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View Full Version : January/February Lite Challenge Entry: The Caverns Of The Dragonqueen



jtougas
01-16-2011, 10:18 PM
Hmm..that sounds familiar :) Yes that's right hale and hearty men and women of adventure Sign here and be transported on the wings of luxury to that most dread and evil place The Abyssal Plane of Despair, where you can travel the Caverns of The Dragonqueen her most demonic highness. No person has ever survived an encounter on this fell plane will you be the first? You there you seem like a most fit and skilled adventurer won't you take a chance?.....

Decided to jump right in with this one. Not much yet but I've never done a dungeon of this type before. :)

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Gidde
01-16-2011, 11:06 PM
Way to jump right on that new challenge! I like your dungeon shape, looking forward to seeing what you do with it :)

jtougas
01-16-2011, 11:34 PM
Baril Gerean was not quite sure what he was doing. One moment he was walking down a crowded street in the port city of Stormhaven, and the next moment he was listening to a odd looking fellow describing some grand adventure in an abyssal plane. The odd fellow stood on the deck of a most odd looking ship. One without sails or even a rudder. Gerean had never seen such a ship and was baffled as to how it would actually sail. The man who had not given his name was extolling the crowd with stories of a thing called the "Dragonqueen" ruler of some evil and fell plane deep below. Baril Gerean was not an adventurous man by nature but something in the odd fellows' voice drew him in closer...

Added a floor texture and darkened the walls a bit.

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Jaxilon
01-17-2011, 12:49 AM
Hoboy you got the bug! Way to go man, fired up and mapping like a fiend. I envy you guys who just blast right off when these things are announced.

Ascension
01-17-2011, 01:28 AM
Well, we do try to make the challenges inspiring but sometimes we pick something so open-ended that, if you've had an idea in the past, now is the time to dust it off.

jtougas
01-17-2011, 09:51 PM
Night fell over the city of Stormhaven and Baril Gerean hadn't moved. He had stood and listened to the strange man with the strange boat tell his stories over and over. He had watched as a few people signed up for the expedition. He had almost done it himself once or twice but his innate fear took over and stopped him. The crowd was gone now and the strange man had retired below decks. Gerean had a discomforting feeling about all of this but couldn't quite place why. Without really realizing it he found himself stealing onto the deck of the ship with no sails to see what he could find out...

Added some torches and started on the highlights.

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jtougas
01-18-2011, 01:27 AM
Moving about a ship posed no problem for Baril Gerean he had worked on his fathers' fisher for his entire life. He had never encountered a vessel like this before however. As he had noted earlier there was no sail and no mast. The deck was strangely smooth and not made of wooden planks as most ships were. Looking aft Gerean saw no wheel or any other method of steering the ship. He was headed to the rear of the vessel when he noticed a red glow coming from below decks. Something inside him told him to run but he had to know what he had seen....

Insert evil objects here. I may be forced to draw dretch and after a few tries I have realized that that is going to be a problem..anyone have any ideas? :)

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Jaxilon
01-19-2011, 05:42 AM
"draw dretch"? I don't understand.

Steel General
01-19-2011, 08:18 AM
IIRC a Dretch is some kind of demon or something.

torstan
01-19-2011, 10:17 AM
Yep, a dretch is one of the lowest demons:
http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/monsters/demon.html#demon-dretch

and a picture here (bottom right):
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG43.jpg

jtougas
01-19-2011, 03:47 PM
Thanks Torstan and SG I should have been a bit more specific. (I shouldn't assume that everyone has the obsession with the Abyss and the Blood War that I do ) :)

Savannah
01-19-2011, 08:55 PM
It looks really good! However, the torches look weird to me. They're really close together, in my opinion (remember that each torch casts good light in a 20' radius, so you don't need them every 5'), and they're pretty big (assuming that each square is 5', they're sticking out 1-2' from the walls!). In addition, it sometimes looks like their bases are floating on top of the wall instead of being attached to the wall. Other than that, though, it looks great (I love the dragon skeleton)!

jtougas
01-20-2011, 10:48 AM
It looks really good! However, the torches look weird to me. They're really close together, in my opinion (remember that each torch casts good light in a 20' radius, so you don't need them every 5'), and they're pretty big (assuming that each square is 5', they're sticking out 1-2' from the walls!). In addition, it sometimes looks like their bases are floating on top of the wall instead of being attached to the wall. Other than that, though, it looks great (I love the dragon skeleton)!

