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Thread: Craefort - barbarian hill-fort/village

  1. #1
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    Wip Craefort - barbarian hill-fort/village

    I'm starting a new D&D homebrew campaign, and at this moment more concerned with encounter locations than the region or world itself. Loosely working with my Celanta map - I'm gonna change it for this new campaign (cold on top, hot at the bottom), as well as having a Conan-esque flavor.

    Unfortunately my players want D&D 3.5 fantasy, not sword and sorcery, so I'm taking out the demi-human races, but leaving the current level of magic, spell use and magic items. I want to be like Conan, like Jason and the Argonauts, like Odyseus, like Beowulf - the heroic age, and still keeping the players happy... this is a home brew.

    The PCs will be barbarians from the cold north, a land still locked in the Ice Age with Plieostecene mammals (mastodons, cave bears, etc.), ogres, hags and giants with the last few remaining dragons in the world.

    To the south are the Old Kingdoms (land of the Celts), the Empire of Cer and the Nine City-States further south, Egypt-like Umir (Lich Priest King) ruling a desert kingdom steeped in magic south of that, a steaming jungle rich with monsters and ruins beyond that, and a ruin of lost city from a past age at the horn at the World's End - only sea is south of that... it is the Campaign to World's End.

    [WIP form, no furnishings yet...]

    Craefort is a hill fort village, inhabited by the nine extended families of the Pictish Great Clan, Crae. The fort is built against a hill, with a stockade of great Sentinel Spruce trunks surrounds the base of the fort pierced by a single gate. The fort is really a network of interlocking longhouses, with larger common areas between.

    1. The main entry to the fort from the yard with the stockade, is called the Hounds Hall, as the forts hounds are kept here, the houndmaster is quartered here with his dogs and family. The stablemaster and animal handlers of his extended family is in the longhouse chamber adjacent to the Hounds Hall, so he can be kept close to the stables in the yard. A ladder of stairs reaches the next level of the fortress.

    2. Crafters Common and surrounding longhouse chambers belong to the various craftworkers of the clan including: timberwrights and woodcutters, spinners, wool-dyers and weavers, smiths and stoneworkers. Also on this level the longhouse chamber between areas 2 and 4 houses the Clan Sorcerer who works permanent enchantments through tattoos onto the clan warriors.

    3. The old tower is a stone structure built by a Crae ancestor in a forgotten age long ago, the height of 3 stories, though only the base, stairs winding up to the roofed Watch Deck atop. The base serves as the fort's smithy, the most important craft of Crae. The Smiths longhouse chamber is beside the tower. A 10' rise of ladder steps access the tower from the chamber below.

    4. The Chief's Great Hall - surrounded by the closest kin to the clanhead in four chambers. The men here serve the highest posts of the clan - Clan Druid, the Runemaster Bard and the Clan Champion, the longhouse chamber nearest the Great Hall, is Chief Malcolm Crae's abode. A short ladder of stairs rises from the Sorcerers chamber to halls of Crae.

    I don't want my barbarians to be limited to warriors and shaman only, I desire a more complete culture of classes, though their isolation from the south still makes them barbarous in the comparison.

    This will serve as the typical Pictish stronghold, though I may create a walled roundhouse farmhouse, a hamlet of 2 longhouses with a stockade, and a broch tower of a more powerful clan. Perhaps a couple monster caves too.

    After that, I'm leaving the north and beginning the march south through the Old Kingdoms of Celts - the next part of the campaign to World's End!

    GP

    PS: I'll be adding those other encounter areas to this same thread.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Craefort - barbarian hill-fort/village-craefort.jpg  
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 12-23-2008 at 01:14 AM.
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Nice work as always GP!

    My only nitpick, and its very, very minor would be the repetition of the pattern on the stockade wall, and I don't see how you can get around it without a whole lot of tediousness (is that a word?).
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    Post Easy enough fix!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steel General View Post
    Nice work as always GP!

