View Full Version : A Lich's Creepy Estate - Question about scale and size

07-11-2011, 12:56 PM
Hi, I am working on a project that includes a map of an island estate. There is a mansion, a formal garden, a stable, and an onsite family crypt. All of these are supposed to be contained by a pentacle-shaped (star shaped) magical hedge or bramble.

My first question is, how big should the mansion really be? If we are dealing with standard fantasy, or even gothic/dark fantasy, wouldn't it generally be pretty big? But definitions of "big" vary...many of our upper middle class houses would probably be considered mansions by the medieval peasant.

My second question is, if the star-in-a-circle shape is absolutely necessary to the plot (and it is)...how big does the star need to be in order to fit all the components I mentioned above into it? I'm really having a hard time figuring out the scale necessary for the map. The star-hedge is part of a spell that sustains the lich, so it makes sense for everything to be inside of it. But the inside area of a star is much less than the diameter of the circumscribing circle. I am worried that in order to fit things in I am going to have to make a HUGE circle (which is the island), and at that scale the buildings and other features of the map will then necessarily be so small that detail will be lost. Hopefully you can see my dilemma.

I suppose my first step would be to figure out the sizes of the different components...I'd have to research stables, as I don't know what type or size of stable would be reasonable for a low-level artistocrat (what the lich while still human). As for crypts, a family crypt wouldn't probably be that large. Gardens can vary in size, and the only feature I need to worry about is a particular fountain surrounded by four gargoyle statues.

If you need more information to answer my question, ask away. I will try to answer as best I can. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions you can offer.


07-11-2011, 01:09 PM
if its a rich lich *hehe* ... then yep - he's gotta have a room for entertaining/reception/bragging - and several guest quarters, then there are his own rooms (one can't do it), and rooms for staff, kitchen, gardeners, guards, diggers, graverobbers, skeleton polishers and all that other needed personel ;) ... maybe he acutally stole.. eh.. I mean, took over from the previous inhabitants as they left the ...life, thus their needs could set the standard.

if the star is a normal pentagram then you're stuck with that shape - but maybe it could just be a magic circle (not a star), that way it would take up less room ... if not, make the mansion star shaped - or at least use the points to house something :)

07-11-2011, 04:34 PM
It depends on how big the island is. If it's as big as Oahu then there's no problem, do the map as the mansion and grounds with a small inset map showing the larger island as a whole with a dot showing where the place is located. If the island is small then you need some creative use of props, such as giant rocks. I drew a 5 minute example.