Today, I’m thrilled to present my Dungeon Master’s Guide to Neverwinter. Consider this a gift I humbly offer to all of you wonderfully hard-working D&D DMs. The goal of this guide is to give a Dungeon Master all the tools and resources they need to have their party visit Neverwinter in D&D Fifth Edition. I was particularly interested in helping all of the newer DMs that may have started with Lost Mine of Phandelver or Dragon of Icespire Peak. I hope that you all find the contents of this guide, and all of its associated resources, helpful in delighting your players as they enter Neverwinter.
A Dungeon Master’s Guide to Neverwinter – PDF (30 MB)
A Dungeon Master’s Guide to Neverwinter – EncounterPlus Module (60 MB)
Neverwinter Maps (13 MB)
Battle Maps (29 MB)
Neverwinter Artwork (9 MB)
Point-of-Interest Cards (7 MB)
Point-of-Interest Cards – Affinity Publisher Files (378 MB)
For this guide, I knew that I needed a beautifully detailed map of Neverwinter as it exists in Fifth Edition. I felt the community deserved something a bit more detailed than what is available in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. I fancy myself a bit of a D&D cartographer, but doing Neverwinter justice was simply beyond my skill level. Thus I commissioned a map from the amazing cartographer, Damijan Jeric. Damijan does fantastic hand-drawn maps of both real world and fantasy locations, and he did an absolutely amazing job on Neverwinter.
As an additional resource, I have provided a number of Battle/Encounter Maps in the guide. Some of these are just general utilitarian maps of the urban environment, and others belong so specific mini adventures in the guide. If you’re looking for a particular Battle Map in Neverwinter that the guide doesn’t have, please leave a comment and I’ll see what I can add to future iterations of this guide!
I had a handful of locations, scenes, and people I knew I wanted to depict. I also knew that I wasn’t nearly skilled enough to create all of these myself, so I set out to commission a number of really excellent pieces from some very talented artists. It was fun to see how each of the individual artists interpreted the text of the scenes, and having such a great variety of styles fits right in with D&D tradition! I think these works all speak for themselves.
The Fallen Tower: One of the most elaborate scenes I had commissioned was the events of the Fallen Tower – a tavern that has magical phantom images of mages falling to their fiery deaths repeated night after night! It’s a truly creative and bizarre scene, and one of the most memorable in Neverwinter. The very talented Deryl Arrazaq illustrated this piece for me. Working with Deryl was a delight – it’s like he read my mind in what I wanted out of this piece.
The Beached Leviathan: Another very memorable locale in Neverwinter is the Beached Leviathan. It’s a beached pirate ship that has turned into an inn and tavern. It’s a truly fun location, and allows players to practice their pirate speak. Another very talented artist, that goes by skiho, did an absolutely amazing job on drawing the Beached Leviathan.
Castle Never: The majestic scene of Castle Never (that I used as my cover image) was done by the incredibly talented Valery Sazonov. Valery does amazing fantasy landscape and cityscape pieces, and has a masterful grasp on creating beautiful time-of-day colorings. I think the sunset hue with which she captured Castle Never was truly stunning.
The Moonstone Mask and The Shard of the Moon: Syeda Farwa was commissioned to do two of my favorite locales. Syeda is another very talented landscape artist and does big and bold imposing structures in her artwork. I had Syeda take on two of Neverwinter’s magically floating locations: The Moonstone Mask and The Shard of the Moon!
Dagult Neverember: Last, but certainly not least, was Esteban Santos, who was commissioned to create a rendition of the incredibly complex character Dagult Neverember. Esteban does absolutely fantastic monster artwork and tokens on a regular basis, and knows D&D properties and characters well. It was fun watching him work out a variety of initial sketches on Lord Neverember to capture his disposition correctly.
Shop & Point of Interest Cards
One of the most popular things I do is create Shop/Point-of-Interest cards for places I expect players to need to stop and “browse”. I find these cards are immensely helpful in freeing up me, the DM, to roleplay at these locations (rather than spending my time scrambling through binders of price lists). They also give the players some extra visuals when theater of the mind isn’t doing everything it needs to do. I have created these for a number of Neverwinter locations, and I’m open to doing more. Drop me a line if there are particular Neverwinter locales that you think are deserving of a card!
