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When I got a copy of the Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide some 33 years ago, it was a flood of information, rules I would consistently ignore, scraps about the underdark for the first time since the D series of adventures…

And a collection of pages at the back on drawing perspective-based maps. Not the isometric (axonometric) projections of Castle Ravenloft, but grids set at various perspectives and rotations along with instructions on photocopying and cutting them up, or tracing them in order to draw multi-tiered maps of some of the larger spaces in the underdark.

33 years later, I finally did it.

I ended up choosing a grid that looks a lot like an isometric projection instead of a perspective piece, and following the directions for tracing the grid for a section, then moving the grid and tracing the next section produces very… vertical separations between elevations.

Dungeoneer Survival Guide Projection 1

The end result is a multi-tiered open space to explore – a large uneven “cave” (that has definitely been modified by the residents over the ages) with ramps and stairs between sections.

I’m definitely going to take another shot at this using a grid that has a stronger perspective and probably a smaller space to try to make something more like a traditional cavern. But I’m spectacularly happy with this piece, and glad that I finally drew it after 33 years of “planning to draw it”.

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

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This is the fourth level of the Geomorphic Halls, a dungeon designed around my dungeon geomorph design to produce levels that have specific waypoints and landmarks, but also areas that shift and change between visits.

This is the final level of the Geomorphic Halls – except for that one small tunnel that has been dug out to the west, leading perhaps to other complexes or the fabled “underdark”.

The east side of this level of the complex is a span of natural caves and a quiet lake which in turn is home to a small island at the base of spiral stairs that descend from the low ceiling (and from the level above).

Geomorphic Halls – Level 4

As with the other levels of this dungeon, you can use any of the geomorphs from my own Geomorph Mapping Challenge, or the thousands of other compatible designs from sites and blogs all around the net.

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

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Greymail Clanhold has fallen. Word of the tragedy has only recently made it down from the mountains, but the stories paint a bleak picture of the hold being invaded and the dwarves destroying much of the structure to keep it out of the invaders’ hands.

The Ruins of Greymail Clanhold

But that is only part of the tale. There are still dwarves once of the clan in the ruins. They survived the siege through cannibalism and they were the ones responsible for collapsing the extensive hold to deny it to their foes – killing most of the non-combatants of the clan in the process.

These guilt-wracked survivors hate themselves more than anything and only survive out of a twisted need to defend what is left of the clanhold – and yet they are still the only ones destroying it. In the time since the siege and fall, they have smashed the statue of the clan founder by the entrance and dragged the larger parts out of the clanhold to throw them down into the ravine below.

The survivors are in great pain, and seek their own deaths defending the clanhold one last time.

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Cartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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A quiet structure for the contemplation and learning about the life and trials of the paladin Eneshra and their eventual transformation into the dragon Vanshiro who flew into the west and who’s occasional returns to these lands are a mix of myth, hearth-tales, and the one time it landed on this very hill  to speak to the Grand Eclesiast and deliver the three emerald scales.

The Vanshiro Reliquary

Four generations later there is no longer a Grand Eclesiast at all. One of the scales was used and destroyed in the Battle of Long River, another went missing with the last Grand Eclesiast who travelled south to find the Eye of Kin. The final scale is supposedly still here, kept under guard by the small number of faithful priests and paladins who maintain the reliquary.

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Cartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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There are many dark and cramped dungeons out there to explore – descents deep underground, delves into ancient confines…

But what is at the top of those first stairs?

Onyx Hill is capped by old ruins of a small fort. Shattered and broken remains of a pair of structures and the old wall remain, along with one squat stone guardhouse that boasts the only intact roof in the area. In the centre of the old ruins is the peak of the hill with a 60 foot tall square pillar of onyx resting atop it.

This onyx monolith gives the hill its name, and attracts the occasional historian and sage to investigate its origins and to take rubbings of the inscriptions upon it. Much of the surface has been worn away or damaged by ancient violence.

Onyx Hill Ruins

In the back of the squat guardhouse is a secret door that opens over a set of stairs that lead down under the hill, and perhaps to the base of the onyx monolith itself… or perhaps a massive sprawling dungeon chosen from the huge numbers out there.

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Cartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Up near the docks, between the Clinkers district and the docks themselves is the Half-Cask. In an area known for its inns and taverns, the Half-Cask presents a very traditional “drinking hall” environment, making it popular with locals and travellers alike.

