View Full Version : March 2013 Challenge Entry - Water Problems

03-11-2013, 04:39 PM
This is the rough sketch for a watery dungeon puzzle. It's basically a flow puzzle with two parts - the main bit with the four big rotating valves, and a smaller one to activated the watery door mechanism.

The overall goal is to get to the hidden vault (which alternatively could be a path further on - I don't know yet). It is sealed by mechanical door (opened from above in the cathedral) and a pressure door (sealed by all the water in the pool which itself presents an obstacle).

There are a few associated hazards/traps with things too.

On a side note, it's really hard coming up with a decent/fun puzzle for a dungeon that is different!

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03-11-2013, 08:35 PM
Cool sketch, looking forward to see how it will turn out :D

03-15-2013, 06:57 PM
I've got around to doing the outlines. Now just to colour it in.

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03-15-2013, 08:07 PM
Off to a great start. Nice tablet work.


- Max -
03-15-2013, 08:14 PM
Looks very promising.

Cunning Cartographer
03-15-2013, 11:39 PM
Looking great Larb

03-16-2013, 09:40 AM
Lots of juicy details! This is going to be good!

03-17-2013, 01:37 AM
Looks really great so far. I'm simultaneously intrigued and disturbed by the room marked 'thing'...

03-23-2013, 12:24 PM
Things have slowed down on this because I've been getting pain in my wrist which is limiting how much I can do. I think I'll just start adding the labels and puzzle elements next.

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03-23-2013, 09:50 PM
I really like the water, especially the fade on the west side. Looks really nice without drawing too much attention, letting the viewer focus on the main map area.

03-28-2013, 09:14 AM
Ok, I intend to label it before the contest closes tonight, but just incase - here is the unlabeled completed dungeon sketch.

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Cunning Cartographer
03-28-2013, 09:24 AM
Looks great Larb, hope you get the labeling finished (I too cut it very close to the wire).

Are you going to post up a walkthrough of how the puzzle works? Definitely something I could slip into my own Campaign I reckon.

03-28-2013, 09:43 AM
Yes, I'll post an explanation once I have added the labels to it. It's fairly simple. The only thing I should add is there a small settlement packed around a temple above all of this, but it is not important to know for the puzzle itself. (the temple has roughly the same footprint as the large room with the round pool).

03-28-2013, 10:20 AM
Wonderful map, I love the hand drawn look and it colours. Just amazing, serioulsy.

Just a question, are you using a tablet/digital pen, or the mouse?

Good luck btw, ;)

- Max -
03-28-2013, 10:58 AM
Very nice job.
@Beoner : looks like a tablet work.

Cunning Cartographer
03-28-2013, 11:11 AM
Yeh, with the varying line widths and shifting opacity you would struggle to do this without a tablet

03-28-2013, 12:43 PM
Yes, I use a tablet pen + SAI. And potatoshop for colouring.

Anyway, I finished the labels. See upcoming post below for the description!


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- Max -
03-28-2013, 12:57 PM
The black transparent labels aren't very legible :/

Cunning Cartographer
03-28-2013, 01:19 PM
Just noticed (though I knew something looked off to me but couldn't work out what), unless I'm not getting the right idea of your aquaduct/bridge in the north west (presumably flat bridge held up by arches) then your shadows for the bridge on the water are the wrong way round where the sun is striking the pillars of the arch and casting them onto the water. Sorry for being hands on with the image but it was hard to explain what I meant :D


03-28-2013, 02:09 PM
Those labels are intentionally very faded and hard to read! They aren't important.

Boring Background Stuff (feel free to skip it)

In the south of our glorious republic can be found one of the more obscure cults still given leave to practice their heretical rites. Here on the edge of the serene Lake Hastoria stands the Temple and Parish of Chaleadon, so named for what is believed to be the old god that they so revere. Though they meddle not in the affairs of our realm, the enormous temple and surrounding settlement dedicated to such a reviled god cannot by ignored and it has often been questioned why such a cult is still permitted existence. Curiously the Arch Prelate always dismisses such complaints and refuses to condemn the group, as has, it is alleged, every Arch Prelate before him.

In my research I came across a disturbing rumour that something lies hidden deep within the bowels of the Temple, a place only their inner circle of priests are permitted to venture. Some say it is a great treasure, others say it is an artifact of immense power dating back to the time of the old gods. But the most disturbing rumour is that the temple is some form of prison - that something is kept locked deep below, bound for eternity and doomed never to once again gaze at the sky.

