I made this map for D&D, and here is the original story I wrote up for it:
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The floor of the huge cavern is a deep underground lake, called Flail Lake by the local inhabitants. The cavern is truly awesome, at nearly a 1/2 mile wide and a 1/4 mile long. The sheer walls dome high overhead at 500 feet, easily out of sight of lamp or torch light. One small island, actually a raised section of the cavern floor, is in the center of the lake. Flail Lake has a sinister reputation, anyone unfortunate enough to fall in, would be seen to flail about helpless before sinking beneath the black water. Several groups of aquatic monsters live in the brackish water. The most common kind is a type of mutated and blind sea serpent, some over 30 feet long. The jaws of this monster are full of teeth, some say that it can bite through the wood of the strongest ship's hull. There are no survivors of a recent serpent attack to verify this claim, however. To add to it's danger, the water of Flail Lake is so cold, at a constant 33 degrees, that one would die of exposure as quickly as from an attack by a monster.
Despite all the hazards, many creatures call Flail Lake home. The only way to get to Flail Lake from the surface is to take the old lava tube. The Tube, as the the inhabitants call it, is 20 feet wide, half flooded, and nearly 100 miles long. The Tube starts from a surface lake, in the Cruth Mountains, hidden behind a waterfall. Sailing through the waterfall, a boat can float all the way down the Tube. Following the slow current, and after quite a bit of twisting and turning, the boat finally ends up in Flail Lake. Most people who make the trip, do so in modified river boats. The Tube is a rough trip indeed, and the boats who intend to return to the surface, must be poled all the way back through the Tube. This can take a matter of weeks, but can be shortened if magic is employed. So most surface visitors end up staying at Flail Lake for long periods, if not permanently.
There are other entrances to the lake. Two main tunnels which lead from the Underdark, run into Flail Lake. These are where most of the foot traffic comes from. All types of non-humans and monsters who frequent the islands of Flail Lake, enter from one of the two mazes and take a ferry to the island (represented by the ford paths). This makes Flail Lake a melting pot of monstrous proportions. The ferries that move these creatures around are heavily armed and enchanted. There is usually no trouble on the two ferries. It costs 25 gold pieces , or equivalent trade, for a one way trip to one of the islands from one of the two tunnels.
Flail Lake's most infamous building, is its only Inn, Tor's Place. Tors is on the north side of Flail Lake. It is a huge rickety four story building painted black. Tiny windows dot the walls at uneven heights, all complete with bars. The only entrance is the front doors. These are 20 feet high, painted black, and swing outward. The doors have 3 locks, and can be barred with two gigantic steel bars from the inside. Each door has a peephole which can be slid shut. Inside Tor's Place is a remarkable sight. The building has only 2 floors, not 4. The second and third floors have been torn out, leaving a 30 foot high first floor and the upstairs 4th floor. The main first floor is the bar/common room, nicknamed the Slaughterhouse. A five foot wide series of scaffolding runs along the walls all the way to the ceiling. Table are placed at odd heights on the scaffolding all the way to the ceiling. Chairs and stools are haphazardly placed around the tables. If one wishes a seat, he or she must climb the outside of the scaffolding, as high as 30 feet. Then a customer can either hang on, tie himself on, or find a table. When crowded, Tor's Place seems to shudder with all the bodies hanging and sitting on the scaffolding. This place is where one can chat up a cute Kolbold female warrior one moment and turn to stare in the eye of her boyfriend, a frost giant. Drow elves, goblins, wererats, and all kinds of non-humans frequent Tor's Place on a nightly basis. Once a Red Dragon poked his head in looking for someone, and have a keg of brew. Tor's Place can hold up to 350 clinging customers at one time.
The main attraction of Tor's Place is not the impressive seating arrangement, it is The Cage. Located on the floor of the Slaughterhouse is a 15 x 15 steel cage. Every night there are "The Fights" in The Cage. These are always to the death, and no mercy is ever shown. Two combatants are locked in The Cage, and an iron bell is rung and the fight begins. Wagering is welcomed at the bar, and Tor sets the odds. Wild shouting and stomping of the feet and appendages on the scaffolding accompany the screams of the fighters in The Cage. This unearthly din can be heard almost anywhere on Flail Lake.
