View Full Version : May Entry: Shipwrecked

05-15-2008, 03:05 PM
Ahoy, challenge entry off the starboard bow! Well, one that is foundering in heavy seas....

I know I don't have too long to put this together now but I was attempting to reduce old maps to fit and that really didn't work out too well. So, emboldened by Torq's beautifully detailed map I have decided that I'll have a shot at putting together a hand-drawn encounter map for this month's challenge in the style of my pirate cove map. I'll also try (really hard) to keep the filesize within limits. I forsee rough water ahead....

Here's the line sketch as a first draft:

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A ship, pirate or otherwise, has foundered on the rocks in a storm. The battered hull rests among the crashing waves. The party must save the treasure/girl/captives before the hulk sinks finally beneath the sea. However, dark creatures from the deep have different ideas - leading to swashbuckling combat on the storm tossed deck!

I agree, not much to look at right now, but I should get a few updates out over the next couple of days which should make it look more like an actual encounter map.

05-15-2008, 03:43 PM
Man, I cant wait to find out how this turns out. If your last map is anything to go by it should be a cracker. It just so happens I'm looking to use the deck of a shipwrecked vessel as an encounter area in a game of Iron Heroes that I'm running, so I'l be snagging it when its done.


05-16-2008, 03:39 PM
After seeing your other pirate map, I am very excited to see what you come up with here!

05-23-2008, 05:29 AM
Okay, so some progress at last. Managed to steal some time while at a conference to move this on. Definitely going to be cutting it a bit fine.

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05-23-2008, 11:20 AM
A little more progress.

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05-23-2008, 11:45 AM
Thanks you for giving us a look into how you do this start-to-finish!

I like the Brigantine or Sloop size ship you have chosen for the wreck... (not sure if you are keeping two masts or droppings it to one)… anyway it is just the sort of smaller ship that might have had an inexperienced Captain at the helm... I like ship & sailing artwork but all too often it is the big and expensive "Galleons" that are on the rocks... (Less common but still did happen).

Keep the great art coming… it is a treat to see it form from the blank page.


05-23-2008, 03:41 PM
Thanks for the compliments. I needed it to be a smaller ship so that it would fit on the map without loosing too much detail! Any passing resemblance to a plan is entirely coincidental and bears no relation to any plan living or dead... :)

I've pretty much finished the line drawings now which gets me to here:

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05-23-2008, 05:57 PM
Now a bit of colour added in:

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05-23-2008, 09:31 PM
Choosing a winner...just got that much harder. :)

I love the sails trailing off into the depths...very spooky.

Is the drawing scanned in? If so can you recommend an entry level scanner for your fellow cartographers? Any other basic tips are most welcome in exploring your methods.

05-24-2008, 02:54 AM
This is all done from scratch in Gimp with a Wacom Graphire4 tablet (I think they've been suplanted by the Banboo range now but should be cheap on ebay).

I do have a scanner that I use now and again and like a lot. It's a Canon and cost about 40 (~$80). I'm not at home so can't give you the exact details.

As for other tips, 'm keeeping a running log of screenshots so that I can write up the promised tutorial over on the other pages but as I am going to be cutting it tight to get this done on time, I'm certainly not going to get the tutorial written up before the deadline. However, any more questions - feel free to ask away!

05-24-2008, 07:02 AM
This is progressing real well. Looking forward to more...

05-24-2008, 08:18 AM
Torstan, man, jaw dropping stuff - really. I love your work..

Couple things that worry me here though as far as the contest is concerned. This 'map' is becoming and will probably (knowing you) a visual masterpiece. What worries me though is playable gaming area. Because the ship is tilted sideways, treasure and boxes have probably fallen into the water. The surface of the ship really won't be walkable and this encounter map looks like it will probably send the players inside or under water to get the goodies under the ship. That being said, this doesn't remind me of a "map" but more like a picture showing the scene rather than something that is playable. In other words, what are we to do when the party says "let's go in and get us some treasure"? I could be wrong, maybe I am just not using my imagination enough here.

But I have to make something very clear - I love your work. My hat goes off to you my friend, you are a fantastic artist. I will be keeping a close eye on this one.

05-24-2008, 11:17 AM
I too am totally in awe by the beauty of this. The illusion of being sideways is masterful. You have been duely Repped.

05-25-2008, 02:37 PM
Thanks for the praise. It's coming on, but as this all shuts up shop tomorrow I think I'm going to be stuck with an unfinished entry. Nevertheless I'll do my best to get it to some state of finality tonight as a last push.

Dorpond: I disagree (obviously :) ) This was designed from the start as an encounter map. It is based on a 50px=5' scale so the staircases should all be the right size (roughly) for VTT use. The decks are intended to be at a 20 degree slope at the most - making this treacherours footing, but not lethal.

I can think of a number of encounters for this map. A tribe of sea creatures resides in the reef below. This ship came to grief on it and now acts as a watchtower on their front door. The party come to onvestigate the ship. Though at first it seems like a deserted hulk, the piles of debris on the deck turn out to be concealed pill boxes for snipers and a lethal fight ensues on the sea slicked decks....

The design of the location allows for treacherous footing and a cleaver use of terrain - the natural obstacles of the fallen masts, lots of loose ropes, the chasm between the two wrecked halves and the peril of being battered on the rocks if you fall. I'm going to run this as a location for my group so my plan was to design a practical locale.

As for the playable area, I would have creatures coming from the sea and the players arriving at the wreck in a boat. This makes it a very broad map with every inch consisting playable locale. The challenge is getting to the ship and making it on board before fighting whatever has made it their lair...

Any suggestions for improvements on this more than welcome :)

05-25-2008, 04:39 PM
Okay, here's the map with a little bit of burn/dodge on the boat to make it pick up.

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05-25-2008, 06:11 PM
Right. After a bit more time adding details and adjusting colours I think this is a reasonable shot at a final version.

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05-25-2008, 07:26 PM
Thats real nice. Its going to be so tough to choose this months vote.

05-26-2008, 02:50 AM
Man, I love your work. Your style is so artistic and unique that I'm baffled. Looks cool and I think would function really well as a VT map. I found myself trying to work it into my current campaign because it sparked some imaginative precessing. Well done.


05-27-2008, 06:02 AM
absolutely beautiful, Torstan! I particularly like the 'sail under the sea' effect.