View Full Version : WiP Amazing Places: The unassailable abode of Khalib the Mad...

04-11-2011, 12:27 AM
Hi all,
A little sideline, as if I need one: I'm going to be contributing a regular column to Roleplayers Chronicle (link (http://roleplayerschronicle.com/)). It'll be called (tentatively) Amazing Places and will provide a map of a location that could be used in a game along with some backstory, details of the location, adventure hooks, etc. I plan to cover a wide range of genres, not just fantasy, and want to make locations that aren't just the regular "ho hum, another wizard's tower". So, the first topic I decided to cover? You guessed it, a wizard's tower.

BUT when I say wizard's tower I don't mean one like Elminster's. I mean something like the tower of Hakim Ahmir Khalib the Mad, situated high in the mountains (somewhere) and inaccessible by means other than flight (or some dimension-breaking magic). Khalib is a famous (infamous?) summoner and collector of artifacts (mostly minor). Does he have a magic carpet? You betcha!

Yeah, so here's my very, very rough draft of the map. The layout is loose for now until I see how much room I need...then I'll tighten it up. [edit]You can probably tell that my architectural inspiration comes from the B'omarr (think Jabba's palace on Tattoine) and Arabic style, with a little Shangri la thrown in for good measure.

Other stuff on my list for possible future treatment:

Small spaceship (suitable for PCs to use maybe, detailing NPCs from a rival group or that could fill out the crew)
Old West town
Fantasy town
Space settlement (either a hard(ish)-fiction Lunar or Martian colony, or something space opera-ish)
Post-apocalyptic town
Alien ruins (sci-fi, probably, but could be fantasy too)
Space station (maybe a huge mobile one that travels between systems)
Tavern (fantasy...or maybe modern or sci-fi)
Wizard's tower (fantasy) - [Khalib will take care of this one]
Train interior (Western)
Subway (and lair of...something Cthulhuish, modern)
Planar location (something wild, fantasy)
Small military or technical base (modern or sci-fi)
Wilderness or urban shrine (fantasy)
Lair (fantasy)

Any other ideas? I'm completely open here.

04-11-2011, 05:11 AM
I think you're headed for burnout...and fast. :) I like the lil banner logo. The title for Khalib is a little hard to read, not sure if it needs to be 3d since it doesn't really fit with the rest of the layout. But that problem might be alleviated on the full size image, not sure.

04-11-2011, 07:30 AM
Thanks. Yeah, the titling might be a bit much. I just dropped in the only Arabic-looking font I had and tried out a couple of stock layer styles and this is the one that hit me. It's a placeholder, really, though I plan to decorate the final sheet a bit so I'll see how fancy I want to get with it. Most likely I won't end up going with the 3D look.

On burnout, you may be right. :) I'm planning on taking a break from commissions through June once I finish my current batch so I can catch up on other stuff I've been neglecting. I wanted to take this on, however, so I can make some maps outside of my usual range...experiment and explore a bit. For some reason I seem to need a purpose to make these. I think my mom used to go on about people wasting their time on hobbies so I feel like I need a "reason" :) Maybe I should see a therapist instead!

04-11-2011, 09:36 AM
Most of my suggestions are in the fantasy area, but some classic settings you could map: underground sewer system with lairs and dungeons, flying citadel/castle, ruined sunken stone city, city block (showing all the rooms on the ground level--I think something like this was done for Harn), temple or shrine, bandit caves, lair carved into a huge tree (perfect for a druid or fey), abandoned (or maybe not) pyramid, clock tower and/or engine room with lots of gears. Curious to see how your series turns out. Good luck.

04-13-2011, 02:43 AM
Nest of intelligent giant insect (or insect-like) race, a nomad camp, mines (fantasy, sci-fi, historical are all possibilities), a cove with sunken ship, islands (deserted, with ruin, with secret base, lots of variants), a James Bond type villain's evil lair with outrageous hidden facilities, a school of some type, restaurant, casino, a submarine, a military base, some kind of steampunk factory complex with dangerous machinery.

04-13-2011, 02:32 PM
Thanks, guys, for the suggestions. They're great.

Bored with work so did a bit of sketching on the tower this morning. Here's what I've got so far.

04-13-2011, 02:58 PM
*There is nothing ho-hum about Elminster's Tower...* Whoa where did HE come from.. Seriously though, very cool M sounds like a great project. :)

04-13-2011, 03:11 PM
Oh, sure, big E's tower is okay...I guess. But it's your typical fantasy wizard's tower: round, made of river rock, extra dimensional spaces, the usual. Looks like chicken, you know? ;) With this series I'm really going to *try* to "bring it" in terms of going a little outside the norm...where possible anyway, I don't want to get too wacky!


04-13-2011, 10:10 PM
Got the basic layout sketched out. I will either shrink the page or maybe increase the size of the level maps by 50% and offset the floors left and right so that it fills up the page horizontally...and gives me more room to map. I'm going to put this aside for a long while now and get other things done while I think about how I want to approach this. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

04-14-2011, 03:33 PM
Very cool so far. I love your sketch with the mountain backdrop.