Showing posts with label map. Show all posts
Showing posts with label map. Show all posts

Sunday, January 13, 2019

World Building Vignette #2: 'potamus Tarn (renamed 'Potamus bay)

The Tarnian Empire derives it name from a dozens of mountain lakes called tarns. In the north western region of the Empire is one of it's oldest settlements called 'potamus Tarn (now Bay). 

The area's main feature is not a tarn (or bay) at all, but a massive lake. The lake is fed by many tarns to the north and give it its name. The lake supports many types of large animals, the hippopotamus being the most noticeable. Gazelle, wildebeest and lions are found on the north and south sides of the lake, the treed areas host puma, rhinoceroses and deer.

The local inhabitants have built three small walled towns. The plains are home to many fortified houses. These fortifications have solid stone first and second floors but often have ramshackle third, fourth and fifth stories. Their purpose is to protect against the larger animals in the area, especially the unpredictable hippos and rhinos.

In the Century of Chaos, many of these fortified houses were burned to the ground by Elven and Orcish warbands. A few were reconstructed as actual keeps, but most were rebuilt with sturdier but still wooden upper stories.

This map was created using an online editor called Hextml and some details were retouched in GIMP. I'm looking to redo them with Worldographer.

If you are interested, I have a small book called Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners which includes farmers and huntsmen as classes for your old school D&D campaign. Priced at pay what you want, every download no matter the price, supports me as an author.

Click this link to read Vignette #1. Later this week, Vignette #3 will be available.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Heart of the City, A Hearth

The heart of any city is the first home, a place around the hearth. I wish I could call this idea a five minute map, but it took me far longer.



This is a neolithic like structure. Starting in the approximate center is the hearth, edged by two ironwood tripods for cooking and swinging spit. Just to the north is the ladder that provides access and egress for smoke from the hearth. Unshown is the roof, which is a flat square platform mounted on 4 posts. From the crossbeams out, the roof is tilted down to provide a channel for the smoke and heat. Sometimes a woven reed curtain is hung from the ceiling to direct the path of smoke.

On the southern and eastern walls are two large tunnels in which the inhabitants use bone tools to mine flint, very much like the builders of Stonehenge. The Pueblo homes that this structure is also based on had special vents to allow the fire to allow air in. In this case, the tunnels are connected to other natural spaces to provide draw for the fire. In front of each tunnel is a low wing wall, colored with black, indigo and red patterns typical to this tribe.

Along the western wall is a large deck for sleeping. It is about 12 inches from the floor and is sloped into the center of the room like the beds at Fort Niagara. This allows people awoken by threats to stand up quickly without the effects of syncope. Although four bedrolls are shown, perhaps as many as a 8-10 people could sleep comfortably, family style.

On the north wall is a nook for cooking supplies and the niche doubles as an altar for the tribe's parton gods and goddesses. Due to the nature of the structure, all valuables in the niche are in plain sight.

The walls are coated in a concoction of chalk and mud to make a brighter living space.

Scale: One Square equals 2.5 feet. The total structure is 40 feet across and 60 feet below ground.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Five Minute Map - Island

Google Plus is a rich repository of gaming information. One of my favorite communities is Five Minute Maps.
Yesterday, I had five minutes to sketch out a quick map.
This map is based off of the real life island of New Providence. I envisioned a port city as the capital and a series of canals connecting the east and west coasts via small lakes. A little north of these canals is a series a small ponds modeled on the Finger Lake regions of New York.
Inspiration came from my summer time vacationing.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Reposting Peninsula of Plenty (PoP) Maps

These two maps are my first attempt at marker colored maps, in recent memory anyway.

Thanks to the guys and gals over on G+ I received a lot of advice on markering technique.
I hope to do version two in either marker or colored pencil.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Fortress Of Potamus Lake (PoP Campaign)


 Potamus Lake is the primary ranching area on the Peninsula of Plenty.


Historically, the largest threat to citizens are hippopotami. Many ranch houses are round or square homes with very thick walls, usually 4 to 5 feet thick or more, to protect villagers from hippo attacks. The homes are overbuild as a style, hippopotami don’t really attack the walls. This animal threat precludes flooded moats as defenses.
During The Goblinoid Wars, some of these houses were transformed into veritable fortresses. The Gerent’s House was expanded to a daunting 7 story fort. All of these structures have a ramshackle look; they are not particular good forts, but representative of what was available at the time.
There are seven surviving forts around the Lake. Many ranchers have adopted a more villa-like style for building. 
Each map has the scale of one square = 5 feet. The exterior doors and tower doors are massive, very thick. Doors to the stairways are more modest, typical to a home rather than a fortress.
Typical main floor layout. Click to enlarge.
Spiral stairs are denoted on each level. Examination of the map shows the poor quality of construction.