I have shop cards for both cannonnical and homebrew locations in Neverwinter. Be sure to check out the Downloads section above for download links to both the shop cards as well as their source Affinity Publisher files.
And Much More!
There’s a whole lot more to this guide. If there’s anything in this guide that isn’t available for download here, feel free to contact me or leave a comment on this post and I’ll see what I can do! Furthermore, if you have suggestions for additional content you’d like to see in this guide, or have any corrections that you think should be made, then don’t hesitate to reach out!
Have questions or requests? Please feel free to leave a comment below, contact me. Join me on my Discord Server to get an early peak at stuff I’m working on!
I’ve had a number of people reach out to me and ask how they can pay or donate money for my work. Simply knowing others are getting enjoyment out of these creations is absolutely reward enough for me. However, if you feel you absolutely must give me something – I have created a Ko-Fi link so that you may buy me a cup of coffee. Thank you so much!
A Dungeon Master’s Guide to Neverwinter is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
Hey there, awesome work, I really appreciate you sharing all this experience with us 🙂
[…] out the Neverwinter sourcebook on Johnston’s blog, which also comes alongside separate battle maps, artworks, and points-of-interest reference cards. […]
Would you be willing to update this amazing work of yours with a back cover of any style? I’m considering getting this professionally printed for myself and would appreciate a back cover for that. 🙂
Absolutely great idea (and I’m honored you would want to print this)! I’ll have that in the next revision for sure (as well as ensuring the page count lines up!)
How can i use this on my Roll 20 this would be amazing for my family and myself.
I don’t currently have a Roll20 module for this, but all of the resources are available for download if anyone wanted to create one.
What a gift, thanks Jacob! Looking forward to replacing my quick sketch map of town with this beauty.
Second on the Roll20 package of this, would be a great way to monetize on their marketplace if your into that sort of thing.
Absolutely love your work! Truly amazing and really helpful for me! Thx a lot!
Lovely work – Tipped!
This came at the perfect time as my players are headed to Neverwinter, thanks so much! Are you going to include a token download here at some point? By the way Priscilla is misspelled on one page.
How do you make the shop cards?
@Ian – The shop cards are made using Affinity Publisher
My pcs are going to Neverwinter since they adventure went wrong in Phandalin and this will help a lot.
Thank you for sharing and awesome work!
Any chance the NPC art could be a separate download? I’m running Neverwinter as it was in 4E and so much of this still works. Amazing!
And if you ever feel ambitious, a map of Castle Never is what the world needs. It’s so odd that nothing official has ever been put together given how much has been written about it!
This a *fantastic* resource for adventures in Neverwinter, thank you SO much for putting it together, and offering all of your hard work for free to all of us DMs!
Amazing resource. I love the “Read more” references with page numbers. You knocked it out of the park.
Thank you for this, you have saved me hours of prep by sharing this. Amazing job!
Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but does The High Road come out of Neverwinter to the south of The Protector’s Enclave, or does it lead south from The Chasm District? I can’t seem to find any maps that have the roads that leave town labeled.
@Tim – I’m not sure there’s a definitive answer to that anywhere. In my imagination (and how I described it to my table), I pictured there being a fork in The High Road maybe a half mile south of Neverwinter – one path leads to Protector’s Enclave, the other path to The Chasm District. When my party first approached Neverwinter from the south, I actually had the elves in the party notice – far off – that one gate looked well-guarded (Protector’s Enclave), and the other gate looked broken and was surrounded by fell walls (Chasm District). I then let them pick which path they would take. But, again, that was just my interpretation – if you find an official source on this matter, let me know!
Thank you for all this awesome work, maybe a silly question but the A Dungeon Master’s Guide to Neverwinter – EncounterPlus Module, downloads as a guide-to-neverwinter.module file? What do I use to open the file? Thanks
@Sergio – that is for EncounterPlus, the VTT I use!
Amazing work on this! So helpful for DMs!
