View Full Version : Cave system

04-07-2008, 05:57 AM
I recently ran a game where the players escape from a Drow cave system. I thought I'd post them here for some C&C. Since getting a tablet, I've been playing with more hand drawn maps. This was done in Gimp for use in Maptool.

Main cave system:

04-07-2008, 09:06 AM
Looks awesome...Love the palette choice. You can definitely tell the tablet influence. if Gimp has similar pen dynamics as PS does, I'd recommend putting some pen dynamics on your next hand drawn map. Shape and Angle dynamics with a tiny bit of jitter makes for some really nice looking hand drawn lines.

04-07-2008, 10:06 AM
Excellent map Torstan. I like the more "natural" look of the cave system. I look forward to seeing other maps in this series.

Not a brickbat per se, but I wish there were some type of mapping convention that could be used to convey the 3d nature of some caves, with passages going up and down and over each other. I remember seeing a cad map of Lechugilla Cave and being blown away by the sheer intricacy of it.

04-07-2008, 12:05 PM
Great map! I really like the shading technique you went with.

04-07-2008, 01:13 PM
Really fresh feel to the map. It looks like it didn't take you too many layers either. Good gaming map.


04-07-2008, 04:11 PM
Nice map! Simple, straightforward, and pleasing to tyhe eye. I think this is as good as anything WOTC has put out--or at least as good as was in the old Dungeon mag. You are a master!

Hey, I wonder what it would look like if you masked out the grid from the rock?

04-10-2008, 11:40 AM
Hey thanks a lot for all the praise! That's very kind of you all. Arcana, that sounds like a good idea. The pen dynamics have been improved a bit in gimp 2.4 and I think I'll have a shot at a few of them with my next map. Should help to avoid the slight felt pen feel of the cave wall outline.

Masking the grid is a good idea too. Unfortunately I've lost the xcf file of this map (I know - schoolboy error) so I can't play with that on this series of maps.

Anyway, here is the next in the series:

04-11-2008, 05:38 AM
and while we are going down this tunnel in the cave system I might as well post the last cavern in this direction:


04-14-2008, 09:59 AM
Here is the Waterfall Cavern. The pool of water is directly above the waterfall in the Large Cavern map posted above. This provides a separate route between the two rooms.


04-14-2008, 10:05 AM
I'm REALLY digging the way this is all coming together torstan. You're most definitely going to have to put this in a module format for the rest of us to use.

04-14-2008, 11:36 AM
Thanks Arcana. I'll put it all in a pdf when I'm done. I used it as a drow lair in my campaign with the chasms full of spiders and webs. Lots of fun. I'll put up the maptool campaign file at the end as well for those with an inclination for more interactive maps.

As a bonus for today here is another cavern. This cave is below the Waterfall Cavern but above the Large Cavern. The access from above and below is solely through the waterfalls:


04-14-2008, 12:55 PM
OH! They are sort of isometric drawings! (It took me this long to realize that because of the grid :) ) The waterfall in this one clarified it all for me...

-Rob A>

04-15-2008, 02:57 AM
Well yes, with the emphasis on 'sort of'. The maps were all used top down. However I couldn't see a way of drawing a pretty waterfall completely top down so I extruded them up as if the maps were isometric. It was a cheat that was only really used for the waterfalls and I left it in because I liked the way it looked. There's only one other feature that looks isometric. I'll post it today or tomorrow.

04-17-2008, 06:02 PM
Hmmm, I thought I'd posted the last of these but it seems it didn't go up. Anyway, here they are.

The Armoury:


The Store Room:


Finally the pit cave - bottom left from the main map. This is the one in a more isometric view and I like the result.


Anyway, it was fun playing with a new style. I guess a fair amount of this has permeated into my pirate cove design that I am playing with on the other thread.

Arcana mentioned shape and angle dynamics for pens. I can get the jitter working, however sizing the pen with pressure seems to be a little broken in gimp - it varies in discrete steps rather than a smooth variation - and I don't know what is meant by angle dynamics. Any help on these?

I'd like to put these togehter in a more coherent format. Arcana, you mentioned a module - you mean in a D&D style, or more a pdf with them all collated in the same document?

Thanks everyone for all the praise on these. It's good to back over here and posting again.

04-17-2008, 10:41 PM
Arcana mentioned shape and angle dynamics for pens. I can get the jitter working, however sizing the pen with pressure seems to be a little broken in gimp - it varies in discrete steps rather than a smooth variation - and I don't know what is meant by angle dynamics. Any help on these?
He was talking photoshop.

In GIMP, pressure works for me...I can set it for size, opacity (and colour for drawing tools, and hardness for the paintbrush tool) or any combination. What is your tablet and what is the GIMP version? (I can check my setup later when at my tablet...)

The only tool that supports angle (the angle the pen is held at to the tablet) is the Ink tool.

-Rob A>

04-18-2008, 03:10 AM
Okay, so I have a Wacom Graphier4 running under XP with Gimp2.4.5. When I use the brush tool and set the pressure setting to size I get the following result:


Notice that the pen resizes in steps rather than smoothly. I've had a short Google for it, but got no results. Just wondered if anyone here knew of this/had a workaround?

After you mentioned the Ink tool I have gone away, found it for the first time and had a play. Okay, now I am sold. That's great! I can't believe I had missed it for all this time. Thanks.

04-18-2008, 08:45 AM
I guess I get the same with a hard edged brush. I normally use a soft brush, so don't notice the steps, but they are there. Playing with the brush sensitivity in the Wacom panel seems to make a difference.

-Rob A>

04-18-2008, 10:14 AM
Okay. I didn't think of that and now feel daft. Thanks (as ever) for the tip :)