View Full Version : Madness at Gardmore Abbey Encounter Maps

03-19-2012, 01:17 PM
This is a set of encounter maps I made to run the 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons module 'Madness at Gardmore Abbey' published by WotC.

The maps are made from scratch using the GIMP and resources downloaded from the intergoogleweb, particularly from this forum and the Dunjinni forums. Bogie and jfrazierjr also provided invaluable advice that helped greatly improve the maps.

The WIP thread for these maps is here http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?17868-Madness-at-Gardmore-Abbey-Encounter-Maps. I have not uploaded ungridded versions because it is too onerous, however the grids are quite subtle. All maps are at a scale of 100 pixels per grid square and 72 PPI, and generally measure 2000 x 2000 pixels but the size is very variable; with the single exception of the Watchtower Overview map at 50 pixels per grid square.

I am not uploading the 'missing' encounters because these are depicted in the poster maps that come with the module – Jason Engle did these for WotC and they are magnificent. Following NeonKnight, hopefully not redoing these will help to reduce piracy.

All maps are for non-commercial use only.

Part 1: Gardmore Village

Encounter 1: Main Gate

43204 43205

Encounter 2: N/a

Encounter 3: Double Talk. The keep is Bogie's church in his 'Back Alley' scene ; the sandy rocks are by Neyjour.


Encounter 4: Ruined Garisson (WotC provided an excellent map for this encounter, no need to remake)

Encounter 5: Arcanian's Lab


Encounter 6: Arcanian's Study


Encounter 7: The Chieftain's Retinue. Staircase and balustrades from Dunjinni forums.


Encounter 8: The Orc Chieftan (WotC provided an excellent map for this encounter, no need to remake)

03-19-2012, 01:29 PM
Part 2: The Feywild

Encounter 9: Outer Gardens. Trees by Kepli.


Encounter 10: The Whispering Grove.


Encounter 11: Bell Tower.

43212 43213

Encounter 12: Groundskeeper's Cottage.

43214 43215

Encounter 13 & possibly more: Font of Ioun. Fountain by Supercaptain.


Part 3 - Encounters 14-17: The Watchtower

Watchtower Overview. Inspired by a sketch on these forums.


Watchtower Ground Floor (Far Realm)


Watchtower Ground Floor (Defending the Watchtower) Interior tiles on these are by Neyjour/Bogie.


Watchtower Main Floor (The Last Defenders)


Watchtower Top Floor (Defending the Watchtower)


03-19-2012, 01:38 PM
Part 4 - Dragon's Roost

Encounter 18: Heroes' Gate


Encounter 19: Barracks


Encounter 20: Hall of Glory


Encounter 21 & 22: Temple (WotC provided an excellent map for these encounters, no need to remake)

Part 5 - The Catacombs

Encounter 23: Altar of Glory


Encounter 24: Font of Divine Health


Encounter 25: Memorial Chamber


Encounter 26: Dragonslayers' Tomb


Encounter 27: Great Hall (WotC provided an excellent map for this encounter, no need to remake)

Part 6 - The Vaults

Encounter 28: Hall of Erathis


Encounter 29: Arena of Kord


Encounter 30: Feast Hall of Moradin


Encounter 31: Hall of Bahamut


Encounter 32: Sun Hall of Pelor


Encounter 33: Great Temple (WotC provided an excellent map for this encounter, no need to remake)

03-19-2012, 03:46 PM
Completely incredible! These are amazing and hopefully I can one day learn how to make something like this :)

Have you thought about making a tutorial or recommending ones that you used for these maps?

03-22-2012, 04:47 AM
Thank you lothel. I'm not sure I can do a tutorial because I don't have much of a system - its just lots and lots of shading and recolouring and luck. I'm also quite surprised how well they turned out. It is my second set of maps using the GIMP, and I'm still learning how to use it since I started in December. I think the main thing is confidence: if I had seen these maps last november I would have assumed that I could never make anything like that. I'm not very artistic (I thought!) or particularly good at computers.

If you wanted and had the time, I would be happy to take you through the entire process from concept to completion of an encounter map using the GIMP in the WIP thread here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?17868-Madness-at-Gardmore-Abbey-Encounter-Maps. Just download the GIMP (its free and works on mac or pc) and post in that thread and we'll work through it stage by stage together.