I did have one comment, though, which is that I’m not sure your take on the Cloak Tower matches up with 5e canon. Specifically, the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide says that “A short while ago, Neverwinter was beset by all manner of damage, danger, and gloom. Now, the orcs that once menaced the city have moved east….” In addition, Gallio Elibrio receives communications and directives from the Order of the Many-Starred Cloak. Taken together, these would seem to indicate that the Order is once again operating out of the Cloak Tower, not a gang of orcs.
Anyway, I just wanted to mention this since a DM running Beyond Icespire Peak might run into some plot holes/contradictions.
I’m not sure how I missed that in my reading of the source material! That’s a big deal! I’ll go ahead and address that information on the next revision.
BLESS YOU! I’m DMing Dragon of Icespire peak for new players and one died in the Dwarven Excavation exploring alone. They decided to go to Neverwinter to hopefully find a higher level priest or cleric to raise dead. You are a life saver (literally)
Thank you so much for making this available. This is great content.
Thank you so much for this! First time DM and my party decided it had to go to Neverwinter to get a dragon horn turned into a battle horn after completing most of Lost Mines and good chunk of Icespire Peak. This helped me not to have to do something lame and have them tossed out of the City because I had no idea what to do (even after reading the Sword Coast Adventure’s Guide). Now I have a few fun story threads to run with this week and background to make more if they keep sticking around the city. Thank you!!!
Yeah. This is excellent. Well done.
Thank you so much for sharing this! This is wonderful content and is a great resource.
Excellent. Thank you.
Can I get a brief write up of the character of each district? Like what kind of people live there, the overall tone of each district, and what kind of stuff can be found there?
Like which district is the seedy part of town? Where can you find a infinite variety of food stalls? Where can you go to meet the working class people? Where can you meet the head of the Thieves Guild?
Hello can I get brief description of the types of people found in each district?
Like working class, wealthy elites, thieves, food stall owners, etc etc.
These questions aren’t really answered in the guide because they are hard to get canonical answers for in 1492 DR era. However, here’s what I would assume to be true:
– Bluelake (formerly Blacklake) District used to have all the fancy noble homes. It’s hard to say how damaged these were with the cataclysm, but there are likely still many fancy homes in that region, mixed in with some that were destroyed or abandoned.
– The lowest class would almost certainly be in the Chasm district. This area was almost entirely wiped out and only the most scrappy upstarts have tried to settle here. It’s a place of great opportunity to build yourself up if you’re tenacious enough.
– Protector’s Enclave would have the strongest, most-surviving structures, but this area was largely commercial and government buildings rather than residential.
– Tower District would have been overrun by orcs until recently, and so probably would have not had many rich folk recently.
– The Thieves Guild may well have been hidden anywhere in Neverwinter, including the sewers. It’s hard to say where the Thieves Guild would have been exactly, but there was a large wererat overlap with the thieves guild, and they likely popped up out of the sewers.
Thanks! This is really helpful. I can expand on this for my players so I can say whether their passing through the wealthier side of town or the seedier parts of town. 🙂
Based on the information I made this write up for those who need it (This is not by WoTC or Jacob Johnson):
The Protector’s Enclave is the heart of Neverwinter, known for its strong, well-constructed buildings that have withstood the tests of time and disaster. As the hub of commercial and governmental activity, this area is bustling with merchants, bureaucrats, and other influential figures who work to maintain order and prosperity within the city.
While the Protector’s Enclave is not primarily a residential area, some of the wealthiest and most powerful individuals in Neverwinter call it home. These powerful figures have spared no expense in building opulent mansions and estates in this prestigious district.
In addition to its commercial and residential importance, the Protector’s Enclave is also home to the city’s most important civic institutions. The Hall of Justice is the headquarters of the city guard and the main court in Neverwinter. It’s a grand stone building with fortified walls and watchtowers. The House of Knowledge is a temple dedicated to Oghma, the god of knowledge and invention. The temple is a place of learning and worship, and many scholars and scribes come here to study and work.
Despite the district’s wealth and power, there are still those who seek to exploit its resources for their own gain. Criminal organizations and corrupt officials lurk in the shadows, seeking to take advantage of the Protector’s Enclave’s position of influence.
However, the district’s well-trained and well-equipped defenders, including the famous Neverwinter Guard, are vigilant against any threats to the peace and stability of the enclave. With their support and protection, the Protector’s Enclave remains a beacon of strength and prosperity for the city of Neverwinter.
