Sounds like a video game ;) Should be interesting to watch develop !
### LATEST WIP ###
Starting to realise how much I've bitten off here, but gonna give it a good go. Not quite sure how to display the entire thing, so for now gonna stick with a GM map and then maybe knock up a pdf. With puzzles and stuff all but a few maps need a lot of extra information to accompany them. Biggest issue I have is balancing the mechanics of the map and puzzles vs. the final look. So right now I'm focusing on the main layout, throwing down the position of main rooms (reshaping them as I go so they aren't all square/rectangle) while thinking about interesting puzzles/encounters for each room.
Starting room is the top/mid with all the blue doors. I'll upload a more detail version at some point when the layout of the map is complete.
For the map the red key items are things that can only be interacted with physically (need to be on corporeal form) eg. puzzles for opening doors. The blue key items can be interacted with as a ghost (incorporeal form) eg. doors that can only be seen when a ghost, shrines that will bring you back to life at the shrine with your gear.
The main idea of the dungeon is to collect a number of keys to open a final door (need to take a portal [Physical] to access it). Locating and acquiring these keys will require switching between both corporeal and incorporeal forms.
- [Blue] Reaper: Hunts characters down when they are in their incorporeal form; they do serious damage, dying as a ghost you are gone for good.
- [Red] Quell: Stop despise the living and their connections to the gods. They block divine characters from using their powers but will also stop a shrine from working if they are in the vicinity.
- [BlLich: Final boss, the Lich will be a powerful adversary, slightly overpowered. The final boss room players will not be able to escape the room. It is highlighly likely that players will die in this room (not a guarantee, players should be able to avoid death by luck and tactics). If the party wipes the Lich will chase them beyond the grave and the battle continues with the party in their ghost forms (Lich will then have different attacks).
Great idea! I think that if the border between the current and after life is so undefined (excellent idea btw), then seeing as how I presume your laws of nature apply to all people and creatures, maybe all enemies, including the final boss, should be eliminated in such a way to not allow their possible "resurrection" (like burning or some ritual).
The map looks fun. I look forward to seeing more development! :)
### LATEST WIP ###
Well as you'll notice there has been a massive update with the layout of the map and I'd say I'm at about 90% done with how I want the layout to finally end up (few tweaks here and there). The biggest difficulty has been making everything relevant, making some areas inaccessible without taking a certain route, but giving enough choice so as not to make the dungeon/adventure feel like it's on rails (I hate adventures where there is only one possible solution).
So a quick breakdown of the overall map:
Started to think about the lore of the map and I'm going with that this was once a monastery, so I've done a little research on some monastery maps on typical rooms/areas you'd find and then shaped my map accordingly. The original map was a quick online generated one to give me some rough shapes to work with and slowly but surely I've redefined them to work into a rough monastery layout with the church being at the center.
The monastery was attacked by undead lead by a lich (I'm actually using this in my Forgotten Realms campaign and the Lich is Aesperus from Hulburg and the monastery is what is now know as the Wailing Tower in Thar), destroying the servants of Tyr. The entire monastery was buried underground, the only sign of it ever existing is the tall spire belltower that still protrudes through the ground, looking like a single solitary tower. Though the monastery is seemingly underground it has actually been drawn deeper and the power of the Lich and mass slaughter of the divine has brought it to the brink of the Nine Hells.
- Journeying down from the Wailing Tower (potential lesser map leading up to this place) the party will arrive in the Church at the center of the map, highlighted by the orange Sun icon.
- In this place the veil between life and death is vague, and thus our heroes are able to switch between life and death through the adventure.
- The "open air" type areas, such as the courtyard, cloisters and cemetery do not appear to be underground, the sky is a swirling blackness and the smell of ash and rot tinges the air.
- To the west of the map a hellmouth is accessible to enter the plane (should the players dare...), this could potentially lead to another adventure for the future, but it is outside of the scope of of this adventure. Alternatively it could simply mean instant death.
- Blue doors appear as stone walls when in corporal form and can only be seen in ghost form, whereby they look like simple openings and they can see through them.
- Red doors can can be seen in both forms, but only accessed in corporeal form.
- Brown doors are standard doors, in ghost form players can simply walk through them, but cannot see through them
The party come to this place to try and find the Lich's vault, either to gather riches or to find the final resting place of the Lich's phylactery (the final boss for my guys wont be the Lich, they will be coming to get his phylactery, which if destroyed means a Lich cannot resurrect upon death).
There is a Fake Vault to the top of the map, which is there to throw players who might think they have completed the adventure (complete with a fake phylactery and a wealth of treasure, which may or may not turn to ash once removed from this location if you dont want your players having loads of cash :D ). However, to access the True Vault (top left) the party must:
1) Locate three keys that will unlock the door to the True Vault, these keys are scattered through the northern section of the map and are found with various puzzles.