04-20-2012, 07:15 AM
Edited (maps removed and added above).

04-20-2012, 08:15 AM
Good stuff there Jack! You're turning into a real pro battlemapper :)

05-07-2012, 08:03 AM
Do you have any advice on printing these? I'm not sure how to split them up into pages for home printing and I don't want to spend $20 on each one for a poster from FedEx

05-07-2012, 10:00 AM
I'm afraid not ithildin. I just import them into a google drawing document and my players move their token around on them online (I DM online). If I was going to print these I would use a process of trial and error on my own home printer (try printing it on one A4 sheet, then try printing it in two halves on two A4 sheets, and so on) until I found something that worked. If you do find out a good system do let me know as I'd be interested in how they print out.

05-07-2012, 03:13 PM
The best option would be a projector battlemap! Alas I don't have one of those. I'll have to play around with printing and see if I can do it in a cost effective way. I love these maps btw. Nice work.

05-07-2012, 04:55 PM
Do you have any advice on printing these? I'm not sure how to split them up into pages for home printing and I don't want to spend $20 on each one for a poster from FedEx

I use Photoshop to split them into multiple pages.

05-07-2012, 07:22 PM
Awesome! Just found this link and it looks like exactly what I need: http://posterazor.sourceforge.net/

Also, did you ever make maps of the other encounters? And what was your opinion DM'ing Gardmore Abbey? I just started it.

05-08-2012, 02:00 AM
Also, did you ever make maps of the other encounters? And what was your opinion DM'ing Gardmore Abbey? I just started it.

The group I started it with was a bit of a disaster, hence the hiatus on the maps. Since then, I have restarted the adventure with one of the existing group and four new players. It's going well so far - I really like this module. I will get to the other maps in due course, when my players are nearer to those parts.

05-08-2012, 08:55 PM
These are some of the better battle maps I've seen! Great job on these, have some rep.


smack monkey
05-10-2012, 01:41 AM
yeah man nice work

05-10-2012, 02:15 AM
Whoa, these are quite nice man. Great work! I might even use them myself one of these days if I ever get around to running some game sessions that require anything like these.

05-10-2012, 07:50 AM
Those maps are downright incredible! I'm reduced to staring in slack jawed awe.

05-10-2012, 11:53 AM
All these kind comments have inspired me to continue this series - I'll be working on the next couple in my WIP thread.

05-12-2012, 09:21 PM
Simply amazing! And the most important thing is (for me) that it's made with GIMP. Amazing!

05-14-2012, 11:53 AM
I added maps 19 & 20 to post 6 on the first page of this thread. These were less successful - I think my walls on map 18 were much better, and I went a bit too heavy on the shadows - that's what happens when I don't get any critiques in the WIP thread. if I was a perfectionist I'd go back and change/improve the maps but I'm not so I won't. I'm not sure how clear it is that map 19 (barracks) is an unroofed structure and map 20 (hall) is roofed. The remaining encounters are all dungeon based ones, so they are much easier to do.

06-04-2012, 06:28 PM
Great work. Your maps are saving me so much time in my limited schedule and making amazing use of our new projector setup. Thanks and rep for you! :)

07-11-2012, 09:59 AM
Just awesome !! I really enjoy encounter maps and can "see" the story in all of these. Repped !! :)

07-11-2012, 11:19 AM
Thanks guys - I am continuing these maps in my Work In Progress thread here http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?17868-Madness-at-Gardmore-Abbey-Encounter-Maps; if you have the time I'd be grateful for any feedback or advice on the maps as I create them. I'll eventually post them up in this thread when they are done, of course.

07-12-2012, 08:05 AM
Ithildin asked about printing options earlier (page 1). An inexpensive way I've found to print poster sized items like Jack Tanner's stuff is to take it to a university copy center. Since they're not usually a for-profit operation, and supported by the larger infrastructure of the uni, their prices are much more manageable.

I want to add to Jack: Your work is gorgeous - and to read that you started with it in December is amazing and inspiring. I'm gobsmacked.

Blaidd Drwg
07-12-2012, 04:06 PM
Absolutely stunning! I have an urge to fondle my d20's, all of a sudden ^^

07-18-2012, 06:01 PM
I added the next few maps to Post 3 - nearly done now!

