[Mapping Competition] WIP: Areneae Keep

MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
This is the beginning of my outside map for Areneae Keep for Lorelei's mapping competition. Thanks for creating the competition with these great prizes.

I've started with the outside, but the plan, if I have the time, is to make interior maps as well.

Right now, the map isn't anything to look at. I need to get the structure in place first before I decorate it.

My map shows the main keep from the area map. Since the area map shows multiple buildings here, I decided that the main building is a single fortified building, and not a full castle with walls and multiple buildings inside the walls, I am thinking it is a bit more spread out because of how the buildings are placed on the map. Perhaps there once was a main wall blocking the pass that gives access to the keep?

One of my main challenges here is to give this a ruined look. Perspectives itself doesn't really offer much in the area of broken walls, so I need to draw this myself. Getting the perspective right on these things is quite tricky. Getting parts to fit, like the floor that wraps around the tower and is partially in front of it and partially behind it is also an interesting challenge.

Just getting this far required a lot of construction lines, some maths, and a good understanding of the various coordinate systems in CC3+.


  • oooooooh. i love a good perspectives map
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    Let's hope I get to the 'good' stage then :)
  • Looks good to me.
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    Ooh, Remy!

    Looking forward to this :)
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    So, didn't get too much visible progress today, but I did get to add some battlements and some wooden beams extending from the hole in the roof (Presumably the broken ends of the beams holding up the roof.)

    When working with the battlements, I did figure out something new. You can actually store relative coordinates in a variable. They'll have to be stored in a string variable, and not a point variable, but that doesn't really matter. Storing "<330,10" in a variable saved me from a bunch of typing.

    Working with this have been quite tricky, because I often have the need for an entity top be behind another entity at one location, and in front of it in another, such as the floor wrapping around the tower. This is one of the things that sounds so easy on paper, but is really difficult to get right in practice. Due to this, this small progress did take a considerable amount of time to pull off.

    Still just working on the structure of the drawing, decoration is still way off.
  • Uau! Great work! The battlement is my favourite part =)
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    I like the cutaway roof :)
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    edited May 2020
    Today's progress. I fixed the battlements to look like a continuous entity, and not just blocks stacked on top of a wall. Also made some ruined/broken pieces, this is a ruin after all. And added battlements to the first tower as well.

    Doesn't look like much progress, but there is a lot of detail work here, taking a lot of hours to complete.
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    :O Wow!

    I'm very impressed. Having messed with Per3 only a couple of times I know just about enough to understand how much work that really was!
  • I find it incredible! I just do not know if I like a diferent texture on each part of the building: one to the towers wall, another for the castle wall, another for the tower's floor... Are you testing textures or you pretend to use such a diverse array of textures?
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    Textures are still undecided, but I did initially go for different textures to avoid this being a monotone gray blob. Needed to bring some variation in there.
  • Posted By: MonsenTextures are still undecided, but I did initially go for different textures to avoid this being a monotone gray blob. Needed to bring some variation in there.
    Yes... That is a challenge!
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    Man, these things are dangerous. Apparently, towers can collapse. Better stay clear of those.
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    WOW! Again!

    That must have taken such a lot of patience! :D
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    It takes a bit of fiddling, but it is getting quicker. I learned a lot from handling the hole in my walls and the broken battlements.
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    edited May 2020
    So, this is getting a bit more into the territory where I want it, but there are still plenty to do yet. The main structure of the map have been completed though, so it is mostly decorating and tweaking effects now. A few more iterations, and I might even have something decent here.

    This latest iteration use light sources for some of the effects. These are nice, but they are extremely tricky in a perspectives map. Everything about perspectives is made to trick our minds that this flat 2D drawing is actually three-dimensional. So our brains starts to thing about the walls as shape we can "go around", and that can have things behind them. And as such, it is easy to think that I could just place a light source behind a wall and let it shine out from behind it. Unfortunately, this isn't possible. No matter ho much our brains are fooled, it is still a 2D-drawing, and CC3+ aren't fooled. Where we see the top of the wall meeting the side of the wall at a 90 degree angle, CC3+ only sees two polygons side by side, and what we perceive as rectangles with 90-degree corners, CC3+ sees as a Rhombus with 60 degree and 120 degree corners. Thus, there isn't a "wall" to hide the light behind, it is only a flat polygon that would just completely block it. The geometric designs of such a map also means that the walls won't block light the same way as we would expect either, so relying on entities to block the light is much more problematic than in a standard top down dungeon map.
  • Overall too dark for me. Bring back the sun - or at least dawn. Living in the land of the Midnight Sun (ie night all day in winter) is NO excuse, you Viking!
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    It is a bit dark, but that may be just the way it is.

    Otherwise a brilliant model/map :D
  • Oooooh i LIKE where this is going. The lore of Dreadlock Valley is pretty dark so I think this is coming along deliciously devious
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    edited May 2020
    Here is an updated version. I am nearing the final product here, mostly minor tweaking and detail work remaining. I want it to be a little dark, but I've made it a little lighter. I did notice that your monitor settings matter a lot when the map gets a bit dark. The map from my previous post looks very nice on my main and secondary monitors, but on the tertiary one, that is another make and model, it does indeed look too dark.
    I trust the coloring much more on my primary and secondary monitors though, as they are expensive Eizo monitors designed for graphical work.

    You'll find a high-resolution version of the map here.

    Below are a couple of images from the map.

    1. The full map

    2. The keep

    3. Closeup of the keep entrance
  • Nice work Monsen!
  • Wondrous. the lighting is just right, IMHO
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    edited May 2020
    Some more detail work. Replaced the very plain stone texture used both for the broken wall segments and the battlements.

    For the broken wall pieces I used a darker texture that fits the wall better. It kind of hides all my hard work in making those holes, but it makes the hole itself look much better, and that's the entire point.

    For the battlements, I experimented with a bunch of different textures, but I found that it looked rather horrible once it became too busy, so I went with a simpler cracked texture rather than more elaborate stones that I have used for the rest of the walls.

    Also added some fallen roof beams to the collapsed insides.

    This may also be a bit difficult to pick up because of the perspective, but the keep is 4 floors tall (towers are about 6), the two bottom floors are intact, the collapsed section is the two topmost floors. And of course, there is a basement below the thing, hiding all kinds of nice horrors (and treasure, if the GM feels particularly generous).
  • Oh i love the fill of the battlements!!
  • I have to admit, until the last one, even though you said it, I couldn't see that part of the roof had collapsed. I kept puzzling why the interior had such a weird shape to it.

    Nicely done!
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    Excellent map, Remy! :D
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    edited May 2020
    Here's the beginning of the dungeon beneath the castle. Not sure how much time I will spend on this one (certainly not as much as on the keep itself).

    Click image for high resolution version


    I actually used the keep in my game this weekend, having it inhabited by a powerful Aranea (spider/humanoid shapeshifter). She has been extorting tribute from a nearby village in return for protecting them from the dangers of the land. Of course, the threats she protect them from are real, but they are left at the very edge of existence, with minimal food and resources. Something especially the Paladin of the party don't care much for. Ended the session with a cliffhanger, they are in her throne room (in the dungeon below the keep), and after talking with her, things are just about to go to combat.
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