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The world fades away into nebulous, dappled shapes as you peer into the woods before you, still and dark… Is there really no way around?

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Recently I’ve been reading Matthew Colville’s Priest and J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. They are both wonderful stories for different reasons, but they have a particular thing in common which later rose to the surface of my mind. This thing is a forest, something very commonplace in our world and fantasy, but something full of fear and wonder if we give it a little special attention. 

The forest’s edge is what specifically captured my imagination. In both stories the relatively mundane treeline is described like a dangerous precipice, or like a great wall that looms up on the horizon. An intangible barrier that the characters must steel themselves against and breach. 

I wanted to try and capture something of that feeling in a battle map, and this is my humble attempt. I’m sure the opposition will be very tangible in this case (I’m leaning towards goblins), but hopefully a little of the intangible mood I was inspired by filters though. And though I may go on describing travel montages in and out of forests very casually, I’ll now have this map in case my player characters intend to set foot in that one forest…

Do you have an especially gloomy forest in your world? If so, what makes it special? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

Of course, not all woods are so uninviting! This map’s collection of variants  also contain some which might be better suited for picnics. 🙂

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You can download the digital files below, where you’ll also get an opportunity to support me for my work. Thank you! It’s thanks to you that I can keep making these maps and assets. 🙂

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About the author

Ross McConnell

DM, aspiring artist, and founder of 2-Minute Tabletop! I love drawing, writing, and worldbuilding, and this is the website where all of it comes together.

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