07-22-2012, 05:50 AM
Added Encounter 29 - only three left! I can't believe I'm actually going to end up finishing these. I can't wait.

07-23-2012, 10:55 PM
These are powerful. Thank you.

Here's to Guinness beer and great maps out of Ireland!

07-28-2012, 05:27 PM
This looks really good.

It reminds me of Baldur's Gate. I'm just googeling for Pen&Paper RPGs.
Seems to be funny.

Yo yo dude, keep it on.

07-29-2012, 05:35 AM
Added two more maps - only one left!

Cunning Cartographer
07-29-2012, 06:18 AM
This is an amazing accomplishment Jack, a definite tip of the hat to you for showing such dedication to a huge project and actually seeing it all the way through. Repped.

Whilst a tutorial might be out of the question, as you say you just simply go at it until you feel it looks right (which is pretty much how I've always done it), it might be useful for some people to you could tell them anything you felt you learned along the way; any little tips that made your process quicker, etc.

Again, great job.

07-29-2012, 06:59 AM
Thanks Yospeck. The main lesson I have learned is COLOUR. For each group of maps, choose the palette before you begin and stick with it. Do not use colours outside the palette. Desaturate most colours and only keep one or two colours bright and saturated. This is particularly important when one is using pre-made map element - each element should be recoloured to the palette. The number one way to make a bad map is to be make it too busy with clashing colours.

08-01-2012, 01:43 PM
I've uploaded the final map. That's it - all done. Now for a holiday.

08-04-2012, 04:33 PM
Great maps!

12-18-2012, 01:40 PM
Fantastic! I am starting this module this weekend. I have used Postrazor before and it does a great job of cutting up the maps for you. I'll just go up to work and use our color printer there.

These look awesome! I will have to give that software a try. I was playing around with Dundjinni for a while, but found myself importing into Photoshop to finish it off. I was spending more time prepping for the game than actually playing. It got to be too much work and I stopped making maps for my games. The crew will be ecstatic to see that there are great maps again. Good job! I'll tell all of my other DM friends about your work. Keep it up. :)

01-30-2013, 09:24 PM
Wow. Jack, these are amazing maps. I just recently started DM'ing for the first time late last year, and have since, started getting into creating battlemaps as well. Nothing remotely of this calibur. I have so many questions I want to ask you. I'm frequented this site dozens of times, and finally decided to join the community and start getting more into map-making. Is there any way you'd be up for sort of answering some questions about your resources and how you go about making maps?

01-31-2013, 01:39 PM
Thanks guys. Of course Gamma - ask me in my castle thread - that's a WIP thread and still (supposed to be) alive.

03-20-2013, 04:37 PM
Wow! I love your maps. I can see what you did to make the ground textures more varied. Fantastic trees too.

02-17-2014, 05:06 AM
Jack, like all the rest, Kudos! these maps are amazing. I have quickly garnered a lot of interest in mapmaking as well as i delve down the rabit hole of online tabletops like roll20, rpgtableonline, etc. While they have some in-game software that can allow you to build maps, its not as robust as i would like it. So i see from your initial thread that you are using GIMP. I've downloaded it, its a bit of a learning curve but i'm plugging away at it. Is there any tutorial or advice you can share on where/how to pull textures - well just about the process involved in general; i'd appreciate any advice you can dole out. Thanks!


02-17-2014, 09:09 AM
Hi Kenny,

Thanks for your comments.

The best tutorial for GIMP is jpfrziers one on layer masks. If you work through the posts in that, he gets to an example of making a river map. I found this very useful.

Gimp has a steep learning curve but its very powerful.

Personally, I don't use seamless textures anymore. If I want a texture of something, say a cavern wall, I might try and find or take a high-res photo of a brick or something, blow it up to cover the entire map, then recolour it to suit. I find seamless textures bland and too much hassle. I never bother storing any textures or objects on my computer if I can help it. I'd be happy to help you out if you need assistance.