    My only nitpick, and its very, very minor would be the repetition of the pattern on the stockade wall, and I don't see how you can get around it without a whole lot of tediousness (is that a word?).
    I was being lazy, but that's an easy enough fix. The wood texture on all those walls is the same, but the texture is much bigger than the piece of wood, so all I need to do is move the texture on each and they will look different - thanks for pointing that out, SG.

    GP
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    Post Craefort is complete

    Now the Fort of Clan Crae is complete!

    I "shrunk" the straw texture in a few places where they appeared to large. For SG I've moved the textures around in the stockade walls so they don't look so repetitive.

    I placed torches on sconces along the walls of each chamber, I placed some barrels and crates for food and personal goods of the extended families in each longhouse chamber. I placed table and benches in every room. To give the Craft Common room a look of "craftiness" I placed a stretched skin to show work being done in this room

    For the beds, I decided to use Tartan blankets (plaid), since they are supposed to be Pict, very close to being Scot - I thought Tartans were appropriate.

    Finally I placed a throne chair for the Chieftan to sit with a tartan cushion.

    This encounter site - the home base for my PCs is complete. Next I will create a few roundhouse hamlets, a broch tower (which should be cool), a crannog lake house (cool too!), and maybe some winter wilderness encounter areas, like a frozen river with an icebreak for a monster to attack from... more coming soon!

    GP
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Craefort - barbarian hill-fort/village-craefort.jpg  
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 12-23-2008 at 05:45 PM.
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      Turgenev is offline
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    Very nice map, GP. I would rep you but it won't allow me (I need to spread it around a bit more). I get cold just looking at that map.
    Cheers,
    Tim

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    Post Clan Donal Broch Tower

    Quote Originally Posted by Turgenev View Post
    I get cold just looking at that map.
    I'm sure that half the inspiration in these encounter maps is looking out the window and see snow falling on top of ice on top of snow - ick!!

    OK, I mentioned I wanted to work on a Broch Tower next, so did it!

    Broch Towers are the coolest thing, a roughly 40 foot tall round tower built by Iron Age Picts over 2000 years ago. Mousa Broch on the Shetlands is nearly intact, though I love Dun Carloway Broch which though partially collapsed shows the unique structural aspects of a broch tower best.

    Imagine two stone towers, one built inside the other. The internal tower is not quite as stout or sturdy as the outer tower, but is stable because of long flat rocks that connect the outer tower to the inner tower. These connecting stones are such that they are used as a stairway to walk between the tower walls upward to the higher floors. The outer tower is up to 18' thick at the base and just a few feet thick at the top.

    As in my map, the ground floor was reserved for the fireplace in the center, sometimes firewood, and dry stores were kept in this level as well. Going up the "stairs" the first floor (above the ground floor) serves as the Great Hall. The next level up the sleeping quarters, while the top floor is usually reserved for storage and servants quarters.

    The tower would be topped by a conical thatched roof. There is no chimney however, as the smoke would seep through the thatch and escape at the roof, which meant the both the second and third floors were always smokey.

    The first photo below is for reference showing Dun Carloway Broch as a reference to the kind of structure I'm trying to recreate. I know my stairway is wider, but that's for playability rather than accuracy.

    Then its my four floors of Donal Broch, of Clan Donal, a powerful Great Clan which will have a clan feud with the Crae's of Craefort. In the Donal treasury is an ancestral sword of Clan Crae, stolen during the last Winter War. The PCs will be trying to regain this item that belongs to their clan.

    Even though Clan Donal is a more powerful clan than the Crae clan, their extended families reside in longhouses and roundhouses surrounding the base of this broch tower, outside its walls, but within its own stockade and gate.

    Next I want to start working on my Crannog lake house - but I think I'd better finish up my December Challenge entry tomorrow, just to get that out of the way...

