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WIP - The Pink Lantern Quarter - A Kowloon Walled City Style Asian town map

This will become the entertainment district of a huge metropolis located in a river delta.

Existing sources only have a very large scale map for the entire city (where the shown map would be about 2x3 cm in size), so I'm creating this for our group to get lost in. ;-)

Currently using auto-placed housing a lot - will manually add larger landmark buildings later. Will also improve the water once I've made progress with the buildings.

This one almost has a bit of a near future urban sprawl feel, despite being a fantasy map. Let's see where it goes...



  • Looks good. Are you going to name some of the streets ?

  • That depends on if I can come up with enough good names. Will probably name some of the main roads and places.

    Today, it was some boats and piers And a first, few details.

    The second picture definitely needs more boats.

  • Are the docks supposed to be above ground level? Also the bare shoreline needs to be more clearly defined. Finally, bridges made of boats? Only really possible if there are no currents or prevailing winds to deal with. 
  • A bridge of boats was made when Persia went to attack the Greeks.

  • Doable yes, but only under special circumstances. As a permanent feature it would block traffic. ;) 
  • Wouldn't that be part of it ?

  • If you want to block off the waterway sure, but for regular traffic (both on and off the water) a permanent bridge built above the water with space under at least part of the span to sail through would be better. Clambering from boat to boat wouldn't be a very fast method of getting from one shore to the other although it could make a chase scene more interesting. (Exactly what are all those boats in the channel doing anyway?)
  • Xerxes did basically build a road across them, instead of a series of planks.

    Having walked across metal gangways to cross two other ships to get to the pier, it is a pain. Happened in one port when my ship went to the Mediterranean Sea one year.

  • I like the piers around the housing. The boats/junks look interesting, especially with the bridge. I am assuming you placed a house on the boat symbol?

    As much as I like purple, I do not think it works for the boats.

  • jslaytonjslayton Mapmaker Moderator, ProFantasy

    Xerxes used anchored boats as pontoons and ran a road across the top of them (timbers, dirt, and all) to get the effects of a floating roadway sufficient to march an army on. There was a gap to let ships pass through that could be closed as needed. This situation shown here is more of the classic boat city with gangways between boats. Useful for the inhabitants and very temporary / shifting, but good for the day. It would definitely not be anything permanent.

  • edited July 23

    Hello again.

    The boat bridge thing is coming from the official background of the city. This background also says the city is ruled by a council of merchants and other rich people, interpreting ancient law texts to best suit their interests.

    So my explanation for it is the following:

    The map just shows the entertainment quarter of a large metropolis.

    Some time ago, the emperor created a law stating that no bridges were to connect the "entertainment quarter" to the rest of the city (maybe to keep the "upstanding" citizens apart from the "riff raff", maybe to increase the boatman's guild's revenues, who knows...).

    The groups running the entertainment district want more customers, so they look at the laws and come to the conclusion that a boat bridge is not a bridge, as long as there's one or two small gaps between the boats. Voila, boat bridges! :)

    There's no strong current going through this canal, and the middle boats can be quickly untied to make way, if someone important urgently needs to pass.

    @JulianDracos : Thanks Used Cities of Schley boats and the most simple straw hut roof symbols. The Purple and red are current placeholders to mark the brightly coloured end ships of the bridges. Might adjust the colours later.

    @DaltonSpence Want the docks to be at ground level, but put the above the ground sheets. I've eliminated the "docks casting shadows on streets"-effect in the parts where it most shows.

    Agree about the coastline. Reckon there will be hardly any "natural" coast left when I'm done.

    After looking at pictures of the canals in Bangkok, I've also introduced stairs leading into the water in some areas.

    I've also added some annotations so I don't forget what locations I came up with. Will show details tomorrow - my group now actually wants to play in there.

    Update: Here's a couple of quick detail shots:

    Revised west side pier: Note the stairs and "lower" piers.

    Night market at the North side of the island: Still on the fence whether I should use Cities of Schley market Stalls instead.

    Center of the island - starting to come together:

  • An excellent backstory for this! I'm a bit surprised that all the boat-bridges are on one side then. Also the water steps are a good idea. There is a lot of open space for an "entertainment district" but I suppose that could be a cultural thing. It would need to be constantly supplied with food and other essentials so some of the buildings near the "Night Market" must be warehouses. I'll assume the mooring lines for the docked boats are too thin to see. ;)
  • edited July 24

    You assume correctly. 😉

    Most of the empty spaces are just empty, because I haven't placed anything there yet. The final map will probaly be very densely populated.

    Added another market to the South side. Maybe I'll extend it to the other side of the canal, so that it's on the canal and on both shores.

    Thinking of adding a small port where one or two river ships can dock at the East. There's deeper water there and it's not practical to bring in construction materials, etc via small row boats.

    Yesterday's game session was fun - my players like the island so far.

    Here's the latest update:

    The second market.

    Two competing theaters, the green one being indoors and for the wealthy, the red one being open both to the elements and pretty much everyone. Played around with textures for the buildings a bit. The green one will receive a nice garden/ park.

  • I like the colored buildings. I want to do that know.

  • edited July 24

    @JulianDracos That can be done by changing house settings: Be sure to save the settings under a different name, so you don't accidentally change core style house settings.

    This example shows the "Green Theater" style from my last post. For the Red Opera I used a woodgrain texture from Character Artist.

    Think I've still just scratched the surface of how houses can be customized, but it's a start. Have fun. :)

  • @EukalyptusNow

    Thanks. While it won't work to get you the gold/silver for the roof lines, if you are using fills there is another option - at least with this style. You can just select the building and change the fill that way. I use that to make Hobbit homes. I discovered this accidentally by hiding the structures shading layer. I decided that instead of trying to match the green grass, the easiest thing was to just use the grass fill. When I turned the layer back on, low and behold, I was in a Hobbit metropolis.

  • Added more landmark buildings, extended and filled the half-floating marked.

    Think I'll take a break from copying and pasting boats for a while. ;)

  • 8 days later
  • A bit more progress in the West and North. The Night Market has expanded a bit and it's got its own boat bridge now.

    The Southwest is almost finished - might still add a few more details.

    Details from around the theatres:

    My current plan is to finish the West and then start adding the river ship harbour on the eastern side.

    Might also take a break and do some other small, fun map, when this feels like work too much.

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