All Over the Map,  Everdown Maps

A DnD Maze for Your Consideration

A friend of mine brought this great new map editor, Dungeon Scrawl to my attention. I started playing with it and knocked out a map pretty quickly. I’ve had this maze in my head for a few days, and I’d been working on it in Inkscape, but it was taking a lot of time. Dungeon Scrawl really sped the process up. It looks great, and it fits a grid on Roll20 perfectly. Also, I can export it as an .svg file, so when I have time to go back and do a little more detail work, I can make it happen easily.

I’ve been really interested in the rules on squeezing (5e SRD, page 92) and how they interact with exploration and combat, so I’ve designed this maze and module to explore those mechanics. Encounter design assumes four 1st level PCs. You can watch a play-through on Twitch or Youtube.

Labled Level 1 Maps - DnD Maps
The first floor of Beggar’s Rest, See annotations below

Items and creatures that can be found in D&D source-books are bolded. Flavor text is italicized. The numbered list below corresponds to the numbered locations on the map above. If the PCs attempt to take a long rest in an insecure location, or are too indecisive, roll for an encounter on the table below.

With rough hands they toss you through the opening in the metal grate on the floor of the room. But why? Did you cross the wrong noble? Did you stand up to a corrupt guard? Maybe you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe your just a thief, troublemaker, or heretic. It doesn’t matter; either way, gravity pulls sinner and saint inexorably downwards. At least without the proper magical intervention anyways.

The Upper Level

A fetid pool breaks your fall. You should be glad, but you know the stink of death may never come out of you clothes. The walls of the room are smooth, and it’s almost 30 feet up to the grate you were just tossed through. You can hear the guards talking above. “I took all the money, throw the rest down there!” Your kit, and that of those with you is tossed down into the pool as well. Going back the way you came doesn’t seem likely, but in the dim light that trickles down from above you can see a hallway leading from this place.

  • A successful perception check performed upon the pool (DC 13) will yield a Driftglobe.
  • The guards are not interested in the PCs and will quickly cover the grate above if the party tries to engage them in conversation, or escape back to the surface

As needed, modify the items provided in this module to meet the needs of the players. If they have a harder time with combat, give them additional healing potions, or provide role-appropriate magical items to improve how they fare in subsequent combat encounters.

  1. At this intersection, there are three ways to proceed.
    • Straight forward: PCs will find a 15 foot sheer drop to a lower level of the maze. A succesful acrobatics or athletics check (DC 10) is required to climb down without being injured by the fall (1d6 bludgeoning damage). Once the first player is down, they can assist the others.
    • The hallway to the left branches at a second intersection:
      • The left branch narrows to about 2.5 feet in width. It is passable, but a medium size creature will need to squeeze in order to fit. Small creatures, such as the 3 Giant Centipedes that inhabit the corridor are able to move freely. A successful perception check (DC10) will reveal their presence. Otherwise, the first adventurer into the hall will find them about 10 feet in. They are not immediately hostile, but will not allows players to pass. They will attack if they are interacted with in any way. At then end of this hall, players will find a key on the long-dead corpse of a person dressed in purple robes.
      • The right branch appears to be a dead end, but if the PCs travel to the end of it, they will notice a small pipe that appears to lead downward and to the south. The pipe is small enough that only a small creature could squeeze down it. It leads to the lower level of the maze, bypassing the sheer drop.

The Lower Level

This far from the pool, the stink abates, or maybe you’ve just gotten used to the smell. A wide hallway stretches to the south of you. The stone work here is more refined. Finely hewn rock slabs form the walls and floor, fitting together almost seamlessly. You notice that the floor is clean hear, not like the dust-filled passages above. The sound of rushing water is a hiss in the distance.

  1. There are two areas of interest:
    • A low stone altar sits at the south end of the hallway, covered in old pools of wax and dust. A successful religion check (DC 10) identifies the altar as being dedicated to Asmodeus, and reveals that the stone is soaked with dried blood. A successful investigation check (DC 15) will reveal a hidden compartment in the side of the alter with two spoiled potions of health (1d4+2 hp).
    • A compromised section of wall on the west side of the hallway can be detected with a successful perception check (DC 10). A few blows from a blunt object should be enough to collapse the wall, allowing entry into the temple.
  2. These double doors once led to the the Sceleratum of this temple. The passage has collapsed. PCs may clear the passage, but it will take them hours of work and 2 levels of exhaustion

