Category Archives: D&D5E

Alabaster Palace of the Dao—Published!

I was so excited about the news that Wizards of the Coast was opening up an avenue to self-publish Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition content, called Dungeon Masters Guild, and I knew immediately what I wanted to do when I heard the news—publish the Genie Palace Heist adventures.

So after a few weeks of illustrating, editing, and formatting, I have finally published my first in a series of adventures: Alabaster Palace of the Dao. Here are screenshots of the first few pages.

Page 2: Palace Map

Page 2: Palace Map

Page 4-5: Adventure Start and First Room

Page 4-5: Adventure Start and First Room

New Homebrew Feat: Dual Implement Wielder

two of wands

two of wands

I’m considering the following homebrew feat for a high-magic D&D 5th edition campaign.


Dual Implement Wielder

You master wielding two implements at once, gaining the following benefits:

  • You can use an action to attune to a magical implement.
  • You can draw or stow two implements when you would normally be able to draw or stow only one.
  • When you wield an implement in each hand, and you activate the power of one of the implements with an action, you can activate the power of the other implement as a bonus action instead of an action.

This feat proved to be waaay too strong, so I have replaced it with the following:

Wand Mastery

You are practised with magic wands, switching between them with ease, and gaining the most out of their use.

  • You can use an action to attune to a wand.
  • When a wand you are attuned to recharges, it regains the maximum number of charges.
  • When you use the last charge of a wand, it is never destroyed.

I may return to the concept of dual wielding wands someday, but only with the addition perhaps of cantrip wands.

New Homebrew Spell: Investiture of Death

necromancer and skeleton minion

Necromancer and skeleton minion

Inspired by the investiture spells of Princes of the Apocalypse, the D&D 5th edition campaign by Wizards of the Coast, here is a homebrew investiture spell for the School of Necromancy.

  • Investiture of Death (Cleric 6, Sorcerer 6, Warlock 6, Wizard 6)

Investiture of Death

Level: 6
School: Necromancy
Casting time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

Until the spell ends, dark energy whirls around you, and you gain the following benefits:

  • You are immune to necrotic damage and have resistance to radiant damage.
  • Any creature that moves within 5 feet of you for the first time on a turn or ends its turn there takes 1d8 necrotic damage, and it can’t regain hit points until the start of your next turn.
  • You can use your action to create a 10-foot-radius sphere of swirling death energy centered on a point you can see within 60 feet of you. Each creature in that area must make a Constitution saving throw. A creature takes 3d8 necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. If a creature fails its save, it also can’t regain hit points until the start of your next turn.

Circle of the Swarm Druid

elf druid

Wood elf druid

Here’s a homebrew D&D 5E druid archetype I’ve been working on: The Circle of the Swarm.  They are similar to Circle of the Moon druids, except they are able to Wild Shape into swarms of tiny beasts.

While swarms have strong immunities and resistances, they have relatively low hit points, armor class, saving throws, the inability to regain hit points or gain temporary hit points, and they deal half damage when they have half or fewer hit points. Also for balance and thematic reasons, they are unable to maintain concentration while in swarm form.

Since swarms cannot regain hit points, I thought it necessary to replace the Combat Wild Shape self-healing ability with something else, in this case two options that harken back to earlier editions: blighted swarms channel spell slots into additional necrotic damage, and luminescent swarms channel spell slots into healing others. Using spell slots for extra damage means that while blightbeast swarms can do roguelike damage, they lose steam quickly.

To make them a little hardier when area damage gets stronger at mid to high levels, they gain a form of uncanny dodge.

Also, to make them comparable to Moon druid high-CR forms at higher levels, Swarm druids have the ability to split into multiple swarms and replenish lost swarms at higher levels. I need to do further testing to see if having 2 to 4 swarms breaks action economy any worse than comparable conjuring spells.


Circle of the Swarm (Druid Archetype)

Combat Wild Shape

When you choose this circle at 2nd level, you gain the ability to Wild Shape on your turn as bonus action, rather than as an action.

