Greytop Gorge is a cave system in the familiar Dyson Logo’s style. Feel free to use this map however you wish in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (more information at the bottom). I would love to know what people get up to with it, how it goes that sort of thing. I’ve tried it out in Owlbear.Rodeo and it works nicely with a grid set at 43×59.
When I was young and on holiday in the south of France, I visited lots of caves and grotto’s and this cave was somewhat inspired by them. I wanted a dark dank mysterious cave. I decided I also wanted a seemingly bottomless gorge running through part of it!
I created the map using a handful of d4s, d8s. The d8s were used to make chambers, and the d4’s were then used to locate tunnels. I then rolled the d4’s again to create the gorge. using values as the width of the gorge. I then adjusted the rolls to make the map more practical.
Like all my maps, I wanted more to create a flexible area that could be used for a variety of purposes as a result I’ve decided to keep them as “clean” and open as possible for Dungeon Masters to make what they will of them. But I have also put together some “encounter” ideas as a suggestion for using the map. To help description and future use I’ve added some numbers to the map as well.
- Grotto Gorge
- Greytop Hoard
- Salt Pools
- Ancient Markings
- Gorge Head
- Shrine of Brae
- Hermit Hole
Entering the cave, the players would be confronted with a cold, dark and dank space. To the right is a narrow entrance to a complex tunnel system which a moderate difficultly surivial check (or similar) would suggest it was recently made by some large burrowing creature, such as a Ankheg or Umber Hulk. Grotto Gorge is a large and tall natural structure the walls are smoothed and erroded by a long lost river. The gorge in the centre of the grotto is deep and its very difficult to determine its true depth.
High in the cieling of the cave is a small hole to the surface above. It is known that over the years locals have used the hole as a means to dispose of dead bodies rubbish, corpses and exact punishment to criminals. There is a small island protruding out of the gorge. It’s about a 15ft jump away from the edge of the gorge. To the west of the island is an opening (another 15ft jump away). In the area to the west of the gorge (4) is a treasure hoard of some local criminal/ancient warlord. The cave could be home to a variety of creatures including oozes and bats.
The Salt Pools (5) are multicoloured pools the edges of which are crystalised in a rainbow of colours. This is difficult terrain alternatively there is a precarious route through the ponds. The players could need to roll dexterity checks or acrobatics or something to get to the other side. If they fail (depending on the degree of fail) they slip into the pools and the garments they were wearing very quickly crystalise resulting in half movement until they have a long rest to remove the crystals. Another option: if they are wearing metal armour the armour could rust very quickly reducing the AC of the armour by 1d4 or similar requiring repair to restore the AC.
Ancient Markings (6) a large cavern. The most northern wall is illuminated by strange yellow glowing mold/mushroom (DMG: 105), on the wall are elaborate drawings or carvings. Approaching the wall requires the party climbing the embankment (strength checks) and picking a route through the mold/mushroom (possible survival check/dexterity on how well they do). If they disturb the mushroom/mold they take poison damage. History check on the wall reveals relevant plot features for the party, e.g. location or map to a treasure or tomb they are seeking (it could refer to the treasure hoard in the grotto in 4).
The Gorge Head (7) could be used as a means of going down the gorge with a hidden ledge that leads deeper into the gorge. Alternatively the other side of the gorge appears to have been crudely reinforced to keep the local fauna out. Crossing the gorge can be achieved by jumping or using the narrow pass at the tip of the gorge. The crude fortifications could be littered with simple traps, such as falling nets, poisoned darts tipped with the crystalised water or yellow mold/mushroom etc (DMG: 122).
To the North of the Gorge Head is a Shrine to Brae (or alternative deity), who is a god of mountains, the land or rock. The shrine could be guarded by gargoyles, or offer a place of sanctuary and healing if necessary. Alternatively there could be a small pile of offerings etc of some moderate wealth.
The Hermit Hole (9) is the home of a hermit who tends to either the shrine or the ancient markings on the wall. He can explain the wall markings as he understands it, or get angered if the party have looted the shrine.
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