In February 2019 when I whiled away a train journey by sketching a castle, little did I know what I was letting myself in for.
I had done it to work out what the castle on top of Heroic Maps’ Mydstep Keep dungeon might look like before I ruined it, to try to make sure the ruins were realistic.
I shared it with Heroic Maps just as a “you might be interested in where I’ve taken this”, and they said they’d be interested in drawing it up as part of their product line and encouraged me to develop it further.
So here we are, a year and a half later, and Heroic Maps are finished with their version and I’m on final layout! So here are a few tasters.
First, the front page, showing the castle sitting on the rock with flags flying proudly and its famous rose window front and centre.
I don’t think of myself as an artist, so I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out. Line art by hand, then scanned in and coloured using Serif Affinity Designer and brushes from Brusheezy and Frankentoon. I paid for the licence, so I don’t have to credit them, but credit where credit is due.
Here are a couple of pages from the castle description, showing both my line art maps and Heroic Maps’ equivalent battlemap.
Here are a couple of the NPC pages with Sextus and Marya, the trainee clerics under Marcellus, including 5e stat blocks for them. Thanks to Rick Hershey of Fat Goblin Games for the stock art here which serves the dual purpose of breaking up the blocks of text and improving the look, and allowing me to move text around so that the column breaks come at natural locations.
And just take a look at the glory that is Heroic Maps’ product – to be released in conjunction (so they’re now understandably champing at the bit waiting for me to finish, and probably would rather I had spent the time writing this blog post on finishing layout instead…). Full battlemap scale 1 inch to 5 feet. I always think of their work as art masquerading as battlemaps, and they’ve done themselves and Ragnar’s Keep proud here.
All available at DriveThruRPG real soon now, with a discount for buying both setting and maps together.
Thanks also due to @SagaSquares for useful actionable review comments (even if it has delayed me even more…).