Your 100% right about that. It's the Abyss after all and they have no real need for torches. :) I'm working on a more "sinister" version The Dragon skeleton I can't take credit for but since the Dragonqueen is now a animus and will live forever it seemed to fit. Thanks for the feedback :)

jtougas
01-23-2011, 10:14 PM
Ok after being sick and staring at this for a few hours I decided I didn't like the original enough to keep working on it. SO I thought I'd take a walk down the hall to the tutorial halls and try Torstans' excellent old school tut. Now of course I had to mess with it by adding some textures but I kind of like it. :)

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jtougas
01-24-2011, 12:02 AM
Started to add some objects. To keep with the "old school" theme The first room is of course a library. How many times have your characters walked down the long dark hall and encountered a warm safe library at the end of it? It's a classic DM treatment to help build excitement. Now of course this IS the Abyss so it's going to be a little messy... :)

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jtougas
01-24-2011, 04:42 PM
Baril Gerean couldn't believe what had happened to him. One moment he was hiding on the deck of the strange ship moored in Stormhaven. The next moment he was floating above a strange landscape the likes of which he had never seen before. The odd man who was the ships master came out on to the deck and looked around. He no longer looked odd. He looked terrifying. The facade of humanity was gone replaced by the red skin and evil visage of something Demonic. Baril Gerean was deeply deeply afraid...

Working on some lighting effects and added a few more objects. I have to be honest and say that I'm frustrated by my inability to create these for myself. :( These maps while visually decent are starting to feel like I'm just stamping away with no real creativity of my own. (The objects themselves are awesome of course)...

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Jaxilon
01-24-2011, 10:45 PM
Regarding the objects, start small. Make a couple of them and save them to your personal library of objects. Eventually you will be able to use all your own stuff. I can't stand to use other people's objects myself so I have been just sucking it up and making them myself but I'm sure there are people who went to school for years in order to be making art and they are in an office some place being paid to do exactly what you are doing. Using art made by one of their fellow co-workers and pounding things out for the masses. At least you are doing it because you love it and not because you need it in order to put food on the table, eh? So you have the power to do whatever you want which is nice.

jtougas
01-25-2011, 12:43 PM
That's a good point Jax. I think I'm going to pull out of this challenge. I'm struggling with this for multiple reasons. I went back and looked at the mass of hand drawn and hand written stuff I have and realized that I have NEVER drawn nor written a dungeon. It's kind of hard to believe. Also I'm making a commitment to using only my own stuff from now on no matter how long that takes for me to get where I think I need to be. I think the pre-made objects are awesome and if I was running a VTT and needed to put something together every week fairly quickly and easily it would be one thing. But since I'm really storytelling with these maps I feel more like the camera and less like the director at the moment.. :)

Gidde
01-25-2011, 04:36 PM
Aww, don't pull out. Use it as a learning experience. Take for example my ill-fated challenge attempt from last summer sometime where I tried to map the Department of Mysteries. I was way out of my depth and it probably showed, but OMG I learned a lot. So, if you want to use only your own stuff, I say strip this down to the outline and start adding tiny elements one by one. You may not finish, but if you pull out you won't have finished either! Being out of our depth is how we learn and grow :)

Jaxilon
01-26-2011, 06:07 AM
Yeah bro, what Gidde said. I just re-read what I posted prior and it sort of sounds like I was bagging a little on the use of pre-made images. Not everyone can sit down and draw their own so that's really not a huge deal. If you can, and it sounds like you can, then you may want to just start building up your own library of stuff. I made a bunch while I was working on my Yurt challenge. I remember thinking I might use some pre-made objects to fill out the map but I ended up doing all my own. That's just how it worked out.

