I kinda like leaving it unlabeled and without towns. It feels like it has more possibilities this way. And it has nothing to do with me being lazy and not wanting to deal with labels and whatnot. Or being too cheap to buy Photoshop.
I’ll confess that the first version has the “dramatic warm” filter on it. The real color is a bit more chipper.
Unlike many of my past maze-like doodles, this one actually has a start and end point and at least one verified path to success. (The squares are the exit spots.) Sorry about the smudging! From my testing, I know there’s more than one path to success on this puzzle… Which I find philosophically satisfying.
Finally Using that Journal!
I have a beautiful, black leather journals filled with hundreds of lined, empty pages. I’ve had the thing for years and have never known what to do with it. Until now.
Now it is my official spot for doodling mazes, dungeons, castles, and other whatnots when I don’t care so much if a bunch of lines run through them. And it only took me ten or so years to figure this out!
[pause a beat] … cause the town is in ruins! [insert polite laughter].
As my first sketching of a town map, I think it works pretty well. It’s really clear that the town was destroyed quite a while ago, right. Do you agree?
Are you reading this?
I hope none of my players actually visit my blog, since the group hasn’t been here yet. I’m reasonably sure they don’t. Maybe I should sneak some important clue on this posts just to find out!
Cause this is in-game stuff
The Ruins of Amara is a key location in finishing a big story arch the players have been working on in my current Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) campaign. The current arc takes place in the same world as the Dreadstorms Lost campaign and is actually like a Part 2 continuation. This is a large part of why I’m having a hard time finishing the Dreadstorm Lost campaign on this blog. My brain has moved along to where we are currently in the game. The end of the Dreadstorms Lost happened in real life a couple of years ago now. Trying to drag my head back there is challenging. Especially when I’m trying to plan what might happen next in the current story.
The history of Amara
The citizens of Amara had been harrased by a decidely evil dragon that was destroying their crops and livestock and demanding they pay tribute. Even giving into the extorsion, the dragon continued to pillage the town and the surrounding area. The townsfolk went to a nice, friendly elder dragon and asked if it would be so kind as to remove the dragon from their lives. The nice dragon was welcome to all the treasure that the evil dragon had extorted from them.
There was an epic battle between the two dragons. Magic flew. Breathes of fire and acid spewed. Buildings were hurled at the enemy. By the time the battle was done, the village was in ruins and the entire poplulation was dead. The spirits of these dead villagers haunt the ruins to this day, demanding to know why their savior failed them.
The continent of Luapi is a hand-drawn fantasy map with towns and topography. No labels. Some buildings turned out better than others.
How would you use the word cartography in a sentence in this instance? Because Google isn’t happy that I’m not using the key words (tags/categories) in the body of my blogs.
Why yes, this doodle is an example of my attempts at hand drawn cartography. This map includes mountains, lakes, forests, and other examples of topography. I’ve also included sketches of towns, villages, huts, towers, and docks.
This map and all the others are the sort I would use in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. You too are welcome to use them in your campaign (D&D or otherwise) as long as you don’t claim you drew it yourself or make a profit from the sketch.
Humans are strange. I just like to add my bit into the mix.
I do find that this sort of doodling keep me occupied and out of trouble when I’m in long stretches of sit-and-by-quiet times like long boring meetings, plane rides, or when other players are doing some intense role playing that I need to stay out of (which is amazingly harder than you’d think!). Also, I’ve found these random squiggles make for some interesting background textures.
What is it this time?!
A pattern marked on clothing of a secret sect of druids bent on destroying unnatural buildings and walls that dare defy mother nature?
A wicked bard’s gloves hypnotize his audience with ever sweep and gesture of his hands, making them susceptible to his suggestions?
To enter the Chamber of Knowledge, first you must solve this puzzle? Is there a solution to this puzzle? Maybe the answer is not all puzzles must be answered. That the search for knowledge and truth is where true enlightenment follows.
The Dungeon of Dori is an idea percolating in my head for a Dungeons & Dragons session (could be used for any RPG, really). This is the initial sketch of the dungeon/castle/place-to-cause-mayhem including hidden doors and a huge slime monster … or maybe a water feature … who knows?!
I picture a drab, gray stone castle with odd nooks on the outside, leading visitors to think they’ve found an entrance only to find it’s an architectural feature of the insane Dori. There are a couple of exterior doors, which are hidden … naturally (the squiggly lines are hidden doors). Even the interior is full of hidden doors, which make for quicker movement for those who are familiar with the interior.
The inside is dark and cold, with a constant echo of dripping water. I also like the idea that the filled in areas area actually pillars hiding secrets inside of them.
And Traps? Oh yes. How could the insane Dori not have wicked traps?!
This is definitely more doodle than maze or map for Dungeons & Dragons. If this was an underground labyrinth of tunnels, it would take FOREVER to get through it. Unless you had some clever way to cut through it. One of my favorite things to do with these silly doodles is to image how I would use them in a D&D game.
Worms. Big Worms.
In my mind I see this as underground tunnels burrowed by huge worms with no particular direction except to keep moving and eating. Do they sense food moving nearby? A new tunnel is created as the worm dives for it’s food! Yum. Adventurers are tasty.
Why would anyone want to go down into these crazy, constantly changing tunnels? What prize could possibly hope to find?! Perhaps the skins shed by these beasts is used to create the most exquisite material far superior to even that of elven-make that is used to make the most visually stunning, supple and strong of armor. Even a monk could wear armor made from this cloth an gain an Armor Class bonus without taking penalties or disadvantages. Probably worth a pretty penny to the right buyer!