Posts Tagged ‘geomorph’

Deck of Maps and Intersections

October 21, 2016

There are only a few more Intersection maps from my Intersections series remaining to be posted.  I’ve been thinking about doing something to collect the entire set and make it available in some kind of print form.  Making a book would be obvious, but also not terribly unique, so I was casting around for other ideas, and landed on the idea of a set of cards.

What I’m proposing is a deck of 26 cards, with the complete Intersection series on one side, and a set of semi-geomorphic dungeons on the other side.  The two wouldn’t really relate to each other directly.  The Intersections themselves don’t line up in any way, and the idea behind them was for them to be small snippets; places where other, larger things were coming together.  But the obverse set would be designed to be able to be put together to make a larger, interconnected dungeon.


The idea here is not that any combination will work equally.  Instead, there are different patterns for the cards, but with enough commonality that they can be combined in a lot of interesting ways.  The test image shows a number of these cards laid out together.  The notches represent the locations where connections extend off the card.  So, you can see, there are different arrangements on different cards, and not every card neatly lines up with its neighbors.  But this creates some possibilities for longer corridors and for larger rooms.

So, what I’m wondering is, if there would be much interest in something like this?  The Intersections are complete; it would be a matter of getting the semi-geomorphs drawn. There are lots of maps and map makers out there.  What would make you consider spending a few bucks on a set of these cards?

City Geomorphs

November 6, 2015


There are times when an idea suddenly seems to be in the air everywhere.  This time it’s cities.

CornerTower_RThorm_Antherwyck_com_CCBYNC4Firstly, some discussion has been kicked off, already, about an Exquisite Corpse City map as the next Exquisite Corpse mapping project.  I’m not sure if that will be to everyone’s tastes, but there are already a few people who are interested.

A couple different ways of configuring it have been suggested.  I’m partial to an idea that I originally floated on G+:  “I think it’s pretty obvious it would start at the center and then extend out in all directions.  It might be interesting to have each person do only the inside half of their section, and have just a few outlier buildings in the outer half, and then, if there’s an extension from there, the person doing the next section adds some buildings to that outside half of the previous section, as well as doing their own section that same way.  Could make for a really interesting map that was more interwoven and less hard edged.”

As I was telling Thor in a recent chat, my view of Exquisite Corpse is that it’s not meant to make sense as a whole.  Having distinct districts is both more compelling for a fantasy setting (at least for me, in this case) and lets each artist’s work stand on its own terms.  I like the idea of having some interweaving in this, with the outskirts section of the earlier person’s work being subsumed and incorporated into the next person’s piece.  I think that could be very cool.

I also think I’d let everyone see the core section, to have some common references (there’s a lot more that’s up in the air with something like this as opposed to all the understood conventions of dungeon mapping).

CityWall_RThorm_Antherwyck_com_CCBYNC4And then, there’s nice article about “Give Your Village Meaning and Purpose” from Raging Owlbear that has useful suggestions about making a reasonable village that goes beyond being a faceless, forgettable place.  I notice when things in game don’t make sense, and, as a GM, I want to make things that have reasonable underpinnings.  Does a village of 500 with a fully stocked armorer’s shop and 4 different taverns make any sense?  Not really, unless it’s a company town serving high levels of mercenary traffic.  A one industry town, like the example in the article, makes a good deal of sense.  And then, along with that, the layout of the town, from a functional perspective, starts to suggest some things.  Of course, when you’re working with geomorphs, you don’t get that, which leads to these maps…

CityGate_RThorm_Antherwyck_com_CCBYNC4Although there’s not a lot behind these, I made a couple of choices about inside/outside with the layout of the streets and paths and the orientation of the buildings (orthogonal or not) depending on which side of the wall they are on.  There’s not deep meaning to it, but it sets up a sense of a distinction between the two sides of the wall, and someone might pick up on that and make use of that as they fleshed this out for themselves.

These were drawn for the latest Inkwell Ideas geomorphs contest.  The three maps (at top, and individually included) include a centered city wall (falling between the 5 and 6 positions* on the sides where it occurs) in addition to the requisite pathways (at the 3 and 8 positions) into and out of each tile.  A series of these could conceivably be used to make up a city map (even better if there were a few more like it, for added variety, as well as some other non-wall tiles for in-fill).  These don’t really meet the 10′ grid requirement (or else those are teeny-tiny buildings).  I’ve been wanting to do some town/city things for a while, so this was a good excuse to give it a shot.

After making these maps specifically because of the Inkwell Ideas contest, I think I missed the deadline for sending them in.  Oh, well…  Nonetheless, I’m sharing them here as I typically do.  These geomorphs are Creative Commons licensed CC-BY-NC-4, so they can be used non-commercially.  I’d love to hear about it if you use these (or any of my maps).  And, as usual, contact me if you are interested in a commercial use.

