Friday, July 19, 2013

Silhouettes LIV - Map Symbols

Today we'll swing back toward the original reason I started making these-- for maps.  I've long had a vision in my head of a dungeon map that conveys most of the information the DM needs visually, no words to read during play.  But it has taken me years to try and cobble together the tools to do it.  Still haven't found everything I want.  But the following might be useful.  First, the things I tend to drop around my maps most, are what I consider toys, the magic items that let's players do new stuff:



and wands:

I'd add scrolls, but I haven't found a good way to represent them in silhouette yet.  The idea is to place them on the map and then remember at a glance "oh, this is the room with the ring . . ."  I usually can improv interesting details from there.  If there is more than one, which there often is for my potion caches, I'll use a number by the map image.  That comes from ZakS's idea to track keys that way, or was it scrolls?  Either way, it works.

Speaking of keys, here is a lock and key:
I want to add different key images, but this is a start.

The rest are possible dungeon features:
barrels for the Diablo fans:


a cocoon:


an anvil:

and a cauldron:
I'm not really thinking of these as illustrations, that you would make an illustrated map and place the barrel wherever there is one in the dungeon, but as symbols.  So, the barrel reminds you of a room full of barrels, the web of a particular corridor so filled with webs it's an obstacle.

Others I have in mind are trap, ladder, fountain, and arch.  Suggest others if you have them.  Eventually I plan to put up a dungeon for you all, that is solely visual and see how it translates.

These are all in the public domain, use them as you wish.  I've put them in the "misc" folder of my vector graphics zip file linked in my sidebar to the right.


  1. For scrolls, what about one with those handles for unrolling it on both ends, like a Torah has?

  2. Have you had the chance to check this site out Telecanter? Seems there's good work over there you can put together with your silhouettes to make a nice iconic library for gamers!

  3. @Rachel: Yeah, I agree, that might be the only way to make it recognizable. I was messing with this one a while back:

    @Ravenseye: I hadn't seen that. Thanks for the link.

  4. I think that one should work pretty well.