Twinstone Fort – “viking style” great hall

Here’s an isometric map of a “viking style” fort that you can use in your campaign. Feel free to use the background story below, or just make up your own!

Earl Birger the Bloodnose

The great earl (or “jarl”) Birger the Bloodnose got his ephitet after surviving a mace blow to the face, leaving it permanently bloodshot and deformed (the incident also made him forever prone to sudden bursts of nosebleed when excited).

Despise his grim visage, Birger is a fairly good-hearted man. His twelve hirdmen respect him and nearby farmers find him fair and just. The few shield-maidens as well as the seers have acknowledged the Bloodnose’s right to rule. Even Birger’s thralls recognize that they could be considerably worse off.

In terms of standing manpower Birger is one of the less powerful earls in the country. However, by fair treatment of the beforementioned groups he has managed to form a strong bond to his people. This bond has proven exceptionally useful when the need to quickly muster fighters arise.

Even though Birger is in his fifties he is unmarried, and has no children. His three older sisters live with him. They are also unmarried.

Birger the Bloodnose is a ninth level fighter with the title of "Lord" (D&D B/X).

Twinstone Fort

The fort is named after the two ancient runestones located just outside the gates. The stones tell the story of twin brother and sister who slew a vicious wyrm on the small motte now housing the keep tower.

The wooden pallisade is sturdy enough, as is the newly built watchtower. The gates are closed at night, but usually open during day hours.

Birger Bloodnose is a man of tradition, and will welcome travellers into his great hall. As tradition dictates guests will always be offered food, ale and a place to sleep. Adventurers, especially bards, are appriciated guests.

Free download (300 dpi .png file)

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Medieval merchant guild – isometric map

In any pseudo-medieval fantasy city there will be various classic factions struggling for power. One of the most influential ones is probably the typical merchant guild.

Controlling trade is as close to absolute power as it gets and there are many historical examples of merchant associations outmaneuvering kings and nobles alike.

This map can be used to represent a medieval merchant guild hall and it’s immediate surroundings in the canals district. Will the player characters be able to gain favour among the merchants, or are they there to rob the place?

Free download (300 dpi .png file)

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Science fiction moonscape map for “Lycaon”

This map was made as a commission for the novel Lycaon by author Wes Parker. Here’s the blurb:

Harvey Howlett, Astronaut and Robotics Technician is nearing the end of his six-month rotation on the surface of the moon. What started as a dream mission quickly turned into a nightmare when Harvey finds a woman from a neighboring base covered in blood and wandering the lunar surface.

The woman's appearance raises a few questions that are quickly answered when Harvey and his team come face to face with a horrible monstrosity...

WEREWOLVES...IN SPACE...

I love drawing science fiction themed maps, and especially retro-futuristic, pulp or horror sci-fi. Illustrating this map was a lot of fun, and I’m really quite pleased with the outcome.

The hardest thing with moonscape maps it that the “palette” is kind of limited to rocks and craters. This goes for any barren landscape map, really. Such maps can easily get a bit monotonous and uninspiring. However, for this map I got the opportunity to play around a bit with the different space stations as points of interest. By not doing them to scale, but rather as map symbols/illustrations, I could add some simple architectural features. I also chose to add curvature and a starry sky to the top of the map. This brings contrast and frames the map quite nicely. These are just a couple of tips and tricks on how to make a barren map more interesting and aesthetically pleasing to look at.

Lycaon is published on 20th of October 2021, just in time for Halloween. You can pre-order it for Amazon Kindle now.

More science fiction maps

I’ve done quite a lot of sci-fi maps, expecially for my Termination Shock setting. Here are a few samples:

Convenstead of the Greenbottle Crones

This adventure location was inspired by the third act of the classic (and exceptional) action RPG Diablo II (I’ve been playing the remake a lot lately). It just so happened that my own setting has a large and creepy swamp called the Wraithbog, and I thought it was about time I started to give it some more attention. I also consider placing the covenstead in the Greenbottle Morass close to Fourtower Bridge. I haven’t really decided yet!

In any case: a coven of nasty old hags have made these ruins their domain, and whoever stumbles upon it is in grave danger. The sadistic ladies have a taste for human flesh, and are quite cunning in the dark arts. The dungeon below the swamp is a wet, hellish labyrinth of filth, disease and decay.

Feel free to download the map and print it for your own campaign should you ever have need for some grimy old swamp ruins. As always the work I publish on this website is free for personal use, but please do not publish it anywhere else without my written consent.

Free download (300 dpi .png file)

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The Vault of the Shattered Sword – isometric map for “Swordtember”

Apparently there’s this thing called #swordtember, where artists dedicate the month of September to drawing sword. Well, count me in – I love swords! I’m also a mapmaker though, so I just couldn’t resist drawing a fitting dungeon for this entry.

Standing guard over the ancient, shattered sword is a demonic statue. The room also hosts six plain stone plinths, each with a heavy stone bowl containing rusted iron residue. In the southern part of this dungeon section there’s a round room with a large half-sphere made of the darkest black obsidian, and covered in mystic symbols. What secrets can this strange vault hold?

