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DL1 Dragons of Despair 5e Conversion Guide with Maps

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This is a 5e D&D conversion guide of the various monsters and creatures encounters for the classic Dragonlance module DL1: Dragons of Despair. The original module is required to use this conversion guide and may be purchased here. 

The adventure is intended for characters from 4th level to 6th level.  Conversions of the original pre-generated characters are included. 

Maps have been prepared at 70 DPI of key locations. Grid and no grid variants of most maps are included.  The Xax Tsaroth interior maps also have a variant with and without a DMs Encounter Key.  Maps provided include:

  • Xak Tsaroth – Swamp (no grid only)
  • Xak Tsaroth – Temple of Mishakal (areas 46a-46g)
  • Xak Tsaroth – Beneath the Temple (areas 47a-47j)
  • Xak Tsaroth – Middle Level (areas 51a-57b)
  • Xak Tsaroth – Lower Ruins (areas 59a-70k)
  • Wilderness Map without labels (hex and no hex variant)
  • Wilderness Map with labels (hex and no hex variant)

Ruins of Xak Tsaroth:

Ruins of Xak Tsaroth 1

Xak Tsaroth - Swamp:

Sample 2

Ruins of Xak Tsaroth:

Sample 3

Wilderness map - non-hex variant labeled

VariantWilderness Map



Wilderness Map (Hex)

Wildnerness Map (hex variant)


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Discussions (11)
Customer avatar
Kyle E September 06, 2023 1:12 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you for the conversion - it's very helpful! Have you considered re-creating the numbered encounter map? It's incredibly hard to read in my copy of the original from DM's guild. A legible version of that would be worth the price of admission alone!
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Customer avatar
Ernie N September 06, 2023 1:40 am UTC
CREATOR
I have some maps (maybe all) with a DMs key but can’t remember which ones. I’ll check for you and post again when I can get to my computer. If I don’t have it for all of them I’ll see about adding it this weekend. I’m pretty sure the main dungeon has this done already.

I’ll post again soon.

Until then Happy Gaming

Ernie
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Customer avatar
Kyle E September 06, 2023 4:24 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for the quick response, Ernie! The map in question is the wilderness map. The black and white version in the original adventure has numbers corresponding to (I think) encounter 44. I only bring it up because it's very hard to make out on that original map and your color version would be very well suited for a 'redo' of the numbered version.
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Customer avatar
Ernie N September 06, 2023 11:23 am UTC
CREATOR
Hello again Kyle,
I’d be happy to add this the wilderness’s manager. I’ll post again when it’s done. It’s D&D night for me (woo hoo) so it will be at least a day before I can take care d this.

I’ve got 20-30 5e conversions including Dl1 through DL9. Most do not have and encounter key. If you ever run into something I’ve done where it would be helpful, you please let me know.

Stay safe and happy gaming

Ernie
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Customer avatar
Ernie N September 06, 2023 5:17 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hello Again Kyle,
The updated wilderness map with a DMs Encounter key has been uploaded. If I have something mislabeled, please let me know. You were not kidding, it was really hard to make out those numbers!
take care,
Ernie
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Customer avatar
Kyle E September 07, 2023 7:13 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks, Ernie! I re-downloaded the files but could not seem to find the Wilderness map with numbers. Do I need to refresh the files in DM's Guild?
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Customer avatar
Ernie N September 07, 2023 10:42 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Kyle,
I am not sure. I cannot see into the maps zip file that is uplaoded. I've checked the zip file locally on my computer, and I just re-uploaded it. If you re-download it, you should see an pair of wilderness maps one with hex one without that include a DMs Encounter Key The should be named D1_WildernessMap_withHexAndDMsEncounterKey.jpg and D1_WildernessMap_withNoHexAndDMsEncounterKey.jpg
Sorry for the fuss. Please let me know if you have any continued problems.
Best regards and happy gaming.
Ernie
Customer avatar
Marco D April 14, 2023 8:56 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hello Ernie,

Thanks for the great work you've made so far.
One question, the PG conversion seems wrong: it's not using the lvl 5 proficiency bonus (it should be +3). But it seems everything is under a +2 bonus.
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Customer avatar
Ernie N April 14, 2023 1:08 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Marco,
Thanks for the heads up. I hope to update this and post a revised version over the coming weekend. I will post again when this is done. I appreciate you letting me know.
take care,
Ernie
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Customer avatar
Ernie N April 14, 2023 9:31 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hello Again. I have this fixed now. Thank you for letting me know about the issue.
Best regards and happy gaming.
Ernie
Customer avatar
Neil H February 13, 2023 9:30 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Ernie,

First, this is great! I am going to be running a group through DL1 in the next few months and I'm busy porting everything into a vtt to get ready. I have a couple of questions that you may or may not be able to help with.

