This is the first of many to come, free swamp D&D battle maps.
I’ve just recently started to play D&D online and the thing I needed the most were maps. In normal circumstances, when I meet with my friends to play, I use a battle grid map to draw the general outline of the location. However, playing online allows for a little more visually detailed approach towards maps. Using Dungeondraft, I’ve already made a few of them for my campaigns and decided to share it with you.
Quality of the Maps
The quality of the files is very high and there should be no problem to use it on your flatscreen, Roll20 (or any other software you use to play D&D) or print. But please note, the images are just a previews.
To download the maps, use the buttons below. The print friendly versions are a separate files.
D&D Battle Maps Theme
The very first is a set of swamp maps I’ve made for my Labenda Swamp (Explorer’s Guide to Wildmount) adventure. There are two swamp battle maps and a two level swamp dungeon with dragon cultists and lizardfolks.
To each of the maps I add my commentary but feel free to use them however you see fit.
Swamp Battle Maps
Those maps are prepared for two encounters. In my campaign it is the Labenda Swamp, but it will work on any swamp in your own game. Make sure you adjust it to the numer of players and characters you currently have in your game. The ‘In the Lush Mangrove’ is supposed to be a fun encounter teaching players about the difficult terrain and verticality of the space. ‘Deep into the Swamp’ is a mid-boss and an important element of the story. The opponent is tough and and thrive in this environment – yet another lesson to the players and an opportunity to meet a weird, horror like creature.
In the Lush Mangrove
This map was created for a random encounter with a giant spider and a few hidden crocodiles. The spider is hidden within the lush canopies of the trees in the southern part of the map, waiting for its next prey. The crocodiles are aware of the spider and they use its presence to feed on the leftovers and what’s left on the ground. This symbioses makes a great opportunity for fun fight.
Crocodiles hide in the murky waters of the swamp on both sides of the map and wait for the prey to engage in combat with the spider. Once their targets are distracted, they attack.
Swamp is also a great place to use difficult terrain so everything, apart the squares with the path is considered a difficult terrain.
This encounter is prepared for five 3rd level characters, but can be easily adjusted. To make it harder you might change the giant spider into phase spider and/or add some giant crocodiles. To nerf it a little bit, change the spider into giant wolf spider and reduce the number of crocodiles.
Deep into the Swamp
In this map the adventurers follow a lead of a lost courier and his precious cargo. It is much deeper into the swamp, so everything is darker and gloomier. I consciously try not to overuse the trees and brushes assets on the map so that it is not obscured too much, but in your description feel free to overwhelm the players with sticky air, ubiquitous vines and leaves and thick brushes.
Following the tracks of a wagon, they find a terrible sight of dead travelers and a carcass of a horse. Apart from difficult terrain almost everywhere, the darkest parts of the swamp mark a deep, murky ponds. It is where, after a desperate chase, a shambling mound caught up with the travelers. It is also where it awaits its new prey.
Only a very perceptive person would notice a shambling mound in this ecosystem, so feel free to give yourself a surprise round. To make it harder, throw some vine blights into the fray. If the characters are of lower levels, swarm the battlefield with vine blights instead of shambling mound.
Swamp Dungeon Map
Despite the fact that I’ve dropped ‘Tyranny of Dragons’ as a campaign and moved my players to Wildemount, the theme of dragons, a threat of Tiamat and dragon cult is still prevalent. And what could be more exciting than finding a secret dungeon under the swamp, swarming with tribal lizardfolks, a small but dedicated commando of cultists and a cunning black dragon, engineering his plans.
Swamp Dungeon Map level 1
The entrance is on the south-west side. It is separated from the rest of the cave with a big, makeshift door. The whole dungeon is dark, apart from very vivid light sources in some parts of the cavern. Lizardfolk resides mostly outside the cave, but those who live here, are limited to the first two chambers.
In the first room, there would be a few lizardfolks guards posted around the light sources, minding their own business. It is not like they expect an invasion here. Getting to another room is a little bit more tricky. There is a ladder covered with piles of hay. It might be helpful when traversing the pit in the corridor. The second path on the south is blocked by a stone wall. It would be easy to get on the other side, however there are some nasty spikes on the ground. Gruesome.
The second room is where those lizardfolk allowed into the cavern sleep, eat and pray to the sculpture of the great lizard. Notable some sacrifices had been made here in the past.
It also serves as a pantry and due to the pond in the middle, a source of fresh water.
From this place there are two corridors – north and east.
To the east, there is a larger cavern with a luminescent, green crystals and a pool of acidic substance. A second (after the sculpture) hint about what is waiting further and deeper in the dungeon. This is the main chamber of the cultists. They have a separate place to sleep and work. They use the pool of acid to dissolve whatever may lead others to them and to create a vials of acid they use in battles.
Northern corridor from the second chamber leads to a little chasm obscured by the thick webbings and dust. Further down, the path is blocked by rough roots covered with thorns. Passing through would be slow and painful.
In the last room, far north there are two nooks. One has a visible trap in a form of carved head with glowing eyes and with its previous victim on the ground. The fun part is, the treasure chest is right beneath it. It’s like playing chicken with a dungeon.
The second nook is a little hidden and in order to be found, it needs a thorough investigation. A profitable one, with a bag of gold behind some rocks.
The last part of this level is a locked door that leads to a hatch with steps following downward.
Swamp Dungeon Map level 2
The second level is straightforward and screams with boss battle. There are two chambers, a small one with a recently deceased person – an important NPC for the adventure and the precious cargo, the adventurers were looking all along. It deliberately puts it there, so the adventurers can decide to take on a powerful foe.
The second chamber is a big, open space with crushed bones mixes with gold and treasures. Upon that pile, there is a young black dragon awaiting its prey. Apart from obvious treasures and trophies, there is a hidden, small box behind the biggest crystal. Probably worth looking for.
Swamp Dungeon Map level 1
Swamp Dungeon Map level 2
If you like all of those maps, you can download them all at once below.
New D&D Battle Maps Format
First and foremost I am a writer, that’s why I decided to give you not only maps, but also a little commentary and hints on how to use them. Most of it should be enough to build a fun encounter or a whole adventure around it.
I realize this is something in between of published adventure and a bunch of maps, so let me know if you enjoy this kind of format and what kind of maps you would like to see in the future. You can write a comment in the section below or find me on Twitter.
There are new maps coming soon – I will publish some Underdark battle maps and a three-level ship, so stay tune.