So, as was promised in my introduction, I start my very own thread, hoping i will bear it ill the fruitful end. In this thread I want to share my working progress and thoughts on my project with anyone who is interested. I also want to hear any bit of thought or advice you want to share (though I'll try not to ask "how do i?" - there are still tutorials for me to read ).
I want to think of this thread as my journal in which bypassers may add their notes.

Backstory: Donnerholm is the reason I joined the guild recently. I'm running a D&D campaign set in Faerun, and last session the group decided to retake the home of their dwarven comrade. Since the player of said dwarf is the one most into roleplaying, I thought he deserved not only a nice, but splendid home to retake over several sessions. Hence Donnerholm, dwarven stronghold, was created. It is a city/fortress/gem mine in the harsh Thunderpeak Mountains. Sadly it was lost about a hundred years ago, and lately an "army" of Hob-/Goblins, Orcs and Trolls have taken over the whole site.

General ideas: So much for history, let's get down to business. I whipped up some sketches of what I want to do.

1. Area map


I want to create a map of the valley the place is located in. Basically it is surrounded by impassable mountain terrain. The only way in big enough for conquering troops and merchant transportation is controlled at a bottleneck via the Mountain Gate (the towers in form of dwarven ancestors). The other entrances are a dangerous and easy defendable Mountain Pass and a rough climb at "1000 steps", which leads to the backdoor of complex 2.

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The Mountainstronghold itself is divided in two parts: the main complex (1) containing most of what the city is about: seats of power, markets, living quarters, military thingies... . The 2nd complex is the expansion, a second mine with living quarters, small market and military outpost. The entrances and gate are connected by a huge bridge/highroad across the lake, that origins in mountain springs and is fed through a waterfall. The complexes are further connected by the skybridge, for easier passing. At last we have some farms and fisher buildings to produce food.

2. Complex map


Here I get to my first tougher decision I have to face. Which view will one have when looking on the map of a "3-dimensional" place? Top down, which will allow easier understanding of the layout of the seperate levels (if there will be such - sounds a little bit too symmetric for my taste) ? Or a front/side view of different wings, so one can get the idea of the literal depth of the place. Also, I can outline the height and the design of the major rooms and halls.

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I think I want to stick with one of these options. A 3/4 look might be good for a more complex place, on the other hand I want to keep the map simple enough to be readable later at (game)night.
Thoughts and experience on this matter are appreciated. I will look into any thread that might grant me insight on this and will look for material to give you (and probably me) a better idea of what I want. More on this next post.

3. The Merging

The third piece I want to create is a scenic view from inside the valley - a picture I will draw by hand, something for the mantlepiece.
The thing that sprang to my mind is a map, that contains all three: background artwork, area overview and the interior maps, possibly connecting the last to the first.

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I'll have to wait and see how each part works out seperately, than I can take a look at them and how to merge them. But I'll have to keep that goal in mind while creating them, don't I? What do you think of this idea? (No, I haven't looked up if some guildmember did it before - yet. Priorities!)

At least the maps, better yet as well the artwork and best the merging I want to have done by the start of february. Now you know what I'm up to. I'll be happy to answer and/or face questions, any response is welcome. In any case I will keep on posting my progress and train of thoughts as it keeps on steaming.

Thanks for reading.