Showing posts with label Maps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maps. Show all posts

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Aligning the Stars and Setting the Stage

Last session, the players romped all over the raiders then chewed scenery. I totally lost track of both real time and game time and probably let them do too much. This caused the party to be fragmented, with half at the gates of Nace and the other half still traveling with the wagons.


To get around any sort of headaches, I'll start the session at Five Tree Hill. It's a location just outside the Eastern gates. The "hill" is actually the slope to the city, so it is lower than the gates, but still dry.  As you can see, I have revamped much of my map to look more Roman.

Just inside the gates, there is an inn, a stable, water on the outskirts of the city. Food is also available at the Inn. Five Tree Hill is a convenient meeting spot for travelers. It's a large open area marked out by some arrowroot trees. The guards keep this trees pruned, so they don't interfere with the defenses of the town. No camping is allowed, but a lot of people grab a meal here while waiting for news, deliveries or friends. It's a good place to find a walking stick and swap gossip.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

#Inktober2019 Update - Tiny maps

I'm still working on Inktober projects. I have started doing tiny maps. Sometimes, when you are working on a large product, taking a break and doing something against the grain is helpful or at least destressing.

This is a motte and bailey castle layout, as yet uninked.


It's a copy of one of my dad's castles, a type of shell keep. While it won't end up in one of my D&D campaigns, the finished item could be good for yours. I'll scan it when I'm done.

Enjoy. 

Update:


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The House at the Folly

This misnamed ruins is located in the general vicinity of the Kobold Folly. It could be as old as the Folly itself. The design of this building is typical for the Empire, except in the Capital region, not out on the Great Savanna.


Some of the rooms have a clear purpose such as the kitchen, while others are ambiguous due to the age and state of abandonment. Room 4 could be a Master Suite or perhaps an office space. There is no evidence of softgoods in this room. Room 7 is in a similar state of ruin, however small pieces of paint, stone fragments and other object de art litter the floor. The floor of room 8 is covered in fabric and padding debris, it could have been a bed or other furniture. Room 9 is completely bare while the obvious remains of a bed are in room 11.

The windows are not panes of glass, but stained glass much like the Kobold Folly's stained glass. The windows are two layers, one the interior and a duplicate on the exterior. The subject matter of the stained glass is astronomical, not astrological in nature. The double layered nature of the glass might be the reason why this house's windows are intact while most of the windows in the Folly blew out.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Cell of Rona the Wisewoman

Rona the Wisewoman is one of the NPC in my Peninsula of Plenty campaign. She is a very old woman and is an unlikely adventurer. After her husband passed, she felt a calling and traveled far to the north, into the mountains in search of god. She came to the Kerke of Yondalla the Provider. The Kerke was a typical halfling church, a stave structure. She begged entry and hermitage. The halflings agreed and provided her with a cell suitable for her needs.


The main church is build of the traditional wood staves the halflings are so fond of. The exterior is loosely clad, while the interior walls are more precisely constructed. When Rona requested her cell, the halfling priest had the northern interior door replaced with a double door, so that Rona could see the main altar from her cell.

The expansion of the church was build with non-traditional stone, and allowed the church to add a servant's quarters to the structure. Rona was sealed in her cell, her only access to the outside world was a small window facing into the church and bars facing west into the parlor area where she could recieve guests.

When word of the Emperor's need of adventurers arrived at the Kerke of Yondalla, Rona smashed a hole in the north wall of her cell to respond. The halfings have repaired the hole and removed the bars between the parlor and the cell.

Since the day of her leaving, the candles on her private altar have been burning bright yellow, without being consumed. Many miracles of healing have occurred in and around the cell. The halfling priest has taken this as a sign that that Rona is a Saint. In response to this revelation, the tribe has begun solidifying the church's exterior walls to ensure the structure remains whole for future generations.

The Infirmary of Corellon

Corellon has no temples or churches. However, his followers have created spaces of refuge and contemplation of their maker. The Infirmary of Corellon is one such place. It is located on the eastern edge of the Great Savanna, in a elf made mound. 



The main structure has an eastern door and 10 roughly appointed areas for meditation. Each space ends in a small window that faces into the earth of the mound. The debris in these opening shift with the seasons but are never allowed to breech the side of the mound. Elves staying with in these spaces will find that meditation triples their healing and sometimes, if the need is great, visions will appear in the windows.


At the end of the central shaft is the Great Light, a magical creation that lights and warms the whole structure.