Circle Forms

The rites of your circle grant you the ability to transform into swarms of tiny beasts. Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Wild Shape to transform into a beast swarm with a challenge rating as high as 1 (you ignore the Max. CR column of the Beast Shapes table, but must abide by the other limitations there).

You cannot maintain concentration on spells while you are transformed into a swarm.

When you choose this circle at 2nd level, you also choose which kind of swarm you can change into: blighted or luminescent.

Blighted Swarm: While you are transformed by Wild Shape into a swarm, you can use a bonus action to expend a spell slot to inflict an additional 1d8 necrotic damage per spell slot expended on your next melee attack. The target makes a Constitution saving throw equal to your spell DC. On a successful save, the target takes half damage.

Luminescent Swarm: While you are transformed by Wild Shape into a swarm, you shed bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. You can use an action to spend a spell slot to heal 1d8 damage per spell slot expended to an adjacent target.

Starting at 6th level, you can transform into a number of additional beast swarms up to your druid level divided by 6, rounded down. Each swarm must be identical, up to CR 2. Each swarm acts independently with its own actions. Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points does not cause you to revert to normal form, but it does kill that swarm. Only reducing all of your swarms to 0 hit points will cause you to revert to normal form.

When you revert to normal form, you can choose an unoccupied space closest to the remaining swarm of your choice.

Primal Strikes

Starting at 6th level, your attacks in beast form count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Scattered Swarm

Beginning at 10th level, you can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a red dragon’s fiery breath or an ice storm spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.

Fecundity

Starting at 14th level, while you are in a beast swarm Wild Shape and have fewer swarms than your maximum number of swarms, you may expend spell slots to respawn swarms equal to the number of spell slots expended by 3, rounded down. You total number of swarms still may not exceed your normal maximum.


Notes:

Common properties of swarms

  • All have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
  • All are immune to charmed, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, and stunned conditions.
  • All can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa.
  • All can only attack a creature in same space (0′ reach).
  • All deal half damage when the swarm has half or fewer hit points.
  • All can move through any opening large enough for a Tiny creature.
  • All can’t regain hit points or gain temporary hit points.

List of Monster Manual swarms by CR

  • Swarm of bats (1/4 CR, flying)
  • Swarm of rats (1/4 CR)
  • Swarm of ravens (1/4 CR, flying)
  • Swarm of insects (1/2 CR) (plus variants)
  • Swarm of quippers (1 CR, swim)
  • Swarm of poisonous snakes (2 CR, swim)

Homebrew swarms

  • Swarm of flying snakes (2 CR, flying instead of swim)

New Homebrew D&D 5E Spells

gnome wizard vs purple worm

Gnome wizard versus purple worm

Here are some new spells I’m going to be testing out in my D&D 5E games.


  • Conjure Aberration (Cleric 5, Great Old One Pact Warlock 5, Wizard 5)
  • Conjure Fiend (Cleric 5, Fiend Pact Warlock 5, Wizard 5)
  • Conjure Minor Fiends (Cleric 4, Fiend Pact Warlock 4, Wizard 4)
  • Spell Turning (Sorcerer 7, Warlock 7, Wizard 7)

Conjure Aberration

Level: 5
School: Conjuration
Casting time: 1 minute
Range: 90 feet
Components: V, S, M (aberration ward, broken upon casting)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

You call forth an aberration or ooze servant.   An aberration or ooze of challenge rating 5 or lower appears in an unoccupied space.  The creature disappears when it drops to 0 hit points or when the spell ends.

The creature is friendly to you and your companions for the duration.  Roll initiative for the creature, which has its own turns.  It obeys any verbal commands that you issue to it (no action required by you).  If you don’t issue any commands to the creature, it defends itself from hostile creatures but otherwise takes no actions.

If your concentration is broken, the creature doesn’t disappear.  Instead, you lose control of the creature, it becomes hostile toward you and your companions, and it might attack.  An uncontrolled creature can’t be dismissed by you, and it disappears 1 hour after you summoned it.

The DM has the aberration or ooze statistics.

​At Higher Levels.  When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the challenge rating increases by 1 for each slot level above 5th.  Note that mind flayers may not be conjured by this spell.


