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jtougas
10-13-2012, 06:06 PM
The "Wolves Fall Line" is a series of six forts or "castles" along the Kingdom of Shendenflar's Eastern border. They are named for their proximity to the lands of the Wolf Nomads. Built originally in CY500 to provide a platform to repel raiding parties from the Wolf Nomads, they suited a better purpose during the "Greyhawk Wars" as they provided a base of operations and a staging area for armies traveling east into the Nomad lands. The forts were extensively rebuilt and renovated during the war years making them stronger and larger. They are no beautiful graceful things. They are squat and solid and look the part they were built to play. Each castle is led by a General who commands a force of infantry and cavalry. No exact numbers are ever published but educated guesses place the numbers of troops at each fort to be around two hundred fifty. The majority of the forces are believed to be cavalry as they are tasked with patrolling the border of the kingdom and the Wolf Nomad lands. These castles are taciturn and dour. filled with men who have seen the horrors of the wars and have no wish to see these horrors visited upon Shendenflar. The citizens of the kingdom should sleep better in their beds at night knowing these brave men are there....."
Excerpt from "The Wolves Fall Line: A study" by: Gerro Milet Professor of Military History University of Riverhewn

It is a wonderful coincidence that Jacktannery is also creating a castle. This is another part of "The Darkness Falls: The Fall of the Kingdom of Shendenflar" project. The "Wolves Fall Line" (or Wolf's Fall Line as it is known in the kingdom) will be the first part of Shendenflar to fall to the "Black Wave" of Orcish Warbands. I have begun with the basic layout and the walls. I am using a different wall texture and I'm not 100% certain that I like it. I have also begun the layout for the towers. This will be a functional garrison and not at all pretty. (which should make it a bit easier for me) This particular map will feature the ground level of the castle and following maps will show the upper floors.
ALL images and text in this thread are subject to THIS (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/) license
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CC BY-NC-ND

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jtougas
10-22-2012, 06:19 PM
The dark brown stone was quarried from a large pit 10 miles away from the construction site. One thing the Kingdom of Shendenflar had in abundance was good stone. Chief architect Maran Lolln had discovered that one could scarcely put a spade into the ground without hitting it. He briefly wondered how the kingdom had developed such good farmland with all the stone. His thoughts quickly turned back to the design of the Wolf's Fall Line castles. They weren't built for beauty. The king had ordered that they be strong and functional. A good plan too as they sat only a mile from the border of the Wolf Nomad lands. There had been raids across the border for centuries and with the expansion of the kingdom it was decided that it was time to fortify the Eastern border. The castles were square in shape with four towers. A large barbican guarded the entrance with two more towers. The walls reached 30 feet into the sky and were 10 feet thick all made with the solid Shendenflarian rock. Lolln had watched the castle rise from nothing to where it stood now 4 year later. The winters in the kingdom were not conducive to construction and the first snows had already begun to fall. It would be another long 5 months before he would return.....

As I often do I have started this over again. Mostly thanks to Jacktannery's awesome castle project. This is where I am with this now. The towers are re-colored versions of Jacktannery's re-worked versions of Kergon's (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/foru...oof&PN=0&TPN=1) awesome tower roofs. The walls are my take on Jacktannery's incredible castle wall sections that he so graciously shared. I step on the shoulders of giants with this one. I have always envisioned the rock in Shendenflar to be dark (I'm not sure where that came from but it's always been that way since the kingdom was in it's infancy) I think it's time to update my ground textures. Although I like this one I use it a LOT. Shendenflar is mostly what would be considered "flat" with no mountains or large changes in elevation. Because of this it is either covered in forest or tough hardy grasses. I see this map as being the "overall view" of the castle and I will do individual internal maps of the various buildings. I want to thank Jacktannery for all the inspiration to do this project. I only hope I can do half as good as him :) As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)

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jtougas
10-22-2012, 11:47 PM
Lord General Kerig Mallan stood atop the battlements of the castle and looked out across the border of the kingdom. He was glad for the fur cloak he had put on before coming up here. The first snows were falling early and it promised to be a long cold winter. Wolf's Fall Castle was the first of the six fortifications known as the "Wolf's Fall Line" to be finished. He had read the Chief architect's report written all those years ago. It had taken nearly 5 years to finish this castle due to the construction and the long Shendenflarian winters. Mallan knew that the area around the castle was once lush with trees. The first spring of the castle's construction was spent clearing the trees and turning the logs into lumber that was used for building the barracks and stables and the other buildings in the castle. almost 90 years had passed and there wasn't even a stump to mark the location of any tree. Mallan was grateful for the architect's careful attention to details. The walls were sturdy Shendenflarian stone and the design made for a strong and easy to defend structure. Mallan had held his post here for 10 years and the castle had never been attacked. The Wolf Nomads on the other side of the border doubtlessly knew that any such attack would be futile. Mallan drew his cloak around him tighter and headed back to the warmth of his modest apartments atop the barracks. Outside the wind and snow began to howl....

I worked a little on the ground layers of this tonight. I added a road and a couple of small hills on either side of the castle. I was going to add trees and tree stumps but realized that 1. trees around a fort wouldn't be realistic as it would hinder line of sight and 2. that all the trees in the area would have been felled for construction. No stumps because this map depicts the castle almost 90 years after it's construction and all the stumps would have rotted away. Next up buildings.... As always feedback is requested and appreciated :)

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Jacktannery
10-23-2012, 03:48 AM
Looks great. I think its really great that we are both working on castles at the same time; and did you see that Bogie (in his elements thread) is making some castle related objects. Thanks for being so nice about my tower and wall segment!

Bogie
10-23-2012, 08:37 AM
The walls look great.

atpollard
10-23-2012, 09:51 AM
Trees are a funny thing. While any fortification worth a darn would cut back the forest outside the wall at least to projectile range (to give your archers a good shot at approaching bad guys), there might be trees either left inside the wall or planted asap after it was built. Animals waiting near a stable will be in better shape if they can take shelter from the sun in the shade of a tree. The blacksmith needs to set his forge in a stone building with a roof to protect his tools from the weather, but he will do his hammering under an open shed or beneath the branches of a tree.

