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View Full Version : Maze Map (need some help/ideas)



Neyjour
07-17-2013, 09:56 AM
This something I started several months ago. Got to this point and just couldn't come up with any ideas on what to put in it, or what to do to spruce it up and make it more interesting. Not the room at the end, but the actual maze portion. So, I set it aside for a while, hoping I'd get some inspiration later to finish it.

Well, I'm still completely stumped, so if anyone has ideas, I'd really appreciate it!

The objective is to work your way through the maze to one of the doors. Depending on which one you go through, the interior of the room shifts, and you encounter either the black dragon in a black room (shown here), or a white dragon in a white room.

Bogie
07-17-2013, 12:56 PM
Looks cool, and I like the idea! It looks very good the way it is. One minor suggestion, a skeleton or corpse in one of the dead ends. Maybe there is a clue on the body.

Can't wait to see the high res version.

Jacktannery
07-17-2013, 01:41 PM
I think its very brown.

Neyjour
07-17-2013, 02:25 PM
Looks cool, and I like the idea! It looks very good the way it is. One minor suggestion, a skeleton or corpse in one of the dead ends. Maybe there is a clue on the body.

Can't wait to see the high res version.

Thanks Bogie! Glad you like it. :) And I love the skeleton idea. Thanks! That's exactly the kind of ideas I'm looking for. :D

This is going to be commercial, so I won't be posting a full-rez of the entire map. But here's a couple full-rez portions. :)


I think its very brown.

Ummm...okay. :|

Neyjour
07-20-2013, 04:57 AM
Taking Bogie's "clue on the skeleton" idea, I expanded on that and changed it up a little. Instead of a clue on the body, the body is the clue...that the thorny vines are poisonous. Anyone trampling over or through them (instead of using the ladders) will fall weak and ill very quickly, and eventually perish unless they get the antidote. There's no "climb-out" ladder in that section, so whoever drops down to check out the body, will have to be pulled back out by their companions (or by some other means).

In the area below that one, there's a boulder in the corner with a piece of parchment hidden underneath. It either holds clues about navigating the maze, a warning about other possible dangers, a clue to defeating the dragons, etc. Or, it holds the information/recipe for the antidote (possibly the flowers on the vine that's growing right there).

Also added some glowing symbols in front of the statues. Activating them could possibly bring them to life to help defeat a creature encountered in the maze. Or the bones of those warriors could be buried underneath, and activating them allows you to speak to the soul of those fallen warriors, who give clues or info. about the maze, or the lore, etc. Or, activating them could be really bad...and the statues become animated and attack the players.

I'm also attaching a version with the roof over the end room. And added a few twisted trees near the entrances.

Still trying to think of other details to add, so if you have any ideas, please let me know! :)

Bogie
07-20-2013, 10:16 AM
Nice update. Remember, players can be annoyingly clever and use the ladders to cheat the maze, including just walking on the top of the walls.

Neyjour
07-20-2013, 10:32 AM
Thanks Bogie. :)

Oh crap...never thought of that! :| I'll go ahead and remove the one by the skeleton, since that section of the wall can take them right to the end. But what about the other two? That section of wall stands alone, but could they jump 5 feet to the other side?

pilfarn
07-20-2013, 11:50 PM
When I was in Mauritania, most of the "compound" walls were made of an adobe type brick and mortar. Along the tops, to keep people from hopping over walls they embedded all sorts of sharp and jagged things, whatever they could find (broken glass, metal, etc). While clever players could circumvent this as well, I am sure you could think of some deterrent up there to keep them from running on top of the walls.

Larb
07-21-2013, 12:16 AM
It's also susceptible to the old "keep to the right hand wall all the way to the end" trick. The bane of linear branching mazes and a few other types. Maze design is actually rather difficult when you get into it. You want "island" elements and "linked gates" (not literally, but when someone walks through a "gate", it opens/closes another which changes the layout of a maze).

Neyjour
07-21-2013, 12:40 AM
When I was in Mauritania, most of the "compound" walls were made of an adobe type brick and mortar. Along the tops, to keep people from hopping over walls they embedded all sorts of sharp and jagged things, whatever they could find (broken glass, metal, etc). While clever players could circumvent this as well, I am sure you could think of some deterrent up there to keep them from running on top of the walls.

That's done in the Bahamas as well (those who can't afford barbed wire). They slather poured concrete on top of the walls and stick in broken bottle pieces. :) I'm not going to be using this map myself. I've never played a table-top RPG before, and I have no clue as to what the "rules" are or what players can or cannot do. So I was just wondering if jumping a 5-foot span is possible/allowed during gameplay?


It's also susceptible to the old "keep to the right hand wall all the way to the end" trick. The bane of linear branching mazes and a few other types. Maze design is actually rather difficult when you get into it. You want "island" elements and "linked gates" (not literally, but when someone walks through a "gate", it opens/closes another which changes the layout of a maze).