The Bluelake District remains an area of great importance and wealth in Neverwinter. The district is situated around the eponymous Bluelake, a large and picturesque body of water that serves as a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. While many of the district’s mansions were destroyed or abandoned, some of the more resilient and resourceful residents have managed to rebuild or repair their homes, and the district remains a hub of commerce, culture, and politics in Neverwinter.
This idstrict is also well known for its many luxury shops, fine restaurants, and opulent villas, which cater to the city’s wealthiest and most influential citizens. The district is also home to many wealthy guilds and organizations, which wield a great deal of power and influence in the city.
Despite its prosperity, the Bluelake District is not without its dangers. The wealth and power concentrated in the district has attracted the attention of criminals, who are constantly seeking to exploit the district’s residents and businesses. Many of the district’s wealthy residents have invested heavily in security measures to protect themselves and their property from these threats, but even the most well-protected homes and businesses are not immune to the dangers that lurk in the shadows of Neverwinter.
Overall, the Bluelake District remains an important and influential part of Neverwinter, even after the cataclysm. Its elegant architecture, beautiful gardens, and rich history continue to draw visitors and residents from all over the city and beyond. Despite the challenges and dangers that come with living in such a wealthy and powerful district, many continue to flock to the Bluelake District in search of wealth, power, and influence.
The Chasm District is a once-thriving area of Neverwinter that was devastated by the cataclysm. During which The Chasm, a massive fissure that ran through the center of the district, threatened to consume the entire area. The Chasm was eventually sealed but the destruction still left the district was reduced to nothing more than a series of leveled ruins.
Despite the destruction, the area has become a hub for the working class who are drawn to the opportunity to create a new life for themselves. Many settlers, unable to establish themselves elsewhere in Neverwinter, have flocked to the Chasm District in droves. They face numerous dangers and challenges, but are undeterred by the prospect of building something new and exciting in a place that has been left dormant for so long.
The heart of the Chasm District is Chasm Road. A bustling open-air bazaar made up of a maze of colorful merchant tents and food stalls selling a variety of goods and delicacies. Many of the vendors here are hardworking individuals who call the Chasm District home, and rely on the market to make their living. Chasm Road is a testament to the resilience and resourcefulness of its people. The market provides a much-needed source of income and community for those who call the district home, and it serves as a vibrant hub of commerce and culture in an otherwise desolate landscape.
Despite the challenges facing the residents of the Chasm District, they remain determined to create a new life for themselves in this unique and challenging environment. As a result, the district is rapidly becoming a hotbed of activity and innovation, driven by the energy and determination of its working-class residents.
The Tower District of Neverwinter is a neighborhood filled with danger and a reputation for being a lawless neighborhood dominated by the imposing ruins of The CLoak Tower. The Tower serves as a constant reminder of the district’s violent past, which was once overrun by orcs until recently. Many criminal organizations and gangs operate in the area, often preying upon the district’s impoverished residents. They openly extort and intimidate the populace without any fear of reprisal.
This lawless environment has made it an ideal location for various illicit activities such as underground fighting rings, seedy taverns, and gambling dens. Adventurers and mercenaries are drawn to the district, seeking work that requires their skills in exchange for valuable resources. Adventurers and mercenaries often seek out work in the district, where they can put their skills to use in exchange for gold or valuable resources.
The CLoak Tower ruins offer a unique opportunity for those brave enough to explore them. Hidden chambers and forgotten tunnels may contain valuable treasures or dangerous traps, and many adventurers have lost their lives seeking their fortune in the ruins of this district. Despite the constant danger, there are still those who call the Tower District home. They form tight-knit communities and often band together for protection against the criminals who prey upon them.
Overall, the Tower District of Neverwinter is a place of extremes, offering both great risk and great reward for those who venture within its borders. It is a place where one must be cautious and always on guard, as danger can lurk around every corner. But for those willing to take the risk, the district offers the potential for great riches and adventure.
The Docks of Neverwinter are a hub of activity, where ships from all over the world come to trade goods and take on supplies. It is a place of constant motion, as cargo is loaded and unloaded, sailors come and go, and merchants haggle over prices. The docks are a vital part of the city’s economy, as they provide access to goods from far-off lands and serve as a gateway to other parts of the world.
