I have a huge appreciation for those that cam produce amazing looking maps freehand. What someone like Matt Jackson can do in 20 minutes, I'd never accomplish in 20 years. Simple truth. It's not where my talents lie.
So, when I saw a hand drawn map pack on RPGNow, I had to grab it. I'm glad I did.
The World of Torn: Hand Drawn Maps Volume 1 is actually 5 dungeon / cavern maps in one package. The are hand drawn by Alyssa Faden. I never heard of her before, but she draws a quality map. They are keyed with traps and flooded areas, but the DM has to stock them and figure out the history behind them.
My first issue was a difficulty matching up the connections between the levels (assuming you want to use them as one complex and not individual location). It took some studying to figure them out, and I'm still not 100% sure. I probably need to print them out and let them on top of another. For the next volume, these connections should be cleanly marked to cut down on the minor frustration factor.
The maps come both in a PDF booklet and individual jpegs, which should allow for easy integration into a VTT of your choice. Well, except for the fact that the traps are marked. This is my second issue. Maybe traps should be left out of the next volume, as the GM is more than able to add his own. Icluding them kinda defeats the whole VTT angle.
Overall its a nice collection of hand drawn maps.
From the blurb:
The Torn World Presents series features artwork from our creative staff for use in your home-brew games; regardless of your gaming system and era, these will be of use to you. "Hand-Drawn Dungeons: Volume I" features the artwork of Alyssa Faden - the Torn World creator and cartographer.
In her spare time, Alyssa just loves drawing detailed maps; cities, dungeons, wilderness environments ... it really doesn't matter, it just needs to be on a microscopic level and a completely different world. And due to popular demand we are making them available to you in high resolution format.
- For use in your Torn World gaming session, or equally suited for dungeonmasters looking for dungeon maps for any alternate systems.
- FIVE hand-drawn dungeon maps in PDF & JPEG format. These are all from the "Hellhound caves". Use them independently or together as a multi-tiered ancient dungeon where the top level connects to the bottom only via a deep plunging waterfall ...