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The Bazaar of the Sun and the Moon – isometric map

The Bazaar of the Sun and the Moon was once a bustling marketplace, filled with exotic trade goods from far and wide. A deadly sickness befell the merchants and other residents of the bazaar and it is nowadays a deserted place, void of life. Every full moon, however, the spirits of the dead tradesmen rise and for just one night haggling whispers fill the air as ethereal (and most peculiar) goods are exchanged for prices just as peculiar.

It is a dangerous place, this bazaar of the dead, but for those who require items not of this world visiting this market might be the only chance to acquire them. Living customers must be careful though, as the ghosts might sometimes demand more than one would be willing to pay.

Download high-resolution image (300 dpi):

This map is free to download for personal use (but not for publishing without my consent). Feel free to use it at your gaming table should you need a map of a desert marketplace.

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If you like my stuff and want to give me a tip to cheer me on, please click the button below. Please note that tipping is appreciated, but not expected. Don’t donate if you’re short on cash, I’m sharing content because I like to, not to make money.

More desert fantasy maps

This map is part of my series of “desert fantasy” maps. If this is your jam, make sure you check out the others as well! (links open in new tabs)

The Chantry of Desecration – isometric map for D&D

Here’s a simple isometric map for you to use should you need a spooky, desecrated church in any horror-themed Dungeons & Dragons adventure. I intentionally skipped drawing details in the rooms on the floor plans. Treat it as a blank canvas to fill with whatever creepy things you can come up with!

In my own campaign I plan to use the Chantry of Desecration as a non-combat encounter. A place where atrocious deeds have been committed in the past, but where remnant energies still linger.

Here’s a link to download the map!

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The infernal monolith – isometric dungeon room

”Deep in the bowels of this forsaken labyrinth stands a strange monolith adorned with blasphemous runes. The stone whispers ancient curses in maddened voices. Its language is that of the Abyss – infernal and sacrilegious.”

Just a little bit of “dungeon dressing”. I’m imagining the monolith to be somewhat sentinent, so a player character with the right knowledge can communicate with it. Initially it would be very helpful and provide sound advice, but sooner or later it would require something in return. How far will the players go to please the monolith? What would they be willing to pay?

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The Spudfield Good Girl – free D&D adventure

The Spudfield Good Girl is a free two-page adventure for use with Dungeons & Dragons. It was made with the B/X edition of the rules from 1981, but can easily be adapted to any edition of the game.

The adventure is meant for a party of low level (1-3) adventurers but can be adjusted for higher level play by introducing tougher enemies. If you choose to make the adventure harder you should consider increasing rewards/treasure as appropriate.

The Spudfield Good Girl is a fantasy adventure with light horror elements, but nothing too gruesome.

Download the adventure

The Spudfield Good Girl - click iamge to download free pdf
Click image to download the adventure in pdf-format

Adventure background

Conrad and Eliza Spudfield and their five well-mannered children are in need of adventurers. Two days ago, when Eliza was about to bring up some potatoes from the root cellar under their kitchen she spotted a monster! An undead abomination peered at her from the shadows. She quickly escaped up into the kitchen and slammed the hatch shut. Eliza heard growling from below, and then everything went silent.

Conrad bolted the hatch securely and just to be safe they moved their large cupboard onto it. They need adventurers to go down the hatch and dispose of the monster so that they can gain access to their food supply or there will be no spuds for the children trickin’ and treatin’ on Olde Hallow’s Eve.

Free to download for personal use

The adventure is completely free to download and print for personal use with your gaming group. Please do not re-publish the adventure without my written consent. You may never sell copies of this adventure.

Would you like to translate this adventure?

Some of my previous adventures have been translated by other gamers to their native languages (for example Italian and Portuguese). Please reach out to me if you’d like to translate The Spudfield Good Girl into your own native language and I can provide you with the source material. E-mail me at niklas@wistedt.net.

In loving memory of Doris

This adventure is dedicated to the best friend I’ve ever had, who I miss so dearly. You were such a good girl.

In loving memory of Doris 2010-2020

More from my world

The Spudfield Good Girl is set in my own little campaign world, next to the small settlement of Fourtower Bridge. Fourtower Bridge is a town module that is also free to download, and can be used together with the adventure to provide more context for the player characters. Click here to read more about Fourtower Bridge and to download the module.

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The Spudfield Homestead – isometric map

As Dungeon Master you’re responsible for making up interesting and rememeberable non-player-characters (NPCs). It’s easy to focus on the most exciting ones – evil villains and mighty heroes. However, I think it’s really important to also present mundane NPCs to your players.

Creating some friendly and likeable townsfolk can really bring another layer to the adventure. Give the player characters something to protect. Not all adventures needs to be about finding gold and treasure (although that is certainly important as well). If you can get the players to feel for the common folks they will get more invested and put themselves in harm’s way to keep them safe. Can you get them to embark on adventures without any other reward than the gratefullness of the village?

The Spudfields are just those kinds of NPCs. Warm and welcoming, truly friendly an honest people. They don’t have anything more to offer than their friendship and a warm meal – but sometimes that might be just what the adventurers need.