Too much work has gone into this now to redo it all over from scratch. But thank you! I'll do some research on maze design and keep that in mind for future maps. :)

pilfarn
07-21-2013, 02:30 AM
I don't think jumping a five foot span is too difficult (in game terms it is a pretty easy target number to beat with the dice)

Neyjour
07-21-2013, 10:47 AM
Okay, then I guess I better remove all the ladders. Darn it! I really liked those. Ah well... :P

Thank you! :)

Neyjour
07-22-2013, 01:30 AM
Here's the latest update, showing the white room this time. Also, a version with the roof.

At the entrance, I added a couple trees by the snake statue. And a pedestal with a book, which could be the known history and lore of the maze, giving players some insight into what they might expect while adventuring here, or tips/clues as to what lies at the end. Or...it could be a communal journal, where previous adventurers have written about their experiences in the maze (if they survived, of course). :P

Removed all the ladders, and added some more flowering vines/groundcover, and a fountain in that area. The water in the fountain could possibly have healing properties that cure the poison. Or you may have to do something more specific, like crush the flowers and mix them with water. Again, the parchment hidden under the rock could hold information about that.

Just above the maze entrance I added a ground hole (and some vines/groundcover). There might be an interesting or useful object hidden down there, or it could be the burrow of some kind of creature.

Just before you enter the end sections with the wyvern sentinels, I added a couple cellar-like doors that each lead to a small underground room. These could be filled with a variety of different items that may or may not help with your dragon encounter. There could be things like food (that could be used to distract the sentinels), weapons, various magical items, and really off-the-wall items that might seem completely useless. However, if you've previously acquired information about the maze, you might recognize the usefulness of some of these seemingly arbitrary items. And maybe each player can only choose one item, or it could be that only one or two items can be taken from the room, so the players would have to make a group decision about what to choose.

EDIT: I'm thinking of maybe including a small B&W version of the map, with the points of interest numbered, along with a PDF that includes these ideas/suggestions for each of the corresponding numbered areas. I also might include a blank piece of parchment (the one under the rock) that the GM can use to write out whatever information he/she wants it to include, and print it out for the group to read.

Bogie
07-22-2013, 02:02 AM
If you like the ladders, then leave them in. In game terms the trees are just as easy to climb, any thief can climb the walls without ladders, and a rope with grappling hook can be thrown up anywhere. You have to have a good reason for the players to stay off the wall such as a low ceiling, or lighting bolts that fire at anyone above the wall level. As mentioned previously there could be sharp objects on the wall that will prevent most characters from walking on it, or the top of the wall can be a razor edge, a character with a high dexterity and hard bottom boots might be able to "walk the edge" but if they slip and fall the blade will cut them in half.

The map itself is looking great!

Neyjour
07-22-2013, 02:21 AM
Urgh! Okay, putting the ladders back in. LOL!! :P

Do you think it's important to visually depict some kind of danger/deterrent on the top of the walls? Or is that something the GM could just tell the players?

Either way, I'll see if I can come up with an idea to actually show it on the map. Maybe some kind of magical energy barrier...

Thanks Bogie! :)

Neyjour
07-22-2013, 05:31 AM
Alrighty...a magical energy barrier, powered by the crystal embedded in the snake statue. :)

The energy from each glowing/spark point connects to another, but can't been seen. However, if that invisible "line" is touched, the energy between the two points surges up and jolts the player unconscious, knocks them back, traps them in the barrier while constantly being shocked, etc. Same thing if you touch the statue, only I'd think the consequences of doing that would be even more severe...instant crispy critter? However, it's possible to deactivate the barrier for a short period of time (using the switches on the pedestal); maybe for just 30 seconds, or a minute. Enough time to quickly climb up and over, but not much more than that. But if the players go over into the area with the skeleton or the hidden parchment, one of them would have to remain at the switch to disable it again when their companions are ready to come back over, otherwise they'd all be stuck. Unless they figured out how to make the antidote. In that case, if they did all get stuck in there, they could just walk out and quickly make/take the cure.

Okay...enough rambling. LOL!! Let me know what you think! :)

Bogie
07-22-2013, 02:44 PM
Great Idea.

Jacktannery
07-22-2013, 04:30 PM
Neyjour the closeup looks beautiful. I love the spark points, and your walls look particularly brilliant at this scale. I apologise if my 'brown' comment was rude, but the map really looks much better and less monotonously brown in your closeup post 16. Great job.

Neyjour
07-23-2013, 01:42 PM
Thank you both! At first, I tried to show the energy arcing along the entire wall, but couldn't get the effect I wanted, so I abandoned that idea. Although, I think even if I had been able to, it probably would have looked too busy and distracting (there's a LOT of wall - LOL!), so I tried this instead...something that conveyed the same idea, but was much more subtle. Glad you like it! :)

And thanks Jack! The smaller previews do look very monochrome and boring. :P I'm happy (and relieved) that you think the larger/full-rez ones look better! And glad you like the walls as well! I tried out quite a few different textures before deciding on this one. :)

I think the maze itself is pretty much done, but if anyone has any more ideas, please let me know! Working now on finishing up the rooms.