View Full Version : the deep

04-04-2014, 12:49 AM
working on a map for my next Pathfinder campaign. the campaign will be set in the Deep, a vast network of tunnels and caverns far beneath the Spire of the Planescape setting. most of the civilized realm is centered on the Cauldron, a volcanic sea of lava.


04-04-2014, 01:01 AM
Fun setting. I'd consider putting borders between terrain types, weather shadows, lining, or some other device it helps break up the edges especially between high detail textures like the ones you are using.

04-04-2014, 08:26 AM
Yup - just a simple outline will help those areas pop up off the map.

Looks good.

04-04-2014, 10:15 AM
thanks, that helps quite a bit. also fixed the seams in one of my textures in the cauldron.


next, tunnels and caverns. maybe. i'm a bit torn on how detailed and specific i want to make this.

04-04-2014, 10:51 AM
Depends on your use for the map. If you want to track your players movements down to very high detail then you will need a map for that, if you just want the major areas labeled so you can set up individual encounters with a great amount of flexibility but only track their relative movement then the detail will work against you. I find being able to at least describe movement past a good number of local landmarks helps a setting feel more real, even if these landmarks are nothing more than labeled locations.

04-04-2014, 05:19 PM
the scale i'm thinking of for this is about twenty miles between towns (New Mechanus to Last Hope, for example), which should be at least a few days journey on foot. its clearly impractical to depict more than the widest and most-used tunnels and the most-well-known features at that scale.

i guess i'll just get stuck into it, and hey everything's in separate PSD layers anyway.

04-04-2014, 10:30 PM
first pass at towns and roads...
town icons are cavern maps generated using the donjon random dungeon generator and shrunk to fit.
only major tunnels between towns so far, if i decide i like how this is going i'll add more minor locations and connections.


04-04-2014, 10:57 PM
That's a neat idea for a way to generate town icons, I wouldn't have thought of it.

04-05-2014, 02:19 AM
more tunnels and some interesting locations...


i think if i have about twenty of these and half of them pique the player's interest, that should keep them busy exploring for a while.

by convention, north is the direction of Celestia relative to the Spire and south is the direction of the Abyss. thus, the phrase "everything's gone south" which means that the current situation or circumstance has gotten out of control in the worst way possible.

04-05-2014, 07:54 AM
Looks good - I would give the new path (in white) an outline or background shading to accentuate it more. Additionally, and for my own curiosity, what's the length of 'blue' called between The Falls and The Upper Sea? If I were looking at the map for the first time it's one of the more obvious elements of the map that is, as yet, unnamed. Also, that hunk of rock floating in the Cauldron - the one north of the word 'The' - any idea what that is, or what it's called? If the whole area is "The Cauldron" then something like an Island in it would be a 'named' thing, right? Is there a settlement on it? How would they get to it? Etc. etc.

Looks good bud, keep 'em coming. :)

04-05-2014, 04:31 PM
thanks for the comments! i'll put a black blur behind all the tunnels when i'm done with layout. before then, i'd like to add a few smaller towns, ten more points of interest, and extend the network of connecting tunnels. the blue lines are rivers, i haven't decided if any will be named specifically.

there are two islands of rock in the cauldron. the smaller one near new mechanus i've already assigned as a port for airships, connected to the town by a long iron bridge suspended from the ceiling by chains. the larger one? dunno. i don't think it would be inhabited, but maybe a column of rock with carved facades and abandoned halls. something like Gar Morra from the D&D 4e Underdark book, which i never got to use in my 4e campaigns.

04-05-2014, 06:29 PM
added ten holds (small defensive settlements, typically 50-200 people).
the river between the Falls and Upper Sea is now named by the hold of Astaria.

i also moved New Mechanus into a slightly better position relative to its airship port,
and threw a second bridge across the spur of the Cauldron to the north of it.


the reason nobody takes the more direct route from Last Hope to New Mechanus
is the lair of Nameshba, an ancient blue dragon.

04-06-2014, 02:23 AM
done with my full list of small holds and points of interest,
so everything's gotten a bit of black outline now.


04-06-2014, 07:43 AM
The outlines make everything pop out more to the eye. Looks really great.

Keep 'em coming!

04-06-2014, 10:27 AM
As GP says the outlining looks good. If you're looking to fancy it up a bit I have two suggestions. The first is addind a border, you can probably find some adequately evil looking elements for a fairly stand out one. Second is adding some effects to your lava and water such as a slight red outer glow to the lava, or darkening the center of your water to indicate depth. This maps turning out more interesting with every update.

04-07-2014, 12:19 AM
i'm not a big fan of borders on maps most of the time, and didn't leave myself room for one.
i'll play around with the water textures some to better hint depth and flow this week, probably.