Any idea how big the large hexes are on the Wilderness Map? I have the original, physical, module and I can't find any reference within it either. Just curious if you know?
Any idea how big the small hexes are on the outdoor Xak Tsaroth map (Area 44a-k)? I'm going to have to put a regular grid down so players can move their characters across it at the correct scale.

Assuming the group continues to enjoy DL1 I'm definitely picking up your other conversions. Thanks for all the hard work!
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Customer avatar
Ernie N February 13, 2023 9:51 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Neil,

Thank you for the kind words. I hope you have a great game.

The small hexes in the wilderness map are 1 mile each, so the big hexes look to be about 20 miles.

I was surprised to see the original map of Xak Tsaroth missing a scale, but it shows a larger hex, which I am fairly certain is 1 mile across, so I think that's about 264 feet or 88 yards per square.

I hope this is helpful. Thanks for checking out the conversion guide.

Stay safe and happy gaming.

Ernie

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Customer avatar
Neil H February 14, 2023 5:50 am UTC
PURCHASER
I had come to similar conclusions as you but wanted to see if I was way off base. The 3.5 rework of this shows the distance between Solace and Xak Tsaroth as nearly 100miles, so I wasn't sure what to to think. Thank you for taking the time to reply to a question that really had nothing to do with your guide! I appreciate it. By the way, after I got some more time tonight I remembered that DL 5 had some series errata. In that errata it points everyone back to DL 3 and the large map of Abanasynia they included with that module. There it does indeed confirm your 1mile per hex. Thanks again.
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Customer avatar
Ernie N February 14, 2023 1:02 pm UTC
CREATOR
Happy to reply to all questions if I can. Part of the reason I’ve done 5e conversions and maps to to connect with the hobby when I can’t game as well as connecting with other gamers.

I’ve converted the DL series through DL7 but I skipped DL5 (DMs guild allows bare bones conversations of stat blocks abd there is too much of that in DL5). So I am not quite as familiar with it. I did not realize there was errata information in it.

I haven’t started DL8, the massive fortress maps are amazing but will require a serious effort.

Take care and happy gaming

Ernie
Customer avatar
Hays M December 16, 2022 5:57 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey, great maps, just wondering if there's any way to get .vtt files for them with the walls and stuff so I don't have to make them all manually?
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Customer avatar
Ernie N December 16, 2022 8:06 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hays,

Thanks for the feedback on the maps. I am glad you like them.

The maps were mostly done in Dungeondraft, which allows me to export VTT files. I've exported the files and uploaded them with a note that they are untested. I do not have the ability to test them in all of the products they could be used in. I worry a little about putting things out with an "as is" qualifier, but I am getting more requests for the VTT files. I hope they work well for you. My e-mail address is in the VTT read me file. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know how they work.

Thanks again for trying out this conversion guide.

Best regards and Happy Gaming

Ernie
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Customer avatar
Hays M December 16, 2022 10:29 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey, I'll send an email too, but I wanted to post publicly so everyone could see: the .vtt files work great! Thanks so much, and double thanks for getting them up fast enough for me to use them in my game tonight!
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Customer avatar
Ernie N December 16, 2022 10:38 pm UTC
CREATOR
Outstanding! Thanks for letting me know. I am sure others considering purchasing this guide and maps will appreciate knowing too. I am glad you will be able to use it in your game tonight (It's game night!!!! WOO HOO!!!). I've got 26 5e conversions and a handful of original adventures too. I may include the VTT files the way I did with this and with Temple of Elemental Evil, as an unadvertised, 'as is' resource. I am happy to put them out there if they are useful but I would not want to make promises regarding the VTT files since I can't test them everywhere they might be used.

Thanks again for letting me know they work well and happy gaming!

Ernie
Customer avatar
Robert H December 10, 2022 2:36 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Ernie,

I am looking to run a brand new set of adventurers through the original modules (never read the books never played dragonlance), and I’m excited for the ones you converted! Are you planning on converting the rest of them?
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Customer avatar
Ernie N December 10, 2022 7:05 pm UTC
CREATOR
I have recently picked up DL7 Dragons of Light again. I started on it a while back, but took a detour to convert some other modules. It's a busy time of year, but I hope to have this one out soon.

