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Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern
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TOPIC: Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern
#26724
Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
Hi all -- here is a last minute entry from an occasional lurker.

I tried to do a couple unique things, you guys can judge if they were interesting or not. I decided not to incorporate lots of accessories -- I didn't see this as being appropriate to my concept. Without further ado:

The Bold Shall Inherit

Most is self explanatory, but some comments:
1) The lizardmen are performing the rather mundane task of chasing down their totem-door that unfortunately washed down the whirlpool into the lower level.
2) The shaman directing this task is suprised to see an orc!! -- who is the most nimble individual of a group spelunking in some tunnels connecting to tribal caves. The orc is equally suprised.
3) The lizardmen -- after suffering some losses -- no longer are curious about what the skeletons are guarding. Some ancient tomb? Human perhaps? or Orcish?
4) The tunnels and caves shown are only a small subset that snake through this area. Additional areas of interest include the lizardmen dwellings, the forgotten tomb and some areas that yet to be tread upon by a sentient species...

I think I used 100% of set pieces...Although many are hidden.

Hmm, hope this still qualifies -- it is still Dec 10 here in Mountain time USA! (DF knows my "ship to" address so this is easy to validate as non-BS... But I doubt that I'm even in the top 10, so probably doesn't matter.)

(Edited to make a comment about time and to note number of pieces...)




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#26725
Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
DOH!

So i was all at lunch today thinking about how i didn't like my write up, and had the brainstorm of why and how to fix it, so i decided to nip in and edit something on the text part... So i come in and see lots of activy and new posts in the thread... mainly on last minute entry stuff...
Silly brain didn't think that was right... and i was like what it doesn't end till Saturday the 15th... so i nip back to the first post and see.... "ooohh, that's the day the prizes is sent" or what not, it ended yesterday and i didn't have the eureka momnet till today... thinking i had yonks of time, and now that the stupid work projects that kept me busy the past two weeks are done i could think about it... oh well.

I will likely up date it when i post the other (the rest of the 15 or so i took) in the Cool pictures thread later... but won't change it now since the contest is over...
Stupid brain work... bangs head on table.

So hey WHO won, i want to make comments... :)
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#26726
Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
Yes I know it is late but wanted to put it where it belongs, had the date off, and problems with old account.

Lair of the Bone Crusher Tribe

A dank twisting passage leads off, but unlike many other orc tribes this one is not dark instead the Bone Crusher tribe lights torches so that the weaker races, like humans and elves can see in know the dread coming at them. The Entry way (photo1) is guarded by skeletal warriors created from the bodies of dead invaders, on more than one occasion an adventurer faces off against the animated remains of a former friend.
The deeper one goes into the caves the more dangerous it becomes, more foes guard the double back that has lead to many an ambush as the skeletons close in from one side and the warriors of the tribe from the other. If one manages to get past the walking dead and orcs at a choke point (photo2) the real battle begins. The Cleric to the Orc god of battle and death, the overall leader of the tribe has created a killing area for any who risk entering the home. Tables and benches barricade the entrance to living area. If one is able to pull down the barricade they find a quick death pin cushioned by arrows from the silent sentinels. Beyond the archers lie the living spaces of the orcs and their dead servants.
One first encounters a pool to drink from, dump waste in, bath in and get the occasion fresh fish from (hey they are orcs no one said that hygiene was high on their list of priorities) this small pool connects through the wall into a much larger lake so the water is refreshed a bit. To the Left of this pool and entry way Is a storage area where sacks of grain, and a few crates are kept safe and dry. But of more interest is what one finds if they go to the right, off to the other side.
To the right of the caverns entrance more dead adventures stand guard on a bridge that leads over the wall and a bit of a stream that was carved out by said water and into the lake proper. One must first get past the Skeletons, and beat by the Tribes Brute on the bridge, and then get by more skeletons on the other side. If one forgoes the challenge of the bridge they enter into the kitchen and eating area of the tribe, which is closely followed, by the communal area of the warriors. This long natural room lies along the side of the lake and houses the bulk of the orc population, hinted at is the passage to the leader of the tribes separate chamber. (Photo3).
If one manages to cross the bridge they enter into a large cavern filled with a deep foreboding lake, the right side of which leads deeper underground, from one gapping hole in the side of the wall, however beside that hole are two other smaller caves that are piled high with the tribes treasure, the most important treasures resting on a pedestal of natural stone. Curving around toward the wall opposite the bridge sits a small raft, used by whom ever dwells within the area behind the door. Perhaps it is the high priest of the tribe, a hired brute like a troll, or maybe it just leads further into the darkness of the underground. But what ever is behind that door is guarded by three lizard folk who swim about in the lake. Perhaps they know what causes the whirlpool in the center for no adventure has yet to return from the cavern and say, and the orcs don’t talk of it, Lastly on the opposite bank rest urns filled with a mixture of liquids, some are once rich wines (now a bit vinegary) used in religious services, others filled with blood for more darker arts, but much the same purpose. (Photo4 & photo5)