Conjure Fiend

Level: 5
School: Conjuration
Casting time: 1 minute
Range: 90 feet
Components: V, S, M (fire and brimstone)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

You call forth a fiendish servant.   A fiend of challenge rating 5 or lower appears in an unoccupied space.  The fiend disappears when it drops to 0 hit points or when the spell ends.

The fiend is friendly to you and your companions for the duration.  Roll initiative for the fiend, which has its own turns.  It obeys any verbal commands that you issue to it (no action required by you).  If you don’t issue any commands to the fiend, it defends itself from hostile creatures but otherwise takes no actions.

If your concentration is broken, the fiend doesn’t disappear.  Instead, you lose control of the fiend, it becomes hostile toward you and your companions, and it might attack.  An uncontrolled fiend can’t be dismissed by you, and it disappears 1 hour after you summoned it.

The DM has the fiend’s statistics.

​At Higher Levels.  When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the challenge rating increases by 1 for each slot level above 5th.


Conjure Minor Fiends

Level: 4
School: Conjuration
Casting time: 1 minute
Range: 90 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

You summon fiends that appear in unoccupied spaces that you can see within range.  You choose one of the following options for what appears:

  • One fiend of challenge rating 2 or lower
  • Two fiends of challenge rating 1 or lower
  • Four fiends of challenge rating 1/2 or lower
  • Eight fiends of challenge rating 1/4 or lower

A fiend summoned by this spell disappears when it drops to 0 hit points or when the spell ends.

The summoned creatures are friendly to you and your companions.  Roll initiative for the summoned creatures as a group, which has its own turns.  They obey any verbal commands that you issue to them (no action required by you).  If you don’t issue any commands to them, they defend themselves from hostile creatures, but otherwise take no actions.

The DM has the creatures’ statistics.

At Higher Levels.  When you cast this spell using certain higher-level spell slots, you choose one of the summoning options above, and more creatures appear; twice as many with a 6th-level slot and three times as many with an 8th-level slot.


Spell Turning

Level: 7
School: Abjuration
Casting time: reaction, which you take when you see a creature within 120 feet of you casting a spell
Range: 120 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous

You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell and reflect that spell back on its caster.  If the creature is casting a spell of 7th level or lower, the spell has no effect on you and instead targets its caster, using the slot level, spell save DC, attack bonus, and spellcasting ability of the caster.  If it is casting a spell of 8th level or higher, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability.  The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level.  On a success, the creature’s spell is reflected back on its caster.

At Higher Levels.  When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 8th level or higher, the interrupted spell is reflected if its level is less than or equal to the level of the spell slot you used.

Alabaster Palace of the Dao – Rooms 14 and 15

Chapter One of the Genie Palace Heist

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Rooms 14-15.

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Rooms 14-15.

14. Treasure Vault Entrance.

Before the door itself is a large secret door: the relief sculpture. 

The wall is a relief sculpture of a dao riding a dragon, beset by enemies and triumphing over them. If the eye of the dragon and the horn of the dragon are pressed, the wall will slide open. Both the eye and the horn are too far apart for one person to reach, and both are 10 feet above the floor. Those who cannot shape or pass through stone must break through the six inch thick wall. A dao hammer would be useful for this purpose.

Beyond the wall are stairs ascending to a landing with an iron door.

  The vault door is locked (DC 25 to unlock) and trapped (DC 20 to spot, DC 25 to disable). Azarakhsh and Zarrin both have keys. Attempting to open the lock without a key will fill the passage with petrification gas (DC 14 Constitution saving throw, as gorgon breath). Any loud activities from beyond the will be noticed by its current occupants, who will ready defenses.

15. Treasure Vault. 



Beyond the great doors is a cavernous hollow, and rising up within the hollow is a high plateau of stone, a mountain within the mountain. From the top of this inner mountain shines a brilliant amber radiance. Its faintest rays reach the base of the mountain, illuminating the lower steps of a cyclopean stair spiraling up to the summit.

In the center of the vault, surrounded by a pile of glittering coins and jewels, is a pedestal, upon which rests a glowing topaz as large as a human skull. Curled atop the hoard of treasure is a dragon, its scales burnished copper.

