WIP: The Battle of the Lines

Another combat encounter for my TTRPG campaign. In this one our Ranger will finally be able to utilize her beloved bow (in my woodland battle maps there is always so much stuff in the way, "it's not even funny anymore!!!" :D)

now I have to figure out, how to make fitting stairways. I was thinking about using colour key to cut into the natural stone slabs and then use some kind of black magic that I think @Loopysue once mentioned.

I think there is an effect one can use to create the illusion of a staircase by "just" make some shadow play on an entity.

At the moment I tried to make such an effect by hand, but it's not where I'd like it to be yet:

doing it by hand is a drag, but that's not the biggest issue with this approach: the stairs should get darker gradually when going down a level and I have no idea how to do this. I'd need a transparency effect with some kind of edge fade, but only in one direction...

I tried to search in the forum for "stairs" but that was not specific enough and I don't know how the effect is called that can be utilized to create such stairs.

If anyone could point me to a post/article/live mapping session where such effects are used/described that would be much appreciated!



  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 37 images Cartographer
    edited January 16

    Do you mean this one?

    It's very old now, and the PDF is probably not that easy to follow. It was written in a terrible rush to solve a particular problem someone else was having. However, if this is what you meant it should be possible to translate the use to straight stairs.

    I just checked the link in the pdf - still working. I did all of this 5 years ago, so I had to make sure.

  • Thanks Sue! I think that might be it! I'll study it tonight.

    Thank you so much!

  • This was exactly what I was looking for!

    I played around a little with the settings. It's not perfect yet, but good enough for tonight:

    For some reason there's an extra line at the top of the steps and the last step is too bright, even though I changed the texture of the background halfway down the stairs so it matches the texture on the lower level.

    But this are stories for another day


    JimProflo1MapjunkieLoopysueWyvernRicko HascheItalo Dude
  • I'm slowly coming along with the map, but I run into a curious thing I wanted to share:

    So I have stairs on the left side and I have stairs on the right side of the map.

    On the left side of the map I use Blend: multiply 100%, just as @Loopysue suggested in her pdf, but: on the right side the stairs turned out to be very dark, like here:

    unless I use a different mode. In my case above I used "hard light" instead of multiply.

    I have know glue what's happening here, but it took me quite some time to figure it out and it works good enough, so I'll keep it that way.

    Also: I don't know why, but the left side stairs have this strange offset of the bitmap right down the middle, while the right ones above don't show this:

    On the big picture one can see, that this affects all stairs except the rightmost two. Don't know what to do here other than accepting it and blaming the printer if someone notices ;)

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 37 images Cartographer

    Have you done the EDITSHADING part of it all on page 6? If you didn't they will be different shades depending on which way around they are facing.

  • oh! that's what that is doing!

    I did it once, did not see any difference, so I didn't bother anymore.

    Thanks for the clarification! 😌

  • Ok, I think I call it finished. More talented folks like you could make the map more awesome still, but I've other things to prepare for our session on the weekend, so I call it here.

    The map is designed to be a hideout in a cave that once belonged to a dwarven clan. On the bottom left there is a Teleport portal connecting this cave to other ones. The thieves arranged their loot in a way so they can shot at intruders entering from the right, that's why there is nearly no cover there. But our heroes found the other cave first and will now be entering through the Portal, giving them the advantage this setup, if they manage to overpower the Rogues sleeping in their cods, that is...

    For fun I thought I'd show the way the river flows not with water effects but with logic: if there are steps down to the water, presumably to get drinking water and for cleaning purposes, and there is a toilet room directly over the river, it should be clear in which direction the river flows ;)

    LoopysueMaidhc O CasainMythal82DaltonSpenceMonsenWyvernRicko HascheItalo DudeEukalyptusNow
  • Put a bucket and rope on the bridge to fetch drinking water well upstream of the privies. Also putting thin dividing walls between the toilets for privacy might be a good idea. Finally are toilets on both sides really necessary? (I'm trying to figure out usage but there aren't enough clues. :# )
  • The Roman military did it that way.

  • Well, this group of rogues are about 20-30 people and some wardogs. The people have to sleep in shared "beds" in shifts. This is about as comfortable as it gets for those guys.

    Sure they probably could improve on their living condition through hard work. But come on: If they'd want to do this, they could just, well... work, instead of living in a hideout and preying on unsuspecting traders passing by...

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