ice Skating Track
  • Frozen River, Ice Skating Track, Snow
  • No ice

Notes and Tips

  • I have supplied three Ice hole assets, 1×1, 2×2 and 3×3. These are PNGs and can be used in Virtual table tops as they are. They are in the VTT zip file.
  • The spectators could be positioned on the Bridge or on the River, or both.
  • The Ice is treacherous and is classed as difficult terrain unless the players have some type of crampons, which should be able to be bought from a local shop or stall. You could even have it as a requirement to spectate from the ice.
  • The race could be an endurance race or a sprint. Rules could be very strict or anything goes, time to play dirty!
  • Are the players here to take part or just spectate? Or maybe they are hired as private security.
  • The race could be a relay with each member of the party taking a turn.
  • There should be pickpockets in operation. The town guard could be in hot (cold?) pursuit across the ice.
  • A great sea beast from the far north has swam up the river and bursts through the ice during the race. Dark shapes could be seen moving under the ice before it breaks through.

The Gatehouse Battle Map – Launch

This weeks map is another in my urban series. This time we visit one of the entrances to our fair city and say hello to the hardworking men and women of the city watch! Come night and day these stalwart guardians of law and order can be seen patrolling the streets, standing guard along the turreted walls and checking those that are entering or leaving the city aren’t “up to no good”. Your party isn’t up to no good I hope? Of cause they are! Which I’m sure means they’ll try their very best to avoid a talking to by the local fuzz.

Free version DOWNLOAD – Find the full version on my Patreon
  • 30x30 grid map

Notes and Tips

  • Our friendly gate guards are here to help!… and inform your party they need to pay an ‘entrance fee’, which goes towards the city guards retirement fund/petty cash.
  • Have a group of monsters try to scale the walls, with the party running up and down the walls trying their best to stop them.
  • Your party is hired as deputy city guards and end up doing a little guard duty at the gatehouse. It’s amazing how many of the citizenry are up to no good! Give the party a little power and watch it go to their heads!
  • Someone’s been assassinating city guards, have your party go undercover as lowly gate guards and lure out the murderers with their nicely exposed backs.

The Druid Grove Battle Map – Launch

Free version DOWNLOAD – Find the full version on my Patreon
  • 30×30 Grid Map

 Variants: 

  • Pool with ancient tree, day (Base)
  • Pool with ancient tree, night
  • Pool, day 
  • Pool, night

Notes and Tips

  • The tree in the centre of the pool is a full tree (not cut down), its shown this way so you can see the rest of the map under its canopy. Of course you could have the tree cut down, if it works for you!
  • If the party is hostile to the grove, tree roots can burst from the ground to attack or grapple the party.
  • The water could be magically charming, if a player steps into it they make a saving throw or are charmed to walk slowing towards the tree until they take damage or save.
  • Have your party play a game of ‘The Floor (water) is Lava’ and have them move across the stones to reach the tree, with corresponding skill checks.
  • If a party member gets completely submerged in the water they have a chance to turn into a Satyr (Goat person!) over the next 5 rounds. Do with this as you will, depending on how evil you are feeling!
  • The Forest Guardian stands on the raised cliff and commands his minions to protect his grove.
  • The party notice blood in the water as they make it to the clearing. The King/Queen of the forest (any giant forest beast) has been killed in the pool, the forest is angry! The party is a convenient outlet to this anger.

Rocks Fall Battle Map – Launch

Free version DOWNLOAD – Find the full version on my Patreon
  • 30×30 grid map

Variants

  • Forest Entrance, Smugglers Den (Base) 
  • Forest Entrance, Crypt
  • Sewer Entrance, Smugglers Den
  • Sewer Entrance, Crypt

Notes and tips

  • The Wishing Well/Sink Hole Entrance:  The players enter a Well/Sink Hole and lower themselves by rope or other means and start in the pool cave.
  • The Underground River Entrance: The party travel along an underground river and enter the dungeon by climbing down the waterfalls.
  • The Cave/Sewer Entrance: The easy way!
  • The pool could have a hole in the bottom, lots of things could pop out to say hello to the party.
  • Rocks can fall at any time, especially if the party start throwing around loud spells. Have a few rocks fall from the roof to spice up any combat encounter. Make it clear to the party the walls are unstable before you bury them!
  • Necromancers are always looking for nice quiet places to raise the dead, this place is prime real estate!
  • Undead could start climbing out of the well at night.
  • Maybe the smugglers are all dead, eaten by some nasty creature, or maybe they have become undead themselves!
  • The room to the right can be accessed by crawling up the rock slide from the main crypt corridor. However its quite a tight fit… and maybe there are Zombies buried there, which should be fun for whomever is trying to squeeze through.
  • The other entrance to the room on the right is a steep 10 foot climb, crumbling dirt and rocks make it quite a hard task to climb, and also noisy.

Ruined Abbey Battle Map – Launch

Free version DOWNLOAD – Find the full version on my Patreon

Introduction

On a crumbling cliffs edge, overlooking a storm tossed sea, sits the ruined carcass of a once famous abbey. Famous for a tree that, to this day, continues to grow at the centre of its now deserted cloister. People from across the known world would make pilgrimages to pray below the tree’s golden crown. The tree’s origins have long since passed into folk lore and myth, the ‘truth’ replaced with hearsay and rumour. The abbey now lays abandoned, for reasons unclear, rarely visited, forgotten by all but the most desperate. Some still seek out the tree, the odd pilgrim still passes through the nearby village… but none return. The place is cursed they say, evil resides there now. But still the tree remains, its allure forever strong, waiting for the next pilgrim to make their way up the treacherous path to that lonely abbey at the cliffs edge.

  • 30×30 grid map 

Tips and Notes:

  1. 1The centre square is called a Cloister, its a covered walkway with a garden square in the middle.
  2. The Refectory is were the monks would eat and do other day to day tasks.
  3. The  Dormitory is where the monks would sleep. Small personal items can be found in the ruined furniture.
  4. The Kitchens have a large open fireplace with a chimney, I’m sure nothing is living up there.
  5. The Abbot’s hall is where the Abbot would organise the business of the abbey, if their are any papers left telling of the last days of the abbey its going to be here.
  6. The Chapel is where the devoted would come for services. There are three stone coffins at the front. Maybe one has a secret passage leading to the Undercroft, the crypt below the abbey. Or maybe the entrance to the crypt could be under the Alter.

Market Street Battle Map – Launch

Free version – Find the full version on my Patreon
  • 30×30 grid map

Notes and tips:

  • You could split this map in two, using the streets at the top as a smaller street battle map and the bottom half as a market place battle map.
  • NPCs can run out of buildings to enter combat.
  • Some of the stalls are rather nondescript, so you can add in your own story based merchants.
  • The grey/blue tiled buildings towards to top left could be a tavern with small stables in the back.
  • The connection between the two large market square buildings has an arch under it leading to the rear of the building and the street beyond. This could be blocked by a door that opens during the encounter to reveal more combatants.
  • Place doors to buildings to help with your particular scenario.