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Turgenev
04-23-2008, 01:03 AM
When I'm not designing dungeons, I like to toy around with castle plans. Here is a design that is a work in process. It is inspired by Restormel Castle in Cornwall, England. This is the ground level. The upper level will contain the living area but I haven't finished it yet.

Edit: I've adjusted the saturation levels on the grass & ground.

Click on the image for the larger version:
http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/castle001small.jpg (http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/castle001.jpg)

The Legend for the castle is as follows:
1 Drawbridge
2 Gate (with portcullis & reinforced doors)
3 Open Courtyard
3A Starirwell (Down)
3B Stairwell (Up)
4 Well
5 Kitchen
6 Storage / Pantry
7 Temple
8 Storage
9 Stable
10 Armoury
11 Barracks

Now to work on the 2nd level. ;)

ravells
04-23-2008, 06:46 AM
Very nice design - I hope you don't mind a couple of suggestions:

Try the map with the saturation of the colours toned down to about half what they are now.

You could make the castle walls more interesting, by putting in slit windows, buttresses and columns etc.

There is useful reference material on the site

here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=964): reference material
here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=728): stunning castle plans - all done in Microsoft paint!!

It's worth having a root around the reference material bit of the site, there's quite a bit on castles there.

Torq
04-23-2008, 08:17 AM
Turgenev, I hope you dont mind but I messed with your castle plan a bit. I was just experimenting with a few textures in the Gimp.

Torq

Valarian
04-23-2008, 09:38 AM
3A & 3B Stairwell
Is A down and B up? If not, I'd check the rotation of the stairwells.

ravells
04-23-2008, 09:56 AM
Something to do with the person fighting down the stairs having more room to manuoevre his sword arm, isn't it? So if you're going up the stairs it turns right making it more difficult to use your sword.

Nice makeover Torq, about time you posted a tutorial with that technique of the rocks and grass.

RPMiller
04-23-2008, 12:22 PM
I think it is the other way around, and there is no "up" and "down" on stairs unless they move on their own accord.

The idea is that the defender is higher and can use the center of the spiral along with a shield to have overwhelming defense while having the larger arc of the outside wall to swing a sword and maneuver a longer weapon such as a short spear.

Of course if you are left handed things don't work out quite right. ;)

torstan
04-23-2008, 01:01 PM
Yep - used to tour guide in a castle. If B is upstairs and A is downstairs it is correct. Stairs rise clockwise.

Turgenev
04-23-2008, 02:32 PM
Thanks for the suggestions guys. Love what you did with the map, Torq. I'll be definately giving that a try. As for windows/slits... that will be on the 2nd level. Ground level was suppose to be just solid walls. At least that was my plan. As for the stairs, to be honest I didn't even think about it. My original idea was they both went up but now I have something to think about. I think I will go with torstan's comment and have B = upstairs and A = downstairs. ;) Thanks again for the links and suggestions.

Sigurd
04-23-2008, 03:47 PM
Very nice, classic design. I love maps where I can believe they would actually be built. Fantastic, improbable elements, have their place but believability wins out in the end IMHO. A good design makes me think "Castles like this would exist" - makes presenting them, much, much easier.


I actually prefer Turgenev's version where all the elements have the same treatment. To do the outside without showing kindness to the inside of the tower creates an odd sense of imbalance.

SO, I added a tiny touch to the inside of the tower. A pattern and a complimentary drop shadow - to match the outside.

Torg's mod of Turg's map modded by someone whose name doesn't start with "T" (http://wm23.inbox.com/thumbs/31_9fa95_56bb9557_oJ.jpg.thumb)

Redrobes
04-23-2008, 03:57 PM
Clockwise going down...

;)

(BTW - nice castle map !)

