View Full Version : [WIP] Moonless Falls

06-05-2011, 09:03 PM
Hey everybody!

So I've taken a bit of mapping break recently, and my poor tablet has started gathering dust. THIS CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO PASS

Therefor, I've started a new mapping project. I have a wonderful adventure in mind for my friends to play through, but I found I was lacking any suitable on-hand maps for one particular encounter area, a shrouded, rocky mountain waterfall pool. What's a person to do?

I haven't drawn a waterfall before, so this might turn out hilariously bad. We'll see. Hopeful I might get some pointers as I go.

Here is the starters, the rocky wall area where the waterfall will be located.


06-06-2011, 10:49 AM
The rock wall looks great. I'm looking forward to watching this progress. :)

Steel General
06-07-2011, 11:47 AM
This is off to a fine start.

06-13-2011, 01:22 AM
Thanks guys

Busy busy week, didn't get to work on this at all. Finally got back to it for a little bit tonight. Outlined the pool area, some of the random stones in the water, and the outline of the small island that will be in the middle of the pool. Colors might change as this goes, and the shading might need a bit of work, we'll see how things look as I start adding vegetation and the water.

The nib on my tablet pen is starting to wear out. I hope it can hold on until I'm finished with this.


06-22-2011, 02:48 AM
Damn all these distractions, worked some more on this today, mainly just playing around with plant designs.


Steel General
06-22-2011, 07:19 AM
I realize you're just 'playing around' with the plants, but they seem a little saturated/bright to me.

06-24-2011, 01:22 AM
Thanks for the input SG, indeed they are very bright/saturated. I will definitely be modifying the hue and brightness later in the process, once I have a better feel for the overall color and tone of the image.

Worked some more on this today, focusing mainly on the groundscape, plus some clump grasses. Speckled a mixture of bright greens and dark browns liberally in an attempt to depict mossy/grassy, hurray for jitter.

Filled in a placeholder color for the water, all that white was hurting my eyes.


06-25-2011, 01:42 PM
Worked on water today. I'm fairly happy with how my waterfall turned out, though I might try tweaking it later. Of course, I might ruin it doing so.

I could use some ideas on what else people think this map needs/is lacking. I've hit all the important features that make this playable, now its time to toy around with the little art things (color levels, shadowing, border, grungey overlay, ect.)


08-10-2011, 09:50 AM
I think it is just beautiful as it is.

08-10-2011, 10:47 AM
If the falls are fast flowing, maybe a bit more "noise"/whitecaps a few feet before the cliff ends and a tiny bit "below" the fall edge, but that's a personal preference....<shrug>.

The only other thing I can see is that the big rock in the center needs something... either a bit more texture/color variation or some more shading to make it more roundy.. right now it's solid "flat" with a flat color and just kind of sticks out in the close up.

09-12-2011, 12:48 AM
Whew, life's been busy, put this on a hiatus for a bit. Thanks for the input JF, I completely agree with your suggestions.

Here is the map updated with more whitecaps in the falls and with some features starting to be filled in on the island. Also still playing around with plants, and deciding if there are any other features I want to add before I start to tweak the coloring/mood of the map.


09-12-2011, 12:30 PM
Thatīs beautiful water. I think the green is too saturated. Otherwise good job!

01-27-2012, 02:36 AM
Okey dokey then, nothing like late rather than never.

I realized I never posted the finished product of this encounter map, so I thought I would just do that now then.

Ultimately I added in a bit of shadowing around the edges, lowered the intensity of the colors a bit (with a slight increase in contrast due to the heightened shadow and reduced saturation), and added a bit of leafy cover to some of the map border.

All in all I was pretty satisfied with how this map turned out and learned a good deal from it.

01-27-2012, 06:26 AM
This map turned out to be very good. With your permission I will include it in my "to be played" folder. This central "island" screams for a lady in the lake thing ;). Only nitpick is that the green is a little bit to green for my taste.

01-27-2012, 05:22 PM
Thanks Troedel. Of course you can use this map any way you like and for anything you like, any one can :P.

The central island with the lady of lake type deal was exactly what I was designing for and used this map for. I still agree with the fact that the green color is far to intense and pervasive. I might actually open this guy back up and see what I can do by adjusting the levels and curves. Shifting them more towards brown, particularly the ground, will probably make this much less "pastel" (it doesn't help that I am colorblind when it comes to green and red hues).

01-28-2012, 12:04 AM
Something that would work well (to my eyes) is putting a parchemnt (or beige/brown colid colour) overtop, set to Hue at 50%. Mutes the greens a bit without affecting the rest of the colours more than slightly.

01-28-2012, 11:22 AM
Nice look of water movement. This has turned out well.

02-07-2012, 11:00 PM
Sure I tells myself, what the hell, why not keep working on a map I finished up months ago because now I'm not satisfied with it? :x You know you have a problem with these sort of detaily things self.

Anyways, color maps featuring lots of green are probably a very bad idea for me to pursue in the future, as this map taught me that my handi-color-capablity means that greens are going to be the bane of my existence.

So here it is, I opened this guy back up tonight and played with some color overlays, curves adjustments, and even (per Coyote's excellent suggestion) and nice grungy texture overlay to help bring the piece together and help break up the smoothness of the colors (Parchment didn't work to well, but a semi-parchment grungy texture was just right).

That's it. I'm done with this now, for the love of god. I think it looks a bit better now, the colors are just a bit more subdued (I think... again, I'm handi-color-capable) and I took out some of the plants whose placement was bothering me.

Thanks for all the feedback and comments everyone. On to a new project.


02-07-2012, 11:03 PM
I'd play on that map!

02-08-2012, 03:26 AM
Good map! It works ... I'd stop fiddling now and start a new one :)

02-08-2012, 08:06 AM
I like the tone down on the plants, but miss the "grass" since it was thinned out. Either way, it's a great map and you should feel proud...

04-09-2012, 10:07 AM
So here it is... That's it. I'm done with this now, for the love of god. I think it looks a bit better now, the colors are just a bit more subdued (I think... again, I'm handi-color-capable) and I took out some of the plants whose placement was bothering me.

Thanks for all the feedback and comments everyone. On to a new project.


@Wannabehero - I playtested this map with Pathfinder RPG. The center isle housed a huge black dragon from the new Pathfinder Battles set. The PCs were about 13th level and your waterfall map was projected onto a whiteboard on the table from an overhead projector/mirror setup. I used maptools as the software. The players and I thought the map was stunning. You used just the right amount of color and contrast to make this encounter really "pop".

There are many other maps here on the guild site, but this waterfall map has some of the greatest "usability" potential for those running games at tabletop, or virtually.

Thanks so very much for making it. And I hope you'll consider a few more using this same excellent style. Its distinctly unique (your own), and shows a great understanding for the type of map that makes for a memorable encounter!!!

Take care and best of luck,