View Full Version : WIP - quarry town on a river mouth

01-24-2013, 02:34 PM

I'm working on a town map for the next map pack. The town is built around a rivermouth, where the river has been carving a valley into the coastline. The town's industry is predominantly due to the quarry, and a winch/pulley system takes the stone to the top of the cliff, where it goes upstream on barges. There's a fortified manor at the river mouth, and a sheltered harbour. Two roads from east and west wind down the cliffs.

What other locations of interest should this town have?

01-24-2013, 03:40 PM
Is the lighthouse magical or mundane? If it's more mundane it'd need a fuel source so they might engaging whaling or the like (does whale oil make a decent fuel source for old lighthouses? I'm not actually sure) so they might have an associated yard for it.

Also if a sizable percentage of the workers are from out of town working seasonally, they might live in a campsite of sorts.

01-24-2013, 04:14 PM
Who runs the quarry? Even if it is owned by the local bigshot, it will probably have offices for the daily admin, located close to the quarry site. Then if there's a king in a faraway city, he'll probably want a cut of the profits, so there might be another kind of official in that.

Also, just to be clear, is the winch/pulley system human-powered, or driven by some other force (eg ox or charcoal)?

01-24-2013, 05:14 PM
I think the winch system will be water powered at the end of the day. It would be daft to have the waterfall and not use that power to lift the stone.

Good suggestions on the admin/tax collecting side of the quarry. And whaling is an interesting thought. It also suggests that a fishmarket (with some clear space between it and the rest of town) and a proper dry standing boat-yard would be good additions.

01-24-2013, 08:39 PM
Torstan you need a blacksmith shop to make and repair the stone cutting tools, as well as some housing for the workers / slaves / drones :-)

01-24-2013, 08:44 PM
Am I understanding this correctly, the actual quarry is lower than the land mass on the east / west / north? And we have a road / trail leading into the area from west and east? Also need some sort of carpenter's for barge / quarry equipment repair. Ok I'll shut up now before I turn this into a full blown walled city :D

01-25-2013, 02:37 PM
Yep, smithy and carpenter's are on the list. And yes Vellum, the cliffs to the north, east and west all mean that it's lower than the surrounding terrain. It's therefore naturally walled so some extent.

01-31-2013, 12:37 PM
I wonder about the lift location...If the falls are being used for lifting power, wouldn't the lift be closer to the falls?

A question about security. How secure is this area. If it is close to hostiles, I would put some watch towers up on top of those cliffs. Having a barbarian horde appear at the cliff edge with out warning could REALLY ruin your day. Maybe some secret outlets for defenders to reach the top without being noticed by invaders.....and maybe behind them too...

01-31-2013, 01:05 PM
I thought of the water power for the lift after the sketch - so yes, I'll be moving it closer.

Watchtowers on the top's a good idea, especially around the roads. And I like the secret access to the top idea - kind of like a sally port for the town defenders.

01-31-2013, 01:10 PM
torstan I think the location of the keep / overseerer should be on top of the cliff to be able to "oversee" LOL the work / workers from the perspective of the boss as well as being a more defensible location than down in a hole as Korash has pointed out. Say at your location #7 on the accessible route into the village, either the east or west location would give views down the road access ways for either alerting of danger or incoming shipments that may arrive overland. ymmv :D

01-31-2013, 02:11 PM
I think I'm going to go with this as a town that has a quarry, rather than as a quarry that caused a town. Having the keep at the mouth of the river serves a couple of purposes - guards the river mouth, provides equally quick access of the troops to all routes into the valley, and is a good central location for all villagers to retreat to. If it were moved to the cliffs, then the villages have to run all the way to the cliff to get out of harm's way.

The argument for some fortification at the lift/quarry and other sensitive areas at the top of the cliff is a good one. I also want to bump up the height of the land the main keep is on, to justify more strongly the location choice - perhaps an errant spur of rock left behind by the river's meanderings.

01-31-2013, 04:34 PM
I might have left it a bit late to weigh into this argument, but one consideration: does your town need defences at all? Almost every medieval map on these forums is given a wall, but this is not historically realistic. If this town isn't actually facing any threats, it doesn't need a wall. And as for Vellum's idea about the overseer's office - it would be useful to be able to watch the workers from high up, but you also need to be close to the workers to resolve problems. Imagine having to trek all the way up the cliff every time you break a pickaxe handle.

02-01-2013, 10:24 AM
Hey torstan, can you straighten me out here. Is this a river that empties into a sheltered harbor on a sea coast / inland sea / large lake? reason I was asking is that would this area be susceptible to hurricanes / typhoons / tsunami's? just making me thinking out loud on how this might haphazardly develop, as the quarry would follow veins of ore (what ever they may be) and at some point will fall below sea level and flood or be abandoned? also I may retract the higher fortification issue if the quarry expansion might be outwards instead of down. Oh hell you make a great map, just do what ever ;)

02-01-2013, 11:35 AM

Some functional needs that would have to be somewhere in or around the quarry / town.