Take care and happy gaming.

Ernie
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Customer avatar
Ernie N December 23, 2022 6:02 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Robert,
Thank you again for your interest in the Dragonlance 5e Conversions. I have just released a 5e Conversion with Maps of DL7 Dragons of Light. https://www.dmsguild.com/product/421047/DL7-Dragons-of-Light
Take care and Happy Gaming
Ernie
Customer avatar
Dave P December 07, 2022 10:43 am UTC
actually none of your DL conversions show up when you search for Dragonlance, 5e
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Customer avatar
Ernie N December 07, 2022 1:06 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks Dave. I am not sure what to do about this. I tagged them for the Dragonlance setting yesterday. I think all of the right keywords are in the description. I will double check. I know they show up if you search for the module name.

I appreciate the heads up.

Stay safe and happy gaming.

Ernie
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Customer avatar
Ernie N December 07, 2022 2:49 pm UTC
CREATOR
This seems ok now. They show up if I search for Dragonlance 5e or Dragonlance, 5e. Maybe it took a day for the search engine to compile the changes.

Thanks again for the heads up.
Customer avatar
Dave P December 07, 2022 10:42 am UTC
Just wanted to let you know your product does not show up when you search for Dragonlance, 5e
Customer avatar
Cliff R July 31, 2022 5:28 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Sorry Ernie, but I could not figure out a way to privately mail you. Some items on the Xak_Tsaroth_LairoftheDragon map with the encounter keys are incorrect.
64 should be 63
64 should be just next to 64a
68a is missing from the alley (in between 68c, 68d and 68j)
68b is missing from the room right next to 68c
79b should be 69b
Thanks again.. btw, do you have any plans on doing any conversions for DL6+? To be honest, I am running the games in 1st Edition, I am just buying these for the maps (for Roll20)
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Customer avatar
Ernie N July 31, 2022 8:44 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hey Cliff,
Nice to hear from you again. I've made the adjustments to the DM Encounter key and uploaded it this afternoon. If you re-download you should have the corrections.

I will probably continue converting the Dragonlance Modules beginning with DL7 (DL6 is complete and available). I am taking a break to work on some other classic modules. I recently converted N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God and now I am working on Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits. The Demonweb map is both a challenge to create and a lot of work, but it's coming along nicely.

Thanks for letting me know about the numbering issues.

Stay safe and happy gaming.

Ernie
Customer avatar
Ernie N June 06, 2022 2:56 pm UTC
CREATOR
Other 5e conversions of classic Dragonlance adventures are also available:

DL2 Dragons of Flame - https://www.dmsguild.com/product/396779/DL2-Dragons-of-Flame--5e-Conversion-Guide-with-Maps
DL3 Dragons of Hope - https://www.dmsguild.com/product/397411/DL3-Dragons-of-Hope--5e-Conversion-Guide-with-Maps
DL4 Dragons of Desolation - https://www.dmsguild.com/product/399037/DL4-Dragons-of-Desolation--5e-Conversion-with-Maps




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Customer avatar
Ernie N June 06, 2022 2:58 pm UTC
CREATOR
Other 5e conversions of classic Dragonlance adventures are also available:

DL2 Dragons of Flame - https://www.dmsguild.com/product/396779/DL2-Dragons-of-Flame--5e-Conversion-Guide-with-Maps
DL3 Dragons of Hope - https://www.dmsguild.com/product/397411/DL3-Dragons-of-Hope--5e-Conversion-Guide-with-Maps
DL4 Dragons of Desolation - https://www.dmsguild.com/product/399037/DL4-Dragons-of-Desolation--5e-Conversion-with-Maps
Customer avatar
Wylie H May 29, 2022 12:11 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Any chance of adding a version of the wilderness map that either includes all the place names (e.g. Newports and Gateway are currently not labeled), or doesn't include any of them? Thanks!
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Customer avatar
Ernie N May 29, 2022 2:35 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Aemon,
Thank you very much for purchasing the conversion. I have added labels for Gateway and Newport (at least one of the New Ports). The wilderness map in the original DL1 publication did not label these. Interesting!? I wonder if that had not been settled at the time of initial publication. The maps I found were a bit unclear if one or both of the cities are were "New Port" or "New Ports". Right now, just one of them is labeled.

I've also converted DL2 and DL3. I'm working on DL4. It is interesting to compare and contrast the originally published wilderness maps in each of these. I think one of the later DL modules has a complete world map. It will be nice to get to work on that. Perhaps when I do, I will slice it up and include variants of the wilderness map for each preceding DL module in the bundle of maps.

