Posts Tagged ‘artwork’

Modeling a scene

March 12, 2017


Here’s an image for the next adventure project I’m working on.  It’s a quick and rough model in SketchUp of the space where the adventure starts; this is a view looking into the chapel yard from just outside the wall.


Intersection Z

December 14, 2016


This is the last of this Cycle of the Intersection series.

Intersection Y

November 30, 2016


This intersection incorporates a series of standing stones aligned in a line of rooms.  This progression could be extended in both directions to other parts of the dungeon.  These could be part of a larger magical system, perhaps working as a conduit to direct mysterious energies for some larger purpose.

The Wilderness of Ordurak

October 26, 2016

Here’s something that has been a long time coming; the cover for the “Wilderness of Ordurak” adventure with art by Nate Marcel (and a few interior illustrations by him, as well).  This is an adventure written for use with DragonQuest, but, it should be adaptable to other games.


The original backers have gotten proof copies to look over.  There are some known issues, so there’s a little editing and revision work to be done, yet.  But this is finally just about complete.

The original crowd-supported project proposal was for a 16-page adventure.  This is presently clocking in at 54 pages (including the cover), plus there is a 12″ x 18″ region map.

Some people who missed the original crowd funding period have asked about getting in on this project.  It looks like IndieGoGo added a feature called InDemand that “lets anyone back you after your crowdfunding campaign is over.”  However, I haven’t been able to enable that feature on the site.

But, if anyone is still interested in getting in as a supporter at one of the Mercenary levels, let me know, and I will set up a selection at the Antherwyck House store to make those options available.  There is not a good way to extend any of the Adventurer or Hero levels at this point, since those were options that involved input in deciding the content of the adventure.

We’ll have more information about this adventure as it gets into production.

Dwarven Chambers

October 16, 2016

Work in progress for a project.  The chambers and the hex grid (yes, it’s a DragonQuest project, so it’s on a hex grid) are done on computer, but then the hatching in the solid areas is all done by hand.  I think the combination of the two is working pretty well, here.

The whole thing will be included in the Wilderness of Ordurak adventure, which is being wrapped up now, and, for the time being, the complete version of it will only be included in there.


Stream Crossing – hex map

September 30, 2016

This is a fairly simple hex map showing a path and a stream crossing with some stepping stones.  The other elements are intended to be the trunks of trees, but they may not read that way, since there are no branches or leaves.  But that’s what those other bits are meant to be.


The scenario envisioned for this map to be used with was an ambush by a couple of archers who are working in conjunction with a nixie/water sprite.  Most of the water is too deep (more than waist deep) to be able to be easily forded, other than near the rocks at the crossing, so a fight on both sides of the water will be a lot of ranged combat (and the tree trunks as cover then become a significant element).

I’m not a regular (or, at this point, even a sporadic) VTT user, so I don’t know if this is workable/usable for that sort of thing.  Let me know if you use this in something like that, and let me know how well it works.

The original was drawn in pen on a hex page, so the hexes are integral to this image, and not something that could be turned off.  But if you’re playing a game that uses a hex grid for tactical display, then give this a shot.

New Notebook – New Map

July 4, 2016

There are a couple hours between when you have to arrive at the park in order to have a parking spot and when the community fireworks program actually starts.  So this was a pre-4th of July fireworks* dungeon.


(*these were fireworks held on the 3rd so that kids could go and stay up late)

I’d grabbed this old but unused notebook to bring along, a fat Paperchase gridded notebook with hundreds of thin pages in it. It’s probably A5 size (roughly 5.5″ x 8.5″), and it’s so fat the spine is curved, rather than straight.  There are probably 400+ pages in a notebook that’s over an inch thick.  So, this could be the first of many, many maps (and other notes).  The grid is fairly close on the pages in this notebook.  The grid that I drew into the map is actually every 2 squares.


To make the map, I just laid out an assortment of rooms across the page, and then connected them together.  I wanted a really tangled, haphazard looking layout, and that seems to be what I ended up with.  I took some pictures along the way to show the process. I only had one pen with me, so this was all done with a simple medium Flair pen (except the gridding, which was added in with a thinner Micron after we got home).


Spherical Grid – Experiment #1

June 21, 2016

After a wonderful partial map posted by Kevin Campbell a couple weeks ago [here on Google+], I did some looking and found a couple blank map forms*.  They aren’t wonderful quality (too dark and heavy), but they’ll still do for doodling.


