WIP: Fane of the Swamp People...

Thought I'd have a go at the Dungeon Walls Annual. I generated a random Watabou dungeon, traced the wall outline following the CA134 Mapping Guide and this is what I've ended up with. The dungeon I started with is actually a below ground level, rather than an above ground but hey, what can you do?

I'm going to finish it using primarily the SS2 & DD3 symbols sets. I've got to move the trees to their own sheet with a suitable shadow effect.

Any comments or critique welcome.


Quenten

Comments

  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 45 images Cartographer Administrator

    If you have the crop image to aspect ratio option on when exporting, you shouldn't get those white bars on the top/bottom.

    The dungeon I started with is actually a below ground level, rather than an above ground but hey, what can you do?

    It gets a bit more interesting when using the dungeon walls, since a regular floor mask would cover up all the unevenness of the stonework. But I am wondering if you could use TRACED to generate a polygon made up from the total area of both the floors and walls here, perhaps with a distance of -0.5 or something like that to make the mask "hole" for the dungeon to give that below ground feeling. Probably need to do something with the path to the entrance too though, to make it look like it is sloping downward towards the entrance.

    jmabbott
  • Hi @Monsen. I think my post was perhaps worded poorly. I actually want this as an above ground map.

  • Is the structure intended to be open to the air, or is it meant to have a roof? The internal shadows work nicely for the first option, but not the second (internal wall shadows are too strong). Also, the interior doors appear to have no shadows.

    As this isn't a dungeon, some of the structural features don't work too well. The two enclosed spaces without access-ways need rethinking, as do some of the wall-narrowings where there are doors. They're both abnormal constructions because they're wasting building stone unnecessarily. Now you might say that the layout has to be this way for religious reasons, which would be fine, though in reality, things like the enclosed areas would end up with at least some rubble in them, and a lot of plants growing there, unless someone goes in very regularly to clean them out. By climbing over the roof or along the walltops, down and back, lugging everything they've cleared away with them. So not a popular job then...

    The group of trees seems oddly lonely, unless there's some specific reason why there are so few in just one spot. In a swamp setting, that really wouldn't be likely, again, unless someone's deliberately, and very regularly, clearing the other greenery away.

    jmabbott
  • @Wyvern I’ve not worked out the whys and wherefores of this map. It was meant to be just a simple test run of the CA134 Dungeon Walls annual but I kind of like it. You make some very good points about the door openings and enclosed spaces. I think some renovations are in order! Re the trees, yes they are a bit forlorn, though this is very much a “work-in-progress”. I may not stick with them, I intend to checkout the full SS2 set for more varied and appropriate vegetation and see what I like best.

  • Well, here is an update. Still lots to do and fix but I've been messing around with it for a couple hours trying this and that. It's time for bed (22.51 and I've got work tomorrow...). I'm liking this version much better.

    The 2 enclosed rooms are vaults with secret entrances...

    This style would be really good for doing ruins as well I reckon.

    LoopysueQuentenMonsenDaltonSpenceWyvernJimPMedio
  • Looking a lot better now!

    Yes, I think the walls would work very nicely for ruins too.

    If the stepped outer surface was full regulated, it would also work for buildings such as ancient Mesopotamian temples, which had deliberately constructed outside walls that had this kind of "vertical recesses" patterning all round them. I've had to draw these before, both by hand and on computer, and it can be pretty tedious for a larger building plan!

    JimPjmabbott
  • edited July 12

    Another update. Moved & fixed some walls, drew the outside wall shadows on a separate sheet and turned off the WALLS, wall shadow sheet effect. Added a glow to the floors, put the doors in. Now I've just got to finish dressing it and tidy up the water/land junction, finish labelling it and I think it'll be done...and remove that lonely S sitting on the grass...



    DaltonSpenceMonsenWyvernLoopysueLoreleiJimPQuentenRalfCalibre
  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 45 images Cartographer Administrator

    Now, why would you remove the secret grass?

    jmabbottQuenten
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    That must surely be a secret, Remy ;)

    LoreleijmabbottQuenten
  • edited July 12

    Well, perhaps I'm a tad pedantic (maybe more than a tad) but I think this all but done after another 2 hr (near enough) stint. I keep forgetting to change sheets & layers so there is quite a bit of tooing and frowing relocating things.

    I've changed the title to Fane of the Swamp God. Given the religous motif, I couldn't name it the obvious for copyright reasons😉.

    Thanks everyone.

    @Quenten @Monsen any suggestions for an atlas location?


    Ralf
  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 45 images Cartographer Administrator

    hmm.. Dungeons are both easy and difficult. Easy because they can basically fit anywhere, but difficult because it looks weird linking them from a random blank spot on a map, there should be some kind of a marker.

    You have Demosthens Swamp which is a great area for a swamp dungeon, but the scale of the map isn't quite appropriate, even the smallest island on that map is a mile across, needs a local area map of a part of that swamp.

    Sanctuary Valley also have large swamp and wetlands, but the same need to a local map.

    You can find other maps that contains swamps by using the search function of the atlas and search for text in the map.

  • I just noticed a minor error. I've ended up with a grave marker atop the trees next to stairwell going to the dungeons...

