Best DND Map Making Tools

Posted by Theodore Cory on

What are the best Dungeons and Dragons Map Making Tools? Looking for some RPG map making tools? Or are you in need of maps for your latest D&D adventure? Need a random RPG Dungeon Generator? If you’re a great artist, maybe you can draw one by hand. But otherwise, your players might wonder why there is a hippopotamus in that room. And they may be even more confused when you tell them it is supposed to be an undead bat.

If you want to skip making a map, just jump all the way to the end of this post for a free million square foot of interconnected battle map.

But don’t worry. There are plenty of online tools you can use to create dungeon and adventure maps, even if you are terrible at drawing. In this article, we’ll discuss the top 8 online tools you can use for D&D Map Making.


Some of these tools are free, while others require a subscription or other type of fee. And each of these tools varies in terms of features. We’ll go over the features and benefits of each of them, so you can decide which one is best for you.


1.Dave’s Mapper

Dave's Mapper DND Map Making Tool

Dave’s Mapper is a project that was first created by software engineer David Millar. But the current version has used contributions from 14 different cartographers.


It contains over 1,900 tiles, including tiles for dungeons, caverns, cities, villages, sci-fi spaceships, and more. Best of all, Dave’s Mapper is completely free. If you enjoy the mapper and want to support it financially, Millar asks that you donate to a Chron’s disease foundation or help with his medical bills by making a donation to him. Regardless, all features of the mapper are available without charge.

2.Mipui

Mipui RPG Map Making Tool

Mipui is another great map-making tool. It has simple, stark tiles that some DMs may prefer over those of other mappers.

It also has many convenience features. For example, it allows you to undo or redo an action that you performed by mistake and resize the grid without deleting content. And it lets you share your maps with others and collaborate across the Internet. In addition, Mipui saves your work to the cloud every few seconds, preventing you from losing your maps when you inevitably spill coffee on your computer during one of those early-morning bursts of inspiration.

Mipui is an open-source project and is completely free.

3.Hextml

Hextml Dungeons and Dragons Map Making Tool

If you prefer hexagon based maps, Hextml is an excellent choice. It has support for many different types of terrain, including forest, mountain, plains, ocean, and others. In addition, it has a great tutorial system that makes it easy to learn how to use it.


Hextml is free. The developer asks that you subscribe to his Patreon page if you want to help finance further development of the mapper.

4.GM Friend

GM Friend D&D RPG Map Making Tool

GM Friend is a hexagon-based mapping tool from Rhys Makes Things. It contains tiles for mud, water, mountains, and desert.

When compared to Hextml, GM Friend has less features. But it is also a bit simpler to use. If you want to quickly create an above-ground map for your adventure and don’t need a lot of features, GM Friend may be the right mapper for you.


GM Friend is completely free. The developer maintains a Patreon page for users that want to support the project.

5.DungeonFog

DungeonFog Roleplaying Game Map Making Tool

There comes a time when your map designs get so complex that a free mapper just won’t cut it anymore. When you reach this point, DungeonFog may be the premium map tool that you’ve been looking for.


Like other mapping tools, DungeonFog contains thousands of pre-made tiles. You can mix and match these tiles to create a dungeon or adventure map in minutes. But if the stock tiles don’t quite fit the adventure you have planned, DungeonFog also offers standard drawing tools that you can use to edit them or create your own.


Once you have finished creating a room, Dungeon Fog converts the room into a text description based on the parameters you set. This makes it easy to produce spoken “text boxes” for each room.


Dungeon Fog is free to use as long as you don’t print out or export your maps. You can even print the the maps out, but an ugly watermark is added to the maps if you do this. A premium subscription costs $4.90/month and allows you to remove the watermarks.

6.Tiamat

Tiamat Map Making Tool for Dungeons and Dragons

Tiamat is another great premium mapper. It contains over 3,000 tiles that fit together in a kind of jigsaw-puzzle style system.


Using Tiamat is free. But in order to export your map, you will have to pay for all of the tiles used in the map plus the map itself. A typical 6 X 6 tile costs $0.36, and exporting a 30 X 30 map costs around $0.90. This brings the cost of printing an average 1-level dungeon to around $3.


This is pretty expensive compared to other dungeon mappers. However, when you buy a tile, you own the license to it forever. Over time, this causes you to build up a collection of tiles. This should reduce the cost of using Tiamat over the long-run.


7.Donjon Random Dungeon Generator

Donjon Random Dungeon Generator Tool for Tabletop Games

While the other tools on this list simply allow you to create your own maps, the Donjon Random Dungeon Generator actually creates the map for you.


Just input the parameters for the type of dungeon you want. Now click construct. The Random Dungeon Generator (RDG) will create a new map for you, along with text describing what monsters and puzzles are in each room. It even creates a separate map for players that omits DM-privileged information.


Using an RDG map still requires some creativity. It still requires you to weave the various random dungeon elements into a coherent story. But if you feel that using a random dungeon is too easy, you may want to stay away from the Donjon Random Dungeon Generator.


On the other hand, it may be just what you need if you are extremely pressed for time and don’t mind getting more help than usual.

8.Incarnate

Incarnate Dungeon Mapper for RPGs and Dungeons and Dragons

Incarnate is an RPG mapper with 500+ unique art pieces that can be combined into maps. Out of all of the mappers on this list, this one probably produces the most visually stunning maps.


However, free Incarnate accounts are only allowed to make maps at a resolution of 1024 x 768. This may require you to print out several maps and combine them together in order to have one large enough for an adventure. In addition, free accounts are only allowed to use around 100 art pieces from the Incarnate collection, instead of the 500+ that a premium account has access to.

If you are willing to pay $5 per month for an Incarnate premium account, you can print out maps at 2048 x 1536 resolution and have access to all 500+ art pieces.

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Conclusion

If you’re not a great artist, don’t despair. You can make great D&D maps using one or more of these top 8 online tools for D&D Map Making.

The features of these mappers vary. And some charge for their use, while others are free. But no matter what your particular map needs are, one of these should have just what you need.

 

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Comments


  • I agree with Ken! Wonderdraft has helped me create some FANTASTIC maps.

    Bart Heird on
  • Definitely some glaring omissions. When you update the list, please don’t forget to add Other World Mapper and Campaign Cartographer 3 (aside from the ones Bruce mentioned).

    Btw, thanks Bruce!

    Hernan Ruiz Camauer on
  • @Bruce @Ken Great points, we’ll check those out and update the article!

    Ted on
  • Your missing some other great mapping options. There are a few that have a base fee but not a monthly charge (plus assets costs), which is what most prefer. One such option is Worldographer by Idol Ideas. As a bonus if you belong to their patreon you get a new set of tiles every month for only $1.50 a month! Then there is Mapforge, which was only dungeon level maps up until recently, now you can create continental maps. There are a few others but those are the two I own.

    Bruce on
  • I would whole heartedly also look at wonderdraft, it’s a fantastic program, similar to inkarnate pro, but to me far more powerful.

    Ken Hinxman on

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