www.wardensofthestorm.com/photo1.JPG
www.wardensofthestorm.com/photo2.JPG
www.wardensofthestorm.com/photo3.JPG
www.wardensofthestorm.com/photo4.jpg
www.wardensofthestorm.com/photo5.jpg
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#26727
Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
Ghengis

I posted yesterday 'as is' as I would need some decent light / sunlight for my set-up - but will only have this on the weekend again. My build has a great lower level cavern - but to make photos you need at least some light from the side. At least this time around I finally managed to get some contributions in.

Actually - it worked quite well to let the children work out something first. That way I have everything ready for myself - and by the time daddy is allowed to build his design they have played for a day or two and a saturated - at least as far as I'm allowed to build something up and it isn't touched for 24 hours.

Just need to remember to add some extra 2 days for the kids next time. Wanted to start myself the same evening - and this was a no go ...

Thod
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#26728
Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
We have a winner!

We will announce the winner via newsletter late today or early Wednesday.

There were MANY outstanding entries -- and it was not easy to pick ONE. Thank you all for your entries.
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#26729
Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
Purplesaber – the first photo shows a Very playable layout, I like those a lot, very nice and easy to use as GM layout me like.

DMJJ - Also very playable with a touch of elevation in some areas to give a diverse play area

L – Nice and it seems compact, but still very playable, with also a good usage of elevation to vary place area are and make different game effects.

Fiddy - Very nice well defined lake and river system leading into a good tunnel complex. This is one of the “sprawling ones” that makes others look compact next to.

Lonestar – another “sprawl” set up really good maximized usage of walls. Be it the free standing walls (or wall overhangs) from the river set in the rest of the layout, or the walls from the cavern set to do double duty, makes it look like there are more walls than in the set, great usage.

Blackhawk1 – Minimalist, imaginative not sure what to call it, seems to be a compact sprawl. The linkage makes it as nice you put out what is needed to get across the intent of the areas and let the players/ viewers fill in some of the other bits. Very good way to make a set up for disjointed parts of an adventure you can use it as linear or you could instead of saying it is linear you pop the minis into an area and have the encounter then off camera move to the now here you are area of the map. (Or at least I see this as a way to do this easy from your set up, others may not.)

Thoth – in your previous post you mention something about cheating “for cheating...I'll demonstrate or explain later perhaps”? What were talking about (6 images, using the log from the traps set) it’s later please explain. But on to the layout I really like that little pool formed by the 3 river corners, that leads into the main lake, and some great “off shoots” of the main area, which gives that kind of compact sprawl. The main lake is compact but things head off but come back.

Shadox – I like the lake, again compact and well contained but has a nice bank to that you have to get to with the stairs making a good division and interesting game play options.

shoesan great elevation, that is more of what I wanted to do but couldn’t figure out how to do it, have areas, under and around the lake where the water could flow into and out of, or the creatures could come from. Those in set up shots are great.

Will Hit page 3 later, got to go now…
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#26730
Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
GS

Yep- the intent was to have 4 distinct areas reminiscent of a typical D&D layout. I was trying to show a means to use every piece as well as making something that could be easily laid out as adventurers moved into an area. The one thing that niggled me personally after I posted was I realized there was a better place to put the one lake shore piece that kind of "hangs out" for no good reason to the extreme right of the landing.

