The goblin trail leads to this cave, and presumably within they are holding the missing dwarf and fighter – maybe as prisoners, maybe just as food. But the origin of the cave isn’t geological in nature. This cave is part of the old coolant processing facility that was part of the nearby space elevator (the city of Winterspire is built into the foundation of that same elevator, this is one of 16 sub-spires that supported the original construction).
The goal of this redraw of the Cragmaw Hideout adventure map is to inject a little bit of a different feel to my D&D5e campaign. It isn’t set in the Forgotten Realms, it’s set along the remnants of much older technologies that everyone has forgotten. Yet the bits and pieces of those prior ages are so abundant that people don’t take notice that they are in any way special. In game play the passages and systems of the coolant plant are described as “smooth passages” and “big lumps”, “small lumps” and “protrusions”.
The goal is to make it feel just that little bit different, to inject a bit of a Count Brass feel to the setting. Obviously these caves were made by magic at some point, and unknown magics were used to produce the waters that flow from them. Unless you are a sage who specializes in these things, that’s all most characters will care to learn. You can see the map I drew for the players of the region here.
And since I’ve been adding grids to my maps lately, here’s a version with a few screened layers added: grid, shrubs and water.
I totally recommend this process for learning everything about an adventure before running it – redraw the map as you read the adventure. In the end it should run as well as any adventure you have written yourself since you’ll be that much more familiar with the material.
This map was drawn on plain white bond paper (stolen from my printer) using a Sakura Micron 01 pen. It was scanned and contrast-enhanced in photoshop, and then the three additional screen layers were added there also.
It is made available for your (non-commercial) use thanks to the awesome patrons of the Dodecahedron who support the blog through my Patreon Campaign.