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Thread: December 2014 Entry: Secrets of the Golden Dawn

  1. #1
    Guild Journeyer tainotim's Avatar
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    Wip December 2014 Entry: Secrets of the Golden Dawn

    I’ve never drawn or played any “dungeon” based games before, so I enter this contest on very thin ice. Thus, this first entry is more of a question regarding dungeon mapping than anything else. And the question is, can a dungeon map be drawn something like the draft below? Or does that defeat the purpose of the competition? The idea is to see the interior of the five rooms (plus tunnels between them), and to have the story explained in the space around them as it progress.

    Thanks in advance! Cheers.

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    I think what you've drawn is a great illustration - but for most Dungeon-crawling RPGs the require more precise information about distances and locations. Fourth Ed D&D for example. You might also want to include a top-down version of each room. Of course many experience Gamemasters might feel very comfortable using the map you've drawn and just make up distances, or render their own top-down view with a marker on a game-mat. However, less experienced GMs using very technical systems will probably struggle to use what you've drawn there to full effect without a top-down view.

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    Professional Artist Cunning Cartographer's Avatar
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    When a GM/DM is running their game and they are using a map they haven't designed themselves then they either want:

    1) A map they can use straight away, ie. a Player Map that is used for the tokens to actually go on

    or

    2) A reference map, or GM Map, that they use to recreate the map themselves. These are what players will normally find in adventure booklets or the D&D publications, usually cluttered with numbered rooms, etc. so that the GM can reference them from the written adventure

    Most tabletop maps that are designed are of a top down view, as that is how the game is played, and typically the map is built up on a squared grid as most systems used squares for movement. However, that isn't to say a map design like yours cant work (in fact they ARE used), but just not in its current state as, like PWKerns says, it's more of an illustration. To make it a dungeon map it needs to be a useful specification map for a GM. The best way to do this is design it with squares in mind in an isometric viewpoint.

    Torstan did a really good isometric map tutorial on his Google+ page. Well worth checking out.
    Last edited by Cunning Cartographer; 12-20-2013 at 04:33 PM.

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    Professional Artist Cunning Cartographer's Avatar
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    **double post**

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    Guild Expert Azelor's Avatar
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    Wait 2014 already???

    And no, the rules do not specify that it has to be a playable dnd dungeon.
    So this is a good entry but I can't see clearly the link with the last room.

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    Guild Journeyer tainotim's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for the answer, and the link as well. It’s much appreciated! I will continue with the current design for this challenge, based on Azelors point (that it doesn’t have to be a playable dungeon). However, I hope it will be playable anyway (somehow), by the combination of the story and the illustration.

    Ops, it’s of course supposed to say December 2013!

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    Professional Artist Cunning Cartographer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azelor View Post
    And no, the rules do not specify that it has to be a playable dnd dungeon.
    So this is a good entry but I can't see clearly the link with the last room.
    I agree, as far as the competition goes it is a suitable entry, however, my response was more to the "And the question is, can a dungeon map be drawn something like the draft below?", it can but for the reasons I said there's definitely a better way to go about it for it to be useful. That said, even an illustration can be great inspiration

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    Guild Journeyer tainotim's Avatar
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    I colored the five rooms and the corridors between them digitally. I’m unsure if I dislike or like the result. Yesterday I realized the contest almost has reached its end, so had to speed up the process. Hope I will be able to finish this tonight or hopefully tomorrow before the competition is over. Cheers!

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  9. #9
    Guild Journeyer tainotim's Avatar
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    Quickly following my previous entry, I’m almost at the finish line with this one. Need to add the text explaining the dungeon, and maybe draw a more stylish blend of the earth surrounding the underground chambers. With some polishing, I will be done tomorrow.

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  10. #10
    Guild Adept Neyjour's Avatar
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    Very nice! Love those rooms (and the top level), and beautiful job with the colours and border. I also really like the addition of the book and globe!

    The only thing I would suggest is to reduce the width of the map. There's an awful lot of empty space that just doesn't look quite right. And maybe try using a different compass rose (that's considerably smaller). This one seems much too large and doesn't really match with the rest of the elements, IMO.

    Other than that, terrific job!

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