View Full Version : Crypt of the Mad Monk

03-24-2009, 11:16 PM
I've never entered a contest for mapping. I've been happy making tokens and maps solely for myself. I was looking at GP's work and thinking how completely backwards it is from my own approach. No offense meant to him being backward.. I mean I am just as backward from his approach.

So here is my 1st nights work, based on a rough sketch. This is just a screen shot so it may be blurry, the working file is quite large at the moment.


03-24-2009, 11:24 PM
Looks good so far. I'll be very interested to see how this goes.

03-25-2009, 12:24 AM
I ended up putting another hour into it and would probably work for another 2 except I have to go to bed.

This is a closer shot of the upper left where I have a deeper room, and a transition of the old crypts into the new expansion.

03-25-2009, 01:35 AM
Its not so much that I chose to create my dungeon from the rooms upward to the crypt complex, its just I had definite ideas I wanted to implement in a few of the various chambers. Yet, I had no idea, until tonight what my crypt was going to look like. Last minute decisions so to speak, and with tonight's result.

I consider it a compliment, that you decided to emulate my Vampiress Crypt in your own style. Thank you DevinNight, at least I consider it a compliment. :D

Just so you know, the I.C.E. contest is to create a Crypt, not necessarily a Crypt of a Vampiress, that was just my take on the direction I intended to go. Not to say, you shouldn't create one, just name it differently so as not to confuse the voting on the I.C.E. boards.

Check out mine, DN. I'm done!


03-25-2009, 07:01 AM
I really am sorry GP, I didn't have a chance to read the contest... I thought they wanted something with a vampiress. I will change the theme and the name. Now I look like the guy who runs around taking other peoples ideas and insults their way of doing things. Which I try not to do. Again my appologies.

Can a Mod please change the name to Crypt of the Mad Monk.


Steel General
03-25-2009, 07:24 AM
Thread name changed per request

03-25-2009, 03:11 PM
Here is what I could do this morning and early afternoon.
current file size is large 20 x30 inches 8-9 layers around 600mb.

03-26-2009, 05:20 PM
Super cool. I'm not used to one square being six foot, but that's OK. I wanna see a big version when you're all done!

03-26-2009, 05:32 PM
Looks great so far.

I guess from the scale that you saw that it needs 3' hexes as the final grid.

I love the concept of a mad monk. Very gothic.

03-26-2009, 05:38 PM
Wait.. Hexes! I guess I really need to learn how to read.
Who uses hexes for indoor mapping? If the hexes don't overlay very well I might have to scrap this as an entry.

Anyway, here is my work for today. I need to add some serious cobwebs and stuff even more crap in there.. I want it to feel a bit claustraphobic.

Thanks for the comments so far, I'm open to any comments on the work.

03-26-2009, 06:09 PM
I wouldn't worry too much about how they match up - hexes never overlay well onto square maps. At least with one hex=3' you'll avoid corridors with no whole hexes in them.

I love the hand drawn elements and the higglety pigglety corpses. The statues on the walls are fabulous too. Great work.

03-26-2009, 06:35 PM
I like it. I'm curious to see how\if the hex conversion turns out.

My only critical gut reaction is that the Circled N in the main room feels very modern.


03-26-2009, 06:38 PM
The circled N is just my logo, I'll remove that when I start work on that room. :)

03-26-2009, 06:55 PM
Technically the ICE crypt map contest is for their own game system which is not D&D of d20 based game system. Have you heard of Rolemaster? They have that game plus a new one called HARP (High Adventure RolePlaying) anyway, its almost as old as D&D, just different - and not as big a player in the industry.

They don't use the D&D square grid, they use multiple facings in combat and require the more effective (to combat and movement) hex grid.

Me I don't worry about the grid until I'm completed with the map, then place one trying not to place too much under walls, but I don't worry about it too much, I just comply with this restriction. Its for their game after all.