OK, dungeon details! I shall try not to go too in depth.

There is an Aqueduct. It flows from the mountains to the tower on the map, and continues across the lake to a nearby town (it is a very long lake, so they just bridged it). The tower divides the water evenly between the town and the Temple Parish which is above the dungeon.

There are three ways into the dungeon for the most part. First, you can enter the parish, then the temple above, where there is a long spiraling staircase that brings you out into Room 9. But that's not the best idea 'cause this isn't Shadowrun! The temple clergy are pretty skilled combatants and they also have some very loyal guards. In ADDITION, something called THE VESSEL is in that room. I'll come back to that shortly.

Plan B for you ninjary types might be to enter via the Aqueduct (it is quite wide, though fast flowing) further up and walk through it to the tower. Plan C would be to land at the dock. And Plan D would be to climb up (from a boat) or down (from above) to the various outcroppings on the edge.

So, Roomz.

1) This is essentially the master control. You can shut off the water to the entire parish from here. You can also flood this room if you do/do not know what you're doing. Fortunately there is an overflow just incase! Note: shutting off the water does not empty the big pool.

2) This is basically a fancy looking store house.

3) It's a guard room. There are large lattice windows. The windows also have special heavy wooden shutters which allow them to be turned into arrow loops.


Ok, this is part of the puzzle. This room controls flow for the rest of the parish/temple. There are four towery things and attached to each one is a big valve sort of thing. If you turn a valve, it rotates the water flow mechanism (the blue bit in the circle) 90 degrees clockwise. There's an overflow that drains into the pool in the centre incase someone doesn't set it right and the base of the circular towers start to flood.

By default the water is channeled to the water wheel (to power some machinery) and the small cistern with an associated archimedes screw-like device. Occasionally it is set to refill the big cistern. This is because these are the day to day things the temple and parish needs.

5) The Great Cistern. It is really great. At least the parish residents think so.

6) The previously mentioned waterwheel and screw. Oh I do love waterwheels. They are hypnotic.

7) This is the fun room. This is a trap for idiot intruders. If for some reason the water is channeled to the connected system (because some over curious adventurer has been screwing around with the master controls), the trap will be active. Basically there are pressure plates that seal the doors. Then nothing happens. There is also a big capstan in the centre of the room. It only turns clockwise in 90 degree increments. If you turn it once, water starts flowing in. Turn it again, it flows faster and faster. Until eventually you turn it so far that the water stops flowing and the doors open, along with a drainage channel. But most people don't turn it that far.


8) Big Gate Controls. So the big bronze thing in this room needs to be fed water or it doesn't do anything. There are four valves attached to it. This is essentially a code puzzle. Different codes do different things. Two of them fill these enormous wooden containers that counter balance the big sluice gates, opening them. Opening both drains the giant pool in Room 9.

9) This is the boss ro- err. Well not really. It's a very cavernous room with a very deep pool in the centre, steps winding down into the water. The water channel flowing in and out is actually fairly shallow. And you can get up to the main temple from here. One purpose of the pool is to seal a pressure door which leads towards room 10.

The biggest danger in this room however is THE VESSEL. It is essentially an enormous golem made of metal and wood. It is filled with water - infact it draws it's life from it. It has to "refill" regularly from the pool. It will eat most people like popcorn. Fortunately it is a bit lumbering and it is too big to exit this room. And it can't climb or swim. If the water in the pool was drained and it's supply cut off, it would eventually run out of it's own internal water and go inert.

The vessel likes rich watery drinks, long walks on the beach, and beating intruders to a bloody pulp. It has questionable social skills.

10) The Prison Deep - So why would the dominant religion allow some cult of heretics to thrive under it's nose? Well because they aren't heretics. Or even cultists of Chaleadon. They are actually it's prison wardens and the remains of the dead god (as dead as a divine creature can be) are bound in here. What little remains of it's essence has gone pretty crazy. It'd probably eat things if let go. Who knows! No one has any plans to find out.

Two doors get you here. A pressure door and another door with a MacGuffin Lock (TM).

11) These rooms are about as important as those unlabeled crates in room 8.

I hope that explains things!

03-28-2013, 02:12 PM
Yes, that is the direction the light is supposed to be coming from. I'm not sure what you mean.

OH WAIT. You are right. I can't believe I made that mistake. I'll go fix that now. =P

Ok, I have addressed that little issue and just swapped the attachment. So now it's done.

03-29-2013, 08:33 AM
Nice work Larb! Cool Ideas, great map!