Enter the Lushou - WIP encounter map...
I've started playing with encounter maps for an adventure I'm working on. It's exciting to finally be working on these but I'm a little worried about my chances of success.
The adventure is called Curse of the Emperor's Stone and, as you might guess, it centers around a MacGuffin and the PCs interaction with it.
This encounter, Enter the Lushou, is actually the second of the adventure (the first involves three decks of a ship and I'm not ready to take that on quite yet). The PCs (and a few crewmembers from their ship) have run into a bit of misfortune but they happen to have a crate full of interesting objects that might have something to do with that. Their guide, a child named Xiaolong, suggests they take them to a "sage" named Laoshu. On the way, they meet up with some Lushou* thugs who know exactly what they have in their possession. They're the ones that engineered their misfortune in the first place - because they want what's in the crate. An ambush, and much kung foolery ensues...
This is just a rough, low-res sketch of the encounter map. The only "designed" building so far is the red tiled one with dragon ornaments on the eaves...it's a house of ill repute called Meimao (The Pretty Kitten, if you must know ). I've just dropped on a rough tile texture but the surfaces will be more distinctive that that in the final.
I haven't decided if I want to do this on paper then scan and color it or if I want to do it directly in Photoshop. So, this was sort of a test. I might be able to get decent results this way...but I'm trusting myself with paper more right now. If anyone's got any tips, good tuts, etc. for doing encounter maps I am officially all ears - this is totally new to me!
* The Lushou ("green hand") is a criminal gang run by a half-orc called Grahk Liu. Half orcs are not well-liked in this setting as they're usually the result of raiding by the orc worg-lords (Mongol-analog) to the south. He grew up in an orphanage and on the streets of Haibianr and, though later adopted and educated by a wealthy family, bears the world an awful lot of ill will. He knows about an artifact that falls into the PCs hands early in the adventure and wants it for himself. BTW, Lushou members are a pretty even mix of rogue and monk...with a few other types for support and a huge network of spies throughout the city.
Wasn't much liking my hand-drawn attempts and these things often seem to be done with textures so I'm working with that now. I downloaded a bucket-load of free textures from various places and have been playing a bit. The buildings are still my sketch versions but the ground is sort of progressing. I think it needs some more work...plus some details...but I kind of like it.
I'm making a bunch of tileable textures for this and will probably share them at some point...I expect it'll be many Mb worth so I'll have to upload them somewhere.
Comments, suggestions, criticism are welcome. Thanks!
Strange. Didn't pick up my attachment the first time.
Not entirely happy with the way things are looking but it's getting there.
The ground is actually looking pretty decent...and will look better when it gets some proper shadows from the buildings and some misc details to make it look like something you can stand on.
Started working on roof details tonight. Not much I like there yet. The roof on the cathouse is strange. I made the texture but, no matter which way I turn it, it looks like it's the wrong direction. Some odd optical effect with the texture. I persp corrected and warped it myself so I'm pretty sure I know which direction is up in the original...it just doesn't look right in my map.
I had thought some color manip and scaling might make the two wood-shingled buildings look different enough. Apparently not. Guess I'm going to have to make distinct textures for all of the buildings. That's not so bad, though...I'll be prepared for bigger maps down the road.
Lots of looks, no comments...that's okay, not much to see so far. If you've got some snappy advice, though, please feel free to drop in. I'll keep posting them anyway...posting WIPs gives me a goal to keep moving forward. Thanks!
I really like how you hand made the road to fit with the grass. Really nice and realistic.
The map is looking good fast, do keep at it!
I may use it too for an oriental campaign i play if you don't mind, when it's done
Thanks. I do still plan to finish this but have been a little busy lately with work and other personal stuff. Messed around a bit building a 3D model of the scene (mainly to get the perspective right for an illustration I'm trying to paint) but it's not going to be anything that'll help me get the map done. Maybe I'll get some time to work on this one over the long weekend.
You are more than welcome to use anything I post for personal use. If you're looking for more "Asian" stuff, check out my city map of Haibianr. Welcome to use it if you think it'd have any place in your game:
Haibianr - by mearrin69