View Full Version : February Entry: Hack n Slash Caves

02-05-2010, 10:43 PM
I've never really attempted anything like this, even when I used to play 25 years ago - a thought out and planned dungeon that wasn't just "kill a bunch of stuff and take their money". But, I'm also realistic - it'll probably end up that way. :) The main goal is to kill a bunch of bad guys, get to the "inner sanctum thingy", kill the smart baddie, get to the "main chamber" thingy and kill the big tough baddie, and rescue the princess. I guess you could sneak your way through the whole place but that isn't nearly as fun. I don't know what sort of monsters to put in it but having a bunch of different monsters living together seems kinda weird to me for some reason...I mean really, would you find a giant spider living in here with a goblin clan and some slime molds? Someone's going to win out and kill off the other stuff so that they can live in peace. I don't have any current books or manuals so maybe I'll stick with demons and devils since I know that stuff better. Anywho, it's all placeholder stuff for now when it comes to text and descriptions and whatnot. I also want to do it all grayscale to make it printer friendly. Long way to go.

### Latest WIP ###

02-06-2010, 12:06 AM
I dig the feel of this. Even with the over-run placeholder text I think I can see how this one is shaping up. I'm assuming you're going to flow around the dungeon shape? That'll be pretty cool I think. Only concern is that you've maybe got way more dungeon than you have room to describe on a half page.

02-06-2010, 04:32 AM
There are a lot of locations, and fitting them might be a bit of a challenge, but one thing I notice is a lot of A and B markers.. That would be one way to compress them. In those areas, X critter lives, and you'll run into patrols/etc of only that type of critter there, so why not recycle encounter markers? :)

Descriptions plus backstory fitting ont eh page though, that'll be the real challenge :)

02-06-2010, 06:53 AM
Oh yeah there will be a lot of recycling. I've barely started on the clean-up of that. There will a whole lot of "gathering rooms" and "storage rooms" so fitting it all in will be easy in the end. If I can come up with some cash to get a new printer I'll be able to determine exactly how small my text can be and then add rooms accordingly.

02-06-2010, 08:49 AM
nice start, love the brick watermark background. also like how you planned the layout of dungeon and text, gonne look like a glossy folder :) (just curious, do you have a background in dtp/graph-design?) cheers

02-06-2010, 11:55 AM
This looks like a great start i love your style.However you gotta remember that the dungeon is a static spot in time so their can be various groups living in it at that time they may be currently at war with each or held together by a stronger power.They will not remain that way forever but this is just a snapshot of a very narrow time frame. Hey the giant spider could have been drawn by the availability of food namely the goblins and the slime was probably their from the begining. I mostly agree with your realistic approach mine mostly centers on numerous humaonids living that close together without a good reason. Always hated the orcs, gnolls, hobgoblins and goblins all within the same complex that never made any sense to me.

Anyways great start can't wait to see what you come up with.

02-06-2010, 12:35 PM
I always ran things like that as the weaker races being enslaved or otherwise convinced to do the bidding of the stronger ones, made sense to me and the players never questioned it :)

That reminds me of one adventure I ran, the players walked right into the middle of a battle between a group of goblin tribes and an orc army :) Total chaos! Half the time they would come upon groups that were taking potshots at each other and ignore the party entirely, other times 2 groups in the middle of a pitched battle would drop everything and band together against the players :)

Great fun!

02-06-2010, 10:23 PM
No idea what dtp/graph design is DJ...the only thing I've ever been trained at is psychology but as a kid/teen I used to love to draw cars and comics. Everything else I just sorta think my way through and rely on my gut. I drew up some cave-lookin thing, selected the area inside the walls and filled that on a new layer with a grid pattern, and added a drop shadow. Really basic stuff. The stones are a masked off pattern (with a white color overlay set to Hue so that the color would be turned to grayscale) and the whole page has a guache pattern that has a gradient mask on it leaving the bottom left white for text. That whole part took me about an hour to come up with. I then spent three days going through fonts and changing my mind every half hour or so :) Today, I finished up everything except for some minor decorations that I'll be adding when I get in the mood (webs, border, n stuff like that).

### Latest WIP ###

02-07-2010, 01:02 AM
Ooh, yeah. that's kind of how I was thinking for the encounter tables, but you took it a bit further than i would have thought to :) I like it! And it's general enough to apply to any system, too.


Steel General
02-07-2010, 04:15 PM
This is progressing quite nicely.

02-07-2010, 05:39 PM
This is an interesting and creative way to present a dungeon.

02-07-2010, 08:34 PM
Pretty awesome stuff...

02-12-2010, 06:57 PM
Great layout. Both clear and accessible, and pleasing to the eye. Repped.



02-12-2010, 07:21 PM
That is a terrific piece of design. Nice work.

02-27-2010, 12:10 PM
Just putting up the final bits on here...name and link.

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02-27-2010, 12:16 PM
Love it Ascension! You've really captured the simplicity of the classic pen-and-paper map with sophisticated techniques and come up with an attractive and useful result. I've been studying this one for a while because, like most of your work, I learn from it.