Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ternketh Part III: Trying Doors

While part of the party is exploring the guards' quarters, Vlad, the 1st level ranger and new guy in the party, decided that he would take the lead with that party still in the keep's yard.  First, he tried the door on the left side of the gate (the guards' quarters were found by going through the right side door).  It is possible to see both doors in the image I posted up front on this post.

The left door also led to stairs, and these into an armory:

Except for the walls, the doors and the floor, the tables and stands are definitely dundjinni - weapons.  It was easy to grab them and I really didn't feel like spending an hour making images like these for a room that was empty (no monsters, note).  If I hadn't had the pirated images, I probably would have gone with some self-designed tables and racks, empty, then relying on my saying "the tables are full of stuff" to carry through the imagery.

Still, I suppose that the images here worked, because Vlad becomes apprehensive about the room and it's five doors (though he probably couldn't actually see the one on the bottom right from the stairs) and he backed off.  He could have pulled down about nine people to help him out but he didn't.  Instead, he reclimbed the stairs and decided to go across the yard, to try the door connected to the central 30 foot wide cross-shaped tower in the middle of the keep:

Player characters include Vlad; Woodsoul, 4th level druid;
and Sunsky, 1st level fighter.  Followers include Marcus, Attaman, Fehim &
Calim, all 1st/2nd level fighers; and Jonida, a 17-year-old combat trained friend.
Minka, Nasee, Roma and Jafar are all non-level men-at-arms.

Note that Vlad closed the door to the armory but the door to the guards'
quarters is still open.
From the list of participants, it's easy to see there are a lot of people, but not much power.  For some reason, the party (despite a lot of chatter) never did logically sort themselves out into well-divided groups.  Basically, the higher levels rushed down into the guards' quarters and the back pile sort of got bored and decided to see what they could do while waiting to follow.  The above image is just before Vlad reaches forward to open the door and find out what's there.

I did mean to make a point about doors.  Here's a close up shot of the two kinds of doors I designed for the keep:

one hex = 5 feet

The heavier door with the larger handle is the reinforced door; the other is just an ordinary door, the kind that can be easily kicked in.  Neither door has a latch.  Not depicted would be the brace that could be used to keep the reinforced door closed (slips into the wall).  Both these doors were easy to make, but took me a lot of experimenting over several years to see how to do it easily.

When I first decided I was going to start drawing my own stuff, I was totally shit at it.  But I kept at it, knowing that having the visuals was going to make a big difference to the party's immersion.  So I kept trying new things, kept playing around, learned more about textures and how the publisher program works and took lots and lots of ribbing from players as they described my bears as bats or my chairs as bugs.  Art, like all things, takes time.  It is worth the time.  After all, a company like dundjinni can only provide so many things and they can't make something that's precisely what I need for a given scene.


connor mckay said...

Seeing all this is very interesting and thanks for the links to Dundjinni, I didn't know about them.

Samuel Kernan said...

Really excited to see how this turns out! And how the players interact with the detail you put into the environment.

Adam said...

The visuals look great. I'm interested to see how far into Ternketh the party goes...the harpies seem formidable.

Doug said...

Seems like you're players are being extra cautious. That points to them caring about their characters, and knowing that they're up against something of unknown danger.

The fact that you play by the rules means they know they won't get the breaks that other GMs might give probably adds to the tension as well.

Excellent. And now I really want to see how the players handle this situation. Thanks for sharing it with us.