Dark or Light

Cartography Skill Training

V D Posted:
Guides 0

Ultima Online: Cartography Skill Training

MMORPG.com's V D has provided us with this new guide to Cartography Skill Training in Ultima Online.

Cartography is the skill you must know if you want to be a treasure hunter. The skill allows you to decode treasure maps found on monsters, and then use them to dig up the treasure. It isn’t a very fun skill to train in but the ends do justify the means. Like most skills, it gains up fast and steady in the beginning but it crawls down to near halt when you get high up there. Pretty much the way you raise this skill is just by drawing maps over and over again. Pure excitement!


The first step in Cartography training is buying a mapmaker’s pen from a NPC mapmaker (or another player with a high tinkering skill can make one for you). Next is buying a lot of blank scrolls in any mage shop or blank maps from the shipwright who is usually where a lot of the NPC mapmakers hang out. I recommend using blank scrolls because they are much cheaper, and since they will stack in your bag you can carry more of them at one time.

There are four kinds of maps you can draw: Local, City, Sea Chart, and World Map. Don’t throw them out after you make them because you can sell them back to the NPC shipwright for gold.

Skill Maps to Draw


Buy skill from NPC Cartographer

20.0 %

Local Maps

65.0 %

City Maps

72.0 %

Sea Charts

85.0 %

World Maps

99.5 %

Decode level 2-4 treasure maps

As the chart shows, just drawing maps will not take you that far when it comes to Cartography. After a while you are upgraded from making maps to reading them. Each time you decode a treasure map level 2 through 4 there is a chance you will gain skill. And, you also then get to go dig up treasure chest!


The following chart shows the minimum skill you need in order to decode the treasure maps and unlock the chest:

Level Identification Skill Lock Picking


Plainly drawn




Expertly drawn




Adeptly drawn




Cleverly drawn




Deviously drawn




Ingeniously drawn



In order to decode a treasure map, first you have to find one. There are a bunch of different monsters in the world that carry around treasure maps. Also many other players who do not have treasure hunter skills may have maps for sale, so ask around. Below is the table showing monsters that have a chance of carrying maps as loot:

Level Monsters on which they can spawn


Ore Elementals, Earth Elementals, Ettins, Fire Gargoyles, Gargoyles, Gazers, Ophidian Enforcers, Ophidian Warriors, Orcs, Oricish Lords, Orc Mages, Sea Serpents, Terathan Warriors, Trolls, Mummies, Liches*


Air Elementals, Drakes, Fire Elementals, Frost Trolls, Ophidian Apprentice Mages, Ophidian Shaman, Reapers, Sea Serpents, Snow Elementals, Stone Gargoyles, Water Elementals, Wyverns


Artic Ogre Lords, Cyclopean Warriors, Cyclops, Dread Spiders, Efreets, Liches*, Ogre Lords, Ophidian Avengers, Krakens, Ophidian Knight-Errants, Snow Elementals, Terathan Avengers


Daemons, Dragons, Ice Fiends, Krakens, Lich Lords, Ophidian Matriarchs, Terathan Matriarchs, White Wyrms


Ancient Liches, Ancient Wyrms, Balrons, Blood Elementals, Poison Elementals, Shadow Wyrms, Titans


Paragon Ancient Wyrms, Paragon Balrons, Paragon Titan, Paragon Blood Elementals, Paragon Poison Elementals, Chests looted off of any of the afore mentioned Paragos

* Normally liches carry level 3 but they may rarely spawn a level 1 map

After you have decoded your first treasure map and have its coordinates its time to go get that treasure. You need to pick up either a shovel or pickaxe to dig up the chest, and some lock picks and hope you have the sufficient lock picking skill to unlock the chest. Make sure you have more than 1 lock pick, because they like to break frequently.

Once you have found where your treasure chest is, having some skill in mining will help you a lot here. Mining skill makes it so you don’t have to be directly over the chest to dig it up, see table as follows:

Mining Area Covered


Must be within 1 tile from treasure chest


Must be within 2 tiles from treasure chest


Must be within 3 tiles from treasure chest


Must be within 4 tiles from treasure chest

But things aren’t always as simple as we would hope, and sure enough the second you dig up the precious treasure four guardian creatures are going to spawn with the desire to kill the first thing they see. More specifically -> You.

The problem most people run into with this is that after the treasure chest appears and all these monsters, the lag is so bad that you have nearly no time to react. If you want to set up some safety precautions I suggest casting invisibility on yourself, or have someone cast it on you. This way you don’t have to worry about them noticing you before you can react. Want a warning of who will pop up when you try to snatch their treasure?

Here is a chart of who you can expect from each level map dug up:

Level Guardian Monsters


Mongbats, Ratmen, Headless, Skeletons, Zombies


Orc Mages, Gargoyles, Gazers, Hellhounds, Earth Elementals


Liches, Ogre Lords, Dread Spiders, Air Elementals, Fire Elementals


Dread Spiders, Lich Lords, Daemons, Elder Gazers, Ogre Lords


Lich Lords, Daemons, Elder Gazers, Poison Elementals, Blood Elementals


Balrons, Ancient Wyrms, Poison Elementals, Titans, Daemons

Before you open your chest, keep in mind that all of them are booby trapped. A level 1 chest will not kill you but it will hurt some, and level 2 or higher can definitely kill. You can either use Remove Trap skill or you use Telekinesis spell. To do that, move about 4-5 tiles away and cast the spell on the chest. Most 1-3 chests are buried under trees, so you will have to move around in order to find the right angle. Sometimes you can just see a small part of it though the leaves of the tree. Targeting chest with a passive skill like animal lore and then using “last target” when casting a spell is an easier way to do this…

Be warned, however, because yet again this stage is not yet very simple. While you start taking out the goodies from the chest, more monsters will spawn. Thankfully, these will just be one at a time. However, certain items will trigger another spawn the moment they are removed from the chest, so take your time with looting one item at a time if you don’t want to get swarmed.

One of the good things about all of these guardian monsters popping up is the fact that there is always a possibility that they are holding yet another treasure map! It is kind of like getting your ice cream, picking off a topping you don’t like, and finding a hidden cache of fudge! Unless you’re lactose intolerant of course, than it is not the same.

However, if you were hired to dig the chest for someone else, leave the trap and do not try to open the chest until all the initial spawn has been killed and everyone is back at the chest (especially the owner of the map). Remove the trap in his presence, so that he knows you didn’t help yourself to the nicest piece of treasure for your services. It might also be sure to negotiate your payment before it is opened.


It is very important to destroy the empty chest when you are done looting. If there are any items left in there, just drop them on the floor. Click on the chest and a menu will appear where you can destroy it. The purpose of destroying the empty chest is so that it can respawn and the next treasure hunter has something there when he shows up to dig up his map. If you don’t, they will dig and get a notice saying that they cannot loot this treasure. If this ever happens to you, don’t worry and just take a break for a little while. After the old chest has decayed it will be replaced and you can it dig then. It is just annoying and takes a while, so if everyone deletes the empty chests when they are done, everyone will be happier treasure hunter in the end.