    GP
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Craefort - barbarian hill-fort/village-carloway.jpg   Craefort - barbarian hill-fort/village-broch1.jpg   Craefort - barbarian hill-fort/village-broch2.jpg   Craefort - barbarian hill-fort/village-broch3.jpg   Craefort - barbarian hill-fort/village-broch4.jpg  

    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 12-24-2008 at 12:27 AM.
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    More cool stuff GP!
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



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      Turgenev is offline
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    While I am currently in Toronto, I grew up in the snowbelt region of North-eastern Lake Ontario (near Kingston) so I know all about snow. Actually we have a ton of the stuff here in Toronto right now but I doubt it will last long after Christmas (I hope).

    Man, those Broch Tower maps are freakin' awesome! You've outdone yourself, GP. I really have to spread some REP around so I can rep you again. Keep up the great work! I can always use more maps for my own games. *grin*
    Cheers,
    Tim

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  9. #9
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    Wip Grandry Crannog

    I just love these prehistoric structures of Northern Britain. I've always wanted to map some for games, and I finally compelled myself to do so, with the D&D campaign I have planned. The next structure is Gandry Crannog.

    A crannog is an artificial island built by Iron Age Picts and early Celts. Basically a shallow part of lake, not near the shore is located and timber pilings are driven in below the surface that raise high enough to be used as wall and roof supports. Once enough pilings are driven in - stones, sticks and mud is placed in layers until reaching the proposed floor level usually 3 to 4 feet above the water's surface. A large stone is placed top center to be used as a hearth for the center of the Crannog.

    Once this stone flooring is in place, timbers are used to create a flat, useable floor with a hole opened to expose the hearth stone. The walls are usually constructed of woven vines tied to the upright timbers, then daub and wattle covers the vines for a weather-tight mud panel surface. The roof is thatched.

    Also interesting an access path of placed stones located just beneath the waters surface so it can't easily be seen accesses the crannog to the shore. Usually these paths have a couple elbow turns - only the crannog men and their allies are aware. Enemies attempting to attack the crannog will often drown falling off the path into the deeper water. Path is hidden in this map.

    In my storyline, Gandry Crannog is a lesser clan under Clan Crae, a runemaster bard is the chief of the crannog - a person sought by the PCs to learn more of their future quests.

    Gandry Crannog - enjoy!

    GP
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Craefort - barbarian hill-fort/village-crannog.jpg  
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    Wip Christmas Bonus: the Ogre Den

    OK, a last minute Christmas Bonus to stick in your stocking... the Ogre's Den. I needed a little fantasy to brighten an otherwise mostly historical thread.

    But I like to think on theories about Neandrethals, if mankind didn't interbreed them out of existence, we may have caused them to become extinct taking away shared resources to hunting them down.

    If a small population of Neandrethal survived up to several thousand years ago living in the mountains hidden away from humans, but were larger, stronger, a distinctly human-like non-human race that wielded stone-age weapons... wouldn't you call them ogres? Could the last remaining neandrethals have been origins of the idea of ogres - just a thought.

    Attached is the Ogre Den, an encounter for my World's End campaign, basically a cave in the mountains with an entry way, where a guardian ogre and his trusty dire wolf would sit searching the horizons for "man sign". A tunnel leads in. The larger chamber to the left houses the living quarters for the main ogre band with 6 ogre-sized bedding piles of straw around that roaring fire. No doubt smoke would be filling the upper reaches of this chamber exiting out the entry way - the cost of staying out of the weather.

    The smaller chamber to the right is the Shaman Hag's chamber. [In my world there are no female ogres, instead there are annis hags who are my ogre females. Ogres are a matriarchal society led by sorceress/druidess hags. They are eager to eat the flesh of men, and hunt them vigorously during the bleak months of winter.

    A caged area to the north of this chamber holds victims both for sacrefice but for food as well. Two bed areas are there, the bottom right bed is nearest the "fireplace" niche is where the hag sleeps. At the center of this chamber is the sacreficial rock with a celtic symbol of eternity carved from its surface soaked with the last victims blood.

    Merry Christmas, enjoy!

    GP
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Craefort - barbarian hill-fort/village-ogre.jpg  
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 12-25-2008 at 04:41 PM.
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