The Bard's Tale Wiki

Dungeons in the Bard's Tale games are special zones separated from the main game world areas (Skara Brae, etc), usually populated with stronger monsters (and containing better loot). It's worth noting that Spell Points don't regenerate while you're in a dungeon, like they do outside during the daytime. If your spell points start running low, you may want to head back to the surface and visit Roscoe's Energy Emporium!

Dungeon Mapping[]

Mapping of dungeons is vital to survival: if you can't find your way out, the monsters will eventually grind you down!

BT1 Map Template DIY copy

As the dungeon is divided into a grid of equal squares, graph paper can be exceedingly helpful! Fortunately, each dungeon is the same size: 22x22 squares, and they all align on top of each other (so if you teleport up a level or two, you'll still be at the same grid coordinates in terms of X and Y).

The bottom left (southwest) corner of the map is considered coordinate "0, 0". Also, staircases will be in the same coordinate square on the next level (so stairs down at 18, 7 on Level 1 are stairs up at 18, 7 on Level 2). Remember that the "outer wall" of the 22x22 square is not necessarily "solid" - in some places there are openings (or one can cast Phase Door [PHDO] and open a path!) where it's possible to "wrap around" the map, leaving the eastern side of the map and winding up on the western side, etc! If you don't have any graph paper, you can print out the map template here:

Finding Your Way[]

At minimum, you'll want a Torch, Lamp or magic light spell to see where you're going! It is possible to navigate in the dark by counting your steps and turns, and finding walls by bumping into them (you'll get the message "Ouch!", though your party takes no actual damage). It's also a good idea to have the Conjurer spell Kiel's Magic Compass [MACO] active while in the dungeon.

If you are lost, you can find your current coordinates in the dungeon by having a Magician cast Scry Site [SCSI] at a cost of 2 spell points. You can also teleport yourself within a dungeon (if not in a zone where teleportation is prohibited) by having a Conjurer cast Apport Arcane [APAR] at a cost of 15 spell points. Generally, unless your maps are very good and you know where you are already, it's a good idea to cast Scry Site before casting Apport Arcane, so you don't miss your target!

Traps and Hazards[]

Unlike the main game world areas such as Skara Brae, some dungeon squares have nasty Traps to snare the unwary. If tripped, trap effects can be as simple as physical damage, or persistent status effects such as Poison. Sometimes traps can be simply avoided by using Levitation spells - other times, you may wish to use the Trap Zap [TRZP] spell to disarm it. Labyrinth Hazards, on the other hand, can't be disarmed with Trap Zap, and must simply be avoided or endured...

Old School Gaming[]

It's important to remember that back in 1985, you couldn't just go online and download all the maps! A large part of the challenge involved exploring, crawling each dungeon level and finding out what's there, while fighting monsters at every turn. While downloading the maps is very convenient, to get the true Bard's Tale experience as it was in the days of yore, you should ignore the online maps, and make your own!