Many of the other entries- yours included- gave me numerous ideas for the future. SInce we are critiqueing I'll throw in my 2 coppers:

First a note- many of you I ding for using prohibited pieces in my opinion. When Jeff said use any "accessories set" I take that to mean pieces actually listed by DF in their accessory area. Pieces from the building expansion set, traps set, etc are all sold in their "set" area and not as accessories. I asked Jeff to clarify this for future contests as to what qualifies as an "accessory" (i.e. if I had used the columns from wicked additions or the blazing urns from DoE would that have been OK?) Of course the final opinion is that Jeff and Stephan so its all good :D

Second- Anything I state is not meant to be nasty but an honest critique, from my view, of the individual set-ups. Feel free to tear mine apart also so long as anything said is actually constructive please.

Purple - Clean, compact layout- as stated by GS very playable. I loved using the U-shaped wall as an arch. The only thing I did not like was the use of the stalagtite overhangs in a squared off manner- it just did not look "right" to me as everything else was so natural looking.

DMMJ - The set-up was well done with a bit of "sprawl" at the end. My only real comment is I would have like to see more pictures of the set-up as a whole in discreet chunks versus close-ups of figures. Primarily I mean the 2nd pic posted as it seemed to focus on the orcs as not even the whole room was captured. I would prefered a zoom out to see the room and corridor.

L- Very, very nice. A compact playable area that hints at the expansion possibilities out in the "deep" water areas. The built up area is still has the 1st level area as an area easy to get too and play with- minimal fuss if a mini needs to run for cover. I put you in the top 3 for sure.

Fiddy - A nice broad playable area- I especially like the opening in the wall where the water leads off to. My only real suggestion is taking the time to get the pictures done up right. The first pic needed a 90 degree rotation CCW- looking at it sideways was painful. SOme of the other pics were slightly out of focus and should have been retaken.

LS - Another great set-up. I liked a lot of things- the circular passage area, the raft tucked away in a niche, the use of the free standing walls to break up a monotonous shoreline, big roomy caverns to let loose a fireball, etc. I cannot really find much at fault here.

Thoth - WHile I like the set-up I too noticed the use of the prohibited log from the traps set (its not an accessory I believe). However, putting that aside what a wonderfully done up cavern. Like GS I also really loved the pool nestled in between the cavern pieces. Use of the figs as also excellent- very dynamic and helps to set-off the whole set-up.

Shadox- I liked how one steps into the living area of the cavern denizens before wandering out into the lake area- which can continue as seen by the lake piece that is unbordered. Like Fiddy there were some pictures that I thought could have benefited from a zoom out- the close-up of the treasury I believe was the weakest picture as it did not aid one in showing off the set-up meaningfully. The only other item is I am not sure if the torches would be a prohibited item- they are not part of any accessory set that I can recall but are part of the deluxe room set, iirc.

GS- Your set- up was wondeful and visually striking. The water slide down was an outstanding feature! I loved the compact form but how it opens up with the water at the end so the adventure can continue. WHat it did lack was peeling back the second layer to see how the cavernous passages was laid out- in the case of the contest one whole set was effectively buried and could not be seen which I consider a detriment, There are hints that there may have been an entire viable first level but it is impossible to tell. The only other quibble was the use of photoshopping out the area around the set-up which I would consider a prohibited "special effect".

SHoesan - Wow... the liitle nooks and crannies, the island in the middle, use of the free walls to make an extremely playable 2nd level, lurking lizardmen, This was a great set-up that I would put in the top 3. The only real critique is, again, some of the pics were just too close-up- I would have preferred a zoom out to take in more of the set-up rather then extreme close-ups which in one case (the bridge) provided too little return for the use of a very valuable picture- especially when the other bridge pic did a much better job of showing off the set-up.

Hero - Nice use of walls and cavern pieces to give a cliff like feeling to the back wall- makes it seem like the adventurers should bring pitons and rope! The T-shaped passages that just off to the side seem almsot and afterthought though- everything else is so compact and tight that these seemed out of place. Other then that some of the pics were a little out of focus especially for the long shots which was a slight detraction.