RPMiller
04-23-2008, 04:24 PM
Nice flipped picture. ;) :P :lol:

Gamerprinter
04-23-2008, 05:24 PM
Of course if you are left handed things don't work out quite right. ;)

Actually these was an infamous Scottish clan in the border country, the Kerrs, who were trained to fight with their left hand, which gave them an advantage when assaulting the English within clockwise spiral stairs of their own towers. With right-handed defensive posture, normally the right-handed attackers are placed in a disadvantage to the defenders.

But the Left-Handed Kerrs - broke this standard defensive advantage, and were hated for it! :D

True story!

RPMiller
04-23-2008, 05:28 PM
And that is where the expression "You are such a Kerr" comes from. ;)

Turgenev
04-23-2008, 05:54 PM
Very nice, classic design. I love maps where I can believe they would actually be built. Fantastic, improbable elements, have their place but believability wins out in the end IMHO. A good design makes me think "Castles like this would exist" - makes presenting them, much, much easier.

My version was based on a real castle - Restormel castle in Cornwall, England. I switched some of the rooms and their sizes but the basic shape is the same.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restormel_Castle


I actually prefer Turgenev's version where all the elements have the same treatment. To do the outside without showing kindness to the inside of the tower creates an odd sense of imbalance.

SO, I added a tiny touch to the inside of the tower. A pattern and a complimentary drop shadow - to match the outside.

Torg's mod of Turg's map modded by someone whose name doesn't start with "T" (http://wm23.inbox.com/thumbs/31_9fa95_56bb9557_oJ.jpg.thumb)

That's pretty cool. I did see one minor thing that didn't work for me (sorry Torq)... that big rock in the moat, while it looks nice, it wouldn't make sense from a strategic p.o.v..

This is a quick post - I can't wait until I get a chance to work in Photoshop tonight. ;)

ravells
04-23-2008, 07:11 PM
I was just thinking about something like this (sorry it's very quick and dirty)

Sigurd
04-23-2008, 07:37 PM
I wonder what would be the best way to protect the castle from water erosion. I think if the moat was that close its likely the castle is on solid rock or has been built from below the water line up or magically protected some way. If the region has winter, frost would push the banks into the water as they couldn't go up for the weight of the castle.



Even a few seasons would have a tendency to undermine the heavy stone walls. The moat might be a strategic negative if it helps the sapping of the walls.


Sigurd.

RPMiller
04-23-2008, 07:44 PM
If memory serves, most moats are artificially created and stagnant so there is little water movement, and the castle would be built on some pretty solid ground that would be tightly compressed during the actual building so erosion didn't usually factor in.

Even the castles built with natural moats were actually built in an area that had a tidal flow and the castle would be on an area that didn't experience the erosion - solid rock as you suggested or very dense earth.

Redrobes
04-23-2008, 09:01 PM
Nice flipped picture. ;) :P :lol:
No really - I kid you not... it seems odd to me but this is as it comes out of the camera.

NeonKnight
04-23-2008, 09:23 PM
I did a lot of research on Stairs and whatnot for Castle, and the majority of Stairs were Clockwise as they went down.

The reasons were manyfold, most being that a Defender could be relatively unhampered on their sword arm for swinging (not needing to worry about a wall). For narrow stairs, (like those pictured) the enabled a defender to have a wall to their left, put their shield in front, and then be able to swing to their right towards the centre of the stair, and swing over and above a defender.

Also, the doorways were lower than we would expect. In the past, this lead historians to believe that people were a lot shorter then, but that is actually false. We are actually shorter on averge now then we have been in the past at some times in history. I was at the Smithsonian a few months back and they had silhouettes of men/woman for points in history to show how big the were. Anyways, doorways in Castles were lower for the purpose of defense. A low Doorway forced an attacker to need to 'stoop' to come through, and by stooping their defenses were not as good, and their ability to attack was quite lessened.

Some interesting stuff.

Redrobes
04-23-2008, 09:33 PM
If memory serves, most moats are artificially created and stagnant so there is little water movement, and the castle would be built on some pretty solid ground that would be tightly compressed during the actual building so erosion didn't usually factor in.

