Featured Gaming Aid: Dave’s Mapper

Found Dave’s Mapper as one of the first online aids that popped up when I was looking to hammer out a simple dungeon crawl or two to send my PCs through.  Founds a pretty simple but effective map generator in Davesmapper.  It’s not the most versatile dungeon maker, but it’s not designed to make complex maps to your specific direction.  Dave’s Mapper hammers out small, medium or large maps using a tile system that links together randomized map chunks in a way that generally kinda makes sense.  Maps might need some tweaking, but for something handed to you on a silver platter, it ain’t bad.

You can download the maps as PNG files, then convert them or print them out however you want.  You can also set the maps to show five-foot or ten-foot grids or, for us GURPSophiles, hexes, though you don’t have the option of adjusting the hex size at all.

The interesting twist here is that all the tiles are designed by various artists on the web, whose names are listed on the left side of the utility and who can be checked separately or in any combination to get the feel of dungeon you want.  The buttons along the top are pretty useful, letting you swap, rotate, or replace tiles to get some fine-tuning.  You can also select a tile and create a new map based entirely on that tile’s artist’s work, which gives a more homogenous feel to the dungeon (though less variety).

davesmapper

Overall, the script does a pretty good job of meshing the tiles together, but occasionally one junction or another will look weird–no problem, just swap out or replace that time, or come up with a reason why it looks wonky.

Don’t just want to do dungeons?  No problem: Daves Mapper also has tiles for caverns, cities, and starships.  Plus, you can become one of his artists if you feel really adventurous, submitting your own tileset for approval.

Of course, you’ll still have to populate the dungeon with your own critters–but that’s a gaming aid for another time.

Overall rating: 4.0 out of 5.

 

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