Camou - Excellent feeling of a "nexus point" withing an underground area. I count 6 seperate entry/exit points to what seems like a deep water crossroads. I really like the low angle bats-eye view of the set-up. The only "fault" I can find is that in some pictures there are a lot of figures which makes the picture very busy and detracts from the set-up as a whole.

Thod 1 - Your daughter did a very nice job indeed! If she came up with that circular arena idea on her own that was really neat- I liked that one a lot. The only thing I see that may be a killer is in the 4th picture it looks like an HA door was added into the layout.

Thod 2 - Again I like the circular chamber being used as storage (did he grab the circle idea from his sister? :D ). Like Thod 1 even though it is sprawled out one can easily visualize the exterior walls to the set-up in the areas that are not essential to showing walls.

Gdm - WOw... very nice split level set-up, multiple flumes, framed portal, and I like the use of the tables and such as makeshift barricades. Like some of the others a few of the pictures were "soft" in my mind and did really help in conveying the set-up as well as being out of focus. ALso, like GS I would have preferred to have that top layer peeled away in one picture to be able to see if there is a viable, playable area underneath.

Thod 3 - I love that clean 2nd level with the bridge leading up to it and the arch as the gateway- one really gets the feel that the water pour down from that level and exits on the first creating the lake. The lizardmen living area, the cell with the angry orc in it, the 1st level of water that leads out is all very smooth. Like others with hidden support areas I would have preferred a peel back of that 2nd level to see if a viable 1st level is there- this may seem peevish on my part to harp on it but if one is showcasing the sets I would have liked to see how the sets were used if I was judging.

Scorched- that is a very, very cool concept making the vertical flumes for spelunkers! Nice tight set-up and most everything is accessible or easy to get too. I would have liked to have seen a backside picture as to what is supporting the flumes- especially the left hand one. I tried to emulate your set-up and the pieces kept sliding off so I am not sure how they were held together. This may run afoul of the "no support other then DF pieces" rule as I simply cannot get these flumes to stay up as is. But still very imaginative!

Rogan - Compact and tight- a great set-up for a limited area. I liked what I think you did connecting the portal to the "deep hole" enclosed as a sort of private lake as part of the caverns. Like others I believe prohibited pieces were used- the food and tables from the building expansion set I do not believe qualifies as an accessory. Other then that the last picture was very weak- an almost side on shot which did not really help give one the overall impression of the lay out from my perspective.
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#26731
Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
And congrats Gdm on being the winner!
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#26732
Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
If Blackhawk1 is saying that from confirmation.

So that means a newsletter did go out....which I signed up for again to make sure and still nothing.

Not in my email guards either. Hmmmmmmmmm....
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#26733
Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
And congrats Gdm on being the winner!
Hey thanks! I appreciate the critique too. Yes, I know a few of my photos are a touch blurry. And that's because my primary digital camera is experiencing technical difficulty and I had to borrow one I am much less familiar with.

And thanks to Dwarven Forge too both for making a great product (which I am addicted to) and for holding the contest.

I am eagerly looking forward to the next!

Gary
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#26734
Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
Yep- got the newsletter and its all the way at the end.

Scorched and Thod got an honorable mention :D

Yep- bring on the next one!
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#26735
Oct-Dec 2007 Contest -- The Watery Cavern 6 Years, 11 Months ago  
Blackhawk

Thanks for the comments. yes - my daughter came up with the circular walls on her own - multiple times I have to say as they 'moved'. I will check the photos - there shouldn't be any HA door in there. But hey - there was a box with doors upstairs (all the bow ties are in there) and it might have slipped in.

And Philip came up with the round chamber on his own as well.

In regard to the lower lake - I will reveal later and will make some photos. Here I ran out of time to figure out a way how to get photos from the lower section. Should have done while building up. I took care even to place the second 'whirlpool' excatly underneath.

It was my first competition - and I learnt a lot. Especially - don't build up in a rush. I should do the same 2 weekend ahead next time. Give the kids some time first - and then go for my own layout.

Now I need to have a look at the newsletter

Thod
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