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  1. #1
    Guild Novice Kromey's Avatar
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    Wip WIP: Heavily modified longship

    I DM a D&D group, and they recently acquired a longship that had been heavily modified by the previous owners (pirates!). The most obvious non-standard feature is the aftcastle.

    Since this will undoubtedly be the scene of at least a few battles in the future, it made sense to map it. Here's what I have so far. On my list of things yet to do:
    * Water texture, and the ship's wake
    * Shadows to show depth
    * Replace placeholder "dots" with actual icons (the yellow non-glowy dots on the main deck are ballistae; the giant red dot is a catapult).
    * Replace placeholder "art" with actual icons (the brown line on the deck behind the mast is supposed to be the wheel).
    * General prettification

    This is my first map, so please give me your feedback on how I can make it better.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Don't know if it's obvious, but the inset is the aftcastle's interior. Also, the dark brown square smudge on the aftcastle is a trap door acccessed via the ladder seen in the interior. I'm well aware that such features were unheard of, as well as the fact that longships didn't even have aftcastles at all (or even wheels, for that matter...), but are you going to argue with the pirates who made these modifications? [Actually, that's a pretty safe thing to do now -- the party killed them all to get this ship...]

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    Guild Adept atpollard's Avatar
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    A double-ender (ship pointed at both front and back) with an aftcastle is rare, but not unheard of ...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    I suggest that the aftcastle might taper more at the rear, like the Nina ...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If you wanted something to look more 'open decked' (like the Viking ships) forward of the aftcastle, I suggest offsetting the outer line to create a visible 'side' of the ship with a smaller planked deck just at the bottom.
    Last edited by atpollard; 12-20-2011 at 11:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Guild Novice Kromey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
    A double-ender (ship pointed at both front and back) with an aftcastle is rare, but not unheard of ...
    Wow, thanks for those reference images! My research had lead me to believe aftcastles were exclusive to larger ships (not being common until around carrack-size, but also seen on some caravels), but it's always fun to learn that you're wrong!

    Quote Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
    I suggest that the aftcastle might taper more at the rear, like the Nina ...
    Ooh, excellent idea! Now that I've seen the pictures you have, my squared aftcastle suddenly looks very clumsy and awkward! Normally I hate to retcon established facts in my games (it's already been described as a square box attached to the ship), but in this case it's really bugging me now.

    Quote Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
    If you wanted something to look more 'open decked' (like the Viking ships) forward of the aftcastle, I suggest offsetting the outer line to create a visible 'side' of the ship with a smaller planled deck just at the bottom.
    Ah, good catch!

    In point of fact, that's already been covered -- the deck is in fact a flat one, with the space between it and the ship's hull used for not-quite-dry cargo space. Again, another unique feature of this ship compared to the "longship" it purports to be, but pirates like keeping things out of sight, y'know?

    Excellent idea, though, and one that I'll keep in mind for future ship-mapping endeavors. Although in all likelihood the next step up for the party is a full-rigged pinnace or similar multi-decked, multiple-mast ship.

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    Guild Novice Kromey's Avatar
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    At atpollard's suggestion, I have angled the profile of the aftcastle, which I think greatly enhances the overall look of the ship, even if it is hard to effectively furnish a trapezoidal room!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    One thing I want to comment on -- I really like the glow effect around the lanterns, although I dislike how I accomplished it. It's two layers: The top layer is the solid yellow circles that are the lanterns themselves; the bottom layer I used a large brush with the same color, then adjusted the hue of the layer to lessen the yellow and reduced it to about 60% opacity.

    This gives a nice effect I think, but it's really awkward when I have to move or readjust any of the lanterns. Is there a better way to accomplish this (I'm using Gimp)?

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    It's great to see someone making use of positive criticism. The updated map looks much better. Nice work!

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    I guess you can create both the "light bulbs" and the "light glows" on different layers then fuse these layers.

    From there, you can select the two using a selection box and then cut and paste the two. That way, you should be able to move the two objects around to the next position and "anchor them" there.


    Very nice first go, by the way.
    I am also a beginner, by the way, and one of my first project just so happen to also have been a small ship... Where did you get the planking pattern from? It looks better than the one I used...

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