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Thread: Traitor Caverns

  1. #1
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    Wip Traitor Caverns

    This is the first level of a map I'm creating for my next mega-weekend D&D game. Traitor Caverns is a natural cave system that was expanded and used as a military outpost. Legend says that during a major war (well, an apocalyptic conflict that destroyed most of the civilized world actually) a rogue company stole a powerful artifact from the priest-kings and fled to the Caverns. Their goal was to keep the artifact out of the hands of those in power and slow the destruction. They were pursued and slain, but the artifact was not found.

    I'm still working on B&W maps, but I'm trying to work out some finish details too, so progress on this is a bit mixed. I actually did the border first, because I'm trying to build a workflow for this style. The doors are dropped in from another map, I think they're a bit large for this one. The speckled shading combined with the smooth background is growing on me.

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  2. #2
    Guild Artisan madcowchef's Avatar
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    Good layout in general. I wouldn't mind the speckles if they were larger and more dot like, as if produced by a pen. As is they look like noise to me and distract a lot from the hand drawn feel which you've nailed for the rest of the map..

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by madcowchef View Post
    Good layout in general. I wouldn't mind the speckles if they were larger and more dot like, as if produced by a pen. As is they look like noise to me and distract a lot from the hand drawn feel which you've nailed for the rest of the map..
    That's a fair point. I feel I need something there to set off the starkness of the walls, especially without the grid shown. This is a slightly different look at things, with a different, more blobby shading along the walls and no grid. Added some stair detail too.

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  4. #4
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    Here's another revision of this map, along with the lower level. Showing with / without grid, a few minor tweaks to shadows, added details, and connections between levels.

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  5. #5
    Guild Artisan madcowchef's Avatar
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    That looks better to my eye, like someone was lightly dragging a pen on textured paper. Perfect border for the style by the way simple clean but sets off the image. Is there a reason not to show the grid?

  6. #6
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    Glad you like it. I think this style looks a lot better too, so thanks for commenting on it.

    I have the grid in a separate layer, and I'm planning on doing an aged and weathered handout version of this. A grid would look odd on that. Generally I try to do gridded / grid-free versions of everything because some VTTs display their own, and having two overlapping grids can be distracting.

    Here's a first pass at a distressed version of the map. It's been folded and is pretty worn. I'm going to print these out, cut them up, and only hand them about half the pieces, all mixed up of course.

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  7. #7
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    I like it a lot. My only comment is that the very angular slope lines on the pits don't jive with the fluid hand-drawing of the rest of the map. I think it would feel a little more natural if they had some curve or jog to them. Or maybe you could use gradually intensifying shading into the blackness to show the slope rather than lines.

  8. #8
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    That's a good observation. I'm out of time for this map (the game is looming), but once the game is over I'll revisit and see how a change there comes out.

    This is the final aged map for the handout I'm preparing for the players. it works better with a black BG.

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