Last year, we were lucky enough to be gifted a copy of Dungeon Alchemist: AI-Powered Map Generator by one of our stream viewers and we were blown away by it. Since then, Dungeon Alchemist has only improved and implemented more tools to make your map creation life even easier. If you heard about this program and you find yourself sitting on the fence about purchasing it, then I’m here to help make the decision simpler for you. This program is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone really, however, I do know that it might not be for everyone and it would depend on what it is exactly you enjoy about map-making as DA’s strong suit is that it does a lot of the work for you, that being said, there is still the option of creating maps without the AI.

D&D Maps in less than 10 Minutes

Yes, you heard me. The AI-Powered Map Generation in Dungeon Alchemist has freed up a lot of my time when it comes to prepping for a session. When you open it up to start creating, it asks you what size you want your map to be, if you’re going to use it for digital or print and then gets you to choose a terrain theme which determines how the base level of your map looks. This step of the process also asks you what elevation you want in your terrain, what types of vegetation, if you want water, what sort of weather you want and the elevation you want the rooms at.

From here you just click ‘create room’ and choose from an assortment of options such as ‘Castle’, ‘Tavern’ or ‘Abandoned Ruins’ and you draw the size of it on the map. This will not only create a room that matches that theme but it will populate it with items, furniture and lighting that may be in that type of room. Then you simply continue to add or edit rooms and you can choose landscaping for the outside such as trees, webs, water, fog and even lava.

The great thing about this is that you’re not even stuck with what they generate, it’s simply a jumping-off point if you need it to be and you have the ability to delete and move items that were auto-generated if they don’t suit your needs. These tools have helped me prep several maps in a span of five minutes, a process that I used to set aside an hour for at the very least.

New updates and features with a huge community library

The team over at Dungeon Alchemist are very friendly and responsive and always open to feedback and input which is definitely a huge part of their success with this program. They are constantly keeping their customers updated on new and upcoming features and take the time to showcase them as well so that you know what’s new and available to you. I can’t stress enough how much I love seeing the way they let us know what they’re up to and when we can expect things to be released. You can find their updates on their blog here. If communication is something you also value when choosing a product, then look no further.

Another important note about the updates for Dungeon Alchemist is that DA is not a subscription-based program. It’s got a relatively low price point and it’s a one-time purchase. Considering that the program is well worth buying right now as is, we can call it a huge steal when you take into account that they are continuing to add to it.

Now, let’s talk about the community behind the Dungeon Alchemist. The Dungeon Alchemist discord community are constantly sharing their DA creations and assets that you can use! A passionate and excited group of people pour into Dungeon Alchemist, even outside of their official team. Simply by joining their discord, you gain access to hundreds of high-quality pre-made maps.

Virtual Tabletop Integration

The exporting of the maps gives you several options such as Roll20, Foundry and Fantasy Ground that make it easy to import your maps into these programs. However, because I’m primarily a Fantasy Grounds Unity user, I’ll give you my perspective on the way this program works with FG.

With other map-making programs, I’ve had to do a lot of the setting of the grid in fantasy grounds and adding in light sources manually. So I was really surprised when I was making maps several weeks ago and imported them into Fantasy Grounds, thinking I would have to take some time to do the set-up, only to find that importing a Dungeon Alchemist map does all that work for you.

Dungeon Alchemist Export Options
Dungeon Alchemist Export Options

Beautiful Animated and Dynamic Maps

Something else that I was a sucker for was the animation of the leaves in the trees or the flames of the bonfire pits. The map asset animation in Dungeon Alchemist is absolutely stunning. Since it allows you to export the maps as a video, you could use these in your home games to have incredible-looking, dynamic maps displayed on a screen, if you’re feeling fancy.

The lighting options in Dungeon Alchemist made it super quick and easy to create different variations of my maps as well. With the click of a button, I could turn daylight into a sunset, sunrise or night and it will change the angles that the shadows are being cast. You can also further manually adjust the lighting with sliders that increase or decrease the brightness, bring the sun slightly up or down and you can even change the colour of the light being cast.

Dungeon Alchemist Lighting
Night Version of Dungeon Alchemist Map
Sunset Version of Dungeon Alchemist Map
Sunset Version of Dungeon Alchemist Map

The program also allows you to paint in some special effects to further enhance the atmosphere you’re trying to create with your map. You have the option to paint in fireflies, will-o-wisps, electric arcs, smoke, steam, mist, fog, fire and so much more!

Hero Forge Minis

Another feature I thought was really neat is the token option which allows you to place some tokens into your maps, you simply drag them out of a window and plop them down. While there isn’t a huge selection of tokens built into the program at the time of writing this, they do have hero forge integration that allows you to link your hero forge account with an access key so you can import your 3D minis into the environment. Which, I mean, that’s amazing, right?

A time-saving program for any Dungeon Master

I would recommend this program to any Dungeon Master and I think it would make a great gift for one if you’re a player looking for something to give to your DM, I do have a caveat about who I think this program is best suited for. This program is currently best used for battle maps rather than world or regional maps, it’s best suited to smaller areas where you know your players are likely to fight or have some sort of obstacle where visualizing movements matters. Another dungeon master here at Top Down Tabletop has also previously used it for portions of their city such as a market district.

So, there you have it! I hope that this personal review of mine has helped you make your decision about whether you should purchase Dungeon Alchemist, or perhaps you’re just now learning about this program through this article. In any case, I hope you’ve enjoyed and remember, play with the top down!

If you’d like to purchase your own copy of Dungeon Alchemist or learn more, you can head on over to their website by clicking this link.

Written By: VixxDraws

VixxDraws is one of the co-founders of Top Down Tabletop, in charge of creative direction and one of the main channel artists.