So this is a quick and dirty try at using the spherical box blank.  It’s little more than a five-minute map, but it’s one experiment at finding an interesting way to use the form.  It’s enough to justify messing around some more later on. (more…)

Intersection O

May 26, 2016


Circles and spirals were obviously what was behind this map.  And, it seems there was maybe something in the water, since Matt Jackson also posted a very circle-y map earlier this week, as well.  This was still in process at the time, but I shared an in-process version, just for comparison.

The latest couple maps have been exploring the idea of interrupting a long, continuous hallway; in this case, the arcing diagonal hall is broken with a large circle, and various smaller halls and rooms spin off from the various paths.

This is a little bit out of sequence, but I think last week was supposed to be the next post, so things got messed up anyhow.  So, enjoy this one, and there will be a new one next week to get back on schedule.


Gafton City Map

May 25, 2016


This city map from an old DragonQuest campaign recently turned up during some sorting.  It was a preliminary sketch, and far from completely worked out.  A few key locations are identified, and some general notes about other areas are pencilled in.

The Castle sits atop a rocky hill, commanding the highest ground in the area, and two lower hills and the intervening valleys make up the terrain occupied by the city. Wider, longer hachures are to indicate hills, and the shorter, tighter ones are more cliff-like.  Two large bridges have been built to span the valleys and connect other parts of the city to the center.

Gafton is a city with a population of around 24,000 located in a high plains/mountain foothills setting (think of someplace sort of like Denver CO).  It is one of a number of city-states in the region. There are rivalries and alliances between these city-states which keep the area politically turbulent.

Populations tend to cluster more than typical because the outlying areas are very wild and hazardous to travel through.  Dangerous beasts and great monsters are prevalent, as well as the numerous mercenary companies who cross the region in service to the princes of the cities.

Intersection J

May 4, 2016


Experimenting with some alternative textures for the cavern walls and a bit more interesting layout with the bridge and stairways in the Sand Cavern.

This is a bit more constrained in the ways the two passages are connected, with the Sand Cavern being the nexus to get from one passage to the other (unless you locate the secret passage connecting the two side rooms).  The rooms are almost all subsidiary to the passages, rather than being interconnected in the way some other Intersections have been.

Intersection I

April 20, 2016


There are two primary lines in this intersection, but unlike some of the others, this doesn’t have multiple connections between different paths.  To get from one side to the other, you have to go through the two locked rooms on this one.  There are a few side rooms, and one complex of rooms off the passages, rather than being connected to other parts.

These maps I’ve been making with very little post-processing.  Generally, these are just pencilled and then inked and then scanned and posted, so some of the warts and flaws show from time to time.  But, overall, they seem to be working well.  I’m still very interested in hearing about anyone using any of these in actual play.

Trollbrucke – Foundations

March 30, 2016


This is mostly done now.  There are a few final touches that need to be added in, and the upper layers haven’t been drawn, yet.  But this gives a pretty good sense of where I’m headed with this project.

I thought the idea was pretty great, although mostly just a throwaway, initially.  But I’ve spent too much time fussing over it, and I think it’s lost some of the original energy.

There is already a section above this, which is well underway, with the surface and the actual bridge itself.  By implication, there could be a couple more sections, with the two ends of the bridge off to either side.  There are also at least two more implied underground sections, with the tunnel leading off to the right and the stairway leading even deeper.  Those may remain unknown, though.  Too many things I don’t like in this, although it was fun to try.

Streithnaught’s Basement

March 25, 2016


After some recent discussion about things DragonQuest, it occurred to me that I haven’t done nearly enough hex-grid maps.  So this is a first step in remedying that deficiency.

I think that the under-caverns read well enough that a GM could readily use this without having to do lots of figuring out of what is where, and what the map contains.

If there’s interest, this could turn into another Un-Furnished Dungeon, though being hex-gridded rather than rectilinear probably dooms it from the start.  So I’m not going to go into a lot of description of the particular features here, for the most part.  But there are a few features that probably bear a little explaining.

