One Page Encounter Maps: The Wizard’s Study

This article is something of a test. I often see large maps online for free, and they’re awesome, but I don’t really want to pay to have them printed out – especially if they’re not flexible enough to be used in many different situations. Paying a bunch of money for one combat map isn’t my thing. But what if the combat map was small enough to be printed out on your home printer? On a single sheet of paper? Yeah, I’d be in for that. So that’s what I’m doing. If it’s well received, I will make more. Read on…

This first one page map, to get my feet wet, is a reimagining of a map I did for an old Living Greyhawk adventure module. The original map was a little too cluttered for me, so I pared back on some of the “stuff” in the room while still leaving enough for visual interest, and hooks for DMs.

Here are a few of the finer points of the map:

North Wall

  • Double doors

West Wall

  • Curtain over the door
  • Bookshelves
  • Mess of books in a pile around the bookshelves

East Wall

  • Statue between two pillars
  • Suit of armor
  • Smashed and messy alchemist’s workbench
  • Large Mirror

South Wall

  • Desk with open book
  • Tapestry
  • Bookcase

Middle of Room

  • Trap door
  • Lectern with open book
  • Some type of magic circle


And what would a map from me be without some hooks and things to think about?

  • Where’s the wizard?
  • What’s with the trap door? Does it lead to a dungeon or simply a storage room?
  • Why is the workbench smashed, and the books a mess? Was someone searching the room?
  • What is (are) the book(s) open to? (The one on the desk and lectern)
  • What’s with the statue between the pillars?
  • Is the mirror a magic item?
  • What is on the tapestry?
  • Is the magic circle active? Is something trying to “come through”?
  • And a suit of armor? In a wizard’s workshop? Will it animate? Is it special to the wizard somehow?

This map was created in Dundjinni.
You can download the PDF here.

Got more hooks? Or want to see more of these? Let me know in the comments!

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18 Responses to One Page Encounter Maps: The Wizard’s Study

  1. mwschmeer says:

    THIS is a great idea! A lot of these 1-pagers added together would make a great night of adventure!

    • Benoit says:

      Thanks, glad you like it. I agree that having a stack of these could be just as good as (if not better than) a few poster sized maps.

      If you (or anyone else) has suggestions/requests, add them to the comments. I’m not super expert mapper guy, but I’ll give them my best shot!

  2. greywulf says:

    Excellent. I wholeheartedly approve, with thanks.

  3. Jeff says:

    I agree. This is a GREAT idea. How about a temple/chapel? How about some dungeon segments? A stack of six or eight of these that can be re-arranged (ie, passages that line up on each sheet) could be REALLY useful.

    • Benoit says:

      Temple/Chapel is on my list. Dungeon segments were something that crossed my mind as well – maybe some generic hallways. Really, that’s getting into the realm of geomorphs, which would be a great way to approach it.

  4. ElfIRL says:

    This is really awesome. I would love to see a regular column like this moving forward. That is, if you’re up to it!

    • ElfIRL says:

      Looking at the map a little more, would you be willing to do a lineless version? Doing so would allow GMs to define the size of the room to their liking as well as the option to use different tiles, like hexes.

      • Benoit says:

        Yes. It occurred to me that VTT users might like a lineless version as well. I’ll add one as a simple jpeg when I get home from work.

        I do have the ability to add hexes instead of a square grid, and I can add a second PDF if there’s enough demand.

  5. Good stuff, man. I approve!

    • You could also do larger rooms sliced up into smaller segments that can be printed at home. This is what I do for my home games; I just tape them together and I’m ready to go.

  6. PolaroidNinja says:

    I am PolaroidNinja, and I approve this blog post! 🙂

  7. Dave Matney says:

    This is awesome — I was actually just thinking about one-page maps, last night, as I was falling asleep. Big maps always have my players running around, keeping combat mobile, and making the ranged fighters the most effective, and I think the constraints of one page might make things interesting.

    • Benoit says:

      Very true. I was playing around with some other one pagers today, and looks like any corridors will be 5′ too. 10′ just takes up too much space if you’re limiting yourself to 8 1/2 x 11.

  8. diversionArchitect says:

    This is a fantastic idea! Throwing a title and your list of features on the back would make them really easy to sort, find and use. Much easier than the double face poster maps. This is something I could get behind for special rooms (I use the battleboards from longtooth most of the time). Thanks for sharing!

  9. Ben says:

    Awesome. I so dig it. I shall print on card stock and add it to the Pile. Great idea and execution. Gen Con approach-eth, btw. Oh and those books all strewn about – well, that’s because the old wizard couldn’t find the right spell before he fled in terror. 🙂

    • Benoit says:

      I like it! There’s actually another book I have in my Dundjinni inventory that looks a lot like the one on the lectern, except it looks tattered and burnt, as though a spell misfired. That would make the scenario even more mysterious!

  10. Simon says:

    +1 … This kinda thing is great!

  11. Bloody good idea there! I’m a big fan of the Savage Worlds one page adventures, as they make great ways of running a one session game to get people into RPGs, or maybe just the setting you want to run. This is a great idea, as it leaves so much more up to the GM in terms of setting and where the story’s going to go.

    Any plans for some none fantasy maps? I do love me some high fantasy adventure, but I play a ton of games.

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