PDA

View Full Version : Wandering Star - Black Titan Dungeon



helium3
06-19-2008, 03:30 PM
After finishing the regional (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2146) and starting town (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2228) maps for my new 4E campaign, I needed to put something together for the first dungeon I expect my party to explore, the one underneath the "Black Titan" depicted on the Helen's Reach town map.

This map is mostly complete, but I still need to add a key and some explanatory bits. There are a couple of details I'm not too keen on. I'm not sure if the big gold disk (Typhon's Shield) looks too much like it's floating above the floor or not. Same with the "holes" scattered throughout both levels. Also, the "water" areas are actually flooded passages. I intend to go back and make the ends jagged so as to imply that they don't actually end as currently depicted.

When I started putting this dungeon map together, I started off trying to use the style I developed for the town and regional maps but quickly realized that it didn't quite mesh with the needs of this map. That being said, the only real difference between the town map and this one is that I developed a couple of swatch and brush patterns for denoting large areas with different properties.

Comments appreciated!!

thebax2k
06-19-2008, 04:20 PM
Nice map Helium3, I hope you decide to post a few more of your dungeon maps.

Now for a few brickbats ;) What do the shaded red areas represent? Also, I'm not too fond of the holes in the floor either. Granted, this seems to be an old dungeon with ruined sections, but there should be a better way to do the ruined features. Take a look at Craig Zipse's Fallen City of Mira Noor at http://www.kenzerco.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12755 (scroll down--20 8x11 sheets that form a super map, holy cow). Is there any way to add rubble and "dirty" the map in spots a bit--right now it looks to "Photoshoppy" and "plasticy" (not that thats a bad thing mind you). You might want to cluster the ruined features in spots rather than trying to evenly distribute them across the dungeon.

Is there any way to introduce curves and more natural angles into the dungeon? Your design may be by intent, but right now it feels a bit too "blocky"--ideal for miniatures but light on the versimilitude.

Lastly, what are those double doors leading to nowhere on the top part of the dungeon? If you are going to have a false door/trap, a single door at the end of a corridor works better, with a pit, crossbow bolts, boiling oil or general pc mashing mayhem triggered when its opened >:)

In any event Helium3, its a good map. I'm curious to see what the final version looks like.

helium3
06-19-2008, 05:25 PM
Nice map Helium3, I hope you decide to post a few more of your dungeon maps.

Thanks for the compliment. I'll post 'em as I get them done.


What do the shaded red areas represent?

Those are sections of weakened floor. A character that steps into one of those squares on the 1st floor (the upper map) runs the risk of causing that section to collapse and getting dumped into the room beneath.

That's part of what needs to go into the map key.


Also, I'm not too fond of the holes in the floor either. Granted, this seems to be an old dungeon with ruined sections, but there should be a better way to do the ruined features.

Actually, the holes represent specific features in the dungeon and not a general state of ruin. So, their placement isn't random per se. They were dug by the creatures inhabiting the dungeon and are used to attack the characters from cover.


Take a look at Craig Zipse's Fallen City of Mira Noor at http://www.kenzerco.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12755 (scroll down--20 8x11 sheets that form a super map, holy cow). Is there any way to add rubble and "dirty" the map in spots a bit--right now it looks to "Photoshoppy" and "plasticy" (not that thats a bad thing mind you).

I like his style and I see what you mean about the rubble. It would help to make the dungeon look a bit less plastic but I also want to avoid making it look too cluttered. Perhaps there's a way to modify the flagstone swatch to achieve that effect or just cluster the rubble around the wall.


Is there any way to introduce curves and more natural angles into the dungeon? Your design may be by intent, but right now it feels a bit too "blocky"--ideal for miniatures but light on the versimilitude.

Are you talking about the shape of the rooms themselves or the thick black line that demarcates their edge? I thought about fiddling with some brushes to give that line some roughness but the actual shape of the rooms (they're constructed mind you) are intentional on my part. This dungeon fills an oddly shaped space (the pedestal that the black titan sits on) and I'm trying to also vaguely reflect the mindset of the creatures that created it.


Lastly, what are those double doors leading to nowhere on the top part of the dungeon? If you are going to have a false door/trap, a single door at the end of a corridor works better, with a pit, crossbow bolts, boiling oil or general pc mashing mayhem triggered when its opened >:)

Ahhh. Thanks for pointing that out. That door actually goes outside. I need to do to it what I plan to do to the flooded corridors.

thebax2k
06-19-2008, 07:42 PM
"Those are sections of weakened floor."

I see now how the sections match up. Pretty nifty idea and good execution.

"Actually, the holes represent specific features in the dungeon and not a general state of ruin......They were dug by the creatures inhabiting the dungeon and are used to attack the characters from cover."

This may be a bit over the top, but you might think about transparent tunnel effects. It may clutter the map too much, but it would be a nice touch since I suspect that, based upon what you said, most of the holes are connected. Some of the old Judges Guild Modules (Glory Hole Dwarven Mine and Prey of Darkness come to mind) used the technique.

"Are you talking about the shape of the rooms themselves or the thick black line that demarcates their edge? I thought about fiddling with some brushes to give that line some roughness but the actual shape of the rooms (they're constructed mind you) are intentional on my part. This dungeon fills an oddly shaped space (the pedestal that the black titan sits on) and I'm trying to also vaguely reflect the mindset of the creatures that created it."

Reminds me of the dungeon in Monte Cook's Demon God's Fane. I was going to say the shape of the rooms--but did not understand that the dungeon was in the base of the titan and had been built by aboleth/far realm creatures/things man was not meant to know. In that case, nevermind, the weirder the better.

As for the big gold disk, it does look a little bit like its floating over the surface but its not overly obvious. I have no idea how much of the secrets of the dungeon you wish to give away, but is the seal actually sealing something--like a shaft or stairs down to a deeper level? In that case, you might want to leave it as is as a subtle clue to the pcs.....

As for the flooded corridors, you might want to experiment with relief lines or pseudo 3d effects showing that they are descending (hence the reason for flooding). One area where the map could be polished are some of the transitions between levels and to the outside. Its not immediately obvious that some parts of the dungeon lead elsewhere (the circular stair is pretty obvious, but the other transition areas are not).