Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: Tips of Dwarven Cartographical Styles

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Guild Novice
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Birmingham, UK
    Posts
    7

    Help Tips of Dwarven Cartographical Styles

    I'm new to this forum and had trouble efficiently searching for what I needed.

    As part of my d&d campaign, my players will be visiting a dwarven city under a mountain. The defining feature of this city is that it's located up the walls of a valley like structure under the mountain.

    I was hoping somebody could provide me with tips and pointers for dwarven styles of map drawing. Certain things are obvious, such as runic style fonts. But I was wondering about other things, such as should the map be more angular, to represent a chisled map? Should it be an accurate representation, or should it be more abstract (think how seating plans are drawn for theatres)

    Any help will be greatfully receieved

  2. #2

    Default

    Well you have picked a very tough idea to map. The nature of stacked buildings on top of each other will be very tricky to do from the top. I have been making a few dwarven maps for my own campaign, and I decided that there would be virtually no rounded shapes, everything being square or octagonal. So I think your thinking is about right. You can also keep the color choices to just greys and browns, maybe some dark greens for water. Good luck with your map.

  3. #3
    Guild Novice
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Birmingham, UK
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Thanks very much for the feed back. I was thinking of doing the map in levels, with icons indicating stairwells and ramps between tiers. I was thinking in terms of style, would a dwarven map be more iconic, or would it be more artistically literal?

  4. #4
    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    4,807
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Nice idea for a map. We were discussing doing a dwarven cave system as a challenge once. I cant remember if we ever done it or not. Anyway I just piped up to say there is a keyword index in my sig and is also on the forum quick links on the menus at the top so maybe you can check out cave and see what turns up there. In a lack of foresight, we didnt tag all of the finished map images with their content so you have to page through all the thumbnails and see what might be a dwarven cave system. If you like I can make a special run on it to see if it will pull up dwarven stuff but you can use the advanced search to do much the same thing so if that drew a blank then its not likely the keyword search scraper will either.

  5. #5
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default

    I've always imagined dwarves as being very precise and specific in their drafting. If I made a map that was intended to have been dwarf-drawn, the lines would be bold, clean and geometric.

    On the other end of the spectrum is the dwarf as pragmatist. Maps might be rough and unrefined—just enough to make communication and no more (much like Thror's map from The Hobbit).
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

  6. #6
    Guild Novice
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Birmingham, UK
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Hmmm, two very good points to think about. I think as this a city map, drawn up my learned dwarves (the city is home to the biggest dwarven library in the region) it would be leaning towards clean and specific.

  7. #7
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    St. Charles, Missouri, United States
    Posts
    8,298

    Default

    I'm with Midgard (as I usually am) so what I would do is do the important stuff with bold clean lines and the not-so-important stuff as rough-hewn caves. That way you can say that the rough part is where they stopped working because when a new clan comes to power they stop working on other people's stuff.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  8. #8
    Community Leader Gracious Donor Jaxilon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    4,046

    Default

    Yep, you gotta think like a Dorf. Stout is best. Precision is an indication of pride of workmanship. At least that's how I envision them. That's not to say they don't create some gorgeous items of craftsmanship but if it's defective or weak it's scrap, no arguments. Only the best leaves the doors of the workshop and no Dwarf would ever want to gaze upon a crummy design. It's an assault to the senses.

    I don't see a lot of circles except where necessary. Squares etc as mentioned already. If a tunnel is worth digging and is going to be permanent then it's worth doing it right. Your name is attached to everything you build so unless you want to look like a putz to the entire clan or nation you better do it right. Short, squat and sturdy is a beautiful thing to their eye.

    Just my .02 cents on how they see their world.
    “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

    * Rivengard * My Finished Maps * My Challenge Maps * My deviantArt

  9. #9
    Guild Novice
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Birmingham, UK
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Lots of awesome feedback. Going to make everything very angular and bold. Lots of dark ink on parchment at right angles and 45 degress. Crisp would be an ideal word

  10. #10
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    St. Charles, Missouri, United States
    Posts
    8,298

    Default

    Jax is a half-dwarf, by the way, so he knows what he's talking about.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •