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Use Dyson's Maps

by Mike on 9 October 2023

DMs often overprepare. Drawing our own maps is typically one such activity. You may be tempted to draw out your dungeon maps and, if you enjoy it and have the time, go with the gods. But if time is tight or you feel like your time may be best spent elsewhere, use existing maps instead.

Dyson Logos Maps

Dyson Logos, the cartographer responsible for numerous maps in published Wizards of the Coast adventures, has more than a thousand maps available on Instead of drawing a map, grab one from there. I've used Dyson maps for all sorts of locations in all sorts of worlds whether it was Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Shadowdark, or Numenera.

If you have an idea for a location, keep the general location in mind and scroll through Dyson's maps. When you find one that fits your needs, stop, download it, and stick it in your notes.

Dyson's maps are easy to use in a VTT, easy to replicate on a hand-drawn battle map, and cheap to print large-scale as blueprint maps at your local printer. They follow the best practices of Jaquays-style maps including multiple entrances, multiple paths, loop-backs, asymmetric designs, elevation changes, and secret passages.

Tips for Using Dyson Maps

Here's a handful of other tips for making the most of Dyson maps:

An Invaluable Tool for Lazy DMs

The next time you're tempted to draw out a map, grab a Dyson map and put your prep time into other high-impact areas like building encounters around the characters, making interesting or unique treasure, or thinking through the eyes of your villains.

Dyson's work is funded through Patreon. Dyson's maps are an incredible resource for the TTRPG hobby. Please give Dyson your support.

More Sly Flourish Stuff

This week I posted a couple of YouTube videos on my Uncharted Journeys Spotlight and Drusilla's Hut – Shadowdark Gloaming Session 6 Lazy GM Prep.

Last Week's Lazy RPG Talk Show Topics

Each week I record an episode of the Lazy RPG Talk Show (also available as a podcast) in which I talk about all things in tabletop RPGs. Here are last week's topics with time stamped links to the YouTube video:

Patreon Questions and Answers

Also on the Talk Show, I answer questions from Sly Flourish Patrons. Here are last week's questions and answers:

RPG Tips

Each week I think about what I learned in my last RPG session and write them up as D&D tips. Here are this week's tips:

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This work is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license. It allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, for noncommercial purposes only by including the following statement in the new work:

This work includes material taken from by Michael E. Shea available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

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