The Subterranean Temple

  1. Storage room – The door to this room is locked but can be opened with the key found on the purple-robed corpse (2). 3 Zombies are in this room and will attack the adventures when they enter the room. The zombies wear the same purple robes as the corpse the group found previously. The room also contains several supply crates which contain the following: 1 50 foot rope, 3 iron spikes, 3 vials of antitoxin, and 4 purple robes. This room could easily be secured to provide a safe place to take a long rest.
  2. The Well – A cylindrical room at the end of the corridor has a circular opening in the floor. The sound of rushing water can be heard echoing through the aperture. A Skeleton is sweeping the floor here. See What the Skeleton Caretaker Knows below
  3. Temple Quarters – The door to the temple quarters is locked. It can be opened with a sleight of hand check (DC 10) by a player with lockpicks, or by the key found on the purple-robed corpse (2). The abandoned priest’s quarters are adorned only with crude furniture and straw-filled sleeping mats. The west wall is dominated by a large door held shut by a complex mechanism. See Defeating the Lock in the Temple Quarters below.
  4. Temple Sceleratum – The Sceleratum can be accessed through the large door in the Temple Quarters. There is also an entrance on the south side of the room that is blocked with an iron gate. The crank that raises the iron gate is inside the room about thirty feet from the gate on the west wall. Players may be able to find a way to manipulate the crank and open the grate from the outside. A Ghoul is trapped in this room, and has destroyed most objects of value trying to escape. Either way, if they enter the room they will find a Bag of Holding with a note pinned to it. See What the Note Says below.
  5. Temple – Your skin crawls as you enter this chamber. The evil in this place is palpable. You can feel the weight of a million profanities committed here. It stands vacant now, but the stone walls whisper of the diabolical acts committed here. At the west end of the room, a stone altar sits next to a giant pit, and endlessly hungry mouth gaping over an empty plate.

    A Carrion Crawler is climbing the walls of the pit, just out of sight of anyone who looks down. A successful perception check (DC 15), will allow a PC to detect it. The Carrion Crawler should appear at the worst possible time. This encounter is deadly for a party of this level. The layout of the room should help them by slowing the crawler down, as it will have to squeeze between the pillars to get to them, reducing it’s speed by half. PCs don’t need a successful wisdom check to know that this is not a stand-up fight.

Leaving the Temple

The only way out is down. The skeletal caretaker will point to the wells when players ask about a way out. Players can choose either the well or the pit. Both shafts are about 90 feet down to the next floor. The rope, immovable rod, and other gear they found on this level should help them make the climb.

For four players, successfully navigating this map is worth 300 experience points, enough to take them to level 2! I’ll be back with the next map soon.

A few things…

What the Skeleton Caretaker Knows
The skeleton is not hostile to the party. While it cannot speak, it understands common and can communicate through simple gestures. It will attempt to warn PCs of danger and direct them to the only ways out: down the well, or down the pit in the temple. It will not fight back if attacked. If destroyed, it will wait until the party is out of sight, revive, and resume cleaning.

Defeating the Lock in the Temple Quarters
The locking mechanism on the door in the temple quarters is complex and trapped. On either side the door is an empty alcove at eye level. If the PCs investigate the alcoves, they will discover pressure plates on the bottom of both. Pressing both pressure plates will open a panel on the door, revealing the lock. The key is not available. A character with thieves tools may attempt to pick the lock. A failed lock-picking attempt, or releasing the pressure plates before the lock is released will flood the room with poison gas, dealing 1d4 poison damage to all creatures present.

What the Note Says:
Hey there! I’ve put a few things that might be useful for you in here, like an immovable rod. Just think about it when you reach into the bag, and you’ll pull it out. I’ll leave more notes later, but for now just be happy with the rod. Don’t try and turn the bag out. There are a lot of things in this bag you don’t want to let out!

If anyone chooses to turn the bag out, several mysterious items clang to the floor, and then smokey black tentacles slither from the bag and fill the room, restraining the PCs. In the moments before they lose consciousness, they see the bag suck everything that was previously inside it back in. They regain consciousness in 1d4 hours. The note on the bag now says, “I told you not to do that! Maybe trust me next time?

Unlabeled Level 1 Map - DnD Maps
The map without annotation.
1A Blink Dog appears and leads the party to supplies
they haven’t found yet. If there are no supplies left,
the blink dog will lead them to the pit and stare down
into it. It will then teleport away. It will also teleport
away if the PCs attack it
22 Swarms of Rats attack the party
34 Stirge attack the party
41 Boggle attempts to sneak up on the party and
steal an item from them.

Let me know if you see any issues in the comments and I’ll make corrections as needed! If your looking for other maps, check out The Secluded Farmhouse, or other maps in the Everdown series.

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