 * these are done using a standardized method for making inter-operable geomorphs using a 10 x 10 grid and a regularized pattern for where the connections to adjacent tiles need to be.  Visit Dave’s Mapper for more about the geomorph standard and lots more geomorph maps.

Geomorphs of Paths

October 2, 2015

Evidently my current run of geomorphs is continuing.  After posting the last ones, I had a couple ideas and very quickly had these sketched out.  Since they’re already sorta experimental, I thought I’d try a couple other patterns with them for variety’s sake.  And this is what you end up with…


Each is just a set of connections, rather than any rooms or chambers. But it gave me a chance to try a couple of other styles to add to my sampler of options.  I was especially pleased with the goblin tunnels (right), but all three are interesting for their differences and their character.  The middle block is also a bit reminiscent of the Aladdin Sane maps of a few months ago, and the one on the right got me thinking about the idea of dungeons for specific design periods – Art Deco dungeon, anyone?  Maybe that’ll turn up here someday.

As with the others earlier this week, copies of these are also in Dave’s hands to add to Dave’s Mapper.  When I’m making geomorphs, I’m trying to always send them to him, as well, so all of them should eventually be part of that project.

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project.

A Trio of Geomorphs with Stairs

September 29, 2015

Not satisfied with the horizontal options with geomorphs, these three tiles also include stairs, so you can extend to dungeon levels above and below. (Construction underground is difficult, and the stair might wander and even change its configuration between one level and the next, so you don’t need to be too concerned if they don’t line up on the same place on each tile.)


Copies of these are also in Dave’s hands to add to Dave’s Mapper, so you should eventually be able to stumble across them there, as well.

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project.

Three Mixed Geomorphs

July 6, 2015

{Meant for these to be posted on Friday, but that didn’t take place.  So here they are now.}

A couple of new geomorphs with very little relation to one another; sometimes diversity is the unifying theme.


Copies of these are also in Dave’s hands to add to Dave’s Mapper, so you should eventually be able to stumble across them there, as well.

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project.

Three Water Geomorphs

June 11, 2015

Three geomorph maps with the ‘water’ theme for Inked Adventures.  Water has to go through passages, as well, and so it seemed reasonable to me to have some of the passages with water, instead of making a separate watercourse.


You could connect these together, and have a stream flowing through a dungeon, where the footing is treacherous and crossing the water is a peril in and of itself.  Or you could read it as just some slightly flooded passageways with some water on the floor.

The coloring would probably be better if I did it on a computer instead of hand coloring with a blue pencil, but I think it suits just like this.  (And the squares and lines outside the 10 x 10 grid are just the orientation marks on my own page I use for making these; they can be freely ignored.)

In addition to being for the contest, I’ve also sent a copy to Dave’s Mapper. (As such, these are CC licensed for non-commercial reuse with attribution [CC BY-NC 3.0])

Geomorphs with Sections

May 14, 2015

Posting this a day early to make room for the Exquisite Corpse tomorrow…

After doing a few plan geomorphs, I thought it would be interesting to see how some section geomorphs would go.


So, in this set, 4 of the 6 are sections (although the Escher-esque one, bottom center, could be used as a plan just as well). These are less successful than the plan ones, I think, but some of the ideas are fun, even if the execution doesn’t quite follow through.

I’ll be sending these to Dave’s Mapper in any case. (And again, as such, these are CC licensed for non-commercial reuse with attribution [CC BY-NC 3.0])

Double Geomorph – draft

May 6, 2015


Sometimes, a 10×10 grid isn’t big enough. Geomorphs are lots of fun, but it’s hard to find room to turn around in one. So this is a double geomorph, using a 20×20 grid, and allowing two standard (ie 10×10) geomorphs to connect to each side of it.

Of course, I had to play around with all this room, and ended up trying to overlay two levels (with mixed success). The simple line/dashed line can get confusing to read. Adding the hatch to it helps somewhat, but it still is a bit confusing when spaces in the two levels overlap.

So this needs some more work to be really clear, but I think it would probably be okay as it is; there are just a few places where you have to look at it to make sure you’re following what’s going on. Anyone have any suggestions for next steps?

Geomorphs for Dave’s Mapper

April 23, 2015


Having found the geomorphs format for the contest recently, I’ve started playing around with a few more of those.  Here’s a page of 6 I’ll be sending to Dave’s Mapper. (As such, these are CC licensed for non-commercial reuse with attribution [CC BY-NC 3.0])

Still trying out different styles and effects to see what works and what looks good.  The top right one has its own multiple problems (not every experiment is a success), but I think they’ll all be workable.