  • The spiral stair at the center of the large cavern leads up to the building above.  The ceiling of the cavern is roughly 20′ high, so the whole stair is more than 40′ up into the building.
  • The feature close by the stair (about 5 o’clock from the stair, 1 hex south-east) is a depression or ditch in the floor of the cavern that connects to the tunnel leading away to the right.  The opening into the tunnel is only about 3′-4′ tall, though it gets taller as it slopes down away from the cavern.  (The stippling pattern in the cavern areas and the lines indicating the slope read as similar values.)
  • Several decoratively carved openings line the north-east hallway (upper right)
  • The rubble at the upper left can be treated as solid wall, if the GM wants to keep this as a self-contained location, or the passage beyond may connect to something else, if it’s to be part of a larger setting.  The stones could also be blocking the passage beyond, but the PCs might discover that there is a way to get through if they move enough of the stones and debris away.
  • There is a floor trap in the secret hallway at the far right side which falls about 15 feet to the cavern room below.

As is the case with most of my maps, feel free to use this for any non-commercial purpose (with attribution).  You can also contact me if you’d like to use any of my works for a commercial project.

Intersection G

March 23, 2016


A more rectilinear kind of intersection with a large number of connections.  There are 8 different hallways connecting to this intersection (2 per side).  The very gridded origin of this intersection is quite clear in the alignment of each pair of hallways, which line up from one side to the other, but which have to pass through the complex of rooms to get from one side to the other.

It wasn’t something I was particularly paying attention to as I drew this one (obviously), but only one of the eight paths into this intersection presents a choice of two doors; five of the rest are halls that immediately terminate with a door.  I’ll have to pay more careful attention to things like that in the future.


Intersection F

March 22, 2016


Intersection F is less “intersectiony” than a couple of the previous ones, a little more of a knot, with intertwining ways to get from one side to another.  But still, it has the same general organizing idea of an area where several paths off in different directions are interconnected.

This does not have stairs or anything to graphically represent a level change, but it feels to me as though the right side should be higher than the left, and maybe some of the hallways would actually be ramped downward to accommodate the level change.


Kumursko Tunnels

March 3, 2016


Well, obviously, the character of the walls was the thing for this one.

At first, I thought it was going to have several states to it, like old etchings.  This is the “second state” (the earlier being just a general poche for the solid areas without any particular density close to the walls.  But, it seems done, and I don’t feel compelled to mess with it more at this point, so I’m calling it done.

This particular map has several entrance points, which seems entirely appropriate for its wandering, sprawling style.  The character of the walls suggests nibbling or biting out pieces to clear the openings.  It could also work as a series of islands in a wet swamp.

As is the case with most of my maps, feel free to use this for any non-commercial purpose (with attribution), or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project.


Two Views Mapping the Space

February 29, 2016

When I started on the recent military perspective map, I just threw blocks at it and let things go where they went.  There was not a planned organization or a backstory to drive it.  The result, so far, has been interesting, though perhaps difficult to read.  The pen shading test I did the other day was just to see if that might help it read better than it did initially.

But, in order to make it playable, I thought that a conventional, top-down style map would be useful for players and GMs to help keep track of where things are located.  These two maps are of the same space, then.  One is the perspective map that helps indicate the (many) different levels in this.  The other is the conventional plan view.


This is still work-in-progress, with more work (including the previously proposed shading ideas, and some coloration to aid in distinguishing levels) to come.  But this is far enough along now that it’s worth sharing at this point.

Intersection E

February 24, 2016


This is Intersection E from the intersections series.  Originally the idea for these was that they would be really quick maps (the first couple were only about an hour each to draw), and I’d post one a week, although I’m behind on that count.  But, if the Intersections are a year-long project, and I’m giving them letter names, then that would imply about one every other week, and I’m ahead of schedule in that case.

This set of passages comes to a common meeting chamber almost like wires to a chip.  There are four connections (one off each edge of the page), and the other two doors from the central meeting area just lead to simple rooms.


More Hand Drafted Patterns

February 23, 2016

This is not as extensive as the geologic one, but is certainly another nice set of hand drafted patterns.  This is also the kind of thing that I loved in drawings I found in books; materials keys that explained a building section or a diagram.  And this is also part of the inspiration for the kinds of maps and dungeons I’m drawing now.


The website where I found this has both a smaller- and a larger-size version of this image.  {NOTE: The site is a part of the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, and they claim a copyright on this material, though they do have an educational use permission (ClipArt ETC Free Classroom License).

I think my use here qualifies (though maybe only marginally) as educational, since I’m trying to show you all this style of drawing materials.  If this post gets taken down in the future, though, that’ll most likely be the source of the problem.}  There are a lot of other clip art pieces in their collection, which might be inspirational to you, as well.  And I’d be certain to avoid using anything you find there commercially, even if I am dubious about the solidity of their copyright claim on works over 100 years old.