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Very Disappointed with Dungeon of the Mad Mage

1669604523
I'm running a D&D game for a large pool of potential players who frequently drop in and out, often including beginners who have never played before. Due to this structure, I need a lot of content but not much plot (which would need to be remembered and recapped from session to session). I play in a Rime of the Frost Maiden campaign, and am very impressed with the production values. Detailed maps, pre-placed tokens, handouts. I mistakenly assumed this would be the standard for WotC products. With that in mind, Dungeon of the Mad Mage seemed like a perfect fit: 25 varying levels of dungeon whose elements are only loosely connected. But the production values are awful. The maps are utterly bare bones, mostly just blank grid with walls but no interior objects, and none of the creatures are placed. There are literally over a thousand details that I need to fill in to make it minimally playable, and probably tens of thousands if I wanted it to be comparable to RotFM. Very disappointed.
1669610995

Edited 1669611032
Kraynic
Pro
Sheet Author
Just out of curiosity, you didn't buy the map pack addon and install that in your game as well?  If you did, that overwrites the module maps with placed monsters with the blank maps from the addon. The addon pack is intended for someone that just wants to use the maps and put in their own content. I don't own either of those things, but I know this has come up in the past.  There is a notice about this in the description of the map/card addon pack on it's marketplace page.  If you did overwrite the base module, you are probably best served by creating another game with the module and then using the transmogrifier to bring the original (populated) maps into your existing game.
1669611837
keithcurtis
Forum Champion
Marketplace Creator
API Scripter
It's also worth mentioning that Roll20 rarely, if ever commissions original art (in fact, they must usually get special permission to do so). If you have looked at the print versions of these modules, you will notice that the maps in Rime are full color, while those in DotMM are black and white line art. Roll20 uses what the publisher sends. This is also why some tokens in modules have text labels instead of illustrations. If the publisher didn't commission art, there's no art to be had. The note that none of the creatures are placed however does indicate that something like what Kraynic describes is going on.
1669807360

Edited 1669807661
For the purpose you state, there are multiple publishers that provide way more production value than WOTC. Personally  I am a great fan of kobold press, which has multiple bundles of oneshots for between 1 and 2 dollar per piece. The WOTC modules with easiest high production value reuse in oneshots - i would say- are tombe of annihiliation and curse of strahd. All the modules with black/white maps are not flattering on a vtt. Especially if players turned on dark mode.
1669962939

Edited 1669963012
The maps in many D&D official modules are absolutely abysmal, unfortunately it is a Buyer Beware situation. Wizards of the Coast needs to hear from you, make sure you send them a disapproving communication. I know I have. However, there are many many fans who make replacement maps for the terrible, awful, no good ones WotC publishes! Check the Dungeon of the Mad Mage subreddit. Plenty of remade maps there to use if you are interested.  Roll20 really should spend the money themlseves to redo them, however, just as they did with Curse of Strahd and the Castle. There's a reason they don't allow reviews on the Marketplace.. zero people would buy the modules with shitty maps if they did.
1670018006

Edited 1670018069
Jacob R.
Pro
Translator
The maps in DOTMM are Dyson Logo maps which is exactly what you are describing: bare bones black and white. But this is how they are in the printed book. The Roll20 product obviously needs to be a mirror of the printed product. So this is a WotC issue and not a Roll20. There are people who vastly prefer Dyson Logo maps - they like the simplicity of them. But with online play they are not very good. Other WotC products with Dyson Logo maps are Descent into Avernus, Candlekeep and Dragon Heist. As you have sen with RotFM not all WotC products use Dyson Logo maps. Actually most don't. Another very used cartographer for WotC product is Mike Schley - and he makes awesome maps. If you want to lure in potential players run the first two adventures from Tales from the Yawning Portal (Sunless Citadel and Forge of Fury). Not only are they very good basic dungeon-based advnetures, they also have awesome (Mike Schley) maps. This is the product on the market place:&nbsp; <a href="https://marketplace.roll20.net/browse/bundle/3804/tales-from-the-yawning-portal" rel="nofollow">https://marketplace.roll20.net/browse/bundle/3804/tales-from-the-yawning-portal</a> It is also possible just buying the two adventures separately (but the whole books is awesome - and has great maps).
1670200284
I have been running Dungeon of the Mad Mage for several months on Roll20. I use Cryen's Maps . I believe all levels are now complete - they are also free. They are sized the same as the maps that come with the module, so if you import them over the existing map layers, everything should line up. Some other useful DotMM items: Monsters' Guide to Combat Encounters for DotMM L1-L23 Monster Loot – Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage DotMM Boxed Flavor Text - Levels 1-10 [BUNDLE] Requires a little work to put it together. I usually take it one or two levels at a time. Skullport was a whole other thing...
1670352345
Todd
Roll20 Team
Kat U said: I'm running a D&amp;D game for a large pool of potential players who frequently drop in and out, often including beginners who have never played before. Due to this structure, I need a lot of content but not much plot (which would need to be remembered and recapped from session to session). I play in a Rime of the Frost Maiden campaign, and am very impressed with the production values. Detailed maps, pre-placed tokens, handouts. I mistakenly assumed this would be the standard for WotC products. With that in mind, Dungeon of the Mad Mage seemed like a perfect fit: 25 varying levels of dungeon whose elements are only loosely connected. But the production values are awful. The maps are utterly bare bones, mostly just blank grid with walls but no interior objects, and none of the creatures are placed. There are literally over a thousand details that I need to fill in to make it minimally playable, and probably tens of thousands if I wanted it to be comparable to RotFM. Very disappointed. While others have done an excellent job of explaining alternatives for the style of map found in Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage, I do want to point out that what Kraynic says specifically about the potential confusion of using the map pack instead of the adventure module is very likely the reason you're not seeing maps populated with tokens. Create a game using this module and you should see those elements already present in the conversion. Kraynic said: Just out of curiosity, you didn't buy the map pack addon and install that in your game as well?&nbsp; If you did, that overwrites the module maps with placed monsters with the blank maps from the addon. The addon pack is intended for someone that just wants to use the maps and put in their own content. I don't own either of those things, but I know this has come up in the past.&nbsp; There is a notice about this in the description of the map/card addon pack on it's marketplace page.&nbsp; If you did overwrite the base module, you are probably best served by creating another game with the module and then using the transmogrifier to bring the original (populated) maps into your existing game.
1670770198
Thanks much for the explanations and suggestions. Yes, I got the complete DotMM including the Map Pack. Starting a new game without it loaded the tokens. Cyren's maps align perfectly , and the detail is so much better!