Friday, June 28, 2013

Modular Dungeon - Mage Study (continued)

No Study would be complete without a book, loose parchment paper, candle and coffers:

 Current Mage Study objects (excluding previously completed bookshelf, fireplace and chair)


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Modular Dungeon - Mage Desk

This short post features the next three items in the Mage's Study. The fancy desk includes quill pen with ink bottle, hourglass complete with sand/translucent glass, and a scroll with double leather case.

Closeup of the Quill Pen and Ink bottle
Scroll & Double Leather Case:


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Modular Dungeon - Hocus-Pocus


In December of '77, while working on a small tower, I wrote in the Diary of the Geomancer Mordacai Vision, about his master:

"My father, Malistaire has finished work on his study, an opulent room with flowing hand-carved timbers hanging down from the ceiling, and bookcases stuffed with a wealth of knowledge. The central feature; a podium with radiating arms from the base and a set of small pillars topped by dual candles. Blue to match his eyes, the bastard!"

Thus, I present Malistaire's Podium (in 3 views):

Modular Dungeon - last of the Torture implements...

First, a shout-out to Oculus Orbus, a fellow Blogger (whose Blog you can find in my Gossip Section) and friend from Dragonsfoot whom turned me on to resizing my images for easier/faster viewing/loading. I'll have to go through and re-size everything, but the first page of posts has been edited, so a big old "Humpity-Hump" to O.o. for the not-so-subtle suggestion. 8)

[Continued from the last post]

Today I've finished up the last of 18 specific items for the Torture Chamber, these last three items are shown below, including a fire-pit, bench and finishing touch, a Guillotine.
 Closeup of the Guillotine:

At some point in the next day or so, I'll put together a full Torture Chamber, and make it Modular for easy insertion into any dungeon. From here I believe I can safely move on to detailing the next room - an Alchemists/Sage/Mage Laboratory.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Modular Dungeon Icons - more bits...

[Continued from the last post]

Next up is a small grouping that includes two similar style tables, one designed as a fancier desk, and the second fits into the Torture Chamber - and includes some details.

Lastly (for this post) is a Strappado, Brazier (with grate for heating instruments), and everyone's favorite, the classic Rack

The Strappado is a variant of the Rack, although in use traditionally the victim's hands are tied behind his back and then suspended in the air by means of a rope attached to wrists, which most likely dislocates both arms.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Modular Dungeon Icons - Odds & Ends

[Continued from the last post]

I've continued to add more items to the Modular Dungeon Icons, this time focusing on some pieces that I needed which fall into the "specialty" category, so without further ado.

To begin, a set of bridges, the first a variation on the Suspension, but each tends to be encountered both in dungeon and wilderness settings:

 Next is a oddball, a set of stairs with doorway underneath - for this preview I'm including a split image that shows both front and backside.
Lastly, an old favorite, the torture chamber (furnishings) - rubs hands together gleefully:


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Modular Dungeon Icons, Last Part

[Continued from the last post]

The whole point of this project (aha, he finally gets to it!) was to cut out creating the perspective maps in Sketchup, and then turning around and recreating them in Dungeonographer, essentially doubling my workload.

Ideally, I always wanted a set of icons that would be 3D/Perspective capable, and with the snap of a finger (or in this case, button) they would also represent (loosely) the classic blue icons from my childhood.

Certainly there are other software packages out there that are capable of rendering in perspective, like 3D Studio Max, Cinema 4D, Maya, and Z Brush to name a few, but Sketchup has that capability by doing two quick steps, after creating the models:

1) Switch to Camera/Top View
2) Turn off Twin Perspective

So the same Icons go from this:
to this:
and from this:

to this:

While the aforementioned software packages can create all of these items, in my humble opinion, what sets Sketchup apart is the simplicity of the learning curve and in all honesty how quickly I've created the various items shown in these last few posts. Not to mention all of the 3D perspective maps made with Sketchup that have been showcased on this blog.

A clearer understanding of what I'm trying to accomplish comes when showing a mini-dungeon in both perspective and classic top down view:

Naturally, a couple items need to be addressed (with possible solutions) for both views.

Top Down items of note:
1) I need to create a wall feature that shows the top of the door. Otherwise, what type of door is in place is lost by the wall above it. 

I created doors by themselves, but decided to add in a wall frame around them. I'm thinking creating a 6 foot wall on either side (to match the door height) will solve this issue.

2) Steps need to have arrows showing direction, i.e., down/up - for clarity.

Draw in an arrow in Paint Shop Pro - quick and painless

3) In the case of the ladder in the Northwest quadrant - which leads upward to a coffin/chest, I need to draw in the elevation change at that point on the top down map.

Add in elevation change in Paint Shop Pro - quick and painless

Perspective items of note:
1) The obvious drawback is that a single perspective map can show everything the top down view does, IF proper planning is done. Case in point is the 10' stairs leading down to the locked prison door, without rotating the view to a higher angle, it is lost behind the wall.

While there isn't a quick solution. I've been experimenting with different views, and where a special detail is lost, a combination of both Perspective and Top Down map shown together essentially clears up any misunderstanding. The other solution to this issue is to try and find an angle that shows all features in the dungeon.

The other consideration is to build a dungeon for perspective mode with the highest points at the top of the map, and deeper points to the south, for easier presentation.

In closing, I've had a blast creating the various items and mimicking the Classic Blue Icons. I'll continue to use Dungeonographer for special designs (because its simple and fast/flexible) but now having the capability to produce all of my maps with classic icons/furniture/features goes a long way towards finishing The Castle of The Bloated One, and gets it one step closer to publication.

Many thanks for the feedback you guys have been leaving, and for continuing to follow my meager offerings.


The Bloated One

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Modular Dungeon Icons "Blah, Blah" part 2

[Continued from the last post]

Stairs and Fountains:

Closeup of the sacrificial altar and fountain:

and 1 final piece that I did on a whim:

More to come,

Modular Dungeon Icons or "What the hell happened to Classic Blue?"


For the past few weeks, in between working on the Forge of Moradin (seen below), I've been slowly building a library of objects in Sketchup for use as Dungeon artifacts. The premise for this comes from my desire to push the envelope in mapping "The Castle of The Bloated One" in both traditional top down and perspective views.

My vision was to take the same Classical Blue Icons from the 1970's (shown below, in part) and update them:
I started with doors, focusing on 2 main types, wood and stone. Figuring at some point I could add more types if the need arose.

Prison (with Skeleton Keyhole)
Wooden (with pull ring)

More objects quickly followed:

The Chest and Winch up close:

More to come,