Sunday, 10 July 2011

Little Book of Dungeons Vol I & II (CSP)

$2.50 on DriveThru
click on image to see product
I adore the maps on the Crooked Staff Productions site and dip into their blog now and again, so I jumped at the chance to buy these books.

As with all map-only products, I recommend that buyers read the description carefully, view the preview and think about what they need from a "blank" set of maps.  Both books contain 9 full page maps.  These are charming, very slick, textured greyscale maps, which would be absolutely perfect for most dungeon campaigns - especially where the DM suddenly needs a plausibly grand set of underground halls.

Symmetry in some of the designs inspires the imagination to think of amibitious dwarven architects (they also remind me of the dungeon starter rooms in randomised play in the DMG 1st ed - random nostalgia points gained).

The maps feel professional, solid and deliberately absent of filler features (apart from pillars,steps and doors) making these an ideal blank base for stocking with details and denizens.  Also if a DM wanted the PCs to traverse a massive empty area (like in much of the Mines of Moria) perhaps leading only to a couple of encounters, these plans are ideal, creating a sense of a dungeon terrain that will take a day to cross.
$2.50 on DriveThru
click on image to see product
Whether these maps be used to represent the long abandoned halls of a lost civilisation, or a thriving subterranean city, this booklet offers the Game Master a variety of dungeon layouts to suit their needs.
Volume II has a few extra odd features, parts of caverns, a straight sewer/river/canal, but every map is still linking in with standard dungeons which is a compatibility plus.

One wonders if CSP are warming us up to so floor plan tiles?

A talented manipulator of PDFs may be able to zoom, scale and break these pages into 1 inch plans (or even import them into a virtual tabletop game).  However, it needs to be said that these maps would be compatible with most tabletop tiles or systems - especially since they've made the flagstones into a 5ft grid - the staple of all modern plans and battlemats - so a DM could adapt tiles he already owns. :) 

These black and white maps are to the quality and standard of the one page dungeons by WotC used to include in Dungeon magazine and are at a pocket money price.  Their simplicity in detail is their strength, allowing the DM to adapt them to his or her game setting.  If you think that you're that sort of DM, then these are a bargain-"must-buy". :)


  1. Thank you for such a nice review!

    In all honesty I hadn't planned on blowing these maps up to battlemat scale (as each map would consist of 25 pages of tiles, and when put together would be over 4ft. long) ...but it's something I'd consider if folks really wanted me to do it.

    Anyway, I'm glad you like the 'little' books, and I hope you are able to put them to good use :)

  2. Cheers, dude. Congratulations on the products. :)

  3. OK I couldn't resist (though I swear I don't have a problem, and I could give up any time I wanted ;) ), so I've scaled the first map of TLBOD to battlemat size and made it available for as small a price as RPGNow will allow (i.e. $0.50) I'll see how it goes, and then see about doing something similar to the rest :)

  4. This one?

    They look great. I wouldn't apologise for the resolution - the have a unique style which doesn't need to be at photographic level. I Really like the walls and edging.

    It appears to be free. :o
    Even at 50 cents it would still sell like hot cakes (although Onebookshelf might get upset about transaction costs ;) )

    (Careful you don't put the rest of the tile makers out of business!) ;)

  5. Yeah, I thought 'what the hell' and decided to give this (the first one in the book) away for free :)

    And if it gets anywhere close to 100 downloads over the next week or so, I'll take that as a sign that I need to do the rest - though as you say, I'll have to up the price to $1 to make it viable for OBS (though I'll still have at least one from each book as a freebie I think).

  6. Cool. I like your thinking.
    Because I'm a power-control-freak I turned on email notifications for free downloads as well as actual sales for my IA stuff - but there are times when this is a really bad idea if a free download gets popular is can break your inbox. :o :D I plugged the battlemap on Fb btw.