02-17-2014, 11:54 AM
Awesome, thanks for the knowledge! I am planning on running an Eberron conversion of Madness at Gardmore Abbey in about 2-3 weeks, and i'd like to add a few maps for some of the RP situations like Lord Padriag's Audience Hall and MAYBE if i can do half of what you have going on in the maps, remake all the separate encounters of the two dungeons into combined maps (since it's hosted VT, I am not concerned with map size/printing problems). I've done some DECENT work in the past, but i want to "own" the maps i create (in case i have a Pen and paper campaign again one day) and roll20 has no export feature. ANYWAYS - to the questions. Do you use a graphics tablet in conjunction with GIMP? in retrospect, after learning the ins and out of GIMP, would you still have gone that route? or would you have picked another software like photoshop or CC3? For the all the items and such inside your maps, is there a free repository that you grabbed from, or are they all self created? Did you have any formal schooling before hopping into GIMP or is it something a moderately computer proficient person can hop into provided they clock in the man hours to learn it? Thanks again!

02-17-2014, 04:34 PM
Jack,Do you use a graphics tablet in conjunction with GIMP?
No. Mouse only.

in retrospect, after learning the ins and out of GIMP, would you still have gone that route? or would you have picked another software like photoshop or CC3?
No I would have gone for GIMP. I believe its better than Photoshop (which is not free). I don't know enough about CC3 to comment, I only know Photoshop and Gimp. Having discussed software with other cartographers on the CG I know that each person has their different preferences. You need to find a programme that suits you and make it work for you. For me, that was always going to be a good-quality open-source programme, in hindsight, so I think I personally would have ended up with GIMP whatever I tried first.

For the all the items and such inside your maps, is there a free repository that you grabbed from, or are they all self created?
When I was making these maps I used pre-made items. If you read through my WIP thread (link in post 1) I usually link to them. For comission work (ie if I'm making a map to sell, not just for myself) I would be much more careful; but in fact nowadays I make everything myself and have a very pared down map approach. I use lots of dunjinni objects and now I always very carefully reference every pre-made item I use and check it's open source or whatever; you can see my more recent work on dunjinni Jacktannery (Jacktannery) on deviantART (http://jacktannery.deviantart.com)

Did you have any formal schooling before hopping into GIMP or is it something a moderately computer proficient person can hop into provided they clock in the man hours to learn it?
No - that's the whole point! I am totally crap at computers and crap at art with a capital A. I just taught myself from scratch on these forums with the amazing assistance of Bogie and Jpgfrazier - in fact I taught myself making these very maps in the WIP thread. To be honest I look back at these maps and think they are a bit naff, but that's because my aesthetic has changed. Point is: you can do it.

02-17-2014, 05:38 PM
Thanks for all the in-depth answers; i will definitely arm myself with your suggestions and hop in! watching tutorials until my eyes bleed tonight! You definitively should make a tutorial!

F. Randall Farmer
02-28-2014, 02:05 AM
I wanted to thank you for posting these wonderful maps. I wanted to share my photoblog of using them for my run of Madness at Gardmore Abbey
The adventure starts at Winterhaven (I made my own map derived from another 3/4 perspective 3d map)


The map I used was the Font of Ioun - here's the post when they first encounter Berrian at the font:
(we were playing outdoors, this produced a wonderful nature effect for the Feygrove!)

When they returned at the Finale, I decided to make the Font itself a custom built 3D model - (the shape and top-surface texture are from the map):

There are lots of pictures, so please click through the links to see more.

Thanks again for the absolutely wonderful maps. I make sure to point to this site whenever I use them.

I'll definately be back for more.

F. Randall Farmer
03-03-2014, 02:58 PM
I have something to contribute. If my players failed to prevent the sundering of the Feyrealm from the world, the fountain was going to be completely destroyed as a result. So I have a overlay for the Font of Ioun map to share! I know it's rough, but it was only going to be looked at for less than 30 minutes...


I printed it, but didn't have to use it!

The blast-crater is from http://gametextures.com/ - sign up to get a licence to use.

10-03-2014, 03:16 PM
Yo! Was needed in your "Main Gate", but in winter version. Spent on it some time, and get this:
I know i'm not a great master, but if someone need it...

10-03-2014, 05:39 PM
Looks great 7steps!

Juan Severino
01-05-2015, 10:38 AM
That is great, did you make that or this are part of the adventure pack?

01-09-2015, 02:31 PM
That is great, did you make that or this are part of the adventure pack?
Are you asking me or Randall Farmer? If me, I made these maps. The module poster maps are excellent but only four or so of the many encounters available are included, so I made the rest of them.