To the south-east of the mound is the caretaker's home. It is also roughly appointed with tables and chairs. The north section of the building houses a kitchen and the south section is a private space for the care takers. These two sections are separated with a green grown lattice of ivy. Stepping into the ivy magically transports the elf to the private area in the southern section and back. Only elves can make this passage function. If another creature attempt to cross this ivy threshold, they will be proportionally repulsed. If a weapon or spell is used on the ivy, the attacker will be teleported 1-3 miles in a random direction. Occasionally, they will arrive with their possessions, but most of the time they will be completely naked.

Between the two halves of the building is a roofed, pleasant area with tables and stools. Two sliding doors can be closed against the weather.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The South-Western Woes and Rues

The city of Nace is a fair city, one that sees travelers come from all over the Peninsula to trade for magical goods. It is the second city of the Empire, only surpassed by the Capital itself. However, it is not without it's own troubles.

A Worldographer map of the South West Corner of Nace. 
Unlike the Capital, this city was of entirely human design. The Empire has been building cities for centuries, but usually with the assistance of gnomes. Since the city was built to meet the needs of those fleeing the Port after a particularly hard hurricane season, there was no time to send for the gnomish guilds. From the base camp, the two main roads were extended 360 yards north and south, east and west. Each road was 30 feet wide slashing the town into 64 (technically, less than that.) even squares. As the walls were built, the aqueduct was brought into the east side of the city.

Perfect!

Wrong.

Under the South-Western walls was thick layer of clay which the engineers covered with stone to support the roads, walls and towers. Some careless planning caused the fountains and cisterns to be irregularly placed on the north side of the city. Compacting the clay soils walls caused the natural flow of water to be disrupted which was exacerbated by the incorrect placement of water features. The backwash flooded the south-western side of the city. The walls held, the towers held, but a sea of mud and sewage bubbled up from the roadways, fountains and cisterns.

The town came up with an a hoc solution. Install large gravel filled berms along the western wall to absorb the overflow. In order to do this, the South and West Walls, towers and all needed to be moved back 30 or so feet. It was expensive and it cost the town it's planned regular shape, but it solved the problem.

Now the natural course of the water has not been restored, but floods an area several hundred feet west of the city. That area runs riot with all kinds of flowering plants and shrubs which sweetens the air. Additionally, this area makes travel by wagon and horse difficult, so it also holds off raiders. The trails along the west wall have formed from years of inspection and people venturing out to gather wild berries and flowers.

Since each 30 by 30 area of land is based on the overall planned area of each insula, these areas are overpriced. Additionally, the worry of possible flooding limits those desiring land from building along these walls. As a consequence of this mess, people refer to these walls as "The South-West Woes". Woe Street runs north-south and Rue Street runs East-West along those walls. 

A Worldographer map of the Western gates. In the north eastern corner of each insula should be well or fountain.
Note how irregularly placed they are. 

Towards the center of town, just on the edge of the Forum is an area called Hopper Town. The local brew-masters banded together and purchased much of the land and have planted gardens and orchards to support their trade. Most houses have a small herb garden but the use of large tracts of lands for growing, outside of the city's official gardens, is prohibited. The reason that the brew-masters have gotten away with this is beer. It's a huge tax base and general balm against insurrection.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Miniature Treasures - The Moldy Unicorn

Title: The Moldy Unicorn
Code: N/A
Author: Nate Treme
Rule Set: Angostic
Year: 2019
Pages: 6
Number of characters: As needed
Levels: N/A
Rating: ★★★★★

If a book has a good cover, I'll probably take a look. If it has that haute 70's look, the smash of day old banana and lime colored paste, I'll do a double take. If it has both of the above, plus the childish, rounded look of a composition notebook, my brain shuts down and the money comes out, no questions asked.

Well, that's what happened with The Moldy Unicorn a few days ago. I purchased one of a few physical copies based on a single image on MeWe.com. And then I forgot about it.

It arrived today.

I opened the envelope and was all disappointed. It was tiny. Really tiny. "I paid money for this?"

Then I opened the booklet. And the frisson hit. Suddenly, I was 8 year old me, standing in Walden Books, smelling nasty carpet chemicals and mall pretzels, looking a copy of the Red Basic D&D rule book. Gary, Dave and Tom whispered, "Go ahead, turn the page."

