Desert Island Battle Map – Launch

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Our final map for the month will be a cave complex (mini dungeon), I’ll be calling it ‘The Grotto’ and will likely have a few caverns connected by winding passages, which should be very versatile, useful for many different underground locations.

Thank you all for your continued support, you really do make these maps happen 🙂 Have a great week and as always happy adventuring! Now let’s go collect some water from the spring on this almost definitely deserted island.


The storm was monstrous, buffeting the ship, making it almost impossible to navigate. You were lucky to find this small island in the night and shelter against the leeward shore, protected from the worst of the weather. As dawn breaks you see the full extent of the island for the first time. At a few hundred feet across the island is little more than a jumble of rocks jutting out of the ocean. Sandy beaches surround the center of the island which rises into a jagged peak. There are sea caves at the base of this peak, some partially submerged, the waves making booming noises as they rush in and out. The odd palm tree sways gently in the strong seabreeze, the only vegetation on this barren piece of land.

The crew whisper amongst themselves, from what little you overhear they seem to think this island is cursed, a forbidden place we should leave at once. The Captain, a more level headed sort, walks from group to group calming their nerves. Looking around you realise the rest of your party is not on deck, they must have gone ashore before you got up. You make your way to the captain and strike up a conversation while you wait for your friends to return.

From the crowsnest a sailor calls out, pointing towards the island. Coming into view, running along the beach are your friends, waving and shouting frantically. The captain lifts a spyglass to his eye. “What the hells…” he says under his breath. An ear splitting roar erupts from the farside of the island. The crew gasp and shout in horror, some mumble prayers, the captain curses under his breath and starts shouting orders. Within moments you hear the anchor being raised, it seems your friends will be left behind if you don’t do something. Another roar echoes across the island and coming into view, loping along the beach after your party is something that makes you pause for a moment. Maybe leaving is the right course of action, you can always find another adventuring party, they wake up far too early for your tastes anyway.

Notes and Tips

  • 30×45 grid map
  • Islands like this are always inhabited by large angry creatures, normally they have a hoard, a nest or something of the like to steal from. Sailors just can’t help themselves, neither can adventurers.
  • There are caves along the cliff bases and a larger cave towards the top of the peak. The sea caves can be full of water or full of monsters, your choice.
  • Have the bay be teeming with sharks. Call it ‘difficult terrain’ during an escape to the ship.
  • This can be a good stopover during a storm, a place the ship is forced to shelter even when the sailors know the place is dangerous. Sprinkle some rumours of curses, people going missing, ships vanishing.
  • An old hermit or witch lives in the cave at the top of this island. They are being harassed by something that comes out of the water at night, maybe Sahagin or other ocean monsters.
  • There is a shipwrecked person on the island, it turns out they were left here after committing some crime or maybe they are a disguised monster waiting to sneak onto a ship and escape their prison.
  • A statue stands on the beach, turns out it’s a golem still trying to protect some long forgotten treasure.
  • This is a great place to encounter Harpies or Sirens. This could also be the roosting spot for a Roc.


Night version

Desert dunes – Day/Night

Snowy wastes – Day/Night

The Astral Sea – Spelljammer time! Or this could be used as an underground sea or lake.


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