Troglodtye's Lair

Real life has kept me super busy lately - but, I made a map over the last couple weeks that I entered into the Cartographer's guild lite challenge. Figured I'd share it here.

It depicts a cavern that is situated beneath an inn in a small coastal fishing village. The cavern is an entry and storage point for a smuggling operation run by the Inn Keeper. He has found a way to manipulate a small tribe of Troglodytes into protecting it and often disposes of meddling adventurers in the well (If all goes as planned – PCs would be drugged by the Inn Keeper and wake up falling into the dark cavern through the well entrance – they will need to fight/sneak their way through the lair to the safety of the dock).

The Traps (depicted on the right pane) disperse Troglodyte “Musk” whose scent alerts others than enemies are about. The Step traps can be found throughout, while the Chest trap is situated with other cargo in the map and is used to alert the Trogs when smugglers besmirch their otherwise impeccable reputation for integrity by trying to steal loot…if you can’t trust a smuggler who can you trust?

The whole thing was made with CC3 (with the exception of a few touch ups and the traps which were made in photoshop)

Full Resolution version here (


  • Nice one. It is a bit dificult to navigate / read, but it gives a plus to the map in my opinion =)
  • Yeah, I had to shrink the size of the map way down to put it on this forum (800 px) and the decrease in size did something funky to the text which doesn't occur in the full-sized version.
  • The design is great and I really like the choice of fill styles. I agree that the text is hard to read that way but the effect looks nice. Could you perhaps post an excerpt where the text renders as it should?
  • Henrie61Henrie61 Traveler
    edited May 2013
    Great design, great execution, great map.
    My favorite is the way you drew the traps.
    Did you draw them yourself?
  • Thanks, yeah, I suck at real drawing...but I scribbled the shapes, scanned it, and then drew them in photoshop (though it could have been done with CC3). The challenge at the Guild called for traps, so I figured I would actually depict them rather than just describe them.
  • KenGKenG Traveler
    I saw this in development on the guild. Looks great.
  • DogtagDogtag Moderator, Betatester Traveler
    Looks great! I really like the colors and how you did the grid. The trap diagrams on the right is inspired.

    I'm not sure I understand exactly what's going on, terrain-wise, with the caves in the upper-right, though. It looks to me as though there are shelves or terraces moving upward and then water. Do the caves around area 1 go up or do they go down? If they go up, is there a sheer drop from the level part of the caves down into the water?

    Regardless, I think the map looks splendid. Another triumph for you, sir.

  • ah...never occurred to me that the pools could be interpreted as being at the same elevation as the water (area 7). The water in area 1 and 3 are actually relatively shallow. Area 3 is for breeding (so in my head I figured only 5 or 6 feet deep). The big pool in 1 is where the PCs drop into (so I figured it would be like 15-20 feet deep), but the other pools you walk up to (higher elevation) and they are only like 2 or 3 feet deep). But yeah, generally the terrain moves in a downward slope from the top right to bottom left (say about 40 or 50 feet).
  • DogtagDogtag Moderator, Betatester Traveler
    Ah, gotcha. They're not connected. I was curious because of that whole "water seeks its own level" stuff. I really dig the map.
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