The Half-Cask Tavern

The Half-Cask is a friendly single-story tavern / drinking hall of fairly traditional design.  Stone foundations and lower walls are topped with raw timber walls and a heather-thatched roof. Operating without a “bar” per se, clients order drinks (and sometimes food) from the staff who work the room.

The owner, Amina Donisi, tells many tall tales of adventures, distant lands, strange islands, and improbable monsters. These aren’t actually her own experiences, as she has never been more than a few hours outside of the city – but are amalgamations of stories told by other visitors & clients of the establishment.

The Half-Cask Tavern (no grid)

The main entrances to the Half-Cask are on the north side of the structure, as far as possible from the fireplace. In the winter, the south door is usually blocked to prevent people from coming in there so the main room remains nice and warm in front of the roaring fireplace.

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Cartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Every month we go through our back catalog of maps and the many patrons over on Patreons vote on which two should be re-released under the free commercial use license. For older maps I also work on upgrading the quality of the scan where possible.

The Court of Summer Wines is a well-to-do establishment that offers a wide selection of wines imported from near and far as well as a fruits, breads and sweets to be paired with such.

The Court of Summer Wines

The food menu varies daily based on what is available in town, but Haspar (the owner) works hard to maintain a constant supply for his wine and drinks menu. The venue stopped serving harder liquors and brandies after one too many occasions where people would move on from wine to hard drink late in the night causing any number of brawls, damages and general unruliness.

During the summer, much of the drinking and eating takes place in the courtyard of the structure with the fountain in the centre bubbling away quietly. During the hottest months, canvas coverings are pulled over much of the courtyard to provide shade from the hot summer sun (because drinking in the sun often results in headaches and stomach aches, the management tries their best to increase sales with nice cool spaces).

The Court of Summer Wines (no grid)

Finally, the Court also has a few rooms for rent at most times. Only Haspar Ruggles and his best cook live on site, with the rest of the staff coming in to work every day – leaving a pair of rooms for rent on the east side of the structure. Currently the smaller of the two rooms is rented out to Krivotos, a centaur who was recently reincarnated into the form of a human and who is now trying desperately to fit in with “regular” civilization. He is a great source of information about the eastern forests and the druids therein.

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Cartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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So… the whole Daily Drawings tag may be a mistake here. I’m just so over my head with commissioned work that I’m not finding the time to draw as I would like to.

First, the Battlephant, a quick doodle I did early in the week. I was thinking of mounting it on the hovercraft plates of the vehicles from the Matrix, but in the end it never got any form of locomotion.

Battlephant

Inspired at least in part by the egg-shaped device that floats over the head of the Techno-Pope, we have this egg-shaped thing.

Floaty Egg Thing

And then, for the first time in my modern career, I started playing with colours. You can tell I was getting a grip on the tools while doing the walls and I had a much better idea of how everything worked by the time I got to the egg.

Colourized Floaty Egg

And that is the week in Dyson Doodles.

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Every month we go through our back catalog of maps and the many patrons over on Patreons vote on which two should be re-released under the free commercial use license. For older maps I also work on upgrading the quality of the scan where possible.

Letath is a city that appeared in my “From Winterspire to Yoon-Suin” campaign a few years ago. It is a trading city on the eastern shore of the Persimmon Sea and is home to a major “military academy” where mercenaries are trained in exchange for 4 years of service in one of Letath’s two mercenary companies.

Letath

The presence of the best known military academy in the Alliance or the Satrapy has attracted a lot of people seeking training. A number of nobles in the city have started their own smaller training operations, and just about every noble in town is either retired military or the head of a small mercenary company of their own.

Youngsters from around the realms are shipped here for training in the various households around town – those with connections getting private instruction from the noble houses, others signing up at the academy.

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Cartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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This month’s Patreon Exclusive is a single-page recto-verso page detailing the Twelve Goats Tavern. It is pretty system-neutral fantasy RPG material although tied in with one of my favourite adventure modules – the Isle of Dread.

The floorplan of the tavern was released on the blog in May. This adds a new side view illustration of the tavern, as well as more detailed description of the owners / employees, location, and a sample menu.

As with all the Patreon Exclusive releases, this is a thank you for supporting my Patreon campaign. Patrons of the blog at any patronage level can download it from the Patreon campaign site.

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