Some trees are grown and protected as part of the defense industry - wood for arrow shafts, wood for bows, wood for axe handles - all needing certain characteristics and potential candidates for inside a castle wall.

Or of course, your castle might have no trees.
I just wanted to point out that 'trees' or 'no trees' is completely YOUR choice - history and logic support either choice.

jtougas
10-23-2012, 11:05 PM
The supplying of the Wolf's Fall Line castles was initially a problem. The design of the castles had called for large amounts of timber to be felled and milled into lumber for construction. This was the easiest part of the equation. Food and other raw materials needed to be transported from other parts of the kingdom. There were no farms along the Eastern Border. Raw metals that could be forged into tools and other items were also transported and often caused construction delays as blacksmiths waited for metal to forge. There was also the problem of water. There were over 500 workers employed in the building of the castles and deep wells had to be laboriously dug to supply water for men and animals. All these problems did not keep these brave men from toiling mightily during the damp springs and hot summers.....


The walls look great.

Thanks. As I said they are just a re-work of Jacktannery's original incredible design.


Trees are a funny thing. While any fortification worth a darn would cut back the forest outside the wall at least to projectile range (to give your archers a good shot at approaching bad guys), there might be trees either left inside the wall or planted asap after it was built. Animals waiting near a stable will be in better shape if they can take shelter from the sun in the shade of a tree. The blacksmith needs to set his forge in a stone building with a roof to protect his tools from the weather, but he will do his hammering under an open shed or beneath the branches of a tree.

Some trees are grown and protected as part of the defense industry - wood for arrow shafts, wood for bows, wood for axe handles - all needing certain characteristics and potential candidates for inside a castle wall.

Or of course, your castle might have no trees.
I just wanted to point out that 'trees' or 'no trees' is completely YOUR choice - history and logic support either choice.

This is very true. The generals in Shendenflar tend to be very practical and trees around the perimeter (in their minds) are just asking for trouble. With the limited amount of area that I am showing outside of the castle proper I think I can get away with no trees. Thanks for all the great ideas.


Looks great. I think its really great that we are both working on castles at the same time; and did you see that Bogie (in his elements thread) is making some castle related objects. Thanks for being so nice about my tower and wall segment!

I have to say that even though I knew that I was going to have to do a castle (or 6 )at some point it was really your project that got me motivated. It wouldn't be where it is without all your great work. I noticed that Bogie was going into the "castle decoration" business which is great. :)

Here is today's update. I realized that (again for a defensive standpoint) that hills on either side of the castle would not be good. So I removed them and placed the castle on a bit of a hill. I am really getting stumped with the buildings. It's the layout that I'm wrestling with at the moment. There has to be a HUGE stable (for at least 100 horses) and a large barracks and all the other support buildings that a fortification like this would require. Oh well that's all part of the fun.... :) As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :) *EDIT* the buildings that are there now are just placeholders while I work on the layout.

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anomiecoalition
10-24-2012, 01:13 AM
This is looking really nice, can't wait to see it all populated.

jtougas
10-24-2012, 03:21 PM
Chief architect Maran Lolln wished once again that he had been allowed to build this castle bigger. He had argued with the king at some length about the design and the need for more room inside the walls. He of course had lost that argument and some measure of face with the king as well. There were so many things that needed to be built inside the walls of the castle. A huge stables complex capable of boarding and supporting a hundred horses. A barracks that could house at least that many men plus support staff such as cooks and healers and stable hands. There would be need for a blacksmith to forge horseshoes and swords and any of a hundred other metal items the castle would need. There would need to be a armory where weapons and armor could be stored and repaired. A Bowery was needed to supply the archers with arrows and repair bows. There would need to be kitchens to feed all of the castle's inhabitants. So many things so little space. Once again Lolln wished he had not been so eager for this assignment.....


This is looking really nice, can't wait to see it all populated.

Thanks. Me too !! :)

Today's update: The layout for all of this is giving me a headache but I think I'm getting it now. I've added the stables and blacksmith and barracks buildings with more to come. I also changed my grass texture a bit although I'm not 100% sure about it yet. The labels are only for illustrative purposes so people can see what building is what. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)

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anomiecoalition
10-24-2012, 03:41 PM
really like it. But to me, it sort of looks like the keep sits in a valley rather than on a hill...maybe you could try switching the dark and light grass background to make the "hill" part lighter and the other part darker? (Not sure if this will make it look better or worse, but be interesting to see.)

jtougas
10-24-2012, 03:49 PM
really like it. But to me, it sort of looks like the keep sits in a valley rather than on a hill...maybe you could try switching the dark and light grass background to make the "hill" part lighter and the other part darker? (Not sure if this will make it look better or worse, but be interesting to see.)

Your right. The shadow on the "hill" grass is making it look like the castle is in a hole. Thanks for your continuing feedback It really helps. :)

Jacktannery
10-24-2012, 04:01 PM
That looks good JT - I like your buildings. I like your new grass though I find it very saturated; perhaps the entire map is a little dark. I agree with anomie that the darker grass is confusing - perhaps consider using darkness AND light to show the contours of the hill. Also I added a .png of my stables to my big castle thread in case you want to use them.

arsheesh
10-24-2012, 04:19 PM
Aside from the lighting issue this is looking really nice so far. The textures work well together.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

atpollard
10-24-2012, 05:00 PM
The layout for all of this is giving me a headache but I think I'm getting it now. I've added the stables and blacksmith and barracks buildings with more to come. I also changed my grass texture a bit although I'm not 100% sure about it yet. The labels are only for illustrative purposes so people can see what building is what. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)

If you have a vision then go with it.
If you are searching for ideas, I offer this sketch ..
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Enter lower court and stables at level one.
Barracks above stables at level two.
Great stair from lower court to Great hall (level three).
one side of great hall is craftsman's courtyard and shops (level three) with craftsman housing above (level four).
other side of the great hall is the family court with courtier housing around it on levels three and four.
the corner towers would reach to level 5 and may provide access to all the other levels.

