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Thread: Into the Underdark with HellHound

  1. #11
      HellHound is offline
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    Glad they can be of use to someone.

    Here's number 5 in the set - the Duhr-Ilvahn Trading & Salvage outpost is an old trading community that lies on the one main access between a drow city and the dark sea. The top of the map is the access route to the drow city, and the south is the port facility. This community has grown over centuries of trade, and the current ownership also runs a salvaging operation, keeping tabs on lost barges on the sea - their own and others.

    This is another one that took a full sheet of graph paper, and has more rooms than I like in a 'dungeon' environment. Fortunately, it isn't meant to be used as a dungeon so much as a set piece for a running battle or an investigative scenario. Drawn in pencil and overlaid on digitally created parchment.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Into the Underdark with HellHound-map-5-parchment.jpg   Into the Underdark with HellHound-map5.jpg  
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  2. #12
      landorl is offline
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    Nice job. Those maps provide a lot of inspiration!

  3. #13
      HellHound is offline
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    Number 6 in the sea-shore underdark set.

    This is a quick one, but a big one on paper (full sheet map). It's a bridge over a river that feeds into the sea, the bridge top is about 50 feet above the river, so the bottom is probably about 40 feet above. There is a little guard tower on the upper ledge, 20 feet above the ledge and bridge (60 feet above the water level).

    The location is nice for use in game as a way-point because it is memorable (bridge, river, guard post, long old worn down stairs to the seashore), and it acts as an intersection, with three egresses into the underdark proper from here, as well as access to the sea and to a minor shipping waterway.

    I didn't like this one much when it was about 2/3 done, but now when I look at it, it's one of my faves in the set. Definitely got the feel across a lot better than the dwarven stair.

    Drawn in pencil on graph paper (full letter sheet), and scanned and overlaid onto a digitally-made parchment.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Into the Underdark with HellHound-map-6-parchment.jpg   Into the Underdark with HellHound-map6.jpg  
    Last edited by HellHound; 08-09-2007 at 06:06 PM.
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  4. #14
      HellHound is offline
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    This one was done as a request for a friend's game -

    Quote Originally Posted by wanger rickett
    A wizard's private sanctum in the underdark, built in water-carved tunnels near a massive underground lake. The lair itself starts with a narrow tunnel that opens into a flooded room with only stalactites and stalagmites, which can only be easily navigated with flight magic, spiderclimb, swimming, or (if you're drow) levitating and pushing yourself from stone pillar to stone pillar.

    The interior of the lair has a bit of a spiral upward, with a trap door in the wizard's personal chamber that actually opens into the ceiling of the flooded entry chamber. The wizard has a trophy room for all the monsters she's killed, a sculpture room to practice stoneshaping, and a false escape in her personal chamber that will hopefully distract attention away from the trap door in the floor. The false escape leads to some sort of death trap.
    I came pretty close to the description I think, and I really like this one, especially since it is only a few rooms and takes up 1/3 of a sheet of graph paper.

    Drawn with pencil on graph paper, scanned and overlaid on scanned home-made parchment
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Into the Underdark with HellHound-map-7-parchment.jpg   Into the Underdark with HellHound-map7.jpg  
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  5. #15
      pyrandon is offline
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    A quick interruption to say how much I'm enjoying these maps!
    Don
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  6. #16
      HellHound is offline
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    I'm glad you are! Now up the rep! (ahem) (kidding)

    One thing I never verbalized but really was a key design concept is that most of these locations are at intersections. The D&D underdark traditionally is made of a huge network of long boring caves. The locations you are most likely to use repeatedly during an underdark campaign are the intersections where two or more of these cave lines intersect. By making them interesting, you get to use them repeatedly ("next time, turn left at the chasm bridge") and repeating various set pieces in a game adds a feeling of continuity that most players really enjoy.
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  7. #17
      HellHound is offline
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    This map is one I made today after nearly a year without mapmaking (I curse you people for getting me going on this again - I should be preparing for the games I'm running at GenCon next week!!).

    People don't remember exactly who built it or when, but the whole thing stinks of rot and stagnant water ever since the water table moved up 8 feet and the two wells in the fort have overflowed to fill all the old living quarters. There are slime molds and other nasty stuff living there now, and most people just ignore it. Except now a team of Drow archaeologists have gone there to get a magic item long buried under the muck somewhere that the players also need.

    And of course, to make it more fun, the Drow team is being hunted by a Cerebrelith. It's time to recreate the movie "Predator" in the underdark.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Into the Underdark with HellHound-map-10-parchment.jpg   Into the Underdark with HellHound-map-10.jpg  
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  8. #18
      thebax2k is offline
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    Default A Compliment for your maps....

    Wow Hellhound, your maps are good enough that even Monte Cook is snagging them. Kudos to you sir and keep those maps coming

  9. #19
      HellHound is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebax2k View Post
    Wow Hellhound, your maps are good enough that even Monte Cook is snagging them. Kudos to you sir and keep those maps coming
    Yeah, I kinda geeked out over that myself.

    However, I'm working on my entry for the Alliance contest right now, so maps will have to wait a bit.
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  10. #20
      HellHound is offline
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    Here's my latest.

    This is actually part 1 of the prior map. En route to the drow archaeological dig, the party came across an old toll fort along what used to be a major underdark trade caravan.

    Originally, the building on the right was the main entrance to the 'fort' and they would have pedestrians travel up and over the fort to be inspected, whereas caravans would pass between the tower and fort.

    The tower on the left is a full 20 feet higher than the fort on the right (the floor of the tower is 30 feet above the cave floor). It has no access points except via the undercave passage between the fortress and the tower.

    In my campaign, the Cerebrelith had been using this as his base of operations between hunts. When the players arrive it is abandoned but there are multiple skull-less bodies hanging from the archway of the tower on the left as well as some in other locations throughout the structure.

    - - -

    This was mapped using a blue pen instead of my typical mechanical pencil, on standard (although water-damaged) 4-quad graph paper. This meant I couldn't go back and change any mistakes, but it also provided for cleaner detail work in many places (especially along cave walls). After scanning, I desaturated it and increased the contrast to make it look black. The parchment was the one I designed for a book ENP released to support the ENnies two years ago - the base is a scan of tea-soaked paper, with some digital enhancements.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Into the Underdark with HellHound-map-11-parchment.jpg   Into the Underdark with HellHound-map-11.jpg  
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