The top of the inner mountain is flattened into a roughly circular plateau, 140 feet in diameter.

The treasure vault is warded against scrying and teleportation. It is the lair of a copper dragon, whom Azarakhsh has befriended. If Azarakhsh is in this room and is aware of intruders, depending on the amount of time he has, he will likely summon an earth elemental, and go invisible. If they are not aware of intruders, they will likely be engrossed in a game of chess.

 Dao (Azarakhsh) (vault key, entrance key), copper dragon (Ythilynda, replace breath weapons with petrification breath). 18700 xp (hard).

Treasure: Topaz (quest item); 28,536 cp; 45,548 sp; 5,140 gp; 226 pp; 225 copper ingots (50 cp each); 150 silver ingots (50 sp each); 43 gold ingots (50 gp each); pair of carved bone bracelet set with a sapphire worth 2500 gp each, jade and onyx chess board and pieces worth 2500 gp, fine gold chain set with a fire opal worth 2500 gp, exotic wood harp with decorative inlay worth 750 gp, pair of large onyx bracelets worth 250 gp each, wand of wonder, magic +2 warhammer made in an ancient human kingdom, rope of entanglement, ring of protection, unbreakable magic +2 longbow with draconic heritage.

Alabaster Palace of the Dao – Rooms 6 to 13

Chapter One of the Genie Palace Heist

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Rooms 6-7.

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Rooms 6-7.

6. Private Quarters (Negeen).

Wide stairs lead up to a domed round room with a balcony and windows of stained glass in geometric patterns.

Occupants vary d%: 1-25 dao (Negeen) and deva (Shaviel) are here; 26-50 only the deva is here, 51-00 empty. Room contains a bed, a small iron-bound jewelry box, a folding screen, a large mirror, and a wardrobe.

Treasure: 6 aquamarine worth 500 gp each, 5 red spinel worth 100 gp each, 5 citrine worth 50 gp each in jewelry box. Box is locked (DC 20).

7. Private Quarters (Kiana).

Stairs lead up to a large but simple room.

Occupants vary d%: 1-50 dao (Kiana); otherwise, she is in 3 with Ichthymbros, Iolena, or another dao. Room contains a bed, a nightstand, a jewelry box, and a wardrobe.

Treasure: 9 amethyst worth 100 gp each.

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Rooms 8-9.

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Rooms 8-9.

8. Private Quarters (Azarakhsh).

Wide stairs lead up to two large adjoining rectangular rooms, one partially filled with a quicksilver bath.

Occupants vary d%: 1-50 dao (Azarakhsh) is here; otherwise, he is in 15. Room contains a bed, a reclining couch, a quicksilver wading pool, and a wardrobe.

Important: PCs should take care because mercury is both poisonous and will readily dissolve gold and silver. The good news is that even the heaviest armored PCs or other heavy objects can float on its surface due to its density.

9. Private Quarters (Zarrin).

Wide stairs lead up to a large hexagonal room.

Occupants vary. Dao (Zarrin), medusa (Amatista). 9500 xp (medium). Zarrin keeps the guest book with him, as well as a key to the treasure vault. Visitors whose names are not in the guest book will be subject to the guards and wards of the palace. While dao have no need to bathe, there is a copper tub in this room for Amatista to indulge.

Treasure: 188 cp, 250 sp, 33 gp, 46 cp, 61 sp, 7 gp, silver ornate gem-studded chalice worth 750 gp, jade circlet worth 250 gp, opal-framed small mirror worth 25 gp, onyx small bracelet worth 25 gp, carved bone locket worth 25 gp, satin mask with silver thread worth 25 gp, carved bone goblet worth 25 gp, soapstone pitcher worth 25 gp, soapstone bowl worth 25 gp, key to treasure vault.

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Rooms 10-11.

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Rooms 10-11.

10. Guest Quarters.

Wide stairs lead down to a large ovoid room.  The room contains, among its furnishings, a copper tub filled with an iridescent green ooze

Occupants vary d%: 1-75 mind flayer arcanist (Icthymbros), gray dwarf attendants, earth elemental guard. Bed, chamber pot, pitcher, basin, copper tub, iron-bound chest, wardrobe.  The green ooze is (more or less) harmless.