You can always make as many as you have time for and fill in with some pre-made stuff. I really hope I didn't push you over the edge and into withdrawing. I would feel terrible. Besides, you still have what, 20 days until the end? That's a long time to twiddle your thumbs, what else you gonna do? :) It is surprising how quickly you can create small items like these so you may be just fine. And finally, if you are using them for storytelling it's not the objects that really matter anyway. We want to hear the rest of the story!

I am doing this for the artistic outlet and to perhaps make some money with it eventually so I feel like I have to do it all from scratch. But that's just me.

jtougas
01-26-2011, 04:08 PM
No worries Jax. I started a new version of this map. In fact instead of making me feel like quitting you & Gidde made me even more determined to try this. At least now I'll get judged on my own merits not just my ability to artfully stamp stuff.. :)

Gidde
01-26-2011, 04:31 PM
There's the spirit! Can't wait to see the new version :)

jtougas
01-26-2011, 04:48 PM
The demonic figure moved to the bow of the ship and raised his hands above his head. A mighty clap of thunder was followed by a blinding flash of lightning. Baril Gerean found himself trying to cover his eyes and his ears while still staying hidden. The ship suddenly lurched and Gerean found himself looking at the entrance to a cave only this entrance was larger than any he had ever seen before. The demon stepped off of the ship and into the entrance and because he simply had no idea of what else to do. Gerean followed....

Ok here we go with another version. I feel like I need to say thank you to the Guild and especially to Jaxilon and Gidde. Thanks for putting up with my monthly crisis' and getting me pointed back down the path. I've decided to try something different with this version kind of a "parchment meets photo realistic" we'll see how it goes.. :)

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Jaxilon
01-26-2011, 06:17 PM
3rd times the charm, right? I like the colors so far.

jtougas
01-26-2011, 07:09 PM
Baril Gerean found it was rather like walking in a dream or maybe more like a nightmare.The colors looked different. Just slightly off from what he was used to. Sounds were different as well. Muted but echoing at the same time. He found he was having a hard time focusing on anything. The demon was not so afflicted and walked into the tunnel and out of sight. Gerean saw no pressing need to follow it just at that moment so he sat on a large rock and looked around. There wasn't much to see. The landscape was vast. Empty plains stretched out endlessly in a gray parade of nothingness. Out of the corner of his eye Gerean thought he saw some kind of animal shuffling along the grey plains but couldn't be sure. Something was pulling him toward the mouth of the tunnel and he listened...

I decided to tell a story ON the map as if this map was made by a group of adventurers that marked important locations on it. I think I might be going in the right direction now. :)

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Gidde
01-26-2011, 08:12 PM
Hey, we all need some shoulder and a little shove now and again to get us back on the path, no need for thanks. I *love* the new concept; I think you're right, you've hit on your entry direction. :)

jtougas
01-27-2011, 04:08 PM
The map had been tucked in behind a rock of the same gray color as everything else here. Baril Gerean sat on that rock and looked at the worn parchment. There had been others here, others from the Kingdom how had he never heard of their adventures? Surely something like this would have been spread far and wide. As he looked at the map and it's locations a dread feeling came over him. Unless these people never came back. Suddenly Gerean felt very cold....

Worked a bit more on this. I'm not 100% sure on the color but I wanted to show that something "evil" was happening here... :)

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Gidde
01-27-2011, 06:37 PM
I think it matches with the stylistic, silhouette figures.

jtougas
01-27-2011, 06:43 PM
Baril Gerean could hear voices coming from behind him. He turned to see several human figures closing in on him. He was surprised to see humans in this place. One of the humans a tall male approached him." Are you our guide? We were promised a guide." Gerean had a moment of understanding. These people had arrived the same way he did on the strange ship,except they had not stowed away. Quite possibly they had even paid for the privilege (if one could call it that) of being transported to this dread place. He shook his head and answered the tall one. "No I am no guide only a visitor like yourself" A strikingly beautiful human female strode forward with a haughty glance at Gerean. "Not like us surely for you smell of fish." This drew a laugh from the rest of the now assembled band. Gerean hid a smile. These fools had no hint of what waited for them and were too stupid to be afraid of it......

