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TOPIC: Layout idea
#53314
Layout idea 1 Year, 2 Months ago  
I had an idea for a layout, and while it's complicated enough that I don't know WHEN I'll have time to do it, I thought I'd at least describe the concept.

It would incorporate almost every setting DF has made. The basic idea is flexible enough that it could serve as an easy template -- each sub-section could be executed in more or less elaborate fashion, and it would be comparatively simple to add sub-sections from other settings if you wanted.

Here's the core: a massive classic dungeon crawl inspired by inter-linking as many DF settings as possible.

Top floor, far west end of the layout:

MBS building, I'm thinking of doing a guild hall. That's nice and basic, and what I'd probably do would be a combination archive and inn. There would be one large central study area, with corridors in the back that lead to a few small rooms. Maybe a higher level would have a slightly nicer room. All of this would be elevated, of course, because there would also be a pit somewhere and stairs leading down to:

Lower floor, moving gradually east:

A dungeon under the guild. There would mostly be storage rooms here, sacks and barrels and chests, but there would also be some cells, including the bars of the pit you would see on the MBS level. The only way in or out is the hole in the MBS floor -- at dungeon level, it's all bars and stone walls. There might be a mermaid fountain here, maybe not. Again, depending on just how elaborate you want, this could either be a small-scale set of cells and storage, or it could include a massive hall with columns and so on. But in any case, moving east, and maybe down, we hit:

Lower floor, moving gradually east:

The catacombs. Entrance would either be through a portcullis or stairs. For a simpler layout that has only two or three levels, the dungeon and catacombs would be on the same ground -- or you could stack everything we've seen so far a few levels up and have stairs leading down to the catacombs. As much fun as going down down down can be, I also like the idea that simply by pressing on in the dungeon you reach a gate that blocks off a section of catacombs, no further descent required. It's just a walled-off, gated-off burial section. So then you wander around in the catacombs for a bit, and eventually they open up into:

Lower floor, eastern most area:

A massive cavern. You COULD have the transition be the cave entrance that becomes a passage from the basic cavern set, but that's a bit too tidy for me. I like the idea of having the catacombs simply open up into a full-on cave setting, which itself becomes a massive chamber with lots of chasm pieces. And this, of course, is where you encounter the massive dragon or aberration or whatever huge thing couldn't fit in the catacombs or dungeon and has been lying in wait this whole time.... hungering....



You can see how easy it would be to modify this -- maybe the catacombs also lead off into the Den of Evil, and maybe the caverns go deep enough to hit lava and become Hellscape, and maybe there's a river or lake down there as well. And so on and so on. And you can stack things as you want, too, starting with whatever you want to be the deepest part of hte layout at table level, and then stacking everything else up. That kind of stacking requires either a TON of extra DF pieces or some kind of support system (boards on stilts or something), so I probably would keep things to just two levels -- caverns, catacombs and dungeon would all be table, level, with the MBS building on top. And maybe a second MBS floor one higher level than that. I'd also probably stack up the cavern section to give it a sense of size, a huge open chamber.

It's kinda obvious, really, but I do like how well most of the DF settings would fit into this basic scheme of delving deeper and deeper. The only setting that I don't personally see fitting in would be the Realm of the Ancients. Ice caverns would be tricky, too, I suppose.


Anyway, I plan to build a modest version of this as soon as I have the time. Building it and populating it will take the better part of an afternoon, as will photographing it, so I can't be sure when that'll happen. But I have my goal! ;)
Law
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#53315
Re:Layout idea 1 Year, 2 Months ago  
That sounds like a sweet setup. The cool thing is, with all of the great photos you have posted, I can almost envision it as you describe. I like the idea of the dungeon only accessed through a trapdoor and caverns laying beyond the catacombs. That's kind of a spooky and mysterious vibe.
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#53332
Re:Layout idea 1 Year, 2 Months ago  
The ICE CAVERN would simply be a part of the Cavern where some cold type of creature has transformed the cavern....the Realm of the Ancients could be the abode of a cloud giant....
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#53333
Re:Layout idea 1 Year, 2 Months ago  
RotA also can easily be a ancient city that suffered some form of cataclysm that sealed it within the underworld. Whether it was a self inflicted (magic accident), divine punishment, or natural cause it doesn't matter.
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R&P(1), Ruins(2), Cavern(4), Cavern Passage (2), Chasm (2), Ice(4), Catacombs (3), DOE R&P(1), DOE R(4), DOE WA(4), DOE E(3), HS (4), HS2(3), Woodland(2), RotA(1)
 
#53339
Re:Layout idea 1 Year, 1 Month ago  
Both awesome ideas. I remember, one of my favorite settings in Dragonlance was Xak Tsaroth, a city that had fallen into the earth when the great Cataclysm hit. Xak Tsaroth wasn't simply buried, though -- it was sort of sliding down the side of a pit, so as players descend into the depths they come across the ruins along the edges and then at the very bottom of the hole is the bulk of the city. But it's also all along the walls of the pit as well.

Now you're giving me AWESOME ideas, although for time and space purposes I think I'd keep this separate from my original concept. In other words, this new idea would require more room than I could fit into the other layout.