Treasure: 79 cp, 105 sp, 14 gp, carved bone ornate gem-studded chalice worth 750 gp, glass statuette worth 250 gp, linen robe worth 250 gp.

11. Guest Quarters.

Wide stairs lead down to three adjoining octagonal rooms.

Occupants vary d%: 1-75 drow mage (Ioelena), 2 drow elite warriors (Elaith, Taegen), earth elemental guard. Three adjoining octagonal rooms with beds, chamber pots, pitcher, basin, copper tub, iron-bound chest, wardrobe.

Note: Ioelena can summon a shadow demon.

Treasure: 185 cp, 247 sp, 32 gp, gold elaborate brooch worth 750 gp, spider silk robe worth 250 gp, soapstone set of animal figurines worth 250 gp.

12. Servants Entrance (not shown).

2 earth elemental guards. PCs who spend a day exploring the mountain can find the servants entrance, currently guarded by two earth elementals.

13. Servants Quarters (not shown).

Elaborate tunnels criss-cross the fungal warrens of the myconid slaves who serve the dao. They will not attack trespassers. Larger creatures hiding here may attract a wandering purple worm.

Alabaster Palace of the Dao – Rooms 3 to 5

Chapter 1 of the Genie Palace Heist

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Room 3.

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Room 3.

3. North Receiving Room. 



Beyond the arched iron doors is a cavernous sandstone chamber. Much of the sandstone is unworked, left in an aesthetically pleasing natural state. A vein of white alabaster bisects the cavern at an angle. A long, asymmetrically shaped table of highly polished hematite levitates above the floor. Wrought-iron chairs of various heights and sizes surround the table. Stairs carved into the sandstone lead up to balconies on the east and west sides of the hall, a trio of iron doors on each side. Twin gilded chandeliers light the room with flickering magical radiance. At the far end of the hall is a huge relief sculpture of a princely genie riding a winged serpent, vanquishing frog-like enemies. A half dozen small ambulatory mushroom servants go about their chores of sweeping and polishing without taking notice of you.

Occupants of this room vary.  Roll d%: 

01-25 Dao (Kiana), mind flayer arcanist (Icthymbros); 11100 xp (medium). 
26-50 Dao (Kiana), drow mage (Ioelena); 11100 xp (medium).
51-75 Dao (Negeen) and dao (Kiana); 14400 xp (medium).
76-00 empty, except for myconid slaves.

 

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Room 4.

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Room 4.

4. East Garden.

Bright light shines through wide panes of mica set into the ceiling and upper third of the walls of a rough rectangular room; the lower two thirds of the walls are swallowed up in all manner of green vegetation: trees, shrubs, vines, and ground-covers. The air is warm and humid. Water falls from a rough hewn rock wall into a small pond. A large humanoid creature made of moss-covered rock tends this garden.

Occupants of this room include a treant (5000 xp), 2 shambling mounds (1800 xp), earth elemental (1800 xp). 15600 xp. Note the treant can awaken 1-2 trees around it. The creatures here are not hostile unless they act in a manner destructive to the ecosystem.

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Room 5.

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Room 5.

5. West Statuary. 



Through the arched iron doors, you enter a rotunda, its walls fenestrated by many high, small, round windows, its domed ceiling leafed in gold. The floor is littered with blocks and fragments of marble and other stone in various stages and subjects of sculpture. 

[If applicable:] Posing on a low, well-illuminated dais is a fair-skinned angel, male, with silver hair and feathery white wings, naked save for tastefully placed gray silk drapery. Nearby, a giant woman in violet garb is sculpting the likeness of the angel from a block of white stone with her bare hands. Her flesh appears to be gold-flecked red marble; her eyes and mouth gleam with ruby light.

Occupants of this room 
vary.  Roll d%: 01-50 dao sculptor (Negeen), vain deva subject (Shaviel), in pose; 13100 xp (medium); otherwise, they are in 3 or 6. Negeen has a key to her jewelry box in room 6.

