The Dresden Files Files: Maps!


I love maps! I know there are a ton of RPG geeks out there who are in this boat with me. Maps help anchor a story, and they help group members build memories by tying events to specific places. When I plan a campaign I can’t help but imagine the classic Indianan Jones maps with the a dotted red line making its way across. Using maps to help create a more authentic, palpable experience has been a part of RPGs since the beginning, and I am glad it has.

I also love the Dresden Files RPG; kick ass wizards, vampires, the fae, and gumshoe noir all mixed in together for one hell of a story telling experience. I’m hooked on the cooperative world building aspect, the comprehensive character creation, and on and on. I would call it the “oncoming storm for all other RPGs” if someone else had not given that title to Fiasco. To sum it up, I love Maps and I love Dresden Files. Can you see the peanut butter in my chocolate on the horizon?

Because the Dresden Files game uses a cooperative world building system every new campaign has the chance of existing in a completely different city; this makes it hard for publisher Evil Hat to produce maps for the game. But who cares? Every major and minor city in the modern world has printed maps, and Google earth really helps take care of those that don’t.

My most recent game of DFRPG (Dresden Files RPG) took place in my current home town of Portland Oregon; it’s not the worlds largest city, but it’s by no means small. Before the campaign started I spent a day walking around town picking up every map I could. What did I end up with? College campus maps, book store maps, street car maps, local business maps, a fold out atlas map, and on and on. One of my favorite maps is of the Portland Saturday Market. What self respecting wizard wouldn’t go to the Saturday market to pick up fresh ingredients for spells and dinner?. Every map I picked up instantly became a useful tool for my game. Every neighborhood, business or college campus that offered maps became a possible scene for my story.

So there is my first Dresden Files RPG tip for everyone: Free maps are everywhere, and that means free game maps are everywhere!


I know that many games are not set in a group’s home town, but many of the store, neighbor hood, and campus maps can be used for any city. No one needs to know that Slab Town isn’t really in Chicago but in Portland OR, or that the campus map I’m using isn’t really Miskotonic University but Portland State. Free game maps and inspirational materials are out there in town and surrounding area. Take a day off and explore a city and improve your game while you do.


Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.

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About Thadeousc

Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.
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