View Full Version : The Ruined Tower

05-11-2009, 12:43 PM
I started working with this map over in the introduction thread, but I thought I would move it over here. This is a map I am considering using for an early midieval fantasy series of adventures. The map covers a ruined tower, a spring, and a small settlement that grows around it. I feel like it needs some work still.

Here is what I like:

Simple style (comic bookish?) - The style sort of came up when I was making the map, starting with the water and moving on to the forest, and I'd like to develop it.
Paper background - Its simple stuff, but I like the way it turned out.

Here is what I don't like:

Rocks - The spring is supposed to come out of a rock outcropping on the west end of the hill. This is the best version of the rocks I've had, but I still am not happy with them.
Map border - I don't like the fade, but I'm not sure what else to do. Maybe a frame or something?
Topo lines - I would like to be able to show that the tower is on top of a hill, but I don't like the topo lines much. I'd like to try to avoid shadows because I don't think it matches the water and forest style, but that cuts down my options for showing elevation.

The baron had promised Lungamus's people land and citizenship if they helped route the hobgoblin menace to the north. His men were tired and hungry from the long sea journey, but the promise of a new home drove them on. They fought like devils, and many died in glorious battle, but with the battle won the baron showed his true colors. He had no intention of sharing his land with the unwashed savages, and his soldiers, strong and well-fed, drove the tribe away. They traveled northwest for many days, pursued by soldiers, hobgoblins, and the savage wilderness of this new land.

After five days, they came upon the ruins of an old military fortification perched atop a rocky hill. A cool spring bubbled forth from the base of the hill, and fertile soil and good hunting grounds promised a new life. Still, Lungamus was troubled with ill-portents and doubt. Why had the fortress been abandoned? Why was no one settled in this promising land? His people were torn and tattered and could travel no further, so these questions would have to wait. But deep in his heart, Lungamus was afraid. His tribe had put their faith in him, but had he doomed them when he accepted the baron's offer to fight at his side?

05-11-2009, 03:17 PM
I think it's a very decent map and I certainly like it's backstory.
This map could be improved, especially the points you don't like, but I am sure you will get better if you create more of these maps. At the moment it's good enough!

05-14-2009, 12:07 PM
Just an update. I've played with the stone/rock a bit and I am a bit happier with this now. I think that the greater number of freestanding objects makes it look better, as well as the increased rubble. Also, I touched up the east edge a bit in an effort to make it more consistent with the elevation.

Any thoughts?

05-14-2009, 02:43 PM
I think the rubble is a great addition, but I did like the way it looked as a pond, fully enclosed by the rocks. But then I wasn't sure if it would look better or not, so I went ahead and edited it in (http://www.cartographersguild.com/picture.php?albumid=109&pictureid=511) to compare. Though I'm probably fussing over a detail of little importance :lol: Anyway, let's see some more of that tower in ruins :)

05-14-2009, 02:58 PM
I think the rubble is a great addition, but I did like the way it looked as a pond, fully enclosed by the rocks.

Thanks for that mock-up! I am not sure which way I prefer either... not having the pond fully enclosed is still an experiment. I think there are elements I like to both.

05-14-2009, 03:56 PM
Got a little caught up and worked a bit on my issues with the frame of the map. Since the campaign tribe in my little backstory is based roughly on saxon barbarians, I looked up some saxon art. Not surprisingly, its heavy on rope/knot decors much like the more popular celtic art. So I added a simple frame to the map and I like the way it turned out.

05-14-2009, 03:57 PM
Yep, it definitely adds something. Looking good.

05-14-2009, 06:05 PM
Sorry for the update spam.

I realized that when I roughed up my boarder I lost the woven effect that I worked so hard on. So I reverted it. I also changed the paper texture to an overlay so that it effected all of the art. So here is the final version for the day. Next stop... the tower.

05-16-2009, 10:08 PM
Map looks good. If you want to change the grass a bit to show height, you could always add a slightly darker shade of green between the contours or maybe some sort of gradient between them. You could then remove the contours.

Like Gandwarf said, the style will come out the more you use it, so I agree that you should only change things if you really need to (in your opinion, cause I think it looks good as is) but move on to the next. Looking Forward to seeing the style develop 8)