View Full Version : Modulable Dungeon Project - WIP.

07-13-2013, 06:38 AM
Hello guys.

First of all a bit of explanation on my newest project (it was on the back of my head for a while, but kept getting delayed by other projects).

I have done a small number of battlemaps by now, but these have a problem: they are a bit static. The layout can't change from one to the others and that limits their usefulness, re-usefulness...

On the other hand, I really like the idea of the dungeon tiles (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Witchlight-Fens-Dungeons-Accessory/dp/0786958006/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1373710545&sr=8-2&keywords=dungeon+tiles) such as the ones WOC puts out from time to time... These are nice and pretty and can be re-arranged and combined in a number of way. The problem I found when tryting to used them is that they are so damn small. Any scenaries big enough to accomodate a parties takes five good minutes to put in place, slowing the game considerably. I always end up simply drawing the area on a erasable battlemat.

At this point, I wanted to try to combine the two approaches: several big maps, that takes seconds to set down and can host a handful of encounters but in the same style so that they can be re-arranged and re-used by the DM to suit his own dungeon plan (as best as possible, these are still not as modulable than dungeon tiles). Ideally, would-be DM could print the maps and use them to construct their own dungeons...

Here is what I came up so far:








Now; I feel guilty because it's all look so bland, simple and basic. But that's part of the point. If I put dungeon dressing, the rooms will lose their genericity...
Well, to be more exact, I plan to dress at least some of these (using, as usual, the most exellent furnitures from the Dundjinni forums (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_topics.asp?FID=8)), hopefully to serve different functions but I will always also post the naked version so that interested people can repurpose it for their own dungeons...

You might also noticed from the names of the files the biggest of these are designed as "tombs". It is because my next project will be to redesign the "Tomb of Queen Peregrine" from "Fane of the Drow (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fantastic-Locations-Dungeons-Dragons-Accessory/dp/0786938471/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373711341&sr=1-1&keywords=fane+of+the+drow)" (I already rewrote it as a 5th Level Pathfinder adventure). The adventure is nice but I found the last map to be very lackluster (it was probably designed firstly as a location for their mini game and don't really work, I feel, for a RPG).

Now, I am also planning on adding several more rooms. For example, a simple stair that leads to a corridor, without a room in-between. A couple of simple corridors, T and Y intersections and a small circular room. Presumably a room that meet a natural cavern (a bit like the unfinished corridor) but the natural cavern continues on...
As far as bigger rooms are concerned, I'd like to make a fortified entry, with arrow slits on both sides. A small amphiteater/arena and a bridge over a chasm...

Presumably; more ideas will pop-up and I'd like to continue this thread and this project over a long run, slowly adding more maps.
As always; comments and critics are activelly seeked for. Suggestions for rooms are too...

07-18-2013, 10:19 PM
Very nice project Simon! I really like the interesting shapes and layouts you've got for some of the larger ones. They do look very plain, but offering a completely bare/unpopulated version will make them much more useful and versatile, for those who don't mind taking the time to add their own elements.

I like the texture you've chosen for the floor.

My only suggestions would be to maybe try a less "busy" texture for the walls. And I think a bevel effect on the walls would also make them look a lot better. As they are right now, they look a bit flat. A bevel effect would give them some height and depth, making them look a bit more...wall-like. :P

Good job so far! :D

07-18-2013, 10:53 PM
Here's a couple quick wall examples. :)

EDIT: The shadowing from the bevel makes them appear thinner than they actually are. If you think they look too thin, just increase the width a little to compensate. They're 31 pix right now, so maybe try 40 pix instead. Also, if you don't want the walls to cut into the playable floor area, move them further out, so the inner edge of the wall touches the outer edge of the tile. That way the only overlap you'll get is from the drop shadow. That would only work for the outer walls, though. For the inner ones you'd have to do some redesigning, where they'd run down the center of the squares, making those squares non-payable. You'd loose some playable space, so...you'd just have to decide if it looks nice/better enough to sacrifice that extra space. :)

07-19-2013, 12:32 AM
Here's a couple wall examples, with the walls at 40 pix wide. Both have the outer walls pushed out to the outer edge of the floor tiles, but:

One version has the inner walls running down the center of the tiles, so the tokens never overlap the walls. However, you loose some space: 44 playable squares
The other version has inner walls running down the center of the grid line (between the tiles), so the tokens overlap the walls. But you get more space: 52 playable squares

If your walls are fairly thin, like these, I personally think the inner walls running down the center of the grid (between the tiles) look better. And the token overlap is minimal. With thicker walls, though, the other option would probably look/work better. In my Maze Map (http://www.cartographersguild.com/virtual-tabletop-battlemap-mapping/24024-maze-map-need-some-help-ideas.html) the walls are quite thick, so I have them running down the center of the tiles.

But whatever you decide to do for the inner walls, I prefer the look of the outer walls with no overlap.

But it's all a matter of personal taste and what you want for playability. So, just some options to think about! :)

07-20-2013, 06:17 PM
Cool; thanks. I will look into that?
How did you do the bevel? I am thinking about selecting my wall; tracing around them on a different layer, then applying a small blurr and removing everything that is not above the wall. That way, they should be a slight gradient on both sides, darker toward the edges...

My main idea for this project is for people that don't have the time or inclination for doing their own map can just print these ones and re-arrange them as needed. Hell, a DM that is confortable enough with the game could improvise encounters as he pull the sections out and build the dungeon as needed... I'd like enough variety in the map that a would be DM could reuse them from one game to the other, or maybe build one of these old school mega-dungeons that take the players a whole campaign to explore...