But here's the new idea: Set up a three-tiered cavern, with maybe a lake or river at the very bottom, and then have some ROTA pieces down there as well. And then on higher levels, just have a few ruined ROTA walls and floors and rubble. Basically, do Xak Tsaroth with ROTA, having this city along the edges of the cavern and then finally a big city plaza at the bottom.

Ooooooh!

THIS MUST BE.

OK. Saturday, the big dungeon crawl. Sunday, Xak Tsaroth. My kids will either have to have a sitter, or be forced to watch without touching Daddy's toys. ;)

(Note: this also makes me want a ROTA Ruins set, with the same kind of crumbling half-walls we have for the dungeon setting. ROTA is, of course, already partly ruined, but there are no half-walls so the isolated pockets of ROTA ruins would still look oddly square and neat...)


Found a pic! http://cdn.obsidianportal.com/assets/108240/xaktsarothcrosssectionfc4.jpg
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Last Edit: 2013/05/29 07:19 By Law.
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#53340
Re:Layout idea 1 Year, 1 Month ago  
YES! That is exactly the set I've been wanting to have to extend that line.
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R&P(1), Ruins(2), Cavern(4), Cavern Passage (2), Chasm (2), Ice(4), Catacombs (3), DOE R&P(1), DOE R(4), DOE WA(4), DOE E(3), HS (4), HS2(3), Woodland(2), RotA(1)
 
#53342
Re:Layout idea 1 Year, 1 Month ago  
Law, your description of this Dragonlance city stirs fond childhood memories in me. I remember starting playing D&D with it when I was 13 year old.

Here's the classic artwork that came with it where the adventurer's finally meet the black dragon Onyx living in the center of the ruined city:



I have painted it a few years ago:

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#53344
Re:Layout idea 1 Year, 1 Month ago  
That's awesome!

I love that painting. The Dragonlance paintings were so fantastic. Clyde Caldwell's stuff -- he did this, and he did the one of Lorac the elf king slumbering on a dragon orb while Cyan the green dragon looms over him -- was just magnificent.


It's funny, the pic of Xak Tsaroth that I WANTED to find was the map on the inside cover of DL1, Dragons of Despair, which used this painting as its cover.



I think that the combination of this painting and that 3-D map went a long way to making Dragonlance successful, even before the novels came along.
Law
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"In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play."

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#53451
Re:Layout idea 1 Year, 1 Month ago  
I just want to add, I'm really looking forward to trying this layout. It poses all sorts of intriguing challenges but it will be a ton of fun to work them out.

Issues I've flagged already for myself:

- The footprint of the cavern pieces is larger than the footprint of the basic ROTA pieces. That means that you can't just drop a single ROTA floor piece into a cavern layout to suggest crumbling ruins -- it only takes up 1/4 of the space. You'd either have to use four floor pieces and replace a single cavern floor with them, or (what I'll almost certainly do instead) combine the ROTA floor pieces with the Woodland Set floor pieces, so you have crumbling rock with grass growing through the cracks combined with ruined mosaic pieces all set in an otherwise-dominant cavern area. Then the question is just how you actually carry this out -- do you make a kind of checkerboard of ROTA and WS floors, or do you do three ROTA pieces in an L-shape with a WS floor filling in the gap, or maybe, heck, just do an all-four ROTA floor here and there. Hmmm....


- I really want to use the ROTA "entrance" piece at the top level, but that wouldn't completely cover what's beneath it, which would presumably be caverns. I suppose I could just plan a traditional layout and then just plonk the entrance on top of whatever the top layer is...

- I'm toying with how I want the bottom level to look. Right now I have three rival ideas.

1) Predominantly cavern, with just some ROTA elements, like some of the little "mini rooms" with removable wall panels placed around or a large crumbling plaza made from the large ROTA floor piece. Mostly cavern, though, including a winding river that cuts through the ROTA stuff.
2) Predominantly ROTA, with just a few cavern elements. The higher levels will be mostly cavern, but when you get to the bottom, you're in the sunken city itself, where it came to rest, so you are mostly in a ruined ROTA layout, with only a few cavern elements. Maybe use the two river dead ends to make a small pool, or just use the free-standing cavern walls as a boundary in an otherwise mostly-ROTA environment at the base.
3) Regardless of the ROTA/cavern ratio at the bottom floor, I'm considering whether I want a kind of "spike" in the middle, comprised of a two-level ROTA structure. Most of the layout would just be a simple pit, with sloping walls, so you have a large bottom level, then on the edges surrounding it you have a little bit of a stepped second level, and then on the very edge of that you have the final third level. This suggestion would be to make, in the middle of the pit, or at least not connected to the sides, a second level of ROTA. I suppose it COULD be connected to the sides, though, now that I think of it.

There are just so many ways to do this! But the trickiest bit will be figuring out how to work with the differing footprints of the sets. You can't really place TOO much ROTA stuff, because the cavern pieces are so big, if you use them at all, they quickly eat up a lot of space. If you replace them with ROTA pieces, you lose whole chunks of cavern, and before you know it, you don't have a cavern at all! So ROTA is going to have to be very judiciously distributed.

Man, I want to start building this NOW!!!!
Law
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"In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play."

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