Got some more done on this. I dressed up the text a little. I like the result. I also added a library it is the only thing that has been consistent in this project to this point. For some reason I really feel that every abyssal location should have a library.. :) As always feedback is requested and appreciated.. Thanks !! :)

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jtougas
01-28-2011, 02:14 PM
Baril Gerean snorted as the band of fools passed him and entered the tunnel. At least one of them had there weapon drawn and another was casting a spell of some sort. They treated this like a holiday. Gerean had no idea of what awaited them but he was sure down to his bones that it would be no holiday....

Added some more "stuff" I know I'm cheating a bit just drawing "blobs" but at least there my "blobs".. :)

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jtougas
01-28-2011, 05:05 PM
The blood curdling scream that erupted from a few feet ahead of him froze Baril Gerean in his tracks. Obviously one of the arrogant band of humans had met, or was meeting a grizzly fate. Gerean knew he could do nothing for them but still trotted ahead against his better judgement. What he saw caused him to empty his stomach of their contents. A large plant of some sort was slowly eating the boastful human male. It was the color of blood and pulsed with each contraction of it's fanged mouth. Around it several other of its kind were also feeding on the other members of the human group. Gerean ran back to the tunnel entrance and composed himself. They had not made it more than a mile into these caverns and had already met their doom. It did not bode well for his personal survival....

Getting there now. The skeleton is a tracing of an object that I had (the original dragonqueen) The hoard is just a bunch of round brushes all stamped in a random pattern and then used as an overlay I hope the effect works. :)

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jtougas
01-28-2011, 06:28 PM
I think this is about done. Now I'm judging myself on a sliding scale here but I really like this. It was a frustrating journey to get here but once again worth the trip. I might fiddle with the parchment a bit more but I don't want to muddle it up so the text is hard to read. Thanks again everyone who helped me finish another one of these.. :)

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Gidde
01-28-2011, 07:33 PM
I love how this turned out, JT. And the "blobs" aren't cheating, they're "stylistic" :D

Jaxilon
01-28-2011, 08:38 PM
Dude, this looks really good. I think you might try some shading on the inside walls just to add some depth to the thing but see how it looks when you try it. Great job so far though, seriously.

jtougas
01-28-2011, 10:24 PM
The evil plants were just finishing their meal as Baril Gerean eased past. They were hardly moving now. Bloated and lazy from the feast. Gerean picked up a sword that lay in a pool of blood. Shuddering he gripped it tightly and moved deeper into the cavern. The people who had drawn the map he had found hadn't survived. The band of arrogant fools had hardly made it past the cavern entrance. And here he was Baril Gerean fisher from the port city of Stormhaven about to move deeper into the heart of evil...

Following Jaxs' advice I added some shading like mostly everything else on this map it's set to an overlay for a more subtle look. I like the results. Just enough depth without being too much. I also added a grid so that someone could actually play this if they wanted to. I also added a little "denizens of the abyss" blurb as if someone was noting down the creatures they encountered. :)

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Gidde
01-29-2011, 11:36 AM
Well done on that shading, it does indeed look like just the right amount.

jtougas
01-29-2011, 03:46 PM
Well done on that shading, it does indeed look like just the right amount.

Thanks Gidde :)

Well I think this is officially done. A very minor update today I just changed the font on a couple of things. Once again thanks to everyone that helped this along. :)

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lapada
01-29-2011, 09:23 PM
Awsome outcome -- and nice textures. Also I love the amount of information - If I tried that it would look like it was made by a scribe who accidentally drank too much ink.

jtougas
01-29-2011, 09:34 PM
Awsome outcome -- and nice textures. Also I love the amount of information - If I tried that it would look like it was made by a scribe who accidentally drank too much ink.

Thank you :) This was the first time that I tried incorporating a story onto one of my maps (usually the story accompanies the WIP thread) I like the way it came out. And don't sell yourself short I didn't think I could do it either :)

professorthunder
02-05-2011, 05:09 PM
I really like how you made it look like the ink bled into the parchment! This one would get one of my votes.