Just an idea for fitting ten pounds of castle in a five pound box.

jtougas
10-24-2012, 05:58 PM
wow..that's great... I don't have need for the "family" court or housing as these castles are strictly military (It sounds rough but no families are even allowed on the grounds ) I really like this...hmmmm :)

atpollard
10-24-2012, 07:55 PM
Then flatten it down and move the barrracks to the family court.
The great hall could become more of a true Keep.

jtougas
10-24-2012, 09:40 PM
Following atpollard's advice. I came up with this for the internal layout. I decided that the buildings would be made from wood but roofed in slate (it is abundant in the kingdom). I'm having a little trouble trying to get the perspective right on the second floor of these buildings however. Any advice in that area would be appreciated. :) *EDIT* The horses and other items are just there so I can try to get some sense of scale.

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jtougas
10-25-2012, 01:04 PM
Chief architect Maran Lolln stood in the upper court of the castle and allowed himself the briefest of smiles. The internal buildings were nearing completion and to his great satisfaction there WAS plenty of space. A large keep had been built to house the barracks and armory with storage cellars dug out below. The main hall was nearing completion which would hold the kitchens and dining hall along with the Lord General's apartments. The smithy was already completed and was turning out metal items at a fantastic rate. Lolln knew the king was eager to start using this castle and had already assigned a General and the cavalry that would serve here. This castle was nearly done he thought to himself he felt a sense of pride mixed with apprehension as he remembered there were five more castles yet to be completed.....

So as I often do I re-worked the internal layout. The first version was functional but FAR too "neat" For some reason neat bothers me. I like a bit of a mess or a sprawl or the building that doesn't quite fit but manages to fit nonetheless. I actually went and looked at some castle layouts and came up with what you see here. It's a mix of atpollard's suggestions and some stuff I found on the Interweb. I think I like this layout (but we'll see after I stare at it some more) If this turns out to be the one then next up.....details !!! (my favorite part). As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)

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Jacktannery
10-25-2012, 07:48 PM
Grass colour is MUCH better (I love it now!) but it is still unclear that your castle is on a hill. You need to work on the lighting/shading to make that hill a hill. I preferred the grass/hill on the second last post because it was brighter.

I agree with you in terms of layout/tidiness and am having the same problem with 'Big Castle' ; however I really like your internal layout of map 2.

Also, are you making one castle to use on all four of five of your forts on the worldmap, or will you be making each individually? If the latter case, each could have an individual layout, and you have four or five ideas in this thread already.

jtougas
10-26-2012, 02:31 PM
Chief architect Maran Lolln stood on the roof of the keep and surveyed his surroundings. The keep reached nearly 50 feet in height a full 20 feet above the castle wall. It would hold a barracks for the 100 soldiers assigned here as well as the support staff of cooks, stablehands, blacksmiths and other staff. The lower floors also held an armory where armor and weapons could be stored and repaired. The ground beneath the keep had been dug out to hold storage cellars and an escape tunnel if the need for it should ever arise. The very top level of the keep held an observation post for the Lord General and a modest apartment for visitors. The main hall had been enlarged to feature a private dining hall and kitchens and a large apartment for the Lord General and his wife. There had been many arguments about this last feature. The king was of the mind that no women should be found in these castles. He felt they would be a distraction to the true purpose of the castle. The soldiers assigned to the fort would be rotated in and out on a regular basis making the separation from their families unpleasant but bearable. The Lord General however would be assigned to this post for a period of 10 years this length of separation was far too long to prohibit the Lord General from bringing his wife to Wolf's Fall castle hence the larger main hall to accommodate her and her 2 children. A bailey wall was built effectively dividing the large courtyard in two allowing the Lord General's wife and children their own space. It was not luxurious and they did share that space with the large noisy and often foul smelling smithy but some concessions were unavoidable. Lolln felt comfortable with the design and was glad to see this castle nearly completed. It would be another long winter before it was fully finished and populated however....


Grass colour is MUCH better (I love it now!) but it is still unclear that your castle is on a hill. You need to work on the lighting/shading to make that hill a hill. I preferred the grass/hill on the second last post because it was brighter.
I agree with you in terms of layout/tidiness and am having the same problem with 'Big Castle' ; however I really like your internal layout of map 2.
Also, are you making one castle to use on all four of five of your forts on the worldmap, or will you be making each individually? If the latter case, each could have an individual layout, and you have four or five ideas in this thread already.

Your right about the hill it's making me nuts so for now it's gone. I'm thinking of making a "dry" moat or some other kind of feature to replace it. I think I will make at least 2 versions of this basic layout and use them for each castle. There wouldn't be a lot of need for customization of these castles as they all serve the same basic purpose.

Here is today's update. As you can see from the story blurb, I've softened my position on having at least one family present at this castle. I divided the courtyard with the bailey wall and made the keep much larger and taller. I like this layout (I think) and I think I will now move on to detailing. As always feedback is requested and appreciated :)

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anomiecoalition
10-26-2012, 04:34 PM
I really like the layout you've settled on. One suggestion for the hills would be to merely add some soft shadows in whatever shape you'd like to convey elevation. Similar to what you did in the last post, but a little darker, thicker, and random(er).

jtougas
10-26-2012, 05:42 PM
I really like the layout you've settled on. One suggestion for the hills would be to merely add some soft shadows in whatever shape you'd like to convey elevation. Similar to what you did in the last post, but a little darker, thicker, and random(er).

Thanks. I'm not quite sure why I'm having so much trouble with a HILL...It's just giving me fits But I'll try your suggestion. One final update for today (I think). I've started to "populate" the castle. If you know me (or follow my work) you know I have a terrible grasp of scale. I try and try and never quite get it. I'm going for a fairly large space here so all the objects need to be small. I think this is pretty close but we'll see.... As always feedback is requested and appreciated :)

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Lyandra
10-27-2012, 03:02 PM
I have to second anomiecoalition, the layout you settled on looks very convincing, I like it. The whole project seems very interesting. I like the bits of "in character" text you put into some of your posts. It really gives you the idea what the setting is like. I always love to hear the backstory of the maps people are making. What bothers me on your map are the shadows. The castle looks as if the source of light were on each side of it... Are the shadows just a placeholder, or is there some other explanation?