    I'll have to fix that.

  • Corrected the above error and shuffled a couple of trees whose shadows were entering the building...unlike Elvis.

    Rather quite happy with how this turned out. Thanks for the comments folks, they were a big help.


    LoopysueJimPMonsenDaltonSpenceCalibreWeathermanSweden
  • Here are a number of maps that may fit a map like yours without requiring an intermediary map.

    In the Dworaguz Ranges, Artemisia, there is the Heralsine Citadel region. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Dworaguz%20Ranges

    In Themisia, Artemisia map https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Themisia had swamp to the south of Lake Aristider, and an island (which could well be swampy, and full of sandflies, and march flies - oh for a typical Aussie summer) in the Lake as well.

    In Helmonte, Artemisia, there is Biblion Mere. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Helmonte

    In the Wild Coast, Artemisia, there are swampy and moorlands everywhere. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Wild%20Coast

    In Yuturgas River, Artemisia map, there are swampy areas along the river. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Yutrurgas%20River

    In Truwithiel, Peredur map, there are 2 large moors, and swampy areas surrounding the Tremernan Inn. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Truwithiel

    In Eastern Marches, Kentoria, there is the Stench. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Eastern%20Marches

    In Sophos, Kentoria, there are the Grimholt marshes. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Sophos

    In Wyvern Defence Zone, Shoenia, Kentoria, there are the delta marches. https://atlas.monsen.cc/atlas/kentoria/hi/wyvern%20citadel%20defence%20zone.png

    In Llum, Sophos, Kentoria, there are two swamp areas in the southwest. Either would be my favourite place - the island has a culture and history (see map notes) that may particularly interest you. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Llum

    In Tartessos, Kumarikandam, there are swampy areas all around. Near the outskirts of the ruined city might be good. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Tartessos

    No swamps, but lots of tropical zone lakes on Puia Hanahana, Nga Whataroa. Lots of Maori and Polynesian names. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Puia%20Hanahana

    In Fisher Island, Forlorn Archipelago, there are the Margz Miasma. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Fisher%20Island

    On Justice Island, Forlorn Archipelago, there is Hagars Marsh. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Justice%20Island

    On the Bleakness, Forlorn Archipelago, there is Lake Murky. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/The%20Bleakness

    In Wolfsbane Moor, Emerald Crown Forest, Alarius, there are a few places that could fit. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Wolfsbane%20Moor

    In Three Wizards' Isles, Alarius, there is the Dire Swamp. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Three%20Wizards%20Isles

    In Pola Faruto, Mercia, Doriant, there is the Salainn Slough. https://atlas.monsen.cc/Maps/Pola%20Faruto

    That seems about all. I know most are mine, but this represents my ideal of having as many different terrain features as is allowable for the biome chosen (for the very purpose of helping others to have plenty of sites to choose from); and the unwillingness of others to blight their maps with ecologically important wetlands.

    jmabbottJimP
  • Great-looking map now! Do we also get the Undercroft map at some stage?

    Probably too late, but that's a big kitchen for just four people - three acolytes and one high priest, counting the beds. As there isn't a refectory-equivalent, maybe there should be some chairs and a dining table in the kitchen as well? And maybe also a door to the outside, as the route in means bringing all the food through the chapel.

    Not sure about the off-axis Great Frog statue in the chapel alcove, given such things tend to be the focus of worship, not quite so tucked-away.

    Maybe switch the secret treasury entrance to the passage nearer the high priest's chamber, rather than in the too-accessible chapel?

    And what do the folks here do for lighting (no windows)?

    JimP
  • Great-looking map now! Do we also get the Undercroft map at some stage?

    I would think so.

    maybe there should be some chairs and a dining table in the kitchen as well? And maybe also a door to the outside, as the route in means bringing all the food through the chapel.

    That could most likely be arranged, though I think you're being overly practical😉

    Re the Frog Statue, I wanted it to cover the door leading to the northern corridor. Given it's size I think it's predominant enough.

    Switching the treasury secret door (and the armoury for that matter) is easy enough and yes, I'll add some sconce's or some such.

    Thanks @Wyvern!

  • Taking @Wyvern's comments into consideration, the ground level of this complex is done.


    LoopysueDaltonSpenceWyvern
  • @Monsen @Quenten The Caswaron Fens looks good to me (northern Truwithiel).

  • I assume there are crypts for the dead on a lower level (no surface graveyard that I can see), but what does the roof look like?
  • There may or may not be crypts below; there are grave markers (stone rectangles) adjacent to 5 and above and adjacent to 6 & 10.

    What do you want the roof to look like? Some things are best left to the viewers imagination...

  • So disappointed not to see a kitchen garden as well 😁😉

    Hope they have good damp-proofing on the Undercroft (swamp, and all...) 🐸

    Quenten
  • A kitchen garden with henbane, mandrakes, and wolfsbane.

  • Well, I've spent the evening doing the underground level withpiut really thinking too much and I've made a bit of an error. Given that the sacrificial altar is the circular room, why would anyone, including psychotic, excuse me, devout worshippers, of a frog-like demon/deity bring sacrifices from the upper fane, through their records room to feed the victims soul to their rather unpleasant 'deity'?

