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Thread: April/May Lite Entry - The Red Rock Jackals

  1. #1
      Zarylin is offline
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    Wip April/May Lite Entry - The Red Rock Jackals

    Right then, about time I actually put some work in!

    So, this month's challenge actually works out rather nicely for me; I'm considering starting a small monthly game at first level, so I will very likely be using this map as the groups first 'dungeon delve'. I had already settled on the idea of using my entry from last month's challenge (Red Rock Bay) as the group's starting point, so the natural progression now is to invent a source of trouble for the town, and then give that trouble a home! Incidentally, the reason I originally found and joined this forum was to learn to make maps so I could really develop and flesh out a campaign world for my home games. This small game and the maps here will be my first real foray into that world, so that's pretty exciting too. Anyway. Since the group will be more story/role-play driven, I've kept the actual 'dungeon' on the smallish side.


    Farmer Kells shook his head in concern as he watched his son repair the fence. This was the third time this month that the fence had been knocked over, and he counted four sheep missing from his flock, which was much worse than the previous two incursions. It didn't make sense to him; he hadn't lost an animal to the jackals since he had first built this fence, almost 8 years ago. Why the creatures had finally decided to come back, and how they'd managed to get in, he just didn't know. What he did know was that the next capable looking group of travelers to pass through town wouldn't have any trouble finding work.

    What Farmer Kells doesn't know is that the reason the jackals have figured out how to get through his fence is because they've recently been 'adopted' by a pack of gnolls, who are both the brains and the brawn of this operation. Technically, the lowest level gnolls I could find were 4th level, but I'm not really concerned by that; they fit the environment well, so these gnolls will be scaled down to level 1.

    ### LATEST WIP ###
    April/May Lite Entry - The Red Rock Jackals-maychallenge.jpg

    So, a spring in the hills, sheltered by the bluffs and surrounded by caves. The colors were taken from the original Red Rock Bay map, as again, they're now part of a set. Otherwise, I just have the preliminary work done so far, with lots of details yet to add. I have my water feature and my two entrances (the narrow tunnel up top will be connecting the areas that the gnolls have occupied with the actual jackal warrens), though I still don't quite know what I'm going to do for the defenses. We'll see. Suggestions, as always, are welcome!

    Also, apparently the grid is not saving/displaying outside of Gimp. I'm using 2.8... does anyone know how to make it into an actual layer? I suppose I could manually trace it, but there has to be an easier way than that...
    Meshon likes this.

  2. #2
      Meshon is offline
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    Here's a grid that should work for you, although I based it on the size of your image at 100px per square. Kinda presumptuous of me now that I think about it...

    April/May Lite Entry - The Red Rock Jackals-grid.png

    If you let me know how many squares your image is I can fire up another one. Does .png work to import as a layer into GIMP?

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this map develops by the way!

    cheers,
    Meshon

  3. #3
      Zarylin is offline
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    Yeah, I actually had them set at 50px per square, 1800x1500... means there's at least a LITTLE room to move around in!

    What are you using to make your grid? Like I said, I'm sure I could make one by hand, it just seemed like a lot of busy work for something that should be automated. That said, Gimp should take .pngs no problem.

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      jturner is offline
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    Nice start! If you want a grid in GIMP, try Filters > Render > Patterns > Grid. You'll need to play around with the settings to get the size you want.

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      Zarylin is offline
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    Thanks JTurner. That solved my grid problem.

    So time for an update! I spent way too much time trying to find half eaten carcass map elements, and eventually decided that I was just going to have to draw my own. Which... didn't turn out TOO badly?

    ### LATEST WIP ###
    April/May Lite Entry - The Red Rock Jackals-maychallenge.jpg

    I've put in the first defense mechanism/trap, a sliding spike wall. They're gnolls, and not particularly inventive or industrious. I figure this was built to teach the jackals to not try coming into the southern caves, and then the gnolls realized that by standing behind it and pushing, they could maybe impale things on it. Should be fun if I manage to catch one of the heroes standing in the doorway anyways...

    For my second line of defenses, I'm thinking a rock/barrel/log 'trap', again triggered by whatever gnolls happen to be standing behind it when it's needed. I'll put it in the second room on the south, but I needed some input. I've added lines and such to try and better represent it, but my intention was for the lighter interior areas to be higher up than the darker. How apparent is it now, and how would you go about better representing it? I suppose I can do the good old '+5'/'+10' markers where appropriate, but I don't want to over clutter the map with labelling. Thoughts?

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      Bogie is offline
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    The colors work for height difference. You could always add a legend that specifies how much of a height diff each color represents

  7. #7
      Zarylin is offline
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    Yeah, so this update rocks!

    ### LATEST WIP ###
    April/May Lite Entry - The Red Rock Jackals-maychallenge.jpg

    ...See what I did there?!

    I'm actually pretty happy with the heap of rocks, and the smaller ones scattered around the map help break stuff up, and will also be good for obstacles and difficult terrain.

    I've also realized how badly I need to go back and draw that spike contraption as a separate element so I can actually add some definition to it and such. That will be my next project.

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      Meshon is offline
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    Yay for debris! I'm actually pretty happy with the heap of rocks too. I'm a big fan of scattering bits of crap around a map to make it look well used. This is looking nice.

    I'm not sure what type of overall look you're going for, but a little bit of shadow around the rocks might make them pop a bit more, or some texture/height to the rocks themselves. Even just a subtle emboss and drop shadow might do it.

    cheers,
    Meshon

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      Zarylin is offline
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    Well, I kinda ran out of steam towards the end, but I do have one final update to sneak in here, with a newly drawn spike 'trap', which looks a LOT better. Finished product isn't very flashy, but will absolutely get the job done, so that works for me.

    ### LATEST WIP ###
    April/May Lite Entry - The Red Rock Jackals-maychallenge.jpg

  10. #10
      Bogie is offline
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    Nice map Zarylin

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