I know it's been a while since I last posted, but my gaming group just started DCC#12: The Blackguard's Revenge
and I needed to clarify the maps in my head before I attempted to draw them on a gaming mat. I figured: hey, no problem, it's a two-story cloister, I'll just stack one level on top of the other, what could possibly go wrong?
As it turns out: plenty!
For the record: There is no scaling information given for the map of the cloister grounds and the silhouette of the cloister on the “Exterior” map does NOT match the outline of the building on the “First Floor” map. If you simply count the squares, it’s as plain as day that Area 1-9 is 40’ wide and that the corresponding balcony space up above (area 2-31) is 45’ wide! Excuse my French, but WTF!? And whatever you do, don’t try to line up the pillars drawn in Area 1-4 with the pillars drawn up above in Area 2-21 - it’s a lost cause!
So, what I assumed would be an easy modeling day turned into a 3-day brainstorm just trying to reconcile the three maps. As far as I can tell, the squares on the “Exterior” map are set to 15’ per square. I mean, come on, who does that! On purpose? And the “Guard Houses” map doesn’t even seem to match the scale of the “Exterior” map directly above - on the SAME PAGE! See, this is why people should hire me to illustrate all of their maps so that at least the scales would match.
But enough about me.
Here are the SketchUp renders from my initial foray in to the Ordocar Cloister:
"Upon the slope of a nearby mountain you can see several tiny buildings huddled against the simple magnificence of a silver domed temple."
Of course there is no indication on the maps where the dome of the structure is located, so I placed the domes where they would do the most good to let light in to the rooms below, and where I figured the weight of them wouldn't necessarily collapse the outer walls. My “roof” is a 3’ tall “clerestory” (which is a fancy name for window ledge) around the length of the tallest part of the structure. I made the stories of the cloister building itself 10’ high each with 1’ of floor-space in between floors. Also, I made the outer wall to the courtyard 15' high (otherwise why bother building a wall?). The floors of the Watchtowers (Areas E-5) are 25' off the ground.
One of the first things our Wizard did when he reached the front gate was to cast fly
on himself and tour the premises. So you can see how map reconciliation became a top priority in our first game session. I already had the First Floor Reconciled with the Second Floor and I decided to draw the Guard Houses 30’ square (instead of 25’) just so the stairs fit neatly into a 5’ grid, but lo and behold, I was completely caught off guard by how drastically the left side of the Exterior map was out of sync with the rest!
Here is the First Floor of the cloister modeled in 3-D. I had some statues and some 3-D suits of armor on hand, but I think the furniture layout from the original map pretty much speaks for itself.
And here is the Second Floor of the cloister with the pillars and the floors themselves properly aligned.
And here is my initial roofing solution.
The First Floor map indicates bookshelves stacked underneath the edges of the balcony. I wasn't sure if wooden book shelves could really hold the weight of a stone ledge, so I added some support pillars to Area 1-9.
So I'll have to interrupt the book shelves on the First Floor with a few square blocks - no biggie.
So here are the maps I REALLY could have used last weekend for the outer courtyard. I draw the maps to scale so you don't have to!
1 Square = 10 Feet
1 Square = 5 Feet
From these you should be able to at least figure out the outline for the base of the building and draw from there.
As you can see, the Second Floor had to be squeezed to fit. The only rooms that got shortchanged in the square footage dept. are 2-25 (storage) and 2-27 (treasury). Both rooms are 5' shorter on the left side. The balcony in Area 2-31 had to be stretched 5' sideways to accommodate the 10' walkway on all 3 sides, but the room is pretty much the same size. I shaved 5' off the entire floor just so that it would fit directly on top of the floor below. Such is life.
And FORGET about the placement of the pillars on the Second Floor map. Life will be much easier (at least mentally) if you draw the pillars on the second floor where I put them.
I suspect one of the reasons the top floor was originally drawn a bit larger was so that the stairs didn’t take up so much space in Area 2-21 and it would be easier to slip past the pillars toward the back of the balcony. If it helps, go ahead and make the stairs 2.5‘ wide instead of 5’, but unless the PC’s take the stairs up to the balcony on the right side of the map, it’s not really going to matter (much).
OK, here's a close-up for how the second floor of the Guard Houses connect together since I don't think it's very clear on the overhead map. There's a "catwalk" between the two upper floors, see? Our Rogue used it to cross from one side to the other, so don't tell me there's no need to model it.
And finally a "Point of View" shot taken from one of the otherwise useless "Watchtowers" around the perimeter of the cloister looking down into the courtyard. Had enough? I think I have. I might turn this pic into a "Beauty Shot" one day with snow and mountains and everything. But today is not that day.
- None the Wiser