The thing is six g-ddamn pages, packed with amazing stuff. Pages 1 and 2 describe The Moldy Unicorn with a colorful map. Page 3 lists encounters for the Inn. The next page describes how to design a Demon, with 3 tables, conveniently labeled 1-12 for easy die rolling. The last two pages are a mini dungeon, Grotburk Crypt.

The artwork is excellent. It isn't excellent in the sense of a masterpiece, but the odd, brightly colored outsider art that masters cannot duplicate. The text is tight, it has to be in a volume this small.

While its only 6 pages (8 if you count the covers, the thing that made me **WANT** this 'zine), those pages are highly concentrated. Being so tiny, it is delicate. I already know that I am going to buy a special picture frame for this. I am just moments away from heading to DriveThruRPG and purchasing an electronic copy, to jealously protect the physical copy like mage protects his spell book.

It's been decades since I have been this happy with a purchase. Of course, I've read it cover to cover. But I'm going to do it again tomorrow. And the next day. This is great buy. This is well worth the $6.00 for the physical copy, $5.00 for the PDF.

To put some perspective on the Star Rating above, I review a lot of things. Computer hardware and software, novels, games, historical books, etc. If I'm not going to give something 3 stars, I'm not giving any stars. If you're not going to give at least 3 stars, its like trash talking people. This is the first time I have been compelled to give 5 gold stars, underlined. I've reviewed several of my mom and dad's books. I don't hand out gold stars. It is very rare that I am so enchanted with any product to completely rethink my rating system.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Peninsula of Plenty City Map Forum at Nace

The city of Nace is a mid-sized city, with a Roman flavor. In the center of the town is the forum. The forum has an old church, a large temple, a worship grove and a curia. Along the north and south sides (and a bit on the east side) are apartments, shops and one good sized villa. The lighter colored buildings on the south side are apartments, the longest structure is a row house. Also on the south side are 3 arches, which provide entry to the area.

While there is a space to the left of the arches, it is poor form to walk through this space. Many people sit here for their mid-day meal. The two large wells are for public use, as is the large plaza area. While the other places are not closed off, generally they are only used for state business and/or worship.

Each square is approximately 20 feet on a side.


Peninsula of Plenty Regional Map Tabletop Environs

 This is another Worldographer map for my campaign. The central city is named Tabletop and the characters are traveling into the area from the north. Each hex is 6 miles.


Peninsula of Plenty Regional Map, Capital Environs

This Worldographer map is from my current campaign on the Peninsula of Plenty. Each hex is 6 miles and the characters are following the road along to the coastline. 
The Savannah trees were a custom icon created by me using GIMP and the original tree Icon from the 1e set of graphics to make sure the style and colors matched. It was basically a multistep copy and paste, with a few extra lines added.  




Peninsula of Plenty Campaign Map

In an effort to revamp my maps tab, I am reposting as many maps as I can. These maps were created in Worldographer and have 6 mile hexes. The region below is rough the size of Italy. 


Monday, July 29, 2019

The Kobold Warren Folly

Update - This post has been expanded into a short book with 4 maps on DriveThruRPG. It's priced at PWYW, with a suggested price of $1.99.  

Like the Compass Rose Inn Mini-Setting, this set of maps and descriptions are rule set agnostic. 

And now on to the original post from my birthday, Jan. 17th, 2016. 

This map is of a folly in the southwest of Potamus Bay. Who built the folly is lost to time. There is a larger ruin closer to the Lake, but it isn't as well preserved or interesting as the folly.

The tale of the folly's preservation is very odd and owes its history to the river. The river is subject seasonal flooding and one of those floods brought the kobold's to the folly.

The kobold's had their own underground village, which made them very happy. They stole the best food, killed the prettiest animals and had wild political intrigues that often ended in bloodshed. One day, the ruling clan pushed the wrong buttons and were tossed in prison to await their doom, as soon as the method could be decided.

A chance rainstorm freed the rulers, but washed them deep into the cave system. The village rejoiced at the apparent deaths. They were very kobolds happy, indeed. The ruling clan was washed away into the cavern system under the folly. They were able to squeeze and claw their way into the basement of the structure. The family rejoiced when they discovered the ring of pear and apple trees, the fresh water and rabbits.

There are no furnishing, no details inside the Folly.
The kobolds keep the interior bare.
The ring of trees continues, but is obscured by the
upper two levels. 

