Maps from the DM Challenge

Sarah Darkmagic - Posted on 01 April 2010

In addition to completing my personal challenge of writing an Underdark adventure, I participated in the DM's challenge during PAX East. Since I'm going to rework parts of that adventure, I don't want to post the story yet. However, I'm more than happy to post my map notes.

The first encounter occurs when either the party stumbles upon a Quaggoth hunting party or the hunting group stumbles upon them. The area is a pretty decent camp site, with fresh water and it's a bit easier to guard than an open area. The small circles on the right denote Sporecloud squares, which provide concealment once engaged. There is also a nice fire pit, probably created over time by wandering adventurers.

Next up is the old dwarven outpost which marks the entrance to the mine. Quaggoths have taken the thing over. Archers and a chanter guard the front door from above while two berzerkers watch from the campfire below. I had a skill challenge at the end of the earlier encounter, and groups that pass that challenge are given information about the secret passage. That gives them a slight advantage in the hardest fight of the adventure.

This map encompasses two adventure areas. The first is a small cave filled with myconids and geonids. Only fairly perceptive players will notice the latter, as they look a bit like the other boulders dotting the area. The second area is the home of a dark creeper necromancer and his zombies. The zombies have been taking the bodies of Quaggoth's victims and dragging them through the myconids' territory, so the two groups aren't exactly friends. Insightful adventurers might be able to use this fact to negotiate with the myconids for safe passage. The main terrain elements in the first area are the waterfall that leads into a pool and the slime between the two geonids. When I ran it, the slime became difficult terrain but if I ran it again, I would probably make it slippery and require an acrobatics check to avoid ending up prone. In the second area, there are blood soaked squares that award critical hits on a roll of 19 or 20.

I'd love to thank the people who give me some hints and advice in regards to this adventure: Phil, Randall, Jonathan and Jason. They are all great guys and I wouldn't have had the confidence to run it without their help.


Too bad we didn't make it to the last encounter. At first I was pretty confused by the outpost area (maybe it was all the beer), but once I realized about the multi-levelness, I thought it was pretty cool.

Yeah, the drinks were definitely affecting some people by the time we got to the second encounter. I want to buy some 1" wooden blocks to make it more apparent in the future. I believe for the challenge itself, I put white discs under the characters who were above.

While I had the two levels in my original map, it was Phil's idea to extend the guard house area to 4x4 and put the chanter up there. That tweak made it a much more fun adventure, especially since both groups had a player choose to go up there alone.

Very nice!!

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