2) Locate the hidden portal that leads to the True Vault, which is found in Saint Patrick's Mausoleum [working title (bottom right), so players must find access to the Cemetery.
As I want to have various ways of completing this adventure all the keys are in the top portion of the dungeon map, however, accessing the cemetery can be done in three different ways (listed a-b-c on the map).
a) Players in ghost form can access the cemetery, but there is no way to use the shrine in St Patrick's Mausoleum without first killing the Quell in that building (can only be done when in corporeal form). However, players can locate a device that allows them to shift freely between Corporeal and ghost form (not sure where this will be located). This will be found on a Solo monster, meaning accessing the cemetery in this way will require a physical combat solution.
b) In the Abbot's Quarters the old Abbot still resides in his ghost form (can only talk to him if in ghost form or if they have a Speak to Undead (D&D) ritual, there will be a scroll that can be looted in the Library. The Abbot will give a quest to the players first, which will require some logical thinking to complete, sending them towards the left side of the map near the Lesser Cloister potentially. If completed he will open a secret passageway from the Abbots Quarters straight into the adjacent Lesser Mausoleum, which they can access when in corporeal form. Accessing the cemetery in this way will require a logical solution.
c) The players can take the long way round, and through the Library, in here there will be a timer where they have to perform a number of skill checks to navigate through the twisted ruins of the Library. There will be some elements of logic puzzles in here as well, but mostly it is a race against the timer, a short window where they must access a number of levers to open the door to (c) which leads into the Cemetery. Failure to complete this in time and the entire library will start getting hit with necrotic damage to kill the group and the puzzles will reset. Accessing the cemetery in this way will require successful skill checks and some elements of logical thinking.
So far I'm really enjoying taking this approach with the map, I have lots of semi thought out ideas for the various puzzles and I'm pretty happy that it's shaped in a way that offers multiple possible solutions.
I now plan on finalizing the layout, reshaping some buildings, and then start working on a more detailed GM map (this is just too big to turn into a detailed player map for this challenge).
I like what you have done so far. Looking forward to it.
Excellent Yospeck! Any chance of getting a bigger version of the map? You are not even close to the 4 MB size limit.
The final map is a lot bigger, so you can see the detail, for the overview didn't see the point :D Next WIP will be larger size
### LATEST WIP ###
Okay so this upload is the scale I decided to design this map at, at this scale I feel I can stick to a decent looking GM reference map without having to go into to much up close detail that I'd do for a player table map (though I do intend on turning this into a blank player map down the line, but I might make this my first sellable adventure.. we'll see :D ).
In this update you'll see I've done some heavy work on the detailed brickwork. Made myself a large tileable pattern of interconnecting bricks that I can drop on as a layer and then mask it out with the rough shape of my walls then start fine tuning it (this is far from the finished fine tuning). Threw on some rough colour to get a general idea of the inside and outside portions of this map (blue flooring signifies areas inside a building).
Done a rough-ish room detail on the chapel and nearby room. Probably not going to get much more detailed on the furniture than this (pretty impossible to do given the size of the map, the pixelation when trying to add detail is pretty much impossible and I don't want to put too much time and effort into each piece of furniture given how much is left on the map to finish off).
Still refining some shapes of buildings, closed the doorways of the sections I've been working on down to the typical 1sq/5ft. Also plan on working on the colour scheme as well to give this a more hellish/undead feel to it; all looks a little too bright right now :)
### LATEST WIP ###
Finalised my dungeon layout, which took a hella long time.
As I'm actually planning on using this map for my own D&D campaign I feel I've really gone to town with the level of detail for the lore, flow of the dungeon, realistic locations and something that will ultimately be an extremely fun and detailed adventure (if I do say so myself!). The biggest time consumer with this map has been the constant redesigns until I got a layout I was happy with, for a long time I just wasn't sure what I was doing with the bottom left "Library" area, what encounters/puzzles would happen there, etc. Second to that I backtracked on going for the more garrisoned castle feel with thick walls and went with more traditional thinner internal walls, also I scaled down the size of the actual rocks in the wall... which took sooooo long.
So now I'm extremely happy with the rooms (each of them having some use in one way or another as well as being appropriate for the dungeon itself), I've designed all but one of my puzzles (designed them all personally), giving a nice spectrum of riddles, logic puzzles, and D&D mechanics based puzzles. I'll write them up in full along with the details of each room.
Next up I'm going to start putting in some rough major objects into the rooms (this is a GM map not a battlemap so I wont be putting in every single piece of furniture, but enough to give a good idea of how the room is furnished) and also start doing some more detailed colouring.