Skyreach Castle Battlemap

Written by pida on . Posted in Battlemaps, Fantasy

I finally finished my redesign of Skyreach Castle for the Hoard of the Dragon Queen. You can find the battlemaps of all castle floors and the ice caverns and a legend as free downloads right here! I also added a description and legend of all the rooms.

Update 2/19/2016: As requested, I added gridless versions of all the castle’s levels.
Obviously, this article contains some spoilers about the layout and the residents of Skyreach Castle. So if you are planning on playing this episode (as a player), please be warned.

My D&D group finally made it to Skyreach Castle in the Hoard of the Dragon Queen. When preparing this final episode of the adventure, I wasn’t very happy with the castle itself. There was no picture of the whole castle to show my players. And I didn’t like the layout, it felt too small for my taste. Also, I did not dig the vampire living in it and the cultist barracks were a joke. So I decided to make my own castle based on this wonderful image:

skyreach-banner

I created a 140 by 120 inch battlemap of the castle in Photoshop. I however completely underestimated the time needed to finish such an endeavor. I’ve put like 40 hours of work into it, but I am finally finished now. Here’s the top view map of the castle with a legend :

You can download the floors here in 4000 x 3200 px resolution to use as battlemaps, without numbers:

If the rooms are too small for you at this scale, you can download some of the rooms in a higher resolution below. Also, you can see the numbers of the rooms and how they correspond to the original map of Skyreach Castle in the Hoard of the Dragon Queen book.

#
Room
Comments
6 Main Gate (2nd) Similar to original main gate, but gate opens from second level instead 6A/6B
7 Lower Courtyard Upper Courtyard does not overhang lower courtyard, instead it has a small wall with two gates leading to the upper yard and ogre barracks
8 Stables There are now two stables in the lower courtyard
9 Cultist Barracks Increased the size of the barracks: Now two buildings with several rooms and an additional room on the ground floor of the big eastern tower
10 Stone Giant’s Chamber Upgraded to a two-room appartment
11 Rezmir’s Chamber Upgraded to a three-room appartment with a stairway to the inner main tower
12 Red Wizards’ Room (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th) Now upgraded to a whole Wizard tower with summoning room, library, living quarters and laboratory
13 Storeroom Upgraded to whole level of main tower
14 Guest Chamber Upgraded to guest house in upper courtyard
15 Kitchen Upgraded to three room kitchen with kobold living quarter
16 Upper Courtyard Upgraded with a steep stairway leading to the main tower of the cloud giant and entrance to the ice caverns
17 High Blue Tower Not used anymore to teleport (Blagothkus can now do this anywhere, using a talisman). Instead, a small tower was added to the Wizards’ Tower contained a small observatory on top
18 Crumbling Tower (1st/2nd) Not used anymore as a vampire lair. Instead used as fortress tower with a teleportation circle on the roof
19 Steering Tower Now placed on top of the Giant’s main tower
20 Ogre Barracks (lower courtyard, main tower) There are now two Ogre Barracks, one located between the lower and upper courtyards, the other within the main tower.
21 Esclarotta’s Tomb Placed deep under the main tower
22 Cloud Giant Tower (1st, 2nd) Now the Cloud Giant has a huge tower – the main tower of the castle
23 Giant Guest Chambers Placed within the main tower
24 Servant Barracks Placed within the main tower
25 Main Vault (lower, upper) Very similar to the original map, placed within the ice caverns under the castle

New rooms in the castle:

Room
Comments
Dungeon/Oubliette (1st, 2nd) In the tower between the guest house and the Wizards’ Tower. There’s also a guard room in there
Storeroom/guard room In the big eastern tower (17), also contains ammunition and a woodworker’s workshop
Cultist meeting rooms In Rezmirs Chambers (11) and cultist barracks (9), also there is a cultist kitchen
Ogre guard room In the cellar of the main tower at the lower entrance gates (from castle walls)
Ogre/Giant forge In the main tower. They have to be able to make their own stuff, right?
Blue ice flame In the main tower, where the stairways start at the bottom. I decided this would be the source of the castle’s magic: A blue fire, tapping into the elemental ice node within the iceberg. There’s a magic protection circle around it. The light of the blue flame concentrates into a blue beam, that goes up all the way through the main tower to the top into the steering tower.

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Comments (8)

  • Juls Kaye

    |

    Daniel,

    These are *incredible*! Thank you for sharing 😉 Just amazing work you did!

    My group has a hard time ‘visualizing’, so with the start of our 5e adventure, I’ve been hard at work to pull together as many maps, images and visuals as I can. Your work is invaluable!

    Thank you a million times over.
    – Juls

    Reply

    • pida

      |

      You’re welcome! 🙂

      Reply

  • Andrew

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    Amazing, wow, I will have to entirely steal this for when our game gets there! Especially the things like the Wizard Tower. Also easily printable, woo! 😀

    Reply

  • Michael

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    Nice work, what software did you use to create these? looks like a combination of Dundjinni and Photoshop. I have slaved over making maps through this whole adventure, I like what you did in the creation of these maps.

    Also, stupid question , but does a square equal 5 feet? and do you have these available without the grid pattern?

    Reply

    • pida

      |

      Hi Michael, thanks! Yes, I did them in Photoshop but used assets from the Dundjinni forums. One square indeed equals 5 feet. I hate these maps in the Tyranny of Dragons books where one square equals 10 or 15 feet. We’re going after a certain someone in his hideout in the Misty Forest from Rise of Tiamat next week, and as much as I like the art style of the map provided, it’s in a 15ft scale. I’m redoing the lair at the moment.

      I can provide you with the maps without the grid pattern, sure. I’ll add them to this post by the end of the week.

      Reply

  • Empi tries to paint » Nerovains Stronghold

    |

    […] maps floating through the internet for our game. I designed my own battlemap in the summer for Castle Skyreach from Hoard of the Dragon Queen. For Neronvains Stronghold, I wanted a map to convey the mood of a […]

    Reply

  • BooM

    |

    Thanks for this man… going to use it with my group! 😀

    Reply

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