Even the castles built with natural moats were actually built in an area that had a tidal flow and the castle would be on an area that didn't experience the erosion - solid rock as you suggested or very dense earth.
This goes against my experience. Most of the big gun castles over here which have water filled moats have natural sources. Some of these have been modified but usually its from a river with changing water.

Caenarfon
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=53.139215,-4.276938&spn=0.002925,0.006738&t=h&z=18

Conwy
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=53.280037,-3.825173&spn=0.002916,0.006738&t=h&z=18

Chepstow
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=51.644076,-2.675225&spn=0.012104,0.026951&t=k&z=16

Pembroke
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=51.677831,-4.920716&spn=0.006047,0.013475&t=h&z=17

Beaumaris
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=caerphilly&ie=UTF8&ll=53.264619,-4.089215&spn=0.002917,0.006738&t=h&z=18
http://www.beaumaris.com/
http://www.castlewales.com/beaumar.html

Also beau means beautiful and maris means marsh. The castle was built on a swamp - including the curtains !

The 'rules' about castles seem to be broken quite often as you go around them.

Edit -- Googles sattellite seems to be switched off right now for me.

RPMiller
04-23-2008, 10:00 PM
Well there you go then. To my benefit it has been over 20 years since I bothered studying castles. :) Thanks for the great links! The images are coming up fine for me.

RPMiller
04-23-2008, 10:01 PM
No really - I kid you not... it seems odd to me but this is as it comes out of the camera.
Oh, I believed you. I learned long ago for every rule there is an exception.

Turgenev
04-24-2008, 02:42 AM
I was just thinking about something like this (sorry it's very quick and dirty)

That's interesting but not really what I was after. On the other hand... goes off to think about it. ;)

ravells
04-24-2008, 06:11 AM
The main point was the colour desaturation, but it looks like you've attended to that already. The supporting butresses I've put in look horrid, but I was thinking more along the lines of something to just break up that perfectly circular shape a bit.

ravells
04-24-2008, 06:15 AM
I did a lot of research on Stairs and whatnot for Castle, and the majority of Stairs were Clockwise as they went down.

The reasons were manyfold, most being that a Defender could be relatively unhampered on their sword arm for swinging (not needing to worry about a wall). For narrow stairs, (like those pictured) the enabled a defender to have a wall to their left, put their shield in front, and then be able to swing to their right towards the centre of the stair, and swing over and above a defender.

<snip>


Also, it just occured to me that the width of the steps in a spiral staircase are much smaller towards the axis. So it makes sense the push the attacker towards the axis which gives him less sure footing.

Turgenev
04-24-2008, 11:34 AM
The main point was the colour desaturation, but it looks like you've attended to that already. The supporting butresses I've put in look horrid, but I was thinking more along the lines of something to just break up that perfectly circular shape a bit.

Thanks for the tips, but it was the circular shape that first attracted me to this castle design and that's what I was after. Restormel castle left such an impression on me that I knew I had to have something similar for my AD&D game. It will probably be a local Lord's keep on the border. I still need to find the time to do the 2nd floor and the cellar/dungeon.

Baziron
04-26-2008, 03:22 AM
Ah, Caernarfon and Conwy Castle. It has been some time since I went there on a school exchange trip.

Turgenev
07-10-2008, 02:51 AM
It has been a while since I worked on this map. I started working on the 2nd level and misfortune struck. A bit of carelessness on my part (I accidentally hit the save button after resizing the image) + a power outage = I lost the full size map! Grrrr....:x

Here's what I had:
http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/castle001-2small.jpg

Now I have to rebuild the map from scratch unless anyone has any suggestions for resizing the map without losing any image quality.