Over the years, they have set themselves up a kings and queens of the folly. They do not understand the principle of a folly, they believe that human or elven kings hold court in an empty building. The six rulers have set themselves up as the High, Middle and Low Kings and Queens. They receive guests through the windows, as there are no doors except trapdoors between the levels. They keep the folly up, but they do not live in it. They live below in finely finished chambers. Recently, they have hung curtains in all of the windows of the folly, purple, yellow and red. 


The family plans on enlarging the chambers, but for now they are satisfied.


The lowest level is almost all natural, only the eastern side has any finished features. The western side is often flooded with fresh water and sometimes contains fish.

Folly Details:
One Square equals 5 feet.
Height: 45 feet.
Depth: 75 feet below ground, as near as anyone can tell.
Population: 17 adults, 33 children.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Temple of Light - Maps

This temple complex is the work of an ancient people. The first map is of a traditional family abode. In the past, the tribe dug horizontal homes, as a means of collecting flint. 


As the people transitioned to a bronze age culture, they began construction of the Temple of Light. The structure is a gleaming white, the effect was achieved with a decorative coating quartz and flint. 


The Temple was a beacon of solidarity for the people, but it also proved to be a beacon for raiders. The pirates devastated the village proper, taking valuables and prisoners. The raiders returned seasonally to plunder the people. For a time, the villagers disbursed to escape the onslaught.
One day, several young children entered the Temple and discovered a pair of holes in the central hall leading to a deep natural cavern. When the chief was informed, he ordered a return to the old ways of digging pit homes under the Temple.


In a few months, the tribe had relocated under the Temple. By concealing the upper openings with floor tiles, the villagers were able to extract revenge when they breached the Temple. The surviving pirates completed the turnabout with tales of a diamond encrusted temple protected by spirits of the earth.

Epilogue:

The children discovered the leader of instability in the rock. Future generations will tell the story of a fortress of diamond beneath the crystal blue waters of a cenote. The stone age villagers speak in hushed tones about the mighty Sea Mage sunk the fortress in anger for the king's refusal tribute payments. Adventurers may find tablets of stone that tell of the powerful shaman who levitated the entirety of the Temple to allow her people time to escape the collapse into the waters below.

This series of maps are based on a mix of real world places and cultures, Grime's Graves, Ancestral Puebloans and people of Teotihuacan in particular.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Topophilia... Sounds strange, feels about right.

I'm hitting the books this weekend, so no documents or sketches tonight. One quote from a book:

"Tuan coined the term topophilia, which is the love of the land and the title of one of geography’s best-selling books." Urban Geography, Kaplan, p. 12

All of my little doodles and plans shows that I have "topophilia". It's interesting to learn new terms and words for things you have already experienced but didn't have a name for. Cool.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Map Inspiration at the Burchfield Penney

I found the greatest art installation at the Burchfield Penney. It is a giant iron book, engraved with images and maps.

Click the images to enlarge.






Thursday, January 14, 2016

Five Minute Map - Medieval Town 2

This is a second five minute map of a medieval town. It is incomplete, but ready for roads and trails. The old mill to the north west was a last minute thought.



I am not sure what happened to the 5 Minute Map community, but it has been strangely silent for weeks. Time to kick mapping into high gear.


Five Minute Map - Coastal Town

I ran out of steam on this map. In the top corner is a lighthouse, dock and quays. The middle portion is the shipping community itself with large warehouses.

I wonder what is to the south?

click to enlarge
Posted to Five Minute Maps on G+.

Five Minute Map - Medieval Town 1

I have been doing a lot of research on buildings and structures, predominantly focusing on churches and castles. As a result I have a number of sketches and maps.

This map is a basic plan for a small town. Being a 5 minute map, it is rough and incomplete.

Click to enlarge




Friday, January 1, 2016

Dramascape at Drivethru RPG

Dramascape is a group of arts and writers producing high quality maps and adventures for use with a variety of gaming systems. Dramascape's most recent offering is Fantasy 6 x 6 Tiles available at Drivethru RPG for the unheard of price of whatever you want. The suggested price is $1.99, which is a great deal on a quality set of tiles.

You can use the pay what you want model to give it a product a try and purchase it later. One of the advantages of using DriveThru RPG is their automatic system to deliver a product as a gift.


After going to checkout, all you need to do is enter your payment information and add the recipient's email address and DriveThru takes care of the rest. What a great way to share the gift of game.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Incompetech.com’s Graphpaper

One of my favorite websites is Incompetech. Not only do they have a great name, they have free graph paper. Perfect for a variety of gaming purposes.