View Full Version : The Blacksmith WIP

06-24-2010, 07:42 AM
I'm still hard at work/play on a "town pack" that will hopefully include all the standard RPG town structures (village home is here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?10586-Village-Home) and the WIP general store is here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?10757-General-Store) if you want to take a look).

This time I am working on the blacksmith's workplace and abode. I want this place look a little more run down, a little more faded than the other two. I am particularly proud of the actual furnace, which I think turned out nicer than I expected it would. Still filling in his (or her?) living area with furnishings, but the basics are there. Haven't done the outhouse yet. Would love comments and criticism, and if anyone knows more about how an old-timey blacksmith's would be laid out than I do (which is to say anything at all) I'd welcome the guidance.

Made in PS at 300dpi, using genetica for textures.

Still on my list to make: temple, healer, inn/tavern, town square. Maybes : stables, gatehouse, outlying farm, poor person's shack.

06-24-2010, 01:44 PM
Looks pretty good.
Kind of bright in the house. Maybe needs a storage unit or shed of some kind.

06-24-2010, 04:30 PM
nice look, but once again I will note that tools usually don't lie on the floor, no matter how apropriate they are for the setting ;) ... you need some barrels/shelves with raw material for the work. And a lot more horseshoes, plows and such and I'm guessing even though he's probably the biggest guy in town - a door to close of the smithy for when he's out :)

06-24-2010, 09:35 PM
Xyll- you're right, it is a bit too bright inside. A shed is a good idea! I'll see what I can do.

Tilt- You're probably right about the fireplace stuff that's on the floor. Maybe I can prop it up against something or add another shelf/table.... Doors will be separate stand-up cut-outs, so yeah there will be doors, though I thought I'd leave the workshop area open-front. I guess I assumed that since ren-fairs always had them out in the open (and because of the heat) this is normal, though a little more google-ing makes me think this might not be the case. Hmm.

Mark Oliva
06-24-2010, 11:46 PM
If you're interested in real world prototypes, you might want to take a look at the free PDFs that go with our five symbol sets. They're loaded with photographs of the real thing from the Middle Ages. If you're interested, go to:


and click the cartographic collection option.

06-25-2010, 01:55 AM
If I had a smithy, I'd make sure I had big doors for opening, perhaps more than one set, so when the blacksmith is open for business, they'd leave a big opening indeed :)

06-28-2010, 12:11 PM
The best thing about this map is that it looks like I can take your general store map, stick them together and end up with a couple of nice looking buildings on a street.

I can't help but approve.

06-28-2010, 12:47 PM
That is the BEST thing about it!? I'll have to work harder! :P

When I'm finished, I'll have all the buildings you'd need for a town: So far I have blacksmith, general store, a house, and stables. Next up is the healers, the temple, the poor house, the gatehouse, the tavern/inn, the guildhall, and the town square. It's a big project.

07-01-2010, 11:32 AM
I would like to encourage you to continue to build these as i have often thought about doing the same thing but am lazy:) or I have two kids and no time. :) I think you have a good style and would love to see more.

07-01-2010, 01:16 PM
Xyll, I really really appreciate the encouragement. I am certainly continuing. I have all but finished the stables and will be moving on to the next one shortly--either the healers, the tanners, or a couple more houses next--This project is turning out bigger than I'd planned, and I've thought of lots of other stuff I wanna do with it now... I just got distracted with experiments in overland mapping and doing a few of the freebee requests from the request forum.

I'm aiming to release them all as one big pack on RPGnow when I'm done. Basically, rather than tiles, they will be one or two A4 pages per building, and you can align them however you please around the center road tiles. I am currently trying to figure out if I can release them in some format that will allow for more control over alignment and placing (diagonally for example). I have considered having each building be a png with transparency so they can be rotated and placed easily. I know that would make the download-file size really really huge though. Oh well, I'll map now and worry about presentation later, I suppose. It will be my first big publication for "D20 Cartographer" so I am pretty excited.

Mark Oliva - I hunted around on the site for the blacksmith diagrams but didn't find them: you have a lot of really nice materials up there though!

