I have always had a fascination with maps. One of the joys of dungeon-mastering Dungeons & Dragons for me is getting to lovingly toil on my own maps and spending time poring over other artists' maps. One of my favorite map types is the dungeon cross-section, built like the one below. I have used maps like this in a few D&D games, populating and designing blown-up maps on graph paper as the players move from section to section.
I wanted to make a Root map that was a maze of tunnels and warrens under a giant tree, so I started building a cross-section map like the one above. One thing I wanted in there was a few paths to the middle, but the players would be able to dig through the map, creating new paths between clearings.
The map didn’t work out. It was hard to pick fair corners for setup and domination, and the central placement of many of the clearings meant that the game would play much too differently. I was worried the map would be hard to parse.
I threw out that drawing and drew the new Mountain Map you now have. Thanks to the graphic design of Michael Ptak, I was able to play with a simple version of the map a few months ago. Some of you may have printed out the old one and played games on it. We have been playing with it in the studio frequently on my playtest nights.
Kyle recently set about making the map, and this is what we ended up with. I am very proud of his work.
Like the Winter Map, the Mountain Map uses the clearing markers to show the suits of the clearings. In addition, many paths on the map are covered at the beginning of the game. Players can spend a card to remove the mountain piece from the game, creating a new path on the map.
For a little added friction, if a player rules a central clearing called the Pass during their Evening, they score a bonus victory point.
You can check it yourself here:
I think veteran players of Root will enjoy the added challenge of the Mountain Map.
Thank you very much for the amazing support you have given to this campaign. I will talk to you all soon!