One Page Encounter Maps: Dungeon Cells

Well, the last one page encounter map was a rousing success, and I didn’t have time to finish what I was planning on doing this week… so here’s another one page encounter map!

But first, I’d like to take a quick poll. I’m wondering how much cutting and assembling people are willing to do for a print at home map. In other words, if I started making maps that you print out on two pages, cut one border off, and tape together, would you find that as useful? What about a four sheet map? Vote below.

[poll id=”5″]

This map comes in two pages – the first page is a block of dungeon cells with a secret passage hidden, and the second page is the same map, except with a secret passage revealed. And if you look closely, the smoke from the torches and braziers points to the secret passage. I imagined that the secret passage would create an air current that would not ordinarily be there.

Some features of the map, from North to South:

  • Stairs down
  • Guard station
  • Two braziers, the west brazier has a secret passage behind it: a statue stands guard over the stairs that lead farther down into the bowels of [the castle].
  • Block of cells in a hall which is lit by torches
  • Each cell has and iron door, and contains some hay for bedding, and a set of manacles attached to the wall. One cell door is ajar.

There are quite a few variables in this map that a DM needs to decide. Are the cells occupied? Which ones? Are the occupants chained up? Are the doors locked or unlocked? Is there a guard at the station? What is the statue in the secret passage? And where does the passage lead? All these questions lead us into some great plot hooks for this one page map:

  • The PCs need to jailbreak one of the prisoners. In order to escape cleanly, they need to find the rumored secret passage in the cell block within a certain number of rounds.
  • The PCs are investigating an escape (the open cell). This is the starting point of the investigation.
  • The PCs are visiting an informant. When they arrive, the guard is unconscious, and the informant is missing.
  • The cells hold all manner of monsters. The Owlbear is missing.
  • The PCs are put in the cells overnight to stand trial the next day. During that time…
      • one of the other prisoners tells them of buried treasure
      • they witness the murder of the guard
      • they hear people coming and going, and the sound of heavy rumbling and stone scraping on stone
  • The dungeon is completely abandoned, and skeletons hang in the manacles on the walls. Except the cell with the door ajar. That seems to have been occupied recently. (You’d have to ignore the lighting on this one)

You can download the .pdf here.

How would you use the map?


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3 Responses to One Page Encounter Maps: Dungeon Cells

  1. Nice; I love the idea of giving a visual clue on the map as to a secret location (it’s nice an subtle, too).

  2. ElfIRL says:

    Your timing is perfect, I am planning to do some sort of “the characters have been captured and are in jail” thing this weekend. If we get to that part I will now be prepared!

  3. Pingback: Weekly Assembly: Cons, Vids, and Selling Out | The Gamer Assembly

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