Levels 6 through 8
These are the top three tower levels. Level 6 was difficult to capture properly; I may end up redoing it at some point, but for now it will work.
Also, I didn't realize until I got towards that upper levels that the towers taper as they ascend. None of the original maps really work this in very well. I tried to go back and work this in a little better on the other levels, but I never got it to work well, so the last two levels of the towers appear to suddenly shrink in circumference. This is the way the original maps were done, but if you use these, make sure to explain to the players that the outer walls seem to press in on them as they ascend the towers.
Basement Level 1
This level was fairly simple, but fun. It is interesting trying to add the descriptive atmosphere to the maps rather than just simply draw out the rooms. The pit on the right is for when the trap is activated where it belongs.
Basement Level 2
This was my favorite to map out! I didn't think it would be, since I enjoyed the first three levels so much, especially level 3, but it turned out being a blast to map out. I think part of it was that I was getting used to the program, finally, and could figure out how to pull off effects as they came. I am not an artist so I had to really figure out how to pull off the 'underwater effect' in the one corner of the dungeon. I was able to figure it out fairly quickly and it came out looking just how I wanted it. It was a bit tricky, but doable. Lots of atmosphere to pull off here.
One of the reasons that I did this whole project was that I really enjoyed the 'feel' of the 3.5 edition maps, even though they weren't isometric. I really liked the default blue color that they tiled it with and I wanted to do some of the sepia maps (that they had for the castle rooms) with that same color. However, as I got going I kept finding better tiles to work with (thank you Shessar!) that gave the castle a better appearance. When I got to this section, I decided to keep the blue for that 'otherworldly' chill effect and see if it worked. I think that it did. I split the file up to upload it here. This is the basement side as opposed to the crypt side.
Nice stuff. I can't rep you again yet...but I shall!
Thanks for the encouragement! It can be intimidating posting maps here after seeing all the fantastic work on this site, especially for a novice like myself.
Here are the crypts of the castle, done in the blue tile as mentioned above. Getting the coffin in the south room to look like it was sitting on earth was the only tricky part. The description has it that the stone floor had been 'dug up' and the coffin is on 'loose soil'. I placed it exactly where it is placed on the tactical map, but it does look 'off' a little bit. I may move it at some point, or not.
The crypts themselves were tedious.
These are the smaller offshoots that can be accessed in the crypts. This should finish off the mapping of the castle itself.
For those that are interested in the Expedition to Castle Ravenloft campaign, there are some more maps that I will be posting as I get them completed. I have a few done already, but still have more to do.
Sweet Jumping Jimminy, this is quite a project you've taken yourself too, I am duly impressed. I'm glad you're using a program like CC to do it, otherwise I can't even imagine how much work it would be.
I had a very similar inclination to do something like this after I bought the Expedition to Undermountain book, then wisely said "That's crazy".
You're maps are very good, and even more importantly, useful! Repped all the way.
I am very glad that people will find this material useful.
The main reason I did this was that I knew that I would be running the campaign soon and wanted a good representation to bring up on the computer tabletop. At the same time, I had a chance to get to know every square inch of the castle and match it up with all of the descriptions that are given in the text. TSR and WOTC were/are notorious for not matching up their art/maps/descriptions and I wanted to be sure that I didn’t get caught in an inconsistency.
As I got deeper into the project I was very thankful I did this. I soon found that each version of the module had its own set of errors, yet the most accurate always seemed to be the original. Usually, it just amounted to looking at the other two renditions of the castle, finding which one was the odd one and siding with the other two (this was not always the case, though). Sometimes this would be something small, like, “Does the entrance to the stairs appear ahead, left or right?” The 2nd ed. Version wanted to mash the south stairwells into the same area, somehow. The players in my group are very seasoned and will definitely narrow in on these inconsistencies so I had to be sure that I was finding them beforehand and prepared for this, which meant I needed to go over all of the maps and descriptions thoroughly. I am certain that I still have missed things, but I am much better off than I was before I started.
I also want to point out that 6 or 7 years back I had a most unusual guest at one of my games. One of my former players, Dani, had mentioned that one of the customers to whom she delivered pizza used to be involved with D&D and was terminally ill. She wanted to invite him over to sit in on a game, figuring that he would enjoy it. I agreed. He showed up that week and it turned out to be none other than David Sutherland III, the artist that did the original orthogonal castle map and artwork for the original module and the Ravenloft campaign setting. It was a memorable evening and he left us quite a few nice prints of his work. Sadly, he passed on a few months later.
I wish I had done this project before I had met him. I would have thanked him for being so much more attentive to detail than those that worked on the maps after him. He was quite thorough. Part of this project is in homage to him and his attention to detail. I only hope I have done it justice.
In keeping with that notion, if anyone does see an oversight, PLEASE TELL ME. Not that I will correct it right away, but I will keep a list of errata so that when I do go to make corrections, I will have it to go by.
I do own the Expedition to Undermountain book, but I don’t see myself running it anytime soon and I need to stick to things that I want to run at the table.
I am considering doing other projects next. The one that I have been eyeing up the most is the Ruins of Castle Greyhawk merged with the Expedition to Castle Greyhawk campaign. This is much more problematic, though, then Ravenloft. The main reason is that the two modules have the castle in different timeframes, so that rooms that are shown in both have far more differences than did the ones in the Ravenloft project. Also, the latter campaign refers to the unmapped portions as having to fallen to ruin rather than maintaining their earlier appearance, and much less inhabited.
I am working on finding a way to merge the differences in such a way that the entire undercastle can be explored with ready made maps. Considering the scope of t project, this will not be anytime soon.
The other project I am considering is reconstructing the maps for the Scourge of the Slavelords campaign. That seems a little more reasonable for a short term goal while I pick away at the castle. I guess that I am nostalgic for old school material. :)
Moving on to more posts...