    Important Lesson: Which is one I always seem to forget; is think about the story of your map, who lives, works, worships there or whatever? And always sketch out your maps first to avoid having to make major edits later, as I will now have to do to the below.


    DaltonSpenceMonsenJimPLoopysue
  • There is a second basement level on an island? One would think the water table would make drainage a problem. And caves on a swampy island don't seem likely unless there is a bedrock base. As for roofs that is a problem; too many scattered extensions. The chapel and entry hall might have peaked roofs but the rest might need to be flat.
  • @jmabbott Pointedly Remarked:

    Important Lesson: Which is one I always seem to forget; is think about the story of your map, who lives, works, worships there or whatever? And always sketch out your maps first to avoid having to make major edits later, as I will now have to do to the below.

    So, kitchen garden to follow after all then 😉

    The island could indeed be a rocky one; it would explain the lavish use of stone for the upper works, for instance, if so. (Which might mean the background on the subterranean map should be better done as rock, rather than the current brown dirt?)

  • edited July 16

    Where are you getting second basement level from? There is the upper fane which is ground level and this subterranean level. As for the roof, the main structure roof is higher and overhangs the internal walls with a triangular-ish bit at the front partially covering the entry hall. All the bits that extrude from the core building have lower pitched roofs that sit under the main roof.

    No garden, at least not one large enough to map. Their vittles are provided by the nearby village supplemented by foraging wild root vegetables, fruits and fishing.

    I'll be submitting these maps (and a 60 x40 mile regional one) to the atlas (see below).

    As usual, the 1st map will require some editing, namely moving the library from the dungeon map to the blank area between the acolytes and priest's chambers and also provided a trap door in the kitchen to access the cool room and of course fixing the key.

    The rock background is a much better idea and makes a lot more sense. Shame there is no way to curve the walls using the annual symbols or is there...

    Given the amount of work I'm doing, on what started as a simple 'test' map for that annual, I think now, I'll be writing it up as an adventure! But I've got to finish my other one first!

    Thanks for the comments and suggestion peeps!


    JimPQuenten
  • jmabbott said:

    Where are you getting second basement level from? There is the upper fane which is ground level and this subterranean level. As for the roof, the main structure roof is higher and overhangs the internal walls with a triangular-ish bit at the front partially covering the entry hall. All the bits that extrude from the core building have lower pitched roofs that sit under the main roof.


    You had two doors going into the staircase on the subterranean level and two stairs. I thought that meant the stairs were going up and down from that level. Also if you could clarify which ground level rooms are part of the "main structure" it would be helpful in visualizing it. I don't see any windows on the outer walls of the ground floor; if so they will need a lot of candles. Finally is the "Acolytes' Chamber" a separate building attached to the "main structure" by a covered walkway?
  • @jmabbott Asked:

    The rock background is a much better idea and makes a lot more sense. Shame there is no way to curve the walls using the annual symbols or is there...

    Sadly, I've not used this Annual issue still, so am not sure about the automated curvature option. However, the Symbols Along command, which is what this Dungeon Walls Annual uses, will work with whatever line shape you draw, as far as I'm aware, though as the Annual's Mapping Guide says, you may need to fill gaps by-hand in the rectilinear walls so created anyway, so you should be able to sort something out, I'd hope, even if it is more hand-made than automatically drawn. Plus you'd only need it for the interior of the walls, assuming you'd be using a mask to hide the outer part of the walls and blend them into the map's background.

    "Test-maps" have an uncomfortable way of taking on a life of their own - like an awful lot of maps more generally, I find...

    Still mourning the loss of the kitchen garden, obviously 😪😉🌿

    @DaltonSpence Noted:

     I don't see any windows on the outer walls of the ground floor; if so they will need a lot of candles.

    This came up earlier, hence the mass of new, lit wall-sconces on the later map version. You do need to look out for them though!

    As for candle-power, we might take it here they could be powered by channeled flammable swamp gases, perhaps? ♨️

  • edited July 16

    @DaltonSpence Ah, I see what you mean. There should only be one door (left) and I should've made both stairs go up! The stair on the right is the one coming down from the main building... Area's 1, 4, 5, 6 & 7 are add-ons, imagine the outer walls without the add-ons and the connecting walls to areas 4 & 5, they form the main structure.

    Doing the walls using this style is a little problematic for placing what woud normally be breaking symbols. You draw a path and then use symbols along to place varied wall symbols. That by itself isn't too bad but the wall symbol's control points are not centred which means you have to delete and add wall symbols for every break and be very careful with the wall features placement. For most other styles you have walls that are 1/2 or 1 unit wide that are centred on the grid line which makes adding wall features (and Roll20's Dynamic Lighting for that matter) easy as. Hence why I'm reluctant to add windows.

    @Wyvern the lamps are likely magical in nature, for D&D/Pathfinder players think a Light spell made permanent via the Permanency spell, or perhaps they're small, summoned & bound fire elementals for game systems that don't have an equivalent. That could also make things interesting if the priest can control them...or even ancient technology that is fading...

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