I did not work on the project too much though; but here is a big natural cave...
I need to make a couple of tiles too connect it to the more "civilized" tiles I already have. And I want to make some mines in the same style...


07-20-2013, 07:16 PM
In Paint Shop Pro 8 (the program I use) the bevel effect can be found in Effects > 3D Effects > Inner Bevel

Or, GIMP also has a bevel function. And if you go here:

...In the second post, Jacktannery posted the link to a much better bevel script, along with installation instructions. :)

07-26-2013, 02:30 PM
Great minds think alike =P we're in the middle of a similar project.

07-27-2013, 07:29 AM
Great minds think alike =P we're in the middle of a similar project.

Reallyt? Cool!

I looket at your project, it seems interesting...
Also, maybe, some of the textures you use. That way, I could build up a transition tile or two and the players could continue their adventure underground... For example; the bandit would have constructed their lair on top on an existing complex that goes deep underground...

Anyway, I added a new tile. Basically it represent a spot where the rough natural cave give way to a build in underground complex. This time I added a wee bit of furniture and made it a lived in drow complex... I suppose I will need to make an abandonned version of it too...

I also tried to improve the walls, based on Neyjour's observations...

07-28-2013, 01:33 PM
Another furnished droom: a evil wizard's lab...


07-30-2013, 02:37 PM
Next room in the complex; the "Spider Room", aka, a temple to Lloth.


It is a re-visit on the old Fane of the Drow (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fantastic-Locations-Dungeons-Dragons-Accessory/dp/0786938471/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375209226&sr=8-1&keywords=fane+of+the+drows) module.
As usual, most of the furniture was gathered from the Dundjinni forums (except for the Altars that I improvised for the occasion).

The central carving is from here (http://geniuslocigames.blogspot.co.at/2013/07/bone-spiders-generic-creatures-for-any.html) with minor alterations, in particular to elongate the abdomen slightly; so that it would fit the grid a bit better...

As always, an enterprising DM should be able to print the picture to scale and use the print-outs directly as a battlemap...

07-30-2013, 02:51 PM
Nice work Simon. I don't recognize the candle holders, are they from DJ Forums? How about the floor? It looks familiar but I'm not sure.

07-30-2013, 03:53 PM

The candles are indeed from Dundjinni. They were posted by someboddy called Kiwirose, alongside many great items (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=13440&PN=0&TPN=1) (I notice that you actually commented in this thread).

As for the floor, I used a tilable Rock pattern (not sure where it comes from) and then bump-mapped it against the grid. That way it gives the impression of tiles but can act as squares to use minis.

Here, I tried qdding glowy eyes to the spider cqrving, probqbly too much...

07-30-2013, 10:18 PM

The candles are indeed from Dundjinni. They were posted by someboddy called Kiwirose, alongside many great items (http://www.dundjinni.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=13440&PN=0&TPN=1) (I notice that you actually commented in this thread).

As for the floor, I used a tilable Rock pattern (not sure where it comes from) and then bump-mapped it against the grid. That way it gives the impression of tiles but can act as squares to use minis.

As we get older our memory gets worse.....not me of course, but that other guy.

I think the floor pattern looks familiar also, maybe from cgTextures.

The eyes look fine.

07-31-2013, 02:03 PM
It is very possible, somebody, maybe you, posted a link there and I know that I got several textures from there...

Here is another smaller battlemap, also based on the Fane of the Drows:
The summoning chamber (with attenant holding cells for the lucky prospective sacrificees...).


11-01-2013, 05:13 PM
Ok, I haven't posted in a while, but I have keep on workingo n the project and produced several more maps in the same style...

Here are the prisoners quarters...

As well as the adjacent torture chamber

I also made a few corridors to connect the rooms:

One thing I started doing is producing rooms with two sets of furnitures... It is not much a time saving feature, rather, I like to print the maps and laminate them, and I think it looks better it I cut the paper alongside the outline of the room... So I stick both versions of the room back to back and laminate them for a reversible battlemap...

This room, for example, exist both as two different entrance to two different dungeons:

Similarly, this one can be crypts or barracks:

This one is both private apartments or a library:

A forge and a hole in the ground, to dispose of garbage:

Kitchen/ Vault:

I have kept my players busy for several sessions now, exploring dungeons constructed from these maps...

12-01-2013, 04:10 PM
A couple more rooms:

I made this one with a particular idea in mind: the darker tiles are all trapped. Also, one the pillar are clockwork bats that would attack the players, smashing into them and trying to push them into the traps...

I also took one of the first map I posted here and "populated" it, first as a tomb:

And then, as a more generic throne room. When I will run this room, both statues will be animated. The first one will fight the players, but the other one, if ordered to do so by somebody sitting in the throne, will step down and reveal a secret passage...

Finally, I revisited the small round room I used and gave it a few different furniture types:

A small office, bedroom for a low level official (like a "imp co-manager, level 2b")

A small temple:

A set of stairs:

And finally, a small tomb.

02-01-2014, 07:26 PM
I've often considered doing a set like this but I always get caught up in the details of lighting and such instead. I like your idea for the medium scale between tiny pieces and large fully realized dungeons, that is quite clever. Far more useful than either of the extreme ends for most groups I would think. Do you print these or just us them in digital form?