Since I’m an architectural illustrator by profession, I tried to convert the Wildsgate town map into a crude 3-D model just to see if I could wrap my head around the scale of things (I'm a neophyte DM). I managed to piece together a crude 10’ scale model using an architectural modeling program called SketchUp. The nice thing about SketchUp is that it allows you to input precise measurements. So when I’m told in the adventure that the Watchtower is 40’ tall, I can easily make it to scale. I was confused about there being a drawbridge with no moat, so I added a moat where I thought one should go. And outhouses. The road made no corresponding sense to the overview map, so I straightened out the road and put a few hovels just to the side of it for Farmer Relthor and son. I’ll stop trying to describe it now and just show you an overview of the end result:
Wildsgate Overview (raw SketchUp render)
The even nicer thing about SketchUp is that you can easily place a virtual camera at eye-height and adjust your view from the ground level. What follows are the visual aids for the DCC: Into the Wilds
adventure which I handed out to the PC's as they explored the town. Cobbled together with SketchUp and Photoshop:
View from the King's Highway as the PC's aproach the town, just after rescuing Relthor and son from the Bat Riders.
Unfortunately, SketchUp does not come with premade D&D character models (go figure), but I thought it would be fun to throw in some tourists to give the viewer a better sense of scale (figures are approx. 6'):
The Great Gate - "The towers stand 40 feet high and command a view of the entire countryside. The gatehouse is built of reinforced stone, and houses eight men-at-arms at all times. Three watch from atop each tower, and two man the portcullis..."
With the potticullis layer switched "off," this is the view of the Entry Yard as you pass through the gate. The tavern is on the immediate right, the bank and the shop on the left, and a warehouse at the end of the courtyard. I gave the warehouse a loft so Marshak and Nazost would have a place to stay:
The Entry Yard
Yet another nice thing about SketchUp is that you can download online content directly into the program while it's running. I couldn't find a decent statue of Wulfrun (go figure) but I did find this cheesy LOTR statue to fill in:
Statue of Wulfrun - The building at the top of the hill is supposed to be the Outrider Barracks.
Wildsgate Keep - "The citadel perches atop the ridge like a dark falcon. A central keep rises above the stone battlements, and a tower behind that." And the Tower of the White Lady is supposed to be five stories tall. It is, not including the pointy roof. That's supposed to be a lookout fire on the left.
In case you hadn't noticed, SketchUp has bare minimum rendering capability (it's mostly a modeling program), but it can cast shadows, as I did here for Zamuk's shrine:
The Shadow Square
For now, I'll leave you with the view from atop the Watchtower with "Player's Handout B" Photoshopped into the background. It's the only render I did with a decent view of the Chapel: