Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hidden Fortress

There are plenty of places online to find out how to draw or places that will teach you techniques for drawing, especially for RPG maps. Dyson's Logos immediately comes to mind! But there are scant few places where anybody teaches you how to design a map, how to make it interesting, or how to put a good adventure around it. I had this idea for a castle built into the side of a mountain, and as I worked on it, that's how I came to start calling it the Hidden Fortress.

I wanted to create a defensible castle, but I had no idea what it would be defending. I just had this image in my head of a wall jutting out from the mountainside, so I started drawing a rough outline with some notes about what the different rooms were. I focused a lot more on the names of who would be living there than I did on what to call the place, or the reasons for its existence.

I sat down with some graph paper and started drawing rooms, making sure to connect the first and second floor towers. By the time I got done drawing and I was ready to ink it, I realized I forgot to put stairs along the walls or in some of the towers, many of the towers have a simple ladder marker.

First Floor

Second Floor, 30 yards up

In my mind's eye this place is run by Cassandra, a cruel slaver and bandit. The prison cells have no walls or bars on the cells overlooking the courtyard below, leaving the prisoners to risk jumping down into the middle of a training ground. Some of the walls still have rough edges which were left deliberately by the builders to fool any invading force into thinking the fortress didn't extend deeper into the mountain.

Beyond that, I haven't really detailed it. I'm thinking of redrawing it and putting a town around the outside wall.