03-26-2009, 07:30 PM
This looks fantastic, a pleasing blend of hand drawn and stylized realism. I especially like the lighting in that top room.

03-27-2009, 07:57 AM
Looks fantastic Devinnight. Great use of perspective and depth, with the multilayer effect and the artwork is spectacular. Tried to rep you but I need to spread a bit.


03-27-2009, 11:21 AM
I agree about the grid. This is a common problem that I have spoken about multiple times. It really is an archaic philosophy of game maps that just won't go away. We should never restrict our mapping to a grid. It remove the organic feel that a map or a real place should represent. I was a draftsman for several years, working for an engineering company and a municipal utilities company, and the whole idea of designing to a restriction of a grid is just silly. However, we do have to design to construction restrictions. That means that things have to be in rough increments of the materials that are used in construction, but it is never a restriction especially if budget is not an issue. ;) Anyway, I digress.

My point is that we should draw organically without restricting ourselves to a forced grid. Then once we are done we overlay the grid and let things fall where they may. It is up to the players to figure out how to use the available space effectively and move around. Much more realistic and allows us to be more artistic in our efforts.

This is especially true in dungeons. Consider who is building them. What tools are being used? How much time do they have to build it? Are there existing natural caverns and passages? IE, why would dwarves, building mines for themselves, ever consider making them big enough for humans to move around in easily? They are working with picks and shovels most likely. They are in a hurry to get to the minerals for trade. There are a few natural caverns, but all passages have to be widened.

With the above example, they would likely cut their workload by simply leaving the existing passage there and digging one side out. Once a passage was wide enough for them to get a cart through, or perhaps two carts side by side, they would likely stop. They certainly wouldn't make passages any taller than maybe 5 feet. The only large areas are going to be where the mining is actually occurring.

Anyway, just some thoughts I wanted to toss out about why I think designing to grids is silly, and some theory behind design. I didn't mean to derail the thread.

So to bring it back on track, I love the way this crypt is shaping up. The colors are exquisite and the atmosphere feels perfect for a crypt. I can't wait to see how this comes together. If you can, please leave the grid as a separate layer that can be turned off. I would love to see this map in a VT like MapTool.

03-30-2009, 07:06 AM
Nice looking map. I love the way you've created a sense of depth with your use of lighting and shade in the northern chamber. Love all the details too.

I think the stairs that lead down to this room could do with a little more definition though.

Great work.

03-30-2009, 03:47 PM

The stairs have a hi-lite and look better up close but a little shadowing on the back of them would help.

I might not be able to work on this for a few weeks, but then I plan on finishing it in a weekend or two so that I can absorb the feedback from you pros before submitting it.


04-18-2009, 04:15 PM
I haven't worked on this for two weeks, so I decided to get it finished this weekend if possible.

Here is todays work (fun).
Any C or C is appreciated.


04-18-2009, 04:19 PM
Looking very cool! I want to see every room close up. They all look like they have something interesting in them. That area to the left with the dirt floor looks very interesting. I like the scattered crates and such. Makes it look "lived in".

04-18-2009, 04:59 PM
Wow, that looks stunning! I love the statue.

04-18-2009, 11:58 PM
Looking better and better! I totally need to see it when you're all done in the huge format you work on it in.

04-19-2009, 05:59 AM
Yep, awesome work. Like Ravells I think every room has something interesting to see.

04-21-2009, 11:37 PM
Alright, well it's time to put a fork in it.

I could probably noodle on this for a couple more days, but I just have to stop.
So here are some close ups and the overall piece. I don't mark secret doors, so the walls are left normal looking for use with Virtual Table tops.

Thanks to everyone for their comments and for driving me to work on this so vigorously.


04-22-2009, 02:13 AM
So very cool! I love how the map just screams "Hey, there is a story here! Come find out what it is!" Well done!