Bogie
10-27-2012, 03:14 PM
Looking good JTougas, but you have the shadows from the turrets going in 4 different directions, they should all point the same way.

anomiecoalition
10-27-2012, 03:43 PM
Just realized that you replaced the NE tower with the keep (which looks great). But now, the fort is vulnerable on that side. Any though to creating a smaller tower in that corner that is part of keep (so its a little smaller than the others, but also at a higher elevation?) Might make strategic sense and be artistically pleasing?

jtougas
10-27-2012, 05:22 PM
Chief architect Maran Lolln was nearly trampled by a pair of donkeys straining to pull the weight of a wagon loaded with supplies. He jumped out of the way and took a observation position just under the overhanging roof of the stables. The upper courtyard of the castle was a bustling mass of people and animals as war horses were led into the stables and draft horses and stubborn donkeys pulled wagons groaning under the weight of supplies of all manner. Soldiers moved to and from and a steady stream of them were entering the keep to ready the barracks. Smoke rose from the smithy as well as the kitchens and already the smells were beginning to intermingle. Lolln caught a glimpse of the Lord General, the castles ruler and ranking soldier. He had taken a position atop the bailey wall and was watching it all with a hawk's eye. His wife and two children would arrive in a few days and Lolln was sure he wanted the castle ready when they did. Lolln would officially hand over the castle to the Lord General during a ceremony scheduled to happen in a week. His next assignment was the design and construction of FarMere Castle the next in the Wolf's Fall Line. He found himself looking forward to winter......


I have to second anomiecoalition, the layout you settled on looks very convincing, I like it. The whole project seems very interesting. I like the bits of "in character" text you put into some of your posts. It really gives you the idea what the setting is like. I always love to hear the backstory of the maps people are making. What bothers me on your map are the shadows. The castle looks as if the source of light were on each side of it... Are the shadows just a placeholder, or is there some other explanation?

Thanks for the kind words. I always try to map a "story" and in this case the story is very important. Thanks for the feedback about the shadows they were just an experiment that I actually forgot about until someone mentioned it. :)


Looking good JTougas, but you have the shadows from the turrets going in 4 different directions, they should all point the same way.

Thanks Bogie. I Think I have the shadows sorted now :)


Just realized that you replaced the NE tower with the keep (which looks great). But now, the fort is vulnerable on that side. Any though to creating a smaller tower in that corner that is part of keep (so its a little smaller than the others, but also at a higher elevation?) Might make strategic sense and be artistically pleasing?

Another good idea. I followed your suggestion and actually added 2 more towers (I just liked the look of it) Thanks for all your feedback :)

Today's update: More detailing and fixing of errant shadows ;) I also followed anomiecoalition's suggestion about adding a tower to the keep. I like the way they turned out. I also adjusted the scale on all the objects (they were all too big). As you can see I tried again with the hill. I've lost all my objectivity with that damn hill so I'll need some feedback to let me know if I'm heading in the right direction or not. :)

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anomiecoalition
10-27-2012, 06:36 PM
Awesome...the only thing I might suggest is to soften/blur the shadow on the towers...aside from that, I would probably label this thing done.

jtougas
10-27-2012, 08:24 PM
The "handing over" ceremony had been completed and the Lord General and his family along with two hundred soldiers and support staff were now the first inhabitants of what was being called "Wolves Fall Castle" Chief Architect Lolln felt a sense of pride as he rode away from the castle back down the long road to Riverhewn.....


Awesome...the only thing I might suggest is to soften/blur the shadow on the towers...aside from that, I would probably label this thing done.

Thanks and I wasn't sure if the shadows were "too much" or not they did seem a little "regular" I blurred them and lowered the opacity a bit. Thanks so much for all your feedback during this project.

I'd like to present the "completed to the best of my current knowledge and skill" version of Wolves Fall Castle. I really want to thank Jacktannery for all the inspiration and the great elements that he created for me to steal and re-work. :) Thanks to everyone that offered comments and feedback and please keep it coming. :) *EDIT* I decided to remove the grid. Making it fit would have meant making tiny specks of all the objects and I didn't want to do that. :) My old nemesis.....SCALE... :)

Object Credits
Original Tower Roofs: Kergon Dundjinni (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/foru...oof&PN=0&TPN=1)
Reworked Tower Roofs: (modified by me) Jacktannery (http://www.cartographersguild.com/building-structure-mapping/20332-big-castle-3.html)
Original Wall Segments: Jacktannery (http://www.cartographersguild.com/building-structure-mapping/20332-big-castle-3.html)
Well: Aegean Greytales Nook (http://www.greytale.com/wp/?p=1280)
Horses: Alynnalizza Dundjinni (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=3418&KW=horses)
Anvils: Alynnalizza Greytales Nook (http://www.greytale.com/wp/?cat=5&paged=6)
Tubs: Greytale Greytales Nook (http://www.greytale.com/wp/?attachment_id=713)

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Lyandra
10-27-2012, 09:09 PM
Labeled the castle looks really great. Is it located within the forest (it looks as if it is)? I like that you've added those two additional towers. They make sense. There are some artifacts from pasting them in though ("shadows/glows" end in a straight line). You should get rid of those before calling it done... ;)

jtougas
10-27-2012, 09:24 PM
Labeled the castle looks really great. Is it located within the forest (it looks as if it is)? I like that you've added those two additional towers. They make sense. There are some artifacts from pasting them in though ("shadows/glows" end in a straight line). You should get rid of those before calling it done... ;)

Thanks. Most of the Kingdom of Shendenflar is covered in if not forests proper then large stands of trees. I really just added the trees here to break up the large expanse of grass. They might not be 100% "geographically" accurate to my Regional map... :) As for the shadows I was trying a "2-stage" shadow effect with one darker for the keep walls (which are higher than the castle walls) and one lighter for the new keep towers and castle walls. I guess I wasn't as successful as I hoped to be. That's why I never call a map "finished" Thanks for all your feedback it has been very helpful :)

Lyandra
10-27-2012, 09:43 PM
You are welcome. Well... I have never finished a map in my life so... :P

Jacktannery
10-28-2012, 06:42 AM
Looks good jt. I have a few comments you can ignore if you like.