Oh well, I've decided to take a break and work on an old school Castle Ruins map to help rejuvenate my spirits. ;) Here's the first draft (I still have a lot of work to do):

http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/castle_ruins001-1.jpg

Redrobes
07-10-2008, 05:49 AM
I was reading the outline post in my inbox thinking ohh bad and I doubt it but after seeing this map image I think that you might be able to do it as its more of a diagram than a photo.

You will need to separate the parts of the map into their own bits. Then taking one - say the black you need to resize it using almost any algo up to full size and beyond - say twice the required. Then blur it a lot and then use contrast or better color curves to get the shape back again. Not 100% contrast but say 80%. Do that for each part and use them as masks to put the texture back in. I'll see if I can post an example.

Its not as good as the original but its better than a straight resample.

Turgenev
07-10-2008, 12:08 PM
Thanks for the tip, Redrobes. I'll look into that.

Turgenev
07-10-2008, 11:19 PM
I've expanded the ground level of the castle ruins and now have this:

http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/castle_ruins001-2.jpg

I've redesigned the gates and added some arrow slits/narrow windows to the building. I've created the upper level of the fortress/mansion (not seen here). I still need to create the upper portion of the outer wall & gate. I'm also thinking of adding some rubble to the building itself. I'll probably add some terrain features as well but that will be one of the last steps I will do.

mathuwm
07-11-2008, 12:11 AM
that's a nice castle

i would hate to have to go through the front gate

here is a link for a software company that makes a program called genuine fractals it is a program/photo-shop plug-in that allows you to enlarge images

http://altamiragroup.com/

Turgenev
07-11-2008, 12:24 AM
that's a nice castle

i would hate to have to go through the front gate

Thanks, mathuwm. The more I look at it, the more I think the main gate should be a bit further from the main building. Hmmm... something to think about. ;)


here is a link for a software company that makes a program called genuine fractals it is a program/photo-shop plug-in that allows you to enlarge images

http://altamiragroup.com/

Sweet! Thanks for the link! I tried to rep you for the link but I need to spread some more around before it will let me. :)

ravells
07-11-2008, 09:57 AM
I really love the rubble, it gives the drawing a really nice sense of authenticity!

torstan
07-11-2008, 10:13 AM
I have to agree- it looks great!

I have some comments on the gate area though. I'd suggest that the gate be a door-portcullis-door effect, or at least the door first. The solid wooden gate is usually on the outside.

Also, I'd expect the gate area to be rectangular with straight walls on either side. The front end can (and probably should) be curved out in a semi-circle. So essentially I'm suggesting changing the layout of the two guard towers on either side from an oval floorplan to a split circle with a rectangle in between.

Sigh. That made no sense. Here:
5142

Basically it was a big development when people managed to build circular towers. I'm not sure if people ever took the next step and made elliptical ones. That of course is independent of the fact that an elliptical tower would be less stable.

Turgenev
07-11-2008, 01:01 PM
Thanks for the tip about the gate, torstan. I knew what you were saying even without the diagram. ;) I think I will end up being lazy and not change this castle's gate but I will definitely take your tip into account for future maps. Thanks.

As for the rubble... what can I say, I like adding rubble to most of my maps but I usually refrain from doing so because I don't want to over do it. ;) If a structure (or dungeon) is suppose to be old, then it makes sense that some of it would fall into ruin. I have one set image for the rubble and I just resize, rotate, mirror it (with Transform Image/Free Transform) to get the look that I'm after.

Turgenev
07-17-2008, 10:42 PM
I've did a few more tweaks and followed torstan's excellent advice and came up with this:

http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/castle_ruins001-3.jpg

Basically, I've tweaked the gate towers, and switched the portcullis and the gate around. I also moved the walls to give more room at the entrance. In the extra space, I've added a well and a stable and much more rubble here & there.

Once I have set the final layout, then I will add legend numbers and descriptions. I'm also toying with the idea of adding colour but that will be after I finish doing the layout. The upper levels are next.

ravells
07-18-2008, 03:57 PM
Now THAT looks brilliant. Great advice from Torstan!