Alabaster Palace of the Dao – Rooms 1 and 2

Chapter 1 of The Great Genie Palace Heist

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Rooms 1 and 2.

The Alabaster Palace of the Dao, Rooms 1 and 2.

1. Grand Entrance. 



You appear on a precipice jutting out from a mountain of tan sandstone. Before you in a cleft of rock stands a wide portico of translucent alabaster, its columns and causeway constructed from a single vein of the pale rock that extends through the mountain itself. Everything is illuminated with a soft yellow light; this luminescence suffuses the air itself. In the middle of the portico from four strong iron chains hangs an 8 foot tall hollow cylinder of iron, and perpendicular to it supported by two chains is a thick iron rod. Beyond that, on two low dais stand two large iron statues of bulls facing each other. And beyond that, steps climb up to a pair of double iron doors wide enough to allow four men abreast to pass through them, were they opened. In the center of each door is a small shuttered and barred window. Just above the doors perch four alabaster angels in shallow alcoves. It is quiet; neither an insect hums nor a small breeze stirs.

The statues perched on the dais are 2 gorgon guardians and the four statues perched in the alcoves are 4 gargoyle guardians. Apparent intruders and those whose names are not already in the guest book cause the gargoyles and gorgons to attack.

The iron cylinder and rod are a bell and clapper. If the bell is rung, Azarakhsh and Negeen will answer, accompanied by two earth elementals. If the PCs have no convincingly legitimate business with the dao, they will shut them out; if they prove hostile, they will forcibly remove them.

The doors are solid iron (20 feet wide, locked, DC 25 Dexterity check to pick lock, DC 25 Strength check to break) with two small shuttered and barred windows 8 feet up (DC 25 Strength check to bend bars; then DC 15 Dexterity check for medium creature to squeeze through).

Climbers may find tiny windows leading into the foyer 40 feet up (DC 15 Strength check to climb, DC 10 with secured rope, fall 10 to 40 feet on failure), if they can squeeze through (DC 15 Dexterity check for medium creatures to squeeze in), or the small rotunda windows (same DC), or the large mica windows into the garden (same DC), or the balcony of Negeen (DC 20 Strength check to climb, fall 10 to 80 feet on failure).

8100 xp (easy). Treasure: none.

2. Foyer.



Beyond the iron doors, yellow light streams in from behind you and from high windows to dimly illuminate a vaulted and columned cross-shaped hall. The walls and ceiling are covered in blue and white rhomboid tiles arranged in intricate repeating geometric patterns. The columns are made of polished blue marble, their capitals and pedestals carved from alabaster. The floor is sandstone, its polish worn and scoured apparently by heavy foot traffic. From the center of the vaulted ceiling hangs an unlit gilded candelabra adorned with large crystal shards. The north end of the hall leads to an arched iron door; the east and west ends are each occupied by large white marble sculpture of athletic humanoid figures, one male and one female. Beyond each statue is another arched iron door. Low stone benches line the walls, and a low stone desk lies not far from the entrance.



2 stone golem guardian (statue). 10800 xp (medium). Apparent intruders and those whose names are not in the guest book are subject to attack. Treasure: 4 scrolls of greater restoration inside the desk.

Alabaster Palace of the Dao – Map Layout Sketch

Chapter 1 of the Genie Palace Heist

When preparing an adventure map in 4th edition, typically I would use Photoshop to create realistic top-down maps that scaled to 1″ = 1 square.  This map would be presented to the players on our digital gaming table as our combat grid.  Since combat in 4th edition is grid-based, this saved time setting up encounters.

In the spirit of 5th edition, I’ve stepped back from digital tools for mapping and taken up ye old pen and paper approach.  Here is a rough sketch of the Alabaster Palace of the Dao map.  Each square is a room or location, to be detailed later, and its relationship to other locations.

Alabaster Palace of the Dao map (rough layout sketch)

A rough layout map of the Alabaster Palace of the Dao.

This approach frees up a lot of time for me to write interesting room descriptions which lend themselves to the Theater of the Mind playstyle encouraged in 5th edition.