Because of the patronage of the Underdark customers, Tor's Place is always kept dimly lit. Most of the creatures here prefer no light, but Tor keeps a few lamps lit for the human clientele. This makes the corners and upper scaffolds of the Slaughterhouse full of shadows. For the first time visitor, this darkness, and the place is filled with drunken monsters of all sorts, can be unnerving! This place is not for 1st level characters, or faint of heart.
The 4th floor contains private rooms for rent. These are small, dark, but relatively clean sleeping chambers. Each one has a straw bed, a chest with two locks, and a chair. They rent for 50 gold a night in advance. The room and chest keys are handled by Madam Relt. A powerful wizard, Madam Relt uses her magic to keep track of thieves and guest alike. There are 30 tiny rooms on the 4th floor of Tor's Place. Several are rented by the year, by powerful adventurers and leaders of the Underdark.
A nice two player map for a quick and bloody battle! Please download and rate.
|Author||Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
|Pat Dark Knight
I played this map twice, once with the Snake, and once with Lionheart. Both times, the same glitch came up; they delete their only weat farm, to be able to build a wall or a tower, depending on the architecture of their castle - for every AI, theres always a preseted castle design that they always use. You must always keep this in mind, when making a skrimish map. If you put the ressources ( as in this map, the grass) too close to their keep, the walls and the towers take priority to build over building to gater ressources or food. So poor Snake and Lionheart were on both occasions without food, and were doomed, slowly dying away even before I attacked.
Its hard to play this map again, because of the very limited amount of ressources. Its good to center your maps on battles, which I'm sure I would have if I played this on the internet, against competent oppositions! (no offence, Snake...) .
Its also hard to decide wether to put a no rush time. If you dont put any rush, the starting units from each players will probably be sent to the center-tower, and a small fight will happen, but then they are both defencless, and open to such attacks as a couple of archers sneking up. If you put too much of a rush, your granary will emtpy itself up, and your peasants will leave, before making any units. So maybe a 10 minute rush would work.
This is a well balanced map. Equal amount of everything. They both have acess to the tower, a very important part of the map. Its fun how your must pass through the tower to have acess to your ennemy, so make the battles for the keep abit more bloodier. The bloodier, the merrier!
I put a four here, because the story is very good. It reflects well the lake and its history. I see you haven't put any time in addint some natural landscaping. There isn't much you can do as to work with land heigh, trees, etc. , because the lake take the majority space of the map, so it wouldnt be favorable to use more space for moutains and such, which makes the players unable to build over. Maaybe add a few small islands in the lake, would be kool, and you can use some objecrs from the 'destroyed buildings' section. Not put a full house, but there are some small objects that take only one square that you can put on, to reflect on the boats that have sunk. Again, its a big lake, so there could be islands. You can also use abit of Stones, again, just one square big, to add texture to the ruins.
Map Design: 3
I gave you a 3 here, because there isnt really something special about your map. But I like the ambiance that the story gives, and that the map puts the emphesis on, is that its underground. I really like that you make it seem that its underground with the rock walls around the map. It also nice that the lake continues from both corners of the map, to give it the idea that it continues in another cave...
Very nice story. No weak points about it. Very well done! Alot of people do not put a story in, but the story is what suggests the mood to the players. Well done!
This is a good map. You got something good going, just make your mape look more natural looking. Maybe add some stalagmites, since its in a cave ( ust put in some random 1-squared med. plains abit arround abit.)
Such as Tomzola ahs mentioned in your earlier work,
'Keep on the Borderlands',
it would be important that you mention which AI player would work on this map.
I have confidance that we can expect great things from Lollard, as we have already seen! Keep up the good work!
Pat Dark Knight
[Edited on 07/14/05 @ 10:03 AM]
|Lord Michael I
One of the things I didn't like: Sometimes the AI's castles are too big, so they destroy their wheat farm, it won't happen if you play it online, though
I give it a five because it's balanced, no resources for anyone and only 1 wheat farm for survival
Very creative and original map
Map Design: 5
I liked the tower in the center, quite a battle can happen up there
GREAT story, liked it a lot
Thanks for the review. This map was one of my very first. I wrote the story much earlier, probably 10 years ago now. I have many more stories. I actually got paid for one story being published in a magazine. If you want a version of that long story called 'The Isle' email me at email@example.com
oh,one of your first maps....i was afraid you were losing you mapmaking touch.