Turgenev
07-18-2008, 09:10 PM
Here's the upper level:

http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/castle_ruins002-1.jpg

The F in a circle is a trap door in the floor (for attacking intruders who get into the lower gate). Next is the top/parapet level of the outer walls.

delgondahntelius
07-18-2008, 10:37 PM
I like it, and it might just be me, but I can tell you repeated the rubble, I wouldn't have otherwise mentioned it except that was the first thing that jumped out at me.... which detracted from the overall beauty of a nice castle (albeit ruined) keep :)

Try using 3 or even 4 different rubble "stamps" maybe even 2 would work as long as you kept up the fine job of scaling and rotating them. Just my opinion tho :D


kept getting an error when I quick posted.... cause you beat me too it :) ... this refers to the previous map ... and well, now that I look at it.. this one as well :) love that old school feel :D

Turgenev
07-19-2008, 01:37 PM
Thanks for the tip about the rubble. I'll see what I can do.

torstan
07-21-2008, 09:29 AM
I'm glad you took that on, that's looking great.

The Cartographist
07-31-2008, 07:25 AM
Turgenev - Have you done anything else to the castle? I was watching with interest to see where this went.

Turgenev
07-31-2008, 10:50 AM
No I haven't done anything else just yet. I've been away on vacation earlier this week and since I've been back, I've been catching up on work that I have missed. I haven't forgotten about the castle. I'm just waiting for an opening in my schedule so I can get back at it - maybe sometime this weekend. (fingers are crossed) ;)

Turgenev
08-02-2008, 03:22 AM
I did a few small tweaks here and there on the various levels. I've added a bit of shading to the 2nd and 3rd levels to help the various areas stand out better from the background/ground level.

http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/castle_ruins001-4.jpg

http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/castle_ruins002-2.jpg

http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/castle_ruins003-1.jpg

I still need to add room/area numbers but I'm waiting until the very end for that. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel for this project. ;)

ravells
08-02-2008, 06:41 AM
I like the way you've made the ground a different colour in the second two maps to indicate the levels better. Great map, Tim!

Redrobes
08-02-2008, 08:33 AM
These are really great - love em ! I'll try to send some rep your way...

Turgenev
08-02-2008, 05:35 PM
Thanks for the kind words, ravells and Redrobes. I'm adding the room/area numbers now and I hope to post the finalized versions soon. Next is the underground dungeon/cellar of the ruins.

Edit: Added the room numbers to maps.

Midgardsormr
08-02-2008, 06:42 PM
There's a bit of your rubble that looks like it was clipped off somehow:

Turgenev
08-02-2008, 07:27 PM
Nice catch, Midgardsormr. I'll give that a tweak to fix that.

Turgenev
08-02-2008, 08:30 PM
Fixed the rubble glitch.

http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/castle_ruins_level001.jpg

http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/castle_ruins_level002.jpg

http://paratime.ca/images/fantasy/castle_ruins_level003.jpg

Turgenev
08-03-2008, 03:35 AM
I know that this should probably go into the Dungeon/Subterranean Mapping section but since it is a part of the castle ruins, I'm posting it here to keep everything together. Here's the dungeon level of the castle ruins.

The secret tunnel (Area #11) goes for some distance to a secluded entrance in the nearby countryside. I'll leave it up to the DM/GM to decide just how far this tunnel goes.

jaerdaph
08-03-2008, 12:09 PM
Excellent, excellent work, Turgenev! Rep :)

My only suggestion would be to show the rubble on the ground floor version of the map only, and maybe remove some of the outer walls at higher levels (the rubble had to come from somewhere).

I need to figure out an easy way to duplicate that rubble in CC3/DD3...

Turgenev
08-03-2008, 12:27 PM
Excellent, excellent work, Turgenev! Rep :)

My only suggestion would be to show the rubble on the ground floor version of the map only, and maybe remove some of the outer walls at higher levels (the rubble had to come from somewhere).