However, the docks are also a place of danger and uncertainty. Criminal elements such as smugglers and pirates often operate in the area, preying on the lucrative goods passing through the docks. The waterfront is also home to many unsavory establishments, which can be a source of temptation for sailors and other visitors.
Nevertheless, the docks are an essential part of life in Neverwinter, and many people make their living in the area. Dock workers, sailors, merchants, and craftsmen all rely on the bustling trade that takes place here. The waterfront is also a place of great diversity, with people from all walks of life and all corners of the world converging here.
Despite the risks, the docks of Neverwinter continue to be a vital and dynamic part of the city’s life. They offer opportunities for trade and commerce, as well as a glimpse into the wider world beyond the city’s borders. As long as there are ships sailing the seas, the docks of Neverwinter will remain a bustling and important part of the city’s identity.
The Floating Earthmotes are a wonder of Neverwinter, three massive chunks of Neverwinter that, as a result of the Spellplague, floated into the sky. Industrious residents anchored the earthmotes using ropes and chains to prevent them from drifting off into the Sword Coast, and since then, they have become integral parts of the city’s culture and commerce.
The Moonstone Mask is a luxurious inn built on the earthmote, anchored to the docks of the Protector’s Enclave, where travelers and wealthy guests can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city. It was constructed by Ophala Cheldarstorn, a renowned mage and member of the Many-Starred Cloak. As time passed, the inn eventually fell into disrepair and financial ruin. It was only through the dedicated efforts of Ophala’s successor, Liset Cheldar, along with the assistance of Lord Neverember, that the inn was restored to its former glory.
Pirates’ Skyhold is a floating earthmote northwest of Neverwinter that was once claimed by a group of pirates as their base. A tragedy occurred on the earthmote, leaving the pirates dead or missing. Rumors abound of Ghosts, Netherese inhabitants, a Dragon, and hoards of treasure on the skyhold.
Fisher’s Float is an earthmote just southwest of Neverwinter that a guild of fishermen calls home. While these fishermen peacefully supply a large portion of Neverwinter’s seafood, rumors suggest that they may be in allegiance with evil sea gods and/or sea monsters. The guild may have secrets and hidden agendas that could pose a threat to the city.
All three of the Floating Earthmotes offer unique opportunities for adventurers seeking to explore the wonders and mysteries of Neverwinter. Whether they are looking for luxury accommodations, hidden treasure, or secret knowledge, there is much to discover on these magical earth formations hovering high in the sky.
@Andrew – really well done, I love it!
Just want to say thanks and that this resource has been invaluable for me! My party did Lost Mine of Phandelver and we’re segueing into Dragon of Icespire Peak (upgraded to tier 2). My party wanted to go to Neverwinter, so I was trying to do some research on my own, but this PDF was perfect. I have used almost all of the homebrew shops too (except the magic item shop). Right now we’re doing the Acquisition’s Incorporated adventure set in Neverwinter and it’s going really well! But I don’t think I could have done nearly as good a job without your help, so I really appreciate it!
Absolutely stunning and helpful work but I do have one question: why are all of the character illustrations white? Even the elves and dwarves are white.
@Hassan – For the canonical characters (Harrag, Liset Cheldar, Neverember, etc.) – I’ve had them illustrated how they were described in source material or how they were drawn by other people. Those just happened to be white. Fifth Edition upped the skin tone diversity a fair bit, but many of these characters came about in 4th Edition or earlier.
For the Homebrew stuff, there’s no particular reason, and I’ll be sure to include some more diverse skin tones as I add new adventures and content! The technical answer is that these character renderings often start out in Daz3D which tends to do a slightly tannish skin tone color by default. That then gets lightened up by the tools when I convert them to paintings (using Dynamic Auto Painter). I actually usually need to put in a bit more effort in the tools to render darker skin tones accurately.
Thanks, this is great. These maps are beautiful. Do you happen to know the font that damijan used?
@Jeff O – while Damijan hand drew the map, I actually put the labels and compass rose on. The fonts are Nodesto Caps Condensed from the Solbera font set!