You were prepared for kobolds, but no one warned you of the harpies!



Memorize your Athletics modifier and bring plenty of rope, because this map is a skill challenge waiting to happen. Though up to the DM’s discretion, I personally envision each cliff as 20 feet per tile, making the entire descent roughly 100 perilous feet, with individual cliffs ranging from 20 – 40. Mix in some local wildlife (I’m thinking harpies, or a roc) and you have yourself an encounter!

This map is a case study of elevation and cliffs. I’ve always been able to draw them satisfactorily, but I decided it was time to kick it up to the next level (an activity I recommend all artists do regularly!) I think this method looks a lot more realistic, and has potential for me to standardize a way to calculate their exact height; imagine if each horizontal line in the cliff represented 10 vertical feet, like a topographical map? This only occured to me after I’d finished this one, so I will have to experiment with this in future maps.

I based this map on this Google Earth scan of Mt. Fuji, focussing on capturing the otherwordly, volcanic colors in addition to the exciting slope. Being able to pan around in a 3D space is an amazing visualization tool. So, If you’re looking for case studies to enhance your own map-drawing skills, I highly recommend this method!



These 2-Minute Maps come with several grid and color options (even more than pictured above) with printable PDFs and virtual table top JPGs all included. If you are a supporter on Patreon (thank you!) you can download your exclusive icey variant here.


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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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Published: November 11, 2016
Tagged: battle map, blog

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