-Lyandra is not talking about your two-stage shadows, she is highlighting an error to the immediate N and E of the NE tower and E of the E tower.
-your tree in the south of the keep looks as though it is a large area of chemical warfare fallout due to its extremely green oversaturated colour. Maybe darken it to look like the trees in the forest.
-scale issues: there are some scale issues: the hay texture compared to the bales of hay; the battlement crenellations compared to the horses. For example, each individual slate tile on your keep roof is the size of a horse; the planks covering the stables are each about two-hundred-feet long and twenty-feet wide. I'm not sure if you can be bothered to change this - but it creates an illusion whereby the horses look like miniature lego horses set out inside a normal-sized castle.

jtougas
10-28-2012, 01:45 PM
Looks good jt. I have a few comments you can ignore if you like.

-Lyandra is not talking about your two-stage shadows, she is highlighting an error to the immediate N and E of the NE tower and E of the E tower.
-your tree in the south of the keep looks as though it is a large area of chemical warfare fallout due to its extremely green oversaturated colour. Maybe darken it to look like the trees in the forest.
-scale issues: there are some scale issues: the hay texture compared to the bales of hay; the battlement crenellations compared to the horses. For example, each individual slate tile on your keep roof is the size of a horse; the planks covering the stables are each about two-hundred-feet long and twenty-feet wide. I'm not sure if you can be bothered to change this - but it creates an illusion whereby the horses look like miniature lego horses set out inside a normal-sized castle.

Ah yes my old enemy strikes again... Damn you SCALE !!!!..... As I usually do I was too busy telling a story and making sure that there were bits of weeds here and some hay there and a box or a tub or a stack of hale bales to "fill it all in" to worry about the size of all these things. The shadows were just plain awful and the whole thing was a bit of a mess. SO in the spirit of "No Map is EVER Finished" I present The Wolves Fall Castle WIP Version 3. I actually took some time to figure out the dimensions of the objects that I am using (not to mention the castle itself) and HOPEFULLY they will all look right to each other. This is the list that I came up with:

Castle 450 feet square
Castle walls 30 feet high
Keep 50 feet high 100 feet wide
Stables 250 feet /2 = 125 feet Long Each
Main Hall 100 Feet x 50 feet
Smithy 75 Feet Long
Horse (Draft) 8 feet long
Horse (War) 7 feet Long
Crate 3 feet square
Barrel 2 feet diameter
Anvil 3 feet
Tree 8 feet across
Quenching tub 4 feet
Keep Roof 60 feet across
Hay Bales 4 feet long X 14" wide
Shingles 1 foot x 2 feet
Smith, Stable roof planks 2 feet wide x 20 feet long

All of this is based on internet research (and some common sense) I have created a grid that will allow me to size all of this correctly (finally) Using the castle wall dimensions of 450 feet as the reference point. This re work will also allow me to build in some new features that I should have included in the first version such as the two extra towers for the barbican. I really want to thank everyone for all the feedback it has been very helpful and with it I hope now to make a better more realistically scaled version. :)

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Lyandra
10-28-2012, 04:24 PM
I admire you for your resolve in your constant struggle for perfection. :D Good luck with your current version! You seem to have thought everything through this time. I'm waiting to see what improvements you have come up with. :)

jtougas
10-28-2012, 08:01 PM
I admire you for your resolve in your constant struggle for perfection. :D Good luck with your current version! You seem to have thought everything through this time. I'm waiting to see what improvements you have come up with. :)

Thanks. I strive not for perfection only the silence of the Dwarven engineer in my head saying "Are ye DAFT.... That wall is only 6 inches tall while yer horse is the size of a small city....." :)

In this update I've provided my "large" grid that I use to make everything fit (and look realistic) as you can see each square of this grid is 50 feet. I chose that so that I could make the castle 500 feet square and make it easier on my self. When I need to build something smaller I just reduce the size of the grid and VOILA... perfectly proportioned items. ( I cannot believe it's taken me this long to figure all of this out) There may very well be some "off-scale" stuff but to be honest it's close enough for me. Here's a quick explanation of the current buildings

1. The Keep- I stuck with my original dimensions for this height wise but I added 50 feet in width to accommodate all the things it's supposed to do. It's now 100 feet wide by 50 feet tall.

2. The Main Hall- This was enlarged as well mostly due to the fact that I had the room and it made sense that the Lord General and his family would need a lot of space.

3. The Stable- As you can see in this version there is only one stable. This is because after doing a little math I came up with this: A typical war horse is 7 feet long ( I only need to know how long the horse is not so much his height) If I make the individual stalls 10 feet long by 5 feet wide that makes each stall 50 square feet. I wanted originally to house 100 horses and with my stables being 250 feet long and 50 feet wide I can do that. (and still leave imaginary room for tool areas and other things you would find in a stable)

4. The Smithy- I decided to make the smithy 100 feet long just to make it easier on myself. I may end up making it narrower as 50 feet maybe seems too big (but I'm not 100% on that)

5. The Smithy & Stable Roofs- I went back and made my own roofing pattern by using individual planks that were between 2 and 3 feet wide by 20-30 feet long. I think this looks a lot better.

As always feedback is requested and appreciated :)

49471

jtougas
10-28-2012, 10:59 PM
A small update. During the work on this I realized that the layout was a bit...boring. So while I should have been adding tiny horses and hale bales and wagons etc, etc, I was building two more "bailey towers" (I found that on the Internet) It adds a little interest to what was just a big square. I fiddled with my ground cover a little too but now it looks like it could benefit from a blur. I also added a wall around the stable. I envision the area that is enclosed by this wall to be a "staging area" where cavalry soldiers can mount and animals can be washed and left to dry in the sun and that sort of thing. Next up: Tiny horses and hale bales and etc etc...... :) I have left my grid on the image to help with scale..... :) As always feedback is requested and appreciated :)

49473

anomiecoalition
10-29-2012, 01:05 AM
I really liked the first one you had...but this is shaping up to be so much better. The additions you've already made are an improvement and with your scale adjustment, you'll have a lot more room make it a really interesting fort. I also think this new ground texture is infinitely better...gives it a much drearier look.