Thanks again for your interest in this conversion. I appreciate it.

Ernie
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Customer avatar
Wylie H May 30, 2022 4:18 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Ernie,

That is most excellent; thank you very much!

The hexmap in DL1 is indeed interesting (not to mention hard to read!) - nothing labeled, in fact, on the map itself; you have to refer to the numbered key in the text. And it does show two settlements for the "New Ports," though the more north/westerly one vanishes from the map in the very next module....

I'm glad to hear you're continuing on with the conversions in the later modules of the series. Thanks for tackling this work!
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Customer avatar
Ernie N May 30, 2022 5:49 pm UTC
CREATOR
Anytime. Thanks for the feedback and info on "New Ports". I grew up on the north shore of Long Island. We had Center Port, Northport, East Northport, and a few other ports, but they all had some differences in labels. I guess the folks of "New Ports" haven't figured that out. ;-)

Take care,

Ernie
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Customer avatar
Ernie N July 13, 2022 4:36 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hey Aemon, I made a few more updates to the wilderness map based on your comment over at my blog. I didn't get a notification of your comment there. Sorry it took me so long to respond to it. Take care and happy gaming.
Ernie
Customer avatar
Ernie N May 20, 2022 8:29 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thank you for looking at my 5e Conversion of DL1 Dragons of Despair. Please check out my 5e conversions of DL2 Dragons of Flame https://www.dmsguild.com/product/396779/DL2-Dragons-of-Flame--5e-Conversion-Guide-with-Maps and DL3 Dragons of Hope https://www.dmsguild.com/product/397411/DL3-Dragons-of-Hope--5e-Conversion-Guide-with-Maps
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Customer avatar
Cliff R May 23, 2022 5:05 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Ernie, does this also contain a new Wilderness Map? The ones that come on the PDF for the 1e version on this site are... well, not good. Thank you
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Customer avatar
Ernie N May 23, 2022 9:01 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hey Cliff. DL1 Dragons of Despair now includes a wilderness map. The map was added on 5/23/2022. If you've already purchased it, redownload the files and the wilderness map will be included. If you have not, I have included a preview image of the wilderness map in the description. Thank you.
Ernie
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Customer avatar
Cliff R June 07, 2022 8:21 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Ernie, thank you for adding that. I do have a few questions.. Maybe I am missing something, but the maps that are labeled grid and no-grid look the exact same to me. Also, would it be possible on the dungeon maps to include a version that has the numbers from the originals? (for ease as the DM), Thank you very much
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Customer avatar
Ernie N June 07, 2022 8:33 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hey Cliff,

I will work on a variant with the numbers. The grid no grid options are pretty close in this case. I choose a dungeon tile that uses a 5' by 5' stone block. I'm fond of this tile and use it frequently. This is the same scale as the grid. I've also chosen a plain black background in both cases, which makes the grid a little hard to see. Take a look at Xak Tsaroth Mid Level, comparing the grid and not grid variants. The cave section in the middle more clearly shows the difference. With these particular maps, the difference is pretty minor, but I'm in the habit of exporting and preparing them both ways for all of my conversions (I have quite a few). https://www.dmsguild.com/browse.php?author=Ernie%20Noa Sometimes, depending on the tiles and textures I am using it makes a dramatic difference.

I'll add another comment when I have the numbering in place. My assumption, the maps were most likely to be used in Roll 20 or Fantasy Grounds, and the DM would not want them...See more
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Customer avatar
Ernie N June 07, 2022 8:34 pm UTC
CREATOR
The Xak Tsaroth ground level map probably shows the difference between grid and no grid the clearest. :-)
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Customer avatar
Ernie N June 07, 2022 9:44 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hello Cliff,

I just uploaded variants of the Xak Tsaroth interior levels which include a DM Encounter key as per the original module. I hope this is helpful.

Take care and happy gaming.

Ernie
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Customer avatar
Cliff R June 08, 2022 6:53 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you very much. The reason the wilderness one with numbers is requested (at least by me) is because the one in the module that you can buy through here, is amazingly hard to read. I appreciate all your work on these things, it truly is appreciated
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Customer avatar
Ernie N June 08, 2022 7:29 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks Cliff. I appreciate the feedback. I am working from an original printed copy purchased way back in the day. I do not have the scanned copy available here.

Happy Gaming Good Sir. :-)
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on May 07, 2021.