Sunday, September 14, 2014



Continuing the focus on basic building maps.

I was going to create a set of layouts that detailed the three levels of the windmill that I created, but when researching typical designs, the lack of "useable space" inside derailed that idea rather quickly.

Instead, I created a support house with thatched "lesser" buildings attached, then finished the layout with well and fence. Presented below is the finished design:

Front view presenting the windmill and support building:
Side view:
Isometric view and details:
Overhead view with 10' grid in place (Dimensional size: 100' x 70')

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


One area of mapping that I feel is lacking for 1E (and similar) games is simple layouts that can be quickly used when the need arises. The next few posts will detail some of these concepts, starting with the Toll-House/Toll-Gate.

From "Toll-Gates in Sussex" by Leonard G. Lane,  (Sussex County Magazine Index - Volume 10 - 1936 - Turnpikes)

Historically,  the people that lived near these toll-houses survived almost entirely on the produce of their own farms. Consequently, land and bridge owners often were prepared to accept hides and bullocks as tolls for the use of their bridges. Money didn't come into general use until the thirteenth century.

I discovered a good reference image of a Toll-House at

Armed with that data, presented below is a finished Toll-House with gate and bridge over water (and shadows):

Lastly, a traditional top-down view with 10' grid in place:


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Not Dead Yet...

Yes fellow bloggers/readers, the reports of my unfortunate demise at the hands of The Bloated One have been greatly exaggerated. Although I do have a contract out on Lycosis' daughter, for her unscrupulous duping of my assistant cartographer, one Hannibal Hornblower.

Shalon, the aforementioned daughter, gave Hannibal a small chest as payment for his work on her dungeon (coming soon to this very blog). Turns out the chest had multiple complex locks and traps and Mister Hornblower, in his infinite wisdom, spent the portly sum of 1800 gp to remove the traps and arcane snares. Once unlocked, the dwarf popped the chest open - only to release her most daring trap - a miniature mimic.

Needless to say when Hannibal showed up for work last week, with said mimic - imagine a crab, complete with over-sized pincers - attached to his nose and right ear, I nearly died laughing. After regaining my composure, and telling Hannibal to please refrain from speaking due to his sounding like a seal on helium, we set about finding some equally unscrupulous miscreants to return the favor ten-fold.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bloated Blowfish:Commons Tavern Detailed Maps

For those wondering, I've just finished moving and was without internet access. However, I can now continue posting info on the Bloated Blowfish Tavern complex.

Commons Tavern: First Floor

The layout is housed on the lower plateau that overlooks Lake Elise and grants easy access for town-folk, fishermen and travelers. The first floor includes main tavern hall complete with large fireplace, spacious fronting bar and kitchen. 

Kitchen access is granted through a closed door, located near the stairs which lead to the second floor. A secondary storage room, containing steps to the basement, sits next to the kitchen. Entertainers passing through the Lake Elise region typically perform near the fireplace.

Commons Tavern: Second Floor

The second floor includes two large private rooms and a balcony area where the town-folk gather. It features a set of built in tables and benches which face inwards, and overlook the lower level. Entertainers performing below will either have a) coppers tossed down at them, or B) chicken bones depending on their entertainment level.

An outdoor balcony is accessible via a door on the Southern wall.

Commons Tavern: Basement

The basement is accessed via the storage room on the first floor and includes wine casks, two large wine racks and other small storage rooms. (B10) A secret door, located along the Northern wall leads to (B13) which includes a passage that leads up to the Blowfish Regal Tavern basement and to a sealed portcullis.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Modular Dungeon - Bloated Blowfish :Commons Tavern

7 December, 1977:

The Blowfish Commons Tavern is the meeting place for most people, given it's proximity to the Lake Elise harbor, and being on the lower hillock overlooking the town of Troyen. The tavern features 2 floors; a lower level with large fireplace, and upper balcony region (with 2 private rooms) and outer balcony for solitude.

 Second Floor - with Balcony, 2 private rooms, and outer balcony
 First Floor with Fireplace entrance and Steps leading up to the Regal Tavern/Inn
Basement with passage leading North to Barred Portcullis (Adventure Path 1)


Modular Dungeon - Bloated Blowfish Tavern - Finished

7 December, 1977:

After 48 hours of work, I'm proud to present the finished Bloated Blowfish Tavern/Inn. The next few posts will focus on the individual buildings, and includes floor plans (where applicable).

My original notes and maps included the following info:

The Blowfish was originally built on the ruins of a unfinished castle in the Crestfallen Mountains, and began operation in the only finished building, the guard tower. The tower was the first stronghold in the Troyen region, standing as both shelter and trading post to and from the Lake Elise region. Some 106 years later, the tower fell in disrepair as the result of a major quake that killed 14 guards and 23 peasants.

This particular quake led to the formation of two major features in the realm; the destruction of the 12000 foot peak known as Herald's Peak - which blocked the original Salt Route (altering the flow of the Soulease River), and caused the formation of Landsdrop. 

Lord Silverleaf, with son in tow made the journey shortly after news reached his court of the disaster. After surveys of the region deemed the event to have settled, a retainer by the name of Horace "Flatfoot" Feshel came forward with a bold plan - which led to to the construction of the series of buildings that have come to be known as "The Blowfish".

An overview of the complex:
 Blowfish Commons: Tavern

 Blowfish Regal: Tavern/Inn (Upper Promontory)

Blowfish Tower - Tavern/Inn (Upper Promontory)
Blowfish Stables - Upper Promontory


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Modular Dungeon - Bloated Blowfish Tavern

7 December, 1977:
In 1977 the Bloated Blowfish was hand drawn on brown rolled paper, and included 3 separate taverns/inns situated on a hill side overlooking Lake Elise. Then I transferred it to graph paper.
When I started mapping it in Sketchup I had considered reworking some of the features. But I decided the design deserved to be preserved on this blog, and thus, included below are in-progress images of the very tavern this blog is named for. 
The familiar Sign:
 Approach on Tavern 1, commoners tend to flock here, and includes an upper level balcony 
 Entrance to Tavern 2, in the foreground, Tavern 1 in the background:
 Another view showing external rooms, and 2nd/3rd floors of Tavern 1: