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pyrandon
09-23-2007, 10:04 PM
Hello, Friends:

Here is a map I created for my weekly GURPS fantasy game on OpenRPG. For the past year (in both real time and game time) my intrepid adventurers have been investigating a mysterious ode written on an even more mysterious scroll, which has led them to the abandoned, ruined, and haunted "holy isle" of the ancient source of all culture. (I posted an earlier "isometric" sketch of the isle here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=717)

In pressing onwards they came into a great hall which, after descending the stairs to the south of the room, opened to a vast, vaulted ceiling supported by great columns. The room is "lit" by the eerie glow of a waterfall at the far north side, which shines green. A great pool stands in the center of the room, filled by two "serpent" head statues that each vomit water; a tremendous statue of a man/serpent stands in the midst of this. Below each serpent is an arched tunnel; water falls in thin sheets inside, wetting anyone passing through. Because of the moisture, the entire room is covered in fungus and mold--putrid and disgusting and thick in the nostrils.

Beyond the spitting serpents are tunnels on the east and west, each ascending slightly to deposit the traveler behind/beneath the waterfall on a ledge, which eventually leads to the exit tunnel in the north.

Anyway, I'm posting the visual I created for this room along with the map. Both, as you can tell, I tried to give a gloomy, dark feel to fit the moment. All was done by hand in Photoshop (except the floor pattern on the map, which I borrowed from one fo the fine folks at the Dundjinni boards). Enjoy! :)

Fister
09-23-2007, 10:27 PM
What a fortunate group of players you have. Dank, dark, mold ridden, forgotten depths to be hazard by only the most foolhardy or desperate.

I wish I could make out a little more of what is hidden in each corner of the room but then, so do your players.

Do you use such visual aids at the beginning of a new area to present the right mood and feel or is it a reward for story completion toward the end of a chapter?

RPMiller
09-24-2007, 11:50 AM
You make me feel like the lamest GM ever... THANKS! This is awesome. It reminds me of the good old D&D module days that included pictures of the various rooms/encounters. Well done! I have to spread some rep around before I can give you some for this contribution.

thebax2k
09-24-2007, 11:53 AM
WOW! Pyrandon, your players are one lucky circle of folks. First the isometric depiction of the Holy Isle and now this. Well done sir.

One question, is there any type of map for the underground/buried part of the island or is it something you keep in your head until the players come to an encounter area?

pyrandon
09-24-2007, 04:12 PM
Thank you for the comments, everyone! I had a lot of fun making these visuals, and as always I learned a lot. Keeping up with all of you is a tough call!!


Do you use such visual aids at the beginning of a new area to present the right mood and feel or is it a reward for story completion toward the end of a chapter?

Well, in an ideal world I'd show them the image as they enter the area to, as you say, set the mood; the map I'd also show as much as in eyeshot (I use OpenRPG's "fog" function for this, so only the portions I want them to see are visible, the rest is black. A great feature.) Unfortunately, time bit me on this one, so when they actually entered the room I only had a b&W version of the above pic & no map. I relied on words and some marks right on the b&w sketch to relay the mood. I completed the images after the players had exited, which is nowhere near ideal, but I got a bug up you-know-where to finish them anyway. (And even then I ran out of oompf--as if evidenced from the "quick job" on the statue(s), which I'm not happy with, but oh well.)


One question, is there any type of map for the underground/buried part of the island or is it something you keep in your head until the players come to an encounter area?

Well, I have hand-drawn sketches & notes, but generally I am lazy & don't finish mapping until the players are all but stepping into the area. I wish I was more organized & not a procrastinator, but I tend to fly by my pant seat instead. As for written descriptions, I generally write things down only right before--or AS--the guys enter the room(s).

Take care.

Naryt
09-24-2007, 04:56 PM
BTW, the descriptions of the room were foul enough that I had a hard time breathing as I imagined Gereth (my character) slogging through that room...of course, having a sinus infection that day helped with the mood. However, when I saw the "finished" images above in my email--especially the watering pouring from the mouths--I had a quick fit of the heeby-jeebies....ick.

Torq
09-24-2007, 05:12 PM
You players are a lucky crew. The map and visual aid are amazing. "By hand in Photoshop", means how long exactly? If its a weekly game do you do this kind of thing every week?

Fantastic.

Torq

pyrandon
09-24-2007, 06:03 PM
"By hand in Photoshop", means how long exactly? If its a weekly game do you do this kind of thing every week?

LOL--Luckily, in virtual tabletop play NOTHING goes quickly enough to require much work each week! And no, I don't go to this extent much--although one of the wonderful things about a VT is the ability to use images, so one of my constant goals is to improve play through visuals. I only succeed about 5% of the time. Thanks for the compliment, though, Torq!

A sheer guess is I put about 12 hours into the painting and 5 hours into the map. A better artist/cartographer could do both in a quarter of the time. I'm a hack and an incessant fiddler. :)

PS: Naryt is awesomely hilarious during play; I myself was getting sick by the way he and his comrades were reacting to my own descriptions of the nasty smell! You guys say my players are lucky to have me--no way: I'm sooooo lucky to have a sweet group like them! Two years and running now!

Naryt
09-25-2007, 10:43 AM
PS: Naryt is awesomely hilarious during play; I myself was getting sick by the way he and his comrades were reacting to my own descriptions of the nasty smell! You guys say my players are lucky to have me--no way: I'm sooooo lucky to have a sweet group like them! Two years and running now!

22 Sept 2005 (25 September 985 in game) was the first time our Intrepid Adventurers set out from Eneini. Two years later, the in game date is 19 August 986. In that time, three characters have died, two have left off from adventuring and six new characters (including the dog) have joined the group. We've also seen four players come and go and have been joined by four new players who are all a blast to have on board! (6 players + 1 GM) We now span four times zones and two countries.

Oh dear, someone thinks I'm funny...that's never a good thing, just ask my wife! BTW, I'm not the only one giving rise to family waking chortles!

The entertaining(?) thing about the nasty, slimy Well of Aeneus is that I work at a sewage treatment plant in the IT department. Occasionally (as rarely as I can help it), I have to visit the...um...nastier parts of the plant. It took absolutely no imagination on my part to know exactly what Gereth was experiencing in that room. The air was fairly dripping and each breath felt as if he were drowning, the foul stench of it all clinging to the back of his throat, filling his nostrils with the scent of decay. Even closing his mouth and nose couldn't stop him smelling and tasting the vileness that surrounded him. Although he would never admit it, he knew that if the fetid vapors didn't smother him, the rising bile in his throat likely would.

Naturally, as it reminded me of parts of the plant, I just had to say (OOC of course): A voice comes from the statue, "Welcome to Trepindia Waste Water Treatment Facility #2."

jaerdaph
09-28-2007, 12:35 PM
Excellent - that would make a nice Temple to Dagon for a CoC campaign as well. :)

pyrandon
09-28-2007, 12:37 PM
(What is "CoC"?)

NeonKnight
09-28-2007, 12:41 PM
(What is "CoC"?)

Call of Cthullu

RPMiller
09-28-2007, 01:26 PM
It is a Lovecraftian RPG that uses his mythos and most PCs eventually go insane. It is big fun!!

NeonKnight
09-28-2007, 02:14 PM
It is a Lovecraftian RPG that uses his mythos and most PCs eventually go insane. It is big fun!!

Just the ones that don't die ;)

RPMiller
09-28-2007, 02:18 PM
Just the ones that don't die ;)
Very true, and if you are really playing it "correctly" one or the other will happen. ;)