Yippie, I was even able to give you a huge helping of rep. :)

Steel General
04-22-2009, 06:31 AM
Well done Devin :)

04-22-2009, 02:35 PM
Wow this is really fab and repworthy. If this is for the ICE crypt challenge then its a doozy and I am sure you will pick up something for it. Really like it a lot.

04-22-2009, 04:41 PM
Absolutely beautiful! Please, please, please submit it for the ICE challenge. It just reeks of atmosphere in a really accomplished style.

04-23-2009, 01:57 AM
A fantastic piece of art, Devin! I especially like the fact that you have used quite a few symbols of the Qin mapping-objects pack :D

04-23-2009, 12:14 PM

Love the map but I have a question. Some of the rooms look to be completely walled in. Is there a secret door at the thinnest wall?


04-23-2009, 12:32 PM
That is really... WOW! :) You've gone into a lot of detail here. Good work!

04-23-2009, 01:08 PM
Thanks everybody.
I am getting it put together for the contest and should have it submitted early next week.

The rooms that are sealed off have secret doors. In the virtual tabletop apps with fog of war revealing a wall that looks different is usually too much of a tell-tale sign to the players to search.. so I leave the wall looking like every other wall. If you look close at the floor leading into the glowing chamber you can see scratches in the floor and little piles of rubble from where the secret door opens.


04-23-2009, 04:34 PM
If you look close at the floor leading into the glowing chamber you can see scratches in the floor and little piles of rubble from where the secret door opens.

Holy cow! Talk about attention to detail! I went and looked and sure enough! Now that, sir, is quite impressive.

04-23-2009, 04:57 PM
Devin...just be sure about the symbols, the contest rules provide that:

All submissions must be your own work.

And the submission form you have to sign says:

That I warrant and represent that (i) this Contest Submission is original to me and has not heretofore been published in any commercial form, that I am the sole creator of said Contest Submission,

I'm not sure if that means whether you can use symbols from the web...(There is an earlier post saying that you used a symbol set of some sort ' Qin mapping-objects pack'- don't know if that's the case).

The scary bit about the submission form is this:

That I further agree that I will hold ICE, its distributors, and any retailer harmless against any recovery or penalty finally arising out of this warranty, and in this event I will reimburse ICE for all court costs and legal fees incurred.

It's not entirely clear to me from the wording whether if you use symbols which are free to all it's OK, or whether the work has to be originally yours, but it's clear that if you use copyrighted stuff that ICE can look to you to make good any compensation they have to pay if they use the work and it turns out that you have used copyrighted material.

Might be worth checking with them before you sign the submission form. It might help if you get the author of the Qin mapping symbols pack to email them saying that (s)he's ok with the symbols being used.

Your entry is so utterly beautiful it has to be submitted but please be aware of the risks.

04-23-2009, 05:27 PM
Might be worth checking with them before you sign the submission form. It might help if you get the author of the Qin mapping symbols pack to email them saying that (s)he's ok with the symbols being used.

Um... Ravs, Devin made the Qin mapping symbols pack.

04-23-2009, 05:38 PM
Yep, the Qin symbol pack definitely is his creation.

Steel General
04-23-2009, 06:17 PM
I've used stuff from the Dundjinni user creation forums in mine, and they haven't said boo about it.

04-24-2009, 02:19 AM
That's great then! Just didn't wan't anyone to get into trouble cos the terms can come back and bite you if you're not careful.

04-24-2009, 09:16 AM
I agree. If you haven't already Ravs, you may want to take a look at all of Devin's symbol sets. They are really good. They are hand drawn though so they only fit that style of map.

04-24-2009, 03:39 PM
They are beautiful....is it CC3 though? I don't have that.

04-24-2009, 03:44 PM
They are beautiful....is it CC3 though? I don't have that.
Nope. They are just PNGs that you can drop on any map. In fact, that is all the the new CC3 symbols are as well. So you could even use them if you don't have CC3 except for the Copyright part anyway.