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Thread: Tips of Dwarven Cartographical Styles

  1. #11
      Jaxilon is offline
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    Uh...well, ROFL. I'm wracking my brain to figure out which part of me is Dwarfish. I even asked my wife and she just laughed and said if anything I lean toward the Elfish side. I'm 6' 3" tall for starters and about 185 pounds so not a lot of Dwarf there. Still, I do love the little people
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  2. #12
      Davedamon is offline
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    I'm hoping this is a valid question for this forum, but would dwarves favour ramps or stairs? I'm looking at my current map and the only way for the residents to move large objects between levels would be some form of lift. But this doesn't fit so well with the overall aesthetic of the map. So I was thinking of changing the stairs between levels to ramps. Would this make sense for a dwarven city? Or would they favour stairs and a seperate frieght elevator?

  3. #13
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    It really depends on the dwarves, the nature of the structure, and the form of available power. Maybe a mine cart arrangement that runs alongside the stairs? Carts are moved by winches powered by draft animals, or perhaps a watermill. There's no "right" answer; everybody's setting is going to be unique, and what works in my game might not in yours.
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      Jaxilon is offline
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    Mid is right. Hmm...and yet according to my Dorf roots, hehe, I would think ramps are even preferred. Why? Well, for one they make marching an army look right snappy and downright terrifying. Imagine squads of Dwarves, rank after rank marching in stride up the ramps headed out into the world. Awesome right? Now, think about having to watch that same army awkwardly going up stairs. It's just not cool. Sure they can build smaller steps but really, it just looks better and says you don't care about space issues because you will just take what you need. Now, for single file or non entry ways it might be fine to use steps. I think of Dwarves as proud and they are not going to be living in a cramped areas where you have to use stairs. Unless of course, this is just a strategic outpost or something like that. If it's the grand poobah of locations however, they are going to go for as grand as they can manage. If it is stairs however, they have to be awesome.

    Depending on your world you probably just need to make them an extreme of whatever their enemies are. It makes their culture stand out. If you do it right, any weapon you draw for them should be recognizable as Dwarven origin. They same way if you see Chinese letters you probably can guess it's Chinese. You probably don't know the dialect unless you actually know Chinese but you know what I mean. There should be some consistency to the architecture that just screams Dwarf. You might want to define the background history of your Dorfs and then imagine how and why they would build a certain way.

    For instance, if you look in my Challenge entries under "Aquatic Fortress" those Dwarves, if they did indeed find new lands, would have a slightly different influence in their Architecture. Seeing as they were a small group of Seafarers and unique among their kind. I think AR Frost actually created some islands for them in one of his maps for his game world.

    ...and I have no idea why I am rambling on when I have 2 challenge entries to finish as well as lots of other things I'm working on.
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

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    I can't speak for your Dwarf-folk, but the Semerikan, the Dwarves of my world, at the same time highly artistic but demanding and precise. The one I know well enough to get much of their culture from gives me reminders of Japanese culture in terms of the demand for personal honor throughout life, and sadly, he was not able to uphold the rigors he chose to face, even knowing his name was on the line. His advice is that architecture be efficient above all else. Semerik architecture never moves, it never uses an awkward shape, and it never wastes a hair of space. Right angles are preferred in the vast majority of all architecture, with circles only used for stone pillars, wells, or fire pits. Secret passages are considered wasteful, and ramps are wasteful. His particular advice is that some form of winch or pulley system or lift be used to raise objects between levels, and that any house or tiered city without accommodations for such is poorly designed. Of course, ramps have their place in street designs and roadways, but do not, in his opinion, belong in a house or between tiers of a city. So, I think, innately, there's no reason to necessarily prefer ramps or stairways, as those large objects may still encounter problems along a sloped surface. I would, however, definitely prefer a mechanical solution with some form of winch, pulley, or lift (in dwarf architecture) to ramps replacing stairs just to move things between city tiers.

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      Jaxilon is offline
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    Oh yeah, I forgot to even mention elevators and pulley systems. I think Kharon said it well.
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

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  7. #17
      Davedamon is offline
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    Cool, thanks everyone, I think I will use a lift system. I remembered late last night about a lift they used to have in my old university math block that was a constantly moving series of platforms that basically when 'over the top' when they reached the top. Think a ferris wheel, but instead of a wheel shape, it was an elipse. This would work great as a suitable dwarven water powered lift system and it encouraged me to think about water supply, so I've made it so they've cut an aquaduct in by tapping in under a lake near the summit of the mountain. Very dwarven way of doing things. Need water? Divert a river from around the mountain to through it. Haha

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    You might get some inspiration from the book "Dwarves", by Markus Heitz - it's not a bad read either
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    Well, always glad to share advice, Dave, hope this all works out for you.

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    As an illustrator, I'd suggest when using color for a dwarven map, that straight gray is not a good tone to use with other colors. It's a complimentary color but doesn't hold it's own as a primary tone. Anything in real life that is supposed to be 'gray' is usually in one of two camps when painting something- it's a warm gray or a cool gray. Meaning that there is either a tinge of red or blue/violet mixed in. usually about 15-20% of color. This will give the perception of something that looks gray but really isn't completely flat. It will make your palette look more pleasing to look at.

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