Map suitable for second floors and higher. Click to enlarge.

No interior walls are shown, except for the entryways to the stair cases. Barred windows appear more prominently on this level to make up for the inadequate arrow loops. 

Seventh floor of Gerent's house.
The Gerent’s House uses the same layout for floors 2-6, so one map can be used several times. His home has a circular and squarish tower for the seventh floor and a large roof area over the main hall.



These two layouts can be used as either alternate rooftops or basements. The Gerent’s house has a small square root cellar and uses the third map for the seventh floor.
Alternate roof (accidentally rotated 180 degrees.)
This is an alternate rooftop, in the event that the home has a higher center hall on the floor below. There are two options for access, climbing an exterior ladder from the tower rooftops below or some sort of trapdoor an ladder from the main hall. In these fortified homes, a peaked roof may appear on this level.  
I hope you enjoy these maps and can find a home for them in your campaign. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

For future reference – US Census Microdata

The other day, took the kids to the Niagara Aquarium.
On our way home, desperate for bathroom, we stopped at the Tuscarora Reservation. Inside, there is a tiny museum with awesome maps. 

Snapping pictures of them does no justice. They are gorgeous prints. I found out that they are from the 1892 Census.

Looking around online, I found this website with the actual images. The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series website is not just information on the US Census, it is data on individuals. What an excellent historical document.
I am pretty sure they didn’t think of someone pulling maps from the public documents, but what a wonderful resource for history and art.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Map - Temple of the Wanderers


I am fooling around with various temple ideas for a D&D campaign.


This is The Temple of Wanderers. It is a simple mud brick and thatch construction. It is dedicated to the sky. The central dais is for the sun and Mercury. The upper left dais is for Mars, while the right is for Venus. The lower two are Jupiter on the left and then Saturn. Mars and Jupiter are surrounded by red wooden posts and handrails, while the other two daises have yellowish trappings.
The rectangular structure has four stone columns and descends 6 feet into the ground. This space is dedicated to the Moon.

Updated with scanned maps.

click to enlarge
click to enlarge

Monday, December 22, 2014

Maps – The Stave Church

Last week, I did a quick drawing of a Norse themed building. Today, for the winter solstice, I knocked out a floor plan for a fantasy themed stave church.
When sketching this church, I imagined that the parishioners are followers of a river goddess and that the church is very old. From the exterior, this church would appear to be several storeys high, but the interior shows a largely, airy nave.
The church is orientated to the north, is a mirror of a river to the west of the church. Most rivers do not flow north, so this one is special.

The sacristy is in the north and is rather spartan. It features a large stone urn for the storage of offering. Next to the urn is a small trap door leading to an short under ground tunnel. This tunnel often floods, so escape by this route is in the hands of the goddess. A pair of tables, stools and two curved shelves round out the last of the furnishings of the sacristy.
A small concealed door leads from the sacristy to the sanctuary.  This is more of decorative feature as all parishioners see it in use during every service to allow access to the apse.
A large tree stump was brought into the building to serve as a small altar. When a more suitable table was found, it was dragged to the eastern side for use an ab. On the western side is a stone capped well. The water contained within is both drinkable and holy.  The well also serves as an ambo during high ceremony requiring water.
The nave contains ten smaller pews which can be moved as needed. Two larger sets of pews are affixed to the south wall. Along the southeast and southwest inner walls are leper windows, for those who cannot enter the nave.
Three sets of steps lead down to doors, a change in elevation of just four feet. This outer floor area is often covered in reeds to prevent mud from being dragged into the nave. The east and west doors swing inwards, while the south doors swing outwards. All interior doors swing inwards.
It should be noted that this church is not orientated as it would be in the real world. Churches also tend to have an ambo in the center and not to the side, there is also the issue that lectern is general not found with an ambo. This church placed the ambo to side closest to the river.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Serpent Bay – Five Minute Vinette

A user request from Google Plus – post-apocalyptic maps. I am horrible with colored pencils and I have never tried a post-apocalyptic map. What I ended up with was a sketched vinette.


“They brought the demon core, blood hexes and shells. They pushed us to the sea. In the woods we moved like eidolons hunting, as the skies sizzled with hot brass and steel rain. The sea frothed blue and white; the gnashing of frustrated and frenzied selkies.
“Desperation rose within us, fanned by orisons, curses and automatic fire.


“You tell ’em, we held those bastards at Serpent Bay.”