Bogie
10-29-2012, 01:13 AM
More interesting design. In the first version, the forest bothered me. The trees look nice on the map, but having a forest that close would make the castle vulnerable. Try just a few scattered small trees on this version.

amberroberts09
10-29-2012, 03:29 AM
The wall is awesome Looks like real and ancient.

Lyandra
10-29-2012, 04:07 AM
This is looking better and better... :)

Jacktannery
10-29-2012, 07:54 AM
This is looking much better jt. I think you should darken all the roofs of the rectangular buildings so they are the same shade as the slate roofs on the towers (or the other way around - lighten the tower roofs to match the light building roofs).

jtougas
10-29-2012, 01:45 PM
I really liked the first one you had...but this is shaping up to be so much better. The additions you've already made are an improvement and with your scale adjustment, you'll have a lot more room make it a really interesting fort. I also think this new ground texture is infinitely better...gives it a much drearier look.

Thanks. The first version was decent in a "here is a story and a a prop to go with it" sense but it just didn't work as a map. This (hopefully) will tell a story AND be useable.. :) Thanks so much for all your feedback.


More interesting design. In the first version, the forest bothered me. The trees look nice on the map, but having a forest that close would make the castle vulnerable. Try just a few scattered small trees on this version.

Thanks. Yeah the forest was implausible. I think I was just looking to fill in some of that green. There isn't any forest there on my regional map so there won't be any there on this. Thanks for all the feedback :)


The wall is awesome Looks like real and ancient.

Thanks. The real credit goes to Jacktannery he created the original wall segments that I modified and recolored into what you see here. :)



This is looking better and better... :)

Thanks. I think so too. Thank you for all your feedback :)


This is looking much better jt. I think you should darken all the roofs of the rectangular buildings so they are the same shade as the slate roofs on the towers (or the other way around - lighten the tower roofs to match the light building roofs).

Thanks for that. I hadn't even realized that they should all be the same color. :) I spent all that time explaining about Shendenflar's abundance of dark rock and then made the slate on the roofs too light. I fixed it but I'm not 100% on it yet. I may have to use an overlay or some other technique to get it just right....

Todays update: (Just a note the power is flickering and the wind and rain is howling as Sandy bears down on us) I started with the "detailing" today. I also added a thatched roof building that I am calling "outdoor storage" I think I will have some hay bales sticking out from under it. As you can see I completely re-worked the lower courtyard. I decided that there was just too much dirt and not enough interest. I added some of my outside ground cover and some trees and a medium sized pond. (The Lord General likes to fish) The Lord General and his family will be here for at least 10 years and I thought it would be "realistic" to give them a bit of comfort. I added posts to all of the timber roofed buildings as well the posts are 6 feet around and 10 feet tall made from logs. Chimneys and wells and trees have also been added. If things don't go too far downhill weather wise today I'll start adding the rest of the details. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)

49487

jtougas
10-29-2012, 10:55 PM
A small update as the power has just now come back on after being off for the last 7 hours (I think we were very lucky in regards to Sandy...) I added a "guest house" and a few more trees to the lower courtyard. It was a large empty space that just needed to be filled with something and it's plausible that the Lord General and his family would have visitors from time to time. I also finalized my slate roof coloring (I think) this color seems to match the tower roofs pretty closely. As always feedback is requested and appreciated :)

49509

Lyandra
10-30-2012, 08:10 AM
I like the idea of a small garden within the castle walls, makes it more interesting. Some of your trees end in a straight line however. It also bothers me that all of them are copies of each other. Maybe you could make it less obvious by rotating some of them or changing their colour or dimensions slightly? I am not certain I like their current layout either. Sorry for over criticizing your trees... They just do not work for me in their current state. ;)

jtougas
10-30-2012, 01:30 PM
I like the idea of a small garden within the castle walls, makes it more interesting. Some of your trees end in a straight line however. It also bothers me that all of them are copies of each other. Maybe you could make it less obvious by rotating some of them or changing their colour or dimensions slightly? I am not certain I like their current layout either. Sorry for over criticizing your trees... They just do not work for me in their current state. ;)

You are absolutely right about those trees. I created them and then I "copy/pasted" them onto the layer but during the re-sizing pass I didn't grab the whole tree thus leaving that awful straight edge. Thanks for pointing that out because I may have ended up missing it. :) Following your suggestion I altered the coloring and the size of the trees and changed their layout. I also added a few fruit trees for the Lord General and his family. Thanks so much for your continuing feedback :)

A small update: I worked some more on the "detailing" of this today and I think for the most part it is nearly done. I added horses to the stable. Wagons hauling supplies, blacksmith objects and a LOT of very tiny hay bales under that thatched roofed building. I also added a few "market stalls" along the bailey wall. I see these as food vendors that would sell their wares to the wagon drivers that are bringing supplies into the castle. I may add more of those. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)

49516

jtougas
10-30-2012, 05:09 PM
I think this is: "Completed to the best of my current skill and knowledge" to borrow a line from the Riverhewn Cartographers Guild rulebook.... Again I want to thank everyone who gave me feedback and suggestions and tips on how to make this better. I especially want to thank Jacktannery (who will go down in Shendenflar lore as Tajack the Dwarven engineer) :) for all his time and feedback and help and of course his awesome wall segments and reworked tower roofs. Without them this would never have gotten this far. I am very glad I went and re-did this. I am very happy with this version. Next up internal views of the major structures. As always feedback is requested and appreciated :)

Object Credits:
Horses Alynnalizza Dundjinni (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=3418&KW=horses)
Anvils Alynnalizza Greytales Nook (http://www.greytale.com/wp/?cat=5&paged=6)
Quenching Tubs Greytale Greytales Nook (http://www.greytale.com/wp/?attachment_id=713)
Original Wall Segments Jacktannery (http://www.cartographersguild.com/building-structure-mapping/20332-big-castle-3.html)
Original Tower Roofs Kergon Dundjinni (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/foru...oof&PN=0&TPN=1)
Reworked Tower Roofs Jacktannery (http://www.cartographersguild.com/building-structure-mapping/20332-big-castle-3.html)
Wells Aegean Greytales Nook (http://www.greytale.com/wp/?p=1280)
Wagons Heruca Dundjinni (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?
TID=742&KW=wagon&PN=0&TPN=2)
Crates Greytale Greytales Nook (http://www.greytale.com/wp/?p=923)
Slate Roof Textures Aegean Greytales Nook (http://www.greytale.com/wp/?p=2382)

49522

Jacktannery
10-30-2012, 05:50 PM
That looks really good jt; you should be very proud of yourself and going back and doing it over, but its really paid off. I look forward to see your interiors (since I'm doing the same).

jtougas
10-30-2012, 06:47 PM
That looks really good jt; you should be very proud of yourself and going back and doing it over, but its really paid off. I look forward to see your interiors (since I'm doing the same).

