View Full Version : April Entry: Sea River

04-14-2011, 04:59 AM
Of course there are no rivers in the sea, unless a river from above cascading from a cliff into the sea eventually reaches this shelf of rock on the continental shelf. A village of scavengers - I still haven't figured out what they are dwell on either side of the 'river channel'. A strong current flows along the cut channel. I plan on putting up nets that cross the channel in an attempt to catch detritus caught in the flow. Some 'huts' will occupy the wider shelf area away from the 'banks of the river'. I also plan to cut some caves out of the rock top and bottom for additional lairs. I think I'll even include a 'junk pile' of collected goods from being caught in the nets. This will be a fairly primitive village culture - whatever they are.

Still lots to put in: a giant clam, some giant barnicles, passing schools of fish, and the village itself.


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04-14-2011, 12:57 PM
Added a sea cave, and some primitive village structures, oh and the main title.


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04-14-2011, 07:04 PM
I've decided this is it, a completed encounter scale undersea village map along a deep current at the mouth of a cascading river, perhaps 8 miles from shore in 20+ fathom water depth (80 feet). This would be at more northerly latitudes so no coral reef per se, a temperate maritime climate region above sea level.

I never did figure out who lives here, but you know what? It doesn't matter. It would be up to the game master as who is supposed to live here. No doubt a water breathing humanoid of some sort, as the hovels roughly represent buildings (note: they are roofed in stacked stone, but the interiors are exposed for game use purposes.)

I am sure this village either consists of outcasts from their 'tribe', as they depend on a subsistance lifestyle dependant on the usefulness of various detritus caught in their nets: metal implements attached to wood or other lighter materials, rope, nets, even 'food'. Or this a remote outpost for some distrustful aquatic race. In a way serving as a 'mine' for acquiring 'finished goods' from the surface, especially rich during floods on the surface landmass. Must be a drought though, not much of a catch in the junk pile just above the two hovels on the upper bank of the cut channel.

I've got spears, a net and some tridents populating the residential hovels, noting that the cave belongs to the rude village's leader. The small 3 walled hovel on the lower bank near the cave entrance is probably a stable of sorts. This is really more of a work camp for some aquatic race.
Either way, the purpose for its being makes sense, is game system neutral, but gridded a 1 inch = 5 foot scale, ready to use as an encounter somewhere along the continental shelf.

Note: the only thing that does not make this map generic, if you look in the center of that cut channel, along the bottom skulks an aboleth...


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04-14-2011, 11:13 PM
With the first picture I was going to voice some concern over the resemblance to a penis, but the additions have completely removed that. The nets for catching things is a great little piece to add and the textures and detail are wonderful. The colors are really well chosen to. It's actually a pleasure to look at!

04-16-2011, 08:54 AM
That looks pretty awesome. The only thing that I get hung up on is the curve of the nets, it looks counter to the flow of the river. The lines that hold the nets would look great if they looked like hemp rope.
But the details, structure and seaweed work really well

04-16-2011, 02:47 PM
I see the flow of the river as the direction of the weeds from the north going south southwesterly direction. In my mind the crossbars on the nets are pulled in the direction of the flow, as are the nets. Note the tension is at the ends of the crossbars as that is how they are attached to the nets. The water flow forcing the nets outward pull the crossbars towards the direction of flow but the nets are pulled in the correct direction of flow. Perhaps the illusion of the crossbars at the nexus of the poles going the opposite direction gives you the idea of counterflow - but I have seen these kinds of nets in use and the way they are setup are correct to current flow.

The lines however are just drawn lines in black. I think a more hemp rope style might look better as well, I just didn't have an easy solution for creating that. Perhaps I'll make time and add that detail

Thanks DN!

04-17-2011, 05:43 PM
As per DN's suggestion, I decided to change the black line net ties to hemp-like ropes. These would be heavy ship type ropes that have themselves been caught in the nets. I threw in some rough knots and dangling ends caught in the current. Since I went to the trouble of fixing the ropes, I decided to add in a few more objects.

Overlooking the two hovels on the higher ground above and to the right of them, I placed a defensive structure with large crossbow or small ballistae - the rarest find in the nets used to defend against threats coming from over the continental shelf towards their the work site.

I also placed a few crates, and an open crate in the sea cave with some coins in it - there's got to be some treasure and not all discarded junk...

@Murcu - I wanted the terrain to seem organic, but not that organic... :)

Now I have to be finished though - other things to do this month... got to make a Japanese castle for the third adventure in the Kaidan pubications, I have a 5 room dungeon to create for Rite Publishing on another project, I've got the next FreeRPGmap download to create and post and the tavern collection to finish... ah, work, work, work...


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04-23-2011, 03:51 PM
I noticed some discrepancies in the tie downs for the nets - some missed their tie down poles completely, so I fixed that. Also noticed the grid didn't appear on the defensive tower, as it sat above the grid layer. So I cropped a small section of grid and placed it over the area. That's it - done for sure now!


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04-25-2011, 06:07 PM
One point though- would an underwater ballista work? I imagine the water resistance on the arms would suck out most of the power (water is reactive - the faster something moves the more it resists that's why it stops bullets so well)
This is only a guess though, as I suspect my local pool won't let me take by bow along to try it out.
I suppose you could have a special design with very thin arms to minimise drag.

04-26-2011, 04:59 AM
I'm suspecting a crossbow would be the closest approximation to harpoon gun or spear gun, especially since this crossbow is more like a heavy crossbow. So indeed a limited range, but perhaps effective against large targets such as vessels or large sea beasts just beyond the lip of the continental shelf the work camp sits on. Perhaps it serves as a visibile threat to approaching intelligent sealife. So the places looks defended and not necessarily an easy target of conquest.

And welcome to the guild, Warplock! Post an intro in the Intro board.


04-26-2011, 04:48 PM
That's a good point - it shows the locals are ready for a fight. And I don't suppose anyone wants to risk being the first person to find out the sharp way that underwater crossbows work quite well thank you very much.