Coastal, Dungeons & Dragons, Fantasy, Fortress, Keep, Labyrinth Lord, Maps, OSR, RPG, Urban
Last week (or the week before?) someone was looking for a keep map and we commiserated about the fact that there aren’t that many keeps in my map collection… yet.
Dreifer’s Fortress is a coastal fortress in a very defensible position. That’s really all there is to it so far – but we’ll see how long that lasts…
My goal yesterday when I started mapping was to make an adventure something like the Tombs of the Gersidi from the original Palladium Fantasy RPG – an adventure where the party is one of several searching for treasure in a recently discovered ruin. I have some ideas on how to make it work in a fresh style (the ruins are well-known, but they have been home to a powerful dragon for some time… until some foolish level 1 adventurer from a small local town went there to slay the mighty beast and make a name for himself last week, and found his plans dashed and his lifespan significantly increased because the dragon seems to have died of natural causes in the last year or so) – but then realized I had this map already roughed out on the graph paper, so decided to finish it first. If I finish the adventure, Dreifer’s Fortress will be the adventure’s suggested “home base” for the party, as well as the home base of at least one competing expedition.
Great looking map. It seems vaguely familiar however. Has this keep ever found itself on a borderland?
Dyson Logos said:
No, this is a coastal keep, although it does indeed bear similarities to the two other keeps I’ve drawn in this style:
The Castellan’s Keep (which is TOTALLY on the borderland)
Jeff V said:
One comment that I would like to offer for your consideration. Historically, fortresses almost never allowed their approach roads to enter from a right hand curve (as you stand on the walls looking out), because in every army ever created, the soldiers are ALWAYS trained to carry their shields on their left arms. A horde of barbarians, attacking as individuals, might not, but a trained army (which is usually the only force with any real likelihood of taking a fortification like this) will. As a result, if the entrance road works the way this one is depicted, it means any force attacking up the road can easily use it’s shields for protection. Were the road to approach from the defender’s LEFT, on the other hand, those shields would be almost completely useless without going to a great deal of trouble and effort. Admittedly, this is a small point, but it’s the kind of attention to detail that you can see the actual designers of castles spent time getting right. Any tiny advantage does tend to add up and anything that makes the attackers’ mission more difficult is a good thing if you’re the one defending those walls. If you take a look at actual castles and their approaches, you will see that the designers went to a great deal of trouble to follow this rule — even to the point of cutting a more difficult road if necessary. Just sayin’. 😉
As a side note, this critique is not unique to you or your designs — it applies to practically every person who has ever drawn a castle for publication for RPG-ers.
Dyson Logos said:
Thanks for the tip! When this map goes to publication I will mirror it first so it follows that rule!