Thursday, September 1, 2011

Six Villages of Aventurien

I've never played a Das Schwarze Auge, but two DSA books I picked up a few years ago have served me very well in Warhammer FRP and D&D games alike. The books are collections of 1-3 page location descriptions with very nice hand-drawn maps of common buildings, from shops and smithies to castles, and they show nice attention to authenticity. The image to the left, of 6 village layouts, is typical, and I've used some of these villages as central places in a small, regional Warhammer campaign. The players from that game know these villages well.

I'm not aware of any available source for these in markets outside Germany. The two softcover books I originally picked up have been collected in a hardcover and are available in German markets under the title Ritterburgen & Spelunken. I can heartily recommend this particular book for map fans, even if you don't speak German. They're part of a larger series of similarly marketed books, of which I also have the dungeon guide and guide to magical academies. Some books in this line diverge from the hand drawn style of the earlier books, to their detriment. I'll be posting a few of my favorite (or most used) maps from these books in the near future.

And, it goes without saying, I'm happy to remove them if requested by the rights holder.


  1. I really like these maps. I may scarf up one or more for the campaign I am starting.

  2. yup, those served me well in all my campaigns so far. They are pretty much the single most useful thing in the whole DSA line

  3. Agreed. Now, if I could only find out which of the newer DSA books feature a similar hand-drawn style and high map-to-word ratio, I'd add to my collection. I'm generally happy with "Katakomben & Kavernen" (though it's really not a map-oriented book primarly), and I was a bit disappointed by the maps in "Hallen Arkaner Macht." The practice of German game stores of shrink-wrapping the books can make it difficult to judge.

  4. I didn't find any so far. But I have been living abroad for much of the last few years and didn't follow DSA so much, I mostly am using really old stuff lately.
    Unfortunately I don't think there are too many books with mostly maps around, but most of the maps in DSA modules are handdrawn in similar styles. The problem is of course that this won't help you that much. You would have to buy an adventure module just to get the 3-5 maps in the back.
    The problem with the shrink wrapping is something else I think: I notices that Germans (and maybe others as well) want to buy packaged stuff instead of opened one. Even if the salesperson opened that opened product just for them and they were the only ones who touched it. And that's why they don't want to open the packaging.

  5. So that's why everything is shrink-wrapped. I at least basically get it now.

    Too bad they don't seem to have gone much further with books that directly mimic the style and presentation of the ones collected in "Ritterburgen & Spelunken."

    I may experiment with some of the other DSA books in the blue line, but I'm a bit hesitant. I suspect I'll get a lot of verbiage and not as many cool maps. Some of it may be good stuff, but the earlier books really hit the sweet spot.