Random Dungeon 16

So it’s been about a month since I last posted, and a much needed break it was. I’ll give you all a little up-to-date. I’ve continued to create maps over the this time although nothing new is finished. To be more specific and in no particular order:

* I’ve put the two finished maps in the queue on hold for awhile. I want to type up a-bit-longer-than-normal posts for them but just can’t quite get out of drafting stage.
* I have one map that is finished except for a fucking stone bridge. I just can’t find a way to draw it that I like. Everything I have tried makes it stand out like a sore thumb.
* I have another ten that just need to be inked. Seriously. Five of them are simple mazes inspired by a map I found online. Three others line up with today’s post and just need to be inked. Two are just random maps that, you guessed it, I have yet to finish inking.
* The big one that took up a lot of time is one that I drew up AND STOCKED. I had hoped to submit it to the One-Page-Dungeon contest. I was inspired by a one-page template that someone in the UK had been selling as pads. I created a little Excel sheet and worked off of that. I also created a small eight-page digest-sized booklet that’s not quite complete. Oh, and I didn’t quite finish inking the map.
* I’ve also been lurking over at the Cartographer’s Guild recently and worked on making some wilderness maps for Lymdonshire. I need a drawing tablet to draw in rivers and other stuff. It sucks tracing with a mouse, and quite frankly I gave up. Maybe I’ll post those unfinished maps at some point, although with a $100 Staples gift card burning a hole in my wallet, I’ve been holding out hope that I would splurge and get a decent drawing tablet.

With playing with the kids and my writing picking back up, I really haven’t devoted much time to these maps. I don’t see that changing much over the next month, but I hope to do a little here and there. The point is, if you follow me via hard link or bookmark, keep checking back. If you follow me through a feed on your blog, Thank You. I appreciate everyone that has put my blog on their public rolls. I suspect that when time frees up a little bit, I’ll get on a roll. If everything map was finished now, I’d have at least three months worth of weekly posting. And I do miss my weekly postings. Anyway, if you are reading this, Thanks.

So here is today’s map. It is partially inspired by last posting’s Moldvay’s Haunted Keep. You’ll notice that for the first time in forever (three-year-old daughter discovered Frozen) I’ve drawn a map that continues on additional sheets. I chose to use my handy-dandy 5.5″ x 8.5″ quad tablets for these because they are much easier for me to complete. It seems as if they just finish faster than standard quad paper or my dreaded five-per-inch paper. [/digression]

I’ve drawn the maps that connect to the north, east, and northeast. The western stairwell that leads from the southern circular staircase leads down to a set of crypts, and I originally drew them in as dotted lines, but that ended up looking like crap so I figured I would just do a standard lower level instead. But I wanted to wait until I had more of this level complete to see how I could put in more to fill the level out.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy this and all my other maps. Cheers.
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Moldvay’s Haunted Keep

Moldvay's Haunted Keep

Moldvay’s Haunted Keep

I made this map based on the map and examples of play in Moldvay’s Basic D&D Rulebook. I envisioned it as what a character–in this case Morgan Ironwolf–would have created while adventuring. I was thinking that it could have come into your PC’s possession after they defeated a group of hobgoblins, thereby implying that maybe they got it after defeating Morgan’s party. They were down to just Morgan and the Cleric if I remember correctly.

I followed the old parchment tutorial a little closer this time and think the result is better. I also tried something a little different with the lettering. Normally I would have done a simple gaussian blur on the type, but in this case, I duplicated the layer, darkened the underlying text by half, and then applied a gaussian blur of about 3 pixels. On my screen, it looks like the type is indented rather than floating above the parchment like my notes on the lower left. I have since found another way to make the ink look like it bled from a tutorial on The Cartographer’s Guild, but it is more complicated and I haven’t tested it yet to see if it looks better. I am currently working on a new series of maps using that tutorial, but it is slow going, very slow going.

As for my other maps, I am running out. I have two that are ready to post and another seven or so dungeon maps in production, but I am not sure I will be able to finish them in time to keep up with the Random Map Monday pace. It’s not that I am losing interest, quite the opposite. I am just not sure that keeping to the schedule is helping drive views to the blog on Monday. Since I have been running this Random Map Monday series from January, I have not seen any substantial increase in traffic on Mondays. I had expected that four months in, more would have come. It is not lost on me that maybe my maps just aren’t a good draw to the site. My character sheets are more viewed/downloaded by an order of magnitude.

Back to today’s map, for those that want the printable version of this map, here you go.

