That's a very interesting concept for the use and structure of a canal. I look forward to seeing how you work it out.
I've been quite the admirer of this site for a long time, frequenting it to view the amazing maps you all have created, gain inspiration, and read tutorials. A year or so ago I started playing D&D for the first time (though how this just happened at 23 I will never know). Shortly after my introduction I started to create an idea for a campaign. The players would all be parts of a thieves guild who are trying to establish a new foothold in a city they once had influence in. The concept was that the city would be incredibly wealthy, and during it's peak of prosperity and law, the initial guild were kicked out. While the city remains to be incredibly wealthy, decades (if not more) have brought corruption back into the city. While nowhere near a ruthless town, it's enough that the guild believes it is time to settle back in.
So, the key question I asked myself is, "How is this city so wealthy? And why would the campaign world exist in just one city?" This is the concept I've created. A cliff wall borders the western coast of the main continent and goes on for hundreds of miles. It takes months for ships to make trips around the cliffs, yet our city has a solution. Sitting on a convenient plateau with a river running through and over the cliff, the city created a canal system to bring even large galleons up onto the plateau to then travel up river, cutting travel by months. The city does well for itself charging tolls to use the canal system, though to most merchants and captains, it's well worth the gold.
I'll be posting a quick sketch of some plans and hope to have everyone discuss ideas, give me insight on developing the map, and more.
I'm very excited for this project!
So here is an initial idea for my layout. The cliff is around 200' tall. The river flows from the valley above and through the plateau. The major issue I'm having trouble with is scale. I've elected to try 1px=1yard. This map (aside a couple components) is not built with scale in mind much, so that can change.
1. The canal acts as one of the cities greatest lines of defense from the north west if need be. They can drain the canal at any time to stop invader, or hold ships within the canal hostage. There will be some fun inner workings of the canal, but for now that's just the general idea for placement.
2. The center of old Skygate. This is where the initial settlers started the city. They used the river on either side as lines of defense and a means for food and water. The black square below is a building 100'x100' to scale.
3. This is where the "new" city will start. This area will primarily be wealthier. As the city rapidly gained its wealth after the completion of the canal, the ones who prospered most decided to create larger, more organized parts of the city.
4. This is a man made lake that was created as a waiting area for ships going down the canal and docks for unloading goods into the city itself.
5. Outer walls used in limited areas between mountains. These would act as outer limits of Skygate.
6. The rectangle above 6 is a 20'x140' galleon to scale.
7. This is the ocean, 200' below the cliff.
Last edited by FlatFoot; 07-24-2014 at 10:57 PM.
I'm not sure to understand why this city is so rich and why the canal is important.
So the city collects tolls to access the canal up the 200ft cliff, also uses the opportunity to trade with the vessels, and as a small side bit there are some useful mines in the mountain, though the majority of income is brought by canal access.
OK so the river is very important for trading, like the Nile or the Danube ? and the delta is made of rapids ?
So where the ocean meets land isn't the shore, it's a straight 200 foot drop. The coast goes like that for hundreds of miles. This images doesn't really show how high up the land is. Does that make more sense?
As most canals that exist ride up hills, this canal is cut down into the rock, the lowest lock of the canal is a trench 200ft down at the entrance.
Interesting idea. So you got locks all along your canal, right?