The Troll cave

As I have stated earlier one of the great things with Dungeon designer 3 (DD3) from Profantasy is that you can make a nice map in a very short time.

Whenever I decide to play an adventure with my children I try to make up the basics of the story together with them. It is a great way of getting them involved in the creative process, and they also think it is more fun when they feel that they can influence the story.

This time me and my daughter started to talk about trolls and I asked her if she thought there be Trolls nearby the castle where her character lives (of course she plays a princess). And she said that there might be. I told her that I’d heard some of the farmers complaining about trolls attacking people and livestock and that maybe someone should look into it. She really hooked into the story and started to make up things herself and now she insists on that we have to play on Saturday, because someone has to stop those trolls.

Well suddenly I had to come up with a map we can use on Saturday, and as I said in the beginning of this post, making dungeons in DD3 is a real treat. The map below took me around two hours to complete from scratch to finished product.

The map is completely done in DD3 but labeling and some effects to make it more paint looking where all applied in Photoshop. Now I just need to wait for Saturday and see if the princess can defeat all the trolls that harass the neighborhood.


Catacombs of evil – a short DD3 tutorial

I really wish I had more time to do dungeon maps. But for some reason it seems that I always end up doing overland or city maps. Don’t take me wrong, I really love doing those maps but i just wish I had more time for dungeons as well.

Mostly when I make dungeon maps I use Dungeon designer 3 (DD3) from Profantasy. The advantage of the program is that it let you create a map very quickly. You can of course spend millions of hours on details in the maps but if you just need a quick map for an evenings game DD3 will let you make that.

Whenever I make a dungeon I usually try to make a quick sketch on paper. This will make  it easier when you start working on the map in DD3. In DD3 I usually start with putting out the floors for the rooms, when those are in place I start to make all the floors for the corridors. If you don’t have a sketch to use as a blueprint this work will be much harder.

When all the floors are in place it is time to place all the walls. You might wonder why I don’t use the room tools in the program, where you place floor and walls at the same time? Well the problem with that approach is that you have to do a lot of cutting in the walls to get all the doors in, or just to open up for the corridors. When I started to use DD3 this was the approach I used but after a couple of maps I changed the working process to first place the floors. And in my opinion that works much better.

When all rooms and floors are done it is time to add in some details. I always start with doors, then I place tabels, traps, torches, blood stains etc. This last step can take everything from an hour to four, five hours. It all depends on what you need the map for, an evenings game with some fiends or to publish in an adventure.

The map below, Catacombs of evil, was a test map I made when I first purchased DD3. It is made in Jon Roberts great style, that is free to download from here. When I made the map i pictured an evil cult hiding in the catacombs under a temple where they worshiped some demon. The adventurers mission would be to find the cult, free the prisoners and kill the demon.

The map is completely made in DD3, apart from labeling and the red light effects in room 8 that are made in Photoshop.

Deserted Dwarven city

As I wrote in my earlier post I’ve always been fond of underground constructions by dwarves even though I’m not that fond of dwarves, so I like to inhabit their deserted cities with more fun creatures.

This map is an old one I made in Photoshop. It is quite simple and retro in its style but I kind of like the black and white look and feeling of it. Originally it was made for an adventure I was making where the players had to get into the old burial place in the city to retrieve an artifact. The burial site is the oval location on the left side of the map only reachable by water.

The players could take different paths into the city. They could either go from the outside top entrance on the map, or the bottom entrance that is situated in a great cave system. The easiest way though would be to go by the underground river.

The city itself was abandoned by the dwarves a long time ago and now a small clan of goblins and mountain trolls lives there. So the task wouldn’t be very easy for the brave heroes to complete.

Unfortunately the adventure never happened, as many times before it stayed with a map and a synopsis of an adventure. So I can’t tell you if the brave heroes succeeded with their quest or not :).