1. Worker Housing.
2. Bureaucracy Housing.
3. Worker Market (for the wives of the quarrymen?)
4. Functional Maintenance (Carpenter, Smith, etc.)
5. Worker amenities (Clothier, Leather worker, etc.)
6. Bureaucracy Work Space (tax collector, overseer, wage-paying guy).
7. Defensive Structures (either from humanoids or non-humanoids) to protect the wealth of the quarry, the workers or the bureaucracy (and the silver they're paying the workers).
8. Material Storage (both for cut stone but also for all of the materials imported for the operation of the site).
9. Healthcare (You have to keep your workers healthy if you want them to work. Perhaps a temple if there's going to be clerics and divine healing?)
10. Spiritual health (You have to keep your workers content if you want them to work. This might be a small temple to a local god.
11. Emotional health (you have to keep your workers happy if you want them to work. This might be an Inn / pub / tavern. If workers have money then someone will want to help them spend it.

Just some ideas.

Love to see how this turns out.


02-04-2013, 09:39 PM
Ya know - we could probably turn out a list of buildings for some kind of 'Sticky' post here. A basic list of what kinds of building could /should exist and then people, who are building or brainstorming, could decide which ones are in their settlement.


Blaidd Drwg
02-05-2013, 06:44 AM
Is see "farmland" with a question mark. Is this town going to be self-sufficient or rely on trade to get the food it needs? The river valley might be fertile enough, but maybe it's too small to grow enough food for all the workers. Just curious ;) It certainly looks interesting!

02-05-2013, 08:22 AM
Some farms down in the valley - and more food coming in on fishing boats. But I see quite a lot of food coming down the river in the brages that come to pick up the stone.

03-06-2013, 07:36 PM
I would suppose. I did a quick search to try to find out what fuels were around in the middle ages. I could only find that animal fat was used. I think they used a wood fire in ancient lighthouses, but I could be wrong.

The lighthouse might be using wood. You need a large fire and it seems that oil would not work for a long standing fire like that.

03-11-2013, 05:26 PM
Getting back to this. Here's a WIP of the terrain:


03-12-2013, 04:47 AM
I really like your way of drawing elevations. :) I'm looking forward to seeing this finished. :D

03-16-2013, 05:37 PM
Here's some progress on the town wip:


03-16-2013, 09:31 PM
Looks lovely so far Torstan, but way too small a preview. would love to see it at twice the resolution.


03-18-2013, 12:57 PM
I be likin this Torstan. Parchment background looks good, as do the wall segments, gives that haphazard under construction feel!! I'd like to be able to read it a tad better also.

Blaidd Drwg
03-18-2013, 03:00 PM
I like the video you put up on youtube, by the way :)

03-18-2013, 03:13 PM
Wow - you really are paying attention :)

I posted in to my big tutorials thread, but it would make sense to have it here too. So here's a quick video of the progress on this:


03-28-2013, 07:05 AM
Awesome tuto. Didn't know that function actually.
Great! thanks for posting ;)

03-28-2013, 12:34 PM
Torstan, I really like where this is going, but I do wonder about some of the walls at the top of the cliffs. I can see quite a few blind spots where the walls can't be seen by any towers, at least not any close enough to be of any use (ex. the walls to the north and west, but the most blatent is the one to the east). I am not sure if you are still working that out, but I would suggest that either the walls get a bit straighter or add/move a few towers to overlook those blind spots.

imo, unless there is a gate in it, there is no need for a tower in the middle of a straight wall. Unless of course, the next tower is out of bow range....(if at all possible the the entire length of the wall should be under threat from at least one tower.)

03-31-2013, 08:53 AM
Good call - I've tweaked the walls. The walls in this case are pretty substantial - so they can be used as solid archery bases in and of themselves. But a tower certainly helps.

This is now done - here's the final (downsized, as the map itself will be in a map-pack for sale) as well as a couple of detail shots at 100% working resolution:




03-31-2013, 09:05 AM

That looks pretty awesome. I especially like the way the colouring has turned out.

04-01-2013, 04:14 PM
Agreed. I also like the way you've done the fields. Very nice work.


04-01-2013, 04:57 PM
Great map! I especially like the colouring.

- Max -
04-01-2013, 05:09 PM
Very nice map!!

04-03-2013, 12:04 PM
Thanks guys! Here's the cover for the map pack (http://www.rpgnow.com/product/113110/Fantastic-Maps---Iconic-Town) - as well as the contact sheet of the 33 png buildings that come with the pack:


Oh, and then there's this - a sneak peak of the image that might well end up being the cover for the overall tutorial of how this map was drawn :)

04-03-2013, 12:17 PM
so.. it may take some time to recruit other mappers into a band so we can cover "did you ever know that you're my hero" and play it to you at the award ceremony that we've created for you... so i guess i'll keep it short.


04-03-2013, 01:08 PM
Great map Torstan. Very nice map pack. It should do very well at RPGNow.

The one thing I felt was missing was the icons for the defensive walls and towers. They should be easy enough to draw, but lacking the skill to draw well, the walls would then not match the rest of the town in style or quality.

04-03-2013, 02:06 PM
Good call. They're actually slightly tricky to pull our of the map (they use a different approach than the buildings), but not so tricky that they should be excluded. I'll do that and get them added.