View Full Version : September/October 2012 Lite Challenge: Village of Taffarel

09-23-2012, 03:17 PM
Started messing with an idea this morning...not sure if I will continue with this for the challenge or go with something else.

One of the PCs in my game has contracted Lycanthropy and wishes to get cured. Doing so requires that she kill source of her particular bloodline (among other things). My plan was to map the village were this progenitor is located. The "Secret" in this story is two-fold. (1) No one in the village itself or the surrounding area knows that a pack of were-hyenas (it is Al-Qadim after all) has taken up residence in the Manor overlooking the village. (2) This pack is cooperating with the Drow and protecting a secret entrance to the Underdark beneath the Manor house.

I like the story and basic outline of the map thus far...but I'm not sure how/if I can depict a "secret" within the map. I was thinking that maybe I would create two maps (similar to last month's challenge) where one shows the village and the other provides a close up view of the entrance/path to the Underdark. Alternatively, maybe I can do two maps with the second depicting the tunnels that run beneath the village while making the houses/roads/geography transparent.

So without further ado...here is what I have so far. The solid black lines are placeholders for roads, walls, and buildings. I relied on Pyrandon's “A medieval town map tutorial in Photoshop” (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?1150-Award-Winner-A-medieval-town-map-tutorial-in-Photoshop) to learn how to depict elevation.

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09-23-2012, 03:28 PM
Looks like a good beginnig. My next project will alsi be a village/city, but until it I have never worked on a settlement map.

09-23-2012, 10:24 PM
didn't really improve anything...but those stand in roads, walls, and buildings were hideous

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09-23-2012, 10:42 PM
looking good...one thing though, watch out for the shadows on the buildings. You are missing the shadows for the walls, without which it makes the buildings look "table like", if you understand what I mean.

09-28-2012, 11:17 PM
Made some edits...mostly to the landscape (playing with shadows). Reasonably happy with the temple in the NW..the building in the NE is basically a placeholder at this point. Struggling to get the buildings to match what I have in my head.

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***edit...seem to be losing detail in the mountains (my peaks are gone) in the conversion from psd to jpeg - probably going to have to reduce the image size to fix - i'll do that for the next update.

09-28-2012, 11:19 PM
The ground texture is amazing. This is really coming along nicely !!

09-29-2012, 01:06 PM
Redid my "manor" complex in the NE. Next step is to add lots of little village houses (probably in the same building style as the manor). Shrunk the image size down a bit to try to get a better export, but I think i'll have to tinker with it some more since I'm still losing some of the detail on the mountain part.

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10-05-2012, 02:15 PM
My personal goal with this challenge was to improve on how I illustrate arabian-style housing (since i'm currently DMing in Al-Qadim). I wasn't entirely happy with how I did it last month - and was kind of at a loss for how to achieve the effect I had in my head. After seeing TheHorseWhisper's recent post (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?20260-Practice-Map-Arabesque-city&p=197427#post197427) I gave it another go and this is the result. Still not completely satisfied, but I think its something to work with.

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10-05-2012, 04:56 PM
That looks great !!

10-05-2012, 09:33 PM
Thanks. My current plan is to present a map of the Temple along the side of this main village map to illustrate the secret entrance to the Underdark. At the moment, I was thinking about doing 2 or 3 levels (main floor, basement/underdark, and possibly the 2nd floor). Not sure if i'll get all that done (especially since I still have quite a bit of stuff to do with the village map) or if the final presentation will be too busy...but, here's what i have for the temple so far. It was made with CC3 and all of the textures are mods of stuff grabbed from CGtextures. The objects were grabbed from the Dunjinni Forums


10-06-2012, 07:52 PM
Finished the first 2 floors of my temple. However, now I'm thinking that in the final map, I will just have the first floor included with the village. Beneath the big statue at the north end is the secret entrance to the Underdark. Made with CC3...all the items were either grabbed from CGtextures, Dunjinni forums, or Bogie (special thanks for the statue.)


they're a little big, so i'll put the 2nd floor in the next post

10-06-2012, 07:53 PM
2nd Floor


10-07-2012, 04:21 AM
looking great.. I have a couple of comments for the city map ... the ground it self is a little dark imho, and the top floors tend to float a little, try working more on the shadows, keeping in mind how tall the extra floor is and that the shadow should be darkest where it meets the building :)

10-07-2012, 07:45 PM
Yeah...the whole map is definately too dark for my tastes too. I'll have to try to tweak that and the shadows over the next few days.

10-07-2012, 10:17 PM
Started working on trying to put everything together. Made some adjustments to the building shadows and overall darkness of the village. I plan on continue with tweaks to the village and possibly major overhauls to the overall image as I try to add a map key and other labeling.

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10-07-2012, 10:25 PM
Looks really good :) I can see the secret... :)

10-08-2012, 01:10 PM
made some more subtle tweaks...really can't decide if I want to do any labeling. Don't want to clutter up the map with a key and a bunch of numbers/letters. Anyone think it really should be added and/or have any ideas about how to reorient this to include a key?

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10-08-2012, 01:15 PM
made some more subtle tweaks...really can't decide if I want to do any labeling. Don't want to clutter up the map with a key and a bunch of numbers/letters. Anyone think it really should be added and/or have any ideas about how to reorient this to include a key?

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I think it looks pretty good as it is. I think labeling might spoil the "feel" This is really great !!

10-08-2012, 06:44 PM
and still more tweaking...added some more roads, wells, stairs, and entrances to the homes. Nothing really noticeable unless you really zoom in...but...think i'm pretty much done

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10-11-2012, 01:01 AM
I like how this is looking (repped). The temple is looking good, and you got domes to work - that's impressive. I was wondering why the background is so dark - at first I thought this was underground. Also, I don't know how many people you have living in this town, but I think Arab-inspired towns/villages look good when the streets are really crowded, and there isn't much open space between them. Just something to consider. Nice job, anyway, and good luck with the voting.

10-11-2012, 04:57 PM
This map is really coming along nicely anomiecoalition. I especially like the sphinx? in the dungeon.


10-11-2012, 08:22 PM
Thanks guys. Wish I could take credit for the sphinxy statue (Its actually a Bogie adaptation that I just color-modified). Just wish I could have come up with a clever way to express on the map that it can be moved to lead to a secret passage to the Underdark. Ultimately, I was nervous about adding anything else to the overall image for fear that it would be too cluttered.

The darkness of the background is largely an accident - one of my goals this month was to try to learn how to depict elevations and while I'm pretty happy with it overall, there is alot that could be improved on. In my head I imagined the village to have somewhere between 100-200 people living there and that houses wouldn't be as jumbled as in Arab cities (since most of the houses would need some space for livestock and other business). I look forward to perhaps a city-type challenge in the future where I can try to create a more dense housing environment.