I need to figure out an easy way to duplicate that rubble in CC3/DD3...

I was thinking of removing the rubble from the upper maps as well. It's something I've been mulling over. Here is my rubble sample. It is originally from the red book (Mentzer) Basic D&D map symbols. I resample it, tweak it, resize it, subtract/add to it, etc. ;)

jaerdaph
08-04-2008, 04:28 PM
I was thinking of removing the rubble from the upper maps as well. It's something I've been mulling over. Here is my rubble sample. It is originally from the red book (Mentzer) Basic D&D map symbols. I resample it, tweak it, resize it, subtract/add to it, etc. ;)

Thanks - that will give me something to play around with. :)

The Stoat
08-23-2008, 11:32 PM
This goes against my experience. Most of the big gun castles over here which have water filled moats have natural sources. Some of these have been modified but usually its from a river with changing water.

Caenarfon
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=53.139215,-4.276938&spn=0.002925,0.006738&t=h&z=18
Conwy
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=53.280037,-3.825173&spn=0.002916,0.006738&t=h&z=18
Chepstow
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=51.644076,-2.675225&spn=0.012104,0.026951&t=k&z=16
Pembroke
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=51.677831,-4.920716&spn=0.006047,0.013475&t=h&z=17
Beaumaris
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=caerphilly&ie=UTF8&ll=53.264619,-4.089215&spn=0.002917,0.006738&t=h&z=18

Also beau means beautiful and maris means marsh. The castle was built on a swamp - including the curtains !

The 'rules' about castles seem to be broken quite often as you go around them.

Edit -- Googles sattellite seems to be switched off right now for me.

From the evidence you provide I would side with RPMiller. All but one of the castles you show do not have moats. They are built on the shores of rivers. The river is not the castle's defense instead the castle is defending the river. The moat for Beaumaris is in fact stagnant and artificial. Most moats were not intentionally filled with water. They were just a ditch a short distance from the wall that provided one more barier for attacker to overcome. A moat that was actually connected to a river would allow errode the walls over time and allow attacker to approach using large boats. Once cannons came on the scene moat became much less important, water filled ditches did little to stop cannon balls.

Redrobes
08-24-2008, 07:43 AM
Naturally the castle defends the river but the river also defends the castle too. Also w.r.t Beaumaris, the moat water might be stagnant now but it was originally connected to the castle and it has in more recent years become land locked. Here is a quote from the site...


The first line of defense was provided by a water-filled moat, some 18ft wide. At the southern end was a tidal dock for shipping, where vessels of 40 tons laden weight could sail right up to the main gate.

These were examples of castles with water around them. There are many which did not have water and had just a ditch whether natural - like Tintagel or artificial (at least on some sides) like Harlech, or Dover.

I cant think of a castle which has water around it which is not connected to the sea or a river and made from an artificial ditch. That was the point I was trying to put forward. There must be some but I think they are more the minority. In order to have standing water with no source you would be on naturally boggy ground which is how Beaumaris continues to keep its water but its not often that a castle is sited on such ground - for a second reason that would imply low lands when castles are usually sited on hills.

Yes, cannons changed everything. Castles changed considerably over the period as experience and technology improved but cannons brought the end of traditional castles. They adapted a bit to the cannon with their soft sloping walls etc but it was short lived.

ravells
08-24-2008, 03:46 PM
The only one I can think of is Leeds Castle. Not sure whether the lake around it is man made though.

Redrobes
08-24-2008, 04:45 PM
I have been to the entrance of Leeds castle (which is in Kent by the way just to confuse anyone...) It was really expensive to go in so we decided against. This was a very long time ago - probably when I was a student.

This is the best page I can get on it with more history and less about getting married in it etc.

http://www.castles.me.uk/leeds-castle.htm

...and as you can read it was built on natural islands as part of the River Len. I am sure there will be some somewhere but I don't think that its the usual way they built them.