Thanks !! :)

arsheesh
10-30-2012, 07:14 PM
A fine map JT! I agree with Jack, your work on the second map really paid off.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

jtougas
10-30-2012, 07:58 PM
A fine map JT! I agree with Jack, your work on the second map really paid off.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Thanks :) I am very glad I made the decision to go back and redo this.

Bogie
10-30-2012, 08:38 PM
Yep, the first map was good, but this one is better. Well Done!!

jtougas
10-30-2012, 08:43 PM
Thanks so much for all the feedback :)

Schwarzkreuz
10-30-2012, 08:57 PM
Yes the new enviroment looks much more interesting, dont overdo contrasting trees.

Bogie
10-30-2012, 08:58 PM
It looks like you had a lot of friends helping!:)

jtougas
10-30-2012, 09:01 PM
It looks like you had a lot of friends helping!:)

It takes a village to raise a castle.... :)

Jacktannery
10-31-2012, 05:52 AM
Jt - one thing. The wooden posts look a bit too big - the fact that the wood-grain is visible feels wrong, particularly the posts (if that is what they are) holding up the bales of hay. Also those bales of hay should have a little shadowing along their western side from the wall. Ditto the water trough on the other side (you should place these objects on the same level as the roofs, so that they are below your shadow layer).

Lyandra
10-31-2012, 06:24 AM
Great map. :) I agree with the others. Redoing it really paid off. The trees look more interesting and natural now. Well done! :D

jtougas
10-31-2012, 09:22 AM
Jt - one thing. The wooden posts look a bit too big - the fact that the wood-grain is visible feels wrong, particularly the posts (if that is what they are) holding up the bales of hay. Also those bales of hay should have a little shadowing along their western side from the wall. Ditto the water trough on the other side (you should place these objects on the same level as the roofs, so that they are below your shadow layer).

Thanks for confirming my suspicions about those posts. I'd been staring at them for a while thinking that something was "off" The wood grain wouldn't be visible at this scale. I made them smaller and got rid of the wood grain as well. Thanks for the shadow suggestions. I just plain missed them. Another case of looking at something for so long and not seeing it. :) Thanks so much for all the help.


Great map. :) I agree with the others. Redoing it really paid off. The trees look more interesting and natural now. Well done! :D

Thanks so much. And thank you for all the feedback. :)

Here is an updated version with the (hopefully) last of the issues addressed. :) As always feedback is requested and appreciated :)

49685

Jacktannery
10-31-2012, 11:03 AM
Spot on jt.

jtougas
10-31-2012, 09:01 PM
Spot on jt.

Thanks. It would have never gotten to where it is without all of your help :)

Larb
10-31-2012, 11:25 PM
Err, a late comment. I've been semi-following this but been busy this week past. It's a great looking map, my only (picky) point is that your walls are all dual crenelated but shouldn't be. The reason why is that if the attackers breach an outer bailey, it gives them a fortified position to hide behind.

ruff
11-01-2012, 01:02 AM
Err, a late comment. I've been semi-following this but been busy this week past. It's a great looking map, my only (picky) point is that your walls are all dual crenelated but shouldn't be. The reason why is that if the attackers breach an outer bailey, it gives them a fortified position to hide behind.

I have to say your right.. I knew there wasn't something quite right but I could not see it.. Its a small oversight, but one that could be game changing for attackers.. Either way I have always liked JT's stuff..

anomiecoalition
11-05-2012, 08:45 AM
Amazing job on...thought your first draft was excellent, but this new version is even better.

jtougas
11-07-2012, 01:08 PM
The Wolves Fall Line castles were not originally designed to use any magic as defense. King Gired Baras was suspicious of magic and felt that the castles were too important to depend on the whims of a magic user. Later kings have softened on this position due to the Watch Wizards efficiency and dedication to the defense of the kingdom. Now each of the castles of the line are outfitted with quarters for a Watch Wizard. While they have never been called into use, the Lord Generals and the king are both happy they are there....
Excerpt from "The Wolves Fall Line: A study" by: Gerro Milet Professor of Military History University of Riverhewn

Thanks everyone for your feedback. Larb I realize that it might not be historically accurate but I like the way the double crenelation looks. Besides if anyone breaches the outer bailey there are plenty of ways to deal with them... ;)

Thanks ruff :)

This is the first of the internal views of the Wolves Fall Castle. The top floor of the Northwest tower is the apartments of the resident "Watch Wizard" (The Watch Wizards are a group of magic users whose purpose is the defense of the kingdom) They specialize in defensive and offensive spells and are under the orders of the Lord General and the king. I have begun with the floor and some lighting effects. I haven't actually shown the windows of the tower only the light streaming in. It is brighter in the Northwest as that is where I have decided to place the light source (in this case the sun). I will be making as many of my own elements as possible for this.The tower shape is my re-work of Jacktannery's re-work of Kergon's original tower. As always feedback is requested and appreciated.

