View Full Version : Elemental Caverns of the Mad Hermit

10-17-2009, 04:34 PM
About a year ago, Paizo invited members of the WereCabbage writers’ guild to submit proposals for six very short “Set Piece” adventures published in Pathfinder’s “Legacy of Fire” adventure path. It instantly became a jovial competition among the WereCabbages, complete with bragging rights to the victors. Trying to give myself an edge against my far-more-accomplished writer adversaries, I submitted this map along with my proposal for the first Set Piece, an adventure about a mad hermit that I called, "The Cave of Winds."

My main goal was simple: create an eye-catching map presenting linear sequence of caverns in which the adventurers had to overcome challenges presented by one of the four elements in each cavern.

My ulterior motive was to get a strong example of my map-making capabilities directly into Paizo’s editors’ hands. I hoped to turn the invitation to submit a writing proposal into an opportunity to display my cartography skills.

Hence, I sought unexpected ways to depict each elemental cavern. Visually, I decided I wanted a column-like form and a swirling, circular form to echo repeatedly through the composition, but with each echo slightly different than the last. But I had very little time -- two days, top-to-bottom -- to devote to the mapping side of the effort. In the end, I was pleased with three of the four chambers, all but the earth cavern, which never became what I'd originally envisioned. But I was out of time, so I submitted it. (If I’d had more time, I’d probably have left the earth cavern as it is anyway and turned to creating an illustration I could toss to the editors along with the writen proposal and the map in hopes of convincing them I can write, map, and paint.)

Paizo’s editors rejected my proposal but said nice things about the map. (Oddly, I did win the chance to write the fifth Set Piece in the series, one of the few for which I didn’t submit a map with the proposal. I don’t want to think about what that says about how editors view my mapping skills!)

(The map is copyright 2009 by Edward J. Reed, all rights reserved.)

Steel General
10-17-2009, 07:07 PM
Those are pretty durn cool!

10-18-2009, 06:55 PM
Beautiful reaslistic feel to the maps...really great stuff to put out something like that in 2 days.

10-19-2009, 12:09 AM
Two very long days!