06-30-2011, 03:32 AM
I looked at the product on DriveThruRPG but unfortunately decided not to buy (although, I have bought some of your other products).
No real kitchen. Most people don't go to a tavern every night. Is the blacksmith unmarried (unlikely, but does have two chairs)?
Benches would be more common for the family.
Where are plates and mugs stored?
No broom in house or in workshop.
Missing the chamber (pis_s/thunder) pot in bedroom, although this could be under the bed.
Not sure why he would have a hammer and wood round block inside house so far from workshop.
Some dried herbs hanging on walls (or ceiling).
Food preparation table is very small, although no doubt the other table would be used.
Probably has a garden out back as did many medieval folks back then, possibly chickens and pigs.
You do have some kind of victorian looking stove and a frying pan next to it but how would one use the fry pan with that stove?
A stone fireplace would be more realistic and allow for cooking and heating soup pot as well as the home, and for illumination etc.
Wood stack somewhere to feed that fireplace. Some wood inside to add to fire.
No candle or holder by the bed or other places.
No vise in workshop!
The workshop area seems small, but that is possible I suppose.
The bellows you have shown is tiny, hardly even useful for the home fireplace to help start a fire.
Read this: Most important blacksmiths tool (http://www.ehow.com/about_4672876_blacksmiths-bellows.html)
and see this (and it's a smallish one): Larger bellows#1 (http://ronaldcraft.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/b-smith.gif)
another example: larger bellows#2 (http://homepages.tig.com.au/~dispater/webber5.jpg)
Anyway here is a google images link for medieval bellows: link (http://images.google.com/search?hl=en&as_st=y&biw=1000&bih=620&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=blacksmith+medieval+bellows&oq=blacksmith+medieval+bellows&aq=f&aqi=&aql=undefined&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=3911l5447l0l8l8l0l7l7l0l328l328l3-1l1)
No doors to close on the house(your general store at least had a door), how he discourages thieves each night I don't know. He certainly could make the hinges and a latch, perhaps even a lock and key if skilled in that.
Main door to workshop was not a requirement as others have mentioned. If open the work area might be open on two or three sides as smithing was hot work and reduces fire risk further and cheaper. Example open-walled medieval blacksmith (http://www.nms.ac.uk/images/nms_brwb_blacksmith_3153_3341.jpg)
The smith would probably bring all tools in the house for the night.
The apprentice(s) might sleep in the workshop area to keep a watchful eye.
I suggest you look on Google image using "medieval blacksmith" as a search key.
An outside trough or several filled with water and pails in case of fire (often blacksmith was situated away from other houses due to persistent fire risk and had a tile or slate roof).
Although the blacksmith might be the more prosperous manorstead resident he still might not have wooden floors (probably packed dirt, perhaps with reeds on that). Even if wooden floors they would be rougher/cruder that what's shown. As most folks brought their livestock within the house on winter nights (every night if no barn) a nice wooden floor wouldn’t stay pretty for long.
Might have several anvils (esp if has apprentices). Probably hangs his leather apron on a peg/hook before heading inside for the night or lunch. A box filled with raw ingots, probably several grades thereof. Definitely needs more charcoal than what's shown.
The anvil would probably be on a wooden stump or block to make it a proper working height.
Not sure what the walls are made of, looks like modern dressed stone over plastic looking wood (but no upright stout pillars shown)? Does not look realistically medieval (wattle & dab).
Would be nice to provide images of a blacksmith, wife, children and perhaps a dog and their livestock.
Pegs/hooks(which he could make of course) on wall where tools are hung.
Coal shovel looks too small.
Wheelbarrow or cart or for bringing in coal
Looks like there is no two handed hammer/maul.
Table near the forge is inconveniently placed. With such a small work area the forge would be in corner.
I can't tell what that white and black puffy thing is back of the table by the forge.
Does he only sit in workroom on that uncomfortable looking box, seems like a stool would be nice.
Anvil too far from forge, the blacksmith works between them frequently.
The forge itself is pretty fancy for such a seemingly poor (small house) smith, who probably would not know how to make a good sword.
I suggest a two story, more interesting for thieves and some of your town buildings need to be more than 1 story anyway. The blacksmith usually would be able to afford it more than most.
No root cellar, although not required, but might be interesting for adventures.
Loft or attic
Front door has small dirt area then grass, why the grass, dirt path should lead out all the way. House is so small would it really have two exits?
No flowers or vegetation, no 'womens' touch outside.
The floor of workshop almost looks like strewn hay?? Should definitely be dirt or stone.
No pegs/hooks for clothing in the house.
Perhaps an attached tilt roof shed for storage of coal or gardening tools.
Floor mat into house looks too clean.

06-30-2011, 02:32 PM
Wow, thanks for the in-depth look! That was quite an undertaking for your first post--it is a shame it came a little too late. As you can see, this, the stables, and the general store are all well over a year old (I only just put these up in RPGNow on a whim).

Anyway, there are a few of your points I considered, a few that make good sense, a few that are speculative/impossible-to-implement, and a few that are actually already addressed. I appreciate them all though. I feel for your thirst for realism and I try to be as realistic as possible but, as you know, pen-and-paper maps often have to be (or benefit from being) somewhat 'representative' rather than strictly realistic.

Anyway, folks like you are good to have around the Cartographer's Guild--attention to detail is great when you're looking for criticisms!

Oh, and thanks for picking up some of my other stuff--which ones did you buy, if you don't mind me asking?