Moldvay's Haunted Keep Printable

Moldvay’s Haunted Keep Printable

Advanced Fantasy Random Drop Dungeon-The Barrows

Years ago I came across this blog post, Advanced Fighting Fantasy Random Mapping Technique, and tried it out, and eventually bought the book. I revisited this technique recently and found that as I was drawing, it felt more organic, and once I drew in the doors, the map reminded me of something an adventurer might have come up with after exploring. Heck, you can still see a lot of the sketch lines that I left in.

The Barrows on Parchment Paper

The Barrows on Parchment Paper

Not content to leave this as a black and white map, I used a tutorial that I think I found on The Cartographer’s Guild. The Author, RobA, is an administrator, but I cannot find the original tutorial. I hope I am not screwing up by posting it here. Now I didn’t follow all of the steps (I did for another map soon to come) but I still like how it turned out. Click on the picture below to download the pdf to go to the thread where you can download the pdf.

UPDATE: I finally found the tutorial pdf on the Cartographer’s Guild website so I am linking to that thread instead of hosting the file myself.

For those–like me–that prefer maps in black and white for easy printing, you’re welcome.

The Barrows Printable Version

The Barrows Printable

Random Dungeon #15

Random Dungeon #15

Random Dungeon #15

I’ve been holding onto this one for quite a while, because I quite frankly wasn’t sure how I wanted to present it.

When I originally drew it, I imagined it as a underground passage inside a mountain ridge as the sole connection between two larger areas. There was actually a photo somewhere that prompted me to come up with this idea, but I never saved it as I was almost certainly at work at the time.

Either of these two pictures kinda give you an idea of what I was going for.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

A quick description of the dungeon itself. From either entrance, the path left would house chaotic creatures and progress to neutral creatures and continue to lawful creatures. Only those of true neutral alignment could enter the central room. As I thought more about it it seemed unworkable in with any sort of reality. Since I haven’t come up with anything else for you, it is presented here as is.
Table Mountain

Table Mountain

One special note. This was the first map I drew on reverse graph paper. Meaning the lines were white with the quads filled with a very light grey. Someone here on the net mentioned it months ago but f’ed if I can remember where. I made my own sheet in Excel that seemed to work ok. I’d often print out some paper at work if I have a few minutes to doodle. This type of sheet makes scanning a lot easier, because it only needs minimal contrast and curve adjustment to make the ‘grid’ go away. But if I have access to it, I prefer the standard blue quad paper.

The Lost Tomb of Zetis I

The Lost Tomb of Zetis I

The Lost Tomb of Zetis I

I love doing research into items of historical significance that I can use for either my writing or gaming. I came across a map to the Egyptian Pharaoh Seti I’s tomb that I just had to convert. Unfortunately, this tomb moves more vertically than horizontally so to recreate it for gaming purposes, I figured I could use some isometric paper instead of normal quad-rule.

I don’t like the inking on this one because the crosshatching just doesn’t seem to fit, and all of my tests looked like doo-doo. I may revisit using iso paper at a later date to see if I could make the map look more three-dimensional. I really liked the wall I drew alongside the stairwell from the Chamber of Four Pillars, but when I did that all around, it looked like crap.

One note, I drew the stairwell to the Land of the Dead in the wrong position. Most of the maps I found did not show it conclusively, but a map I found later seemed to imply that it might have been hidden beneath the sarcophagus. That would be much better for gaming–if not more expected–but I didn’t feel like redrawing that whole section.

Another note, the room I labeled as the ‘Taurus Room’ should be more appropriately names the ‘Apis Room” is this is used in an Egyptian-themed game.

The Dungeon Beneath the Ruins of the Tower of Zenopus

The Dungeon Beneath the Ruins of the Tower of Zenopus

The Dungeon Beneath the Ruins of the Tower of Zenopus

Since I broke my rules with the Dungeon! map posting, I figured it really wouldn’t hurt too much to break them here with this map. I labelled this map with a handwriting font that doesn’t look anything like my own handwriting–this is legible.

I delayed posting this map (primary inking was completed back in January) because I was debating whether to add in all of the little bits that are decribed in the five pages or so from the manual. I guess the way I drew this map ended up looking way too cluttered, so I left it with only the bits that were on the main map I was working from.

Between this map and the map from T1: The Village of Hommlet I am starting see how my maps differ. It won’t be too long before I start incorporating those differences into my newer maps. I hope you stick around to see how all this turns out. Until then, enjoy.