Hail, adventurers! Today is freezing (actually, far below freezing at a balmy -6 F), and I find myself thinking a LOT about the coming warmer weather. While I may not exactly long for the parched desert conditions of the map I’ll be sharing today, it felt nice to create a scene drenched in summer sun!
For this #MapMonday, I’m offering a super simple, back to the basics encounter map I am calling “Broken Caravan” for an equally familiar RPG trope: the merchant’s/traveler’s caravan that has been attacked by monsters unknown. This map features is a 25×25 grid (I also have a no-grid version for scene-setting) that is suitable for Roll20 or other online adventures, but is also fairly easy on the printer if you need a paper version. You can find this and other maps for free on my Inkarnate page, or over on my Wizardshins Deviant Art!
The Encounter Setup Prompt:
Your party is traveling at a leisurely pace along the dusty track that serves as the road to your next destination. Dry, sun-parched stones scatter through the monotonous countryside, the only vegetation for the last hour of your travel scrubby desert plants and spiny cacti. The horizon shimmers with a heat mirage and for a moment, you think you are seeing things. But the most sharp-eyed among your party motions everyone to stop. “A caravan, ahead–and I don’t think it’s in one piece.” What will you and your fellow adventurers find among the broken barrels and smashed crates? What footprints are those skirting shattered glass and splinters of wood? Ruined weapons and plenty of blood show you that whatever happened here means danger. Will you follow the trail of blood leading towards the city that was your destination? Who will you find? Whatever you decide, be on your guard…clearly, adventure awaits!