49708

jtougas
11-07-2012, 07:17 PM
Watch Wizards are not mages. They are not effete whimsical creatures prone to chasing ancient words on dusty pages. They are not stylish nor pompous nor vain. They are not scholars nor teachers. They are soldiers. As sure as a cavalry man uses his horse and a infantryman uses his sword, Watch Wizards use their magic. Make no mistake. You are a soldier and you will live and you will die as a soldier....
Excerpt from Watch Wizard Training as written by Lord General Vitor Lellon

A small update. I never realized how hard it is to make a spiral staircase. I played with this for several hours before I got something I liked. The actual construction isn't bad it's showing that the staircase goes somewhere that is the trick. I finally got it decent by adding some shadows and creating a sort of "raised platform". As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)

49721

jtougas
11-08-2012, 01:34 PM
The Watch Wizards were drilled in the martial arts just as a new recruit to the infantry might be. They were made to run and jump and grapple and fight bare handed. They were also required to practice their magic. This caused a very high rate of failure. Most of the recruits that joined the Watch Wizards failed and were sent away. This did not bother Lord General Lellon in the least. He was creating soldiers in his eyes no matter what their choice of weapon....
Excerpt from The Watch Wizards: A Historical Study by: Gerro Milet Professor of Military History University of Riverhewn

Today's Update: I started to "furnish" the apartment today. I created a curved bookshelf to maximize space in the apartment (and plus if I do say so myself I think it looks pretty cool. I'll make it available in my Mapping Elements thread. I also added a desk with various things on it. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)

Object Credits:
Chair: Bogie Dundjinni (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=13173&KW=chairs)
Books: Greytale Greytales Nook (http://www.greytale.com/wp/?p=2298)
Books: Kepli Dundjinni (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=7455&KW=books&PN=0&TPN=5)
Quill & Inkpot: Targeteron Dundjinni (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=865&KW=quill)
Scroll & Spellbook: katmagli Dundjinni (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=7788&KW=scrolls)

49731

jtougas
11-08-2012, 04:44 PM
The type of magiks used by The Watch Wizards are (as much of information on the military in the kingdom) a closely guarded secret. It can be inferred that they hold powerful defensive and offensive spells. No castle of the Wolves Fall Line has ever been directly attacked so no record of battle exists. It is also inferred that the Watch Wizards keep their own counsel as to their opinions of the duty they undertake....

Excerpt from Watch Wizards: A historical study by Gerro Milet Professor, Military History of the University of Riverhewn.

Another update. I have mostly finished "furnishing" this apartment. I have created a "bog" (even watch wizards have to go... :) ) and have added a fireplace. I have also given the wizard somewhere to sleep. I created the bed and the fireplace but I'm not 100% certain whether I like them or not. As always feedback is requested and appreciated :)

*EDIT* as soon as I posted the image I realized I didn't like the "bog" it was a weird shape and didn't fit. I removed it and updated the image.

49739

Midgardsormr
11-08-2012, 05:35 PM
Regarding the spiral staircase, you could put an angle gradient over it set to multiply, so that the lower areas are darker. Here's a quick sample of how that looks:
49742

jtougas
11-08-2012, 06:06 PM
Regarding the spiral staircase, you could put an angle gradient over it set to multiply, so that the lower areas are darker. Here's a quick sample of how that looks:


What a great idea. I hardly ever use gradients as they are something that I don't really understand yet. I'm assuming that you use PS to illustrate your point. I had to figure it out in GIMP but it wasn't all that hard. I think I achieved a result very similar to yours after some trial and error. Thanks so much for the tip. :)

Here is the updated image with Midgardsormr's suggestion applied.

49744

Bogie
11-08-2012, 06:16 PM
Looking good JT. The bookcase is nice!

Good idea for the gradient shadow Midgardsormr. On the stairs I made I darkened each step one at a time. This looks much more efficient.

jtougas
11-08-2012, 06:20 PM
Looking good JT. The bookcase is nice!

Good idea for the gradient shadow Midgardsormr. On the stairs I made I darkened each step one at a time. This looks much more efficient.

Thanks. When I made the staircase I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to make it look like it went somewhere. I tried every kind and combination of shadows but this arrangement never occurred to me. Just goes to show no matter how many maps you make or how long you've been doing it, you can ALWAYS learn something. :)

Bogie
11-08-2012, 06:47 PM
A while ago jfrazierjr, jacktannery & I worked on making circular stairs. It is not easy.

These are the 2 threads with the info. There are some decent stairs there.

http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/17979-sorceresss-tower-2.html

http://www.cartographersguild.com/building-structure-mapping/18047-stairs.html

jtougas
11-09-2012, 12:13 AM
A Watch Wizard must be as diligent as a sentry and as filled with fighting spirit as a cavalryman riding into battle. He must be filled with determination and a singular focus. Fear must not be allowed to enter his mind and cloud his judgement. Where as other soldiers have hard steel as weapons, The Watch Wizards greatest weapon is his mind....

Excerpt from Watch Wizard Training written by Lord General Vitor Lellon.



A while ago jfrazierjr, jacktannery & I worked on making circular stairs. It is not easy.

These are the 2 threads with the info. There are some decent stairs there.

http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/17979-sorceresss-tower-2.html

http://www.cartographersguild.com/building-structure-mapping/18047-stairs.html

Thanks for that Bogie that was a great thread with a lot of information (and some great stairs) I have to say for my first time and having no idea what I was doing I think my stairs turned out pretty good. :)

I think this might be "completed" There isn't a lot of room so there isn't any point in filling it up. I think there is just enough "stuff" to give it some life. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)

Object Credits
Firewood: Mark Oliva RPG Mapshare (http://rpgmapshare.com/index.php?q=gallery&g2_itemId=26453)

49749

jtougas
11-09-2012, 11:23 AM
Sometimes I wonder if I do this with my eyes closed. :) I realized how awful the scale of this was. I originally started with a scale of 1 square=5 feet. I don't quite know how I ended up with a 2 ft scale lets just say it's mighty cramped in there. I've fixed it and made the grid white so that you can actually see it. I also did a version with rafters just to see how it would look. As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)

49753

Version w/Rafters

49754

Midgardsormr
11-10-2012, 01:20 AM
I think I'd rotate that bed so that both corners touch the wall. Just a little more room to walk around it. Although I guess if the wizard throws his shoes down there, they'd be easier to get to.

I like it better without the rafters.

Bogie
11-10-2012, 08:37 PM
Nice. The rafters are cool looking, but unless you plan on having a thief climb around up there they block to much of the map.

atpollard
11-12-2012, 07:25 AM
Suggestion: Ghost in the rafters at something like 50% transparency (play with the actual transparency).