Sketch Elevation

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Sketch Elevation along a StreetI’ve been writting the next adventure for the role playing game I’m occassionally running today.  As well as the traditional overhead map of one of the key locations I’m considering using elevations of the streets to help players visualise their surroundings.  The small sample above is a section from a trial elevation I sketched tonight.

I can’t remember ever seeing elevations used in any roleplaying game.  So I thought I’d throw the example out there to see what any gamers reading this thought.

I’m wondering if I should add textures to some of the surfaces or leave it as line art.  If I leave it as line are I’m thinking I’ll use different pen styles / weights to enhance the look.  I’m also wondering if I should include people and cars on the drawing.  Do you think I should add in postboxes, lamp posts, pedestrian crossings and other street furniture.  One detail that’s missing from the example: I’ll be including labels on the final elevations.  Is there anything else you’d suggest?

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2 Responses to Sketch Elevation

impworks Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Thanks for drawing my attention to Ravenloft. I'd forgotten it includes an elevation. It is so small as to have completely slipped my memory.

I was never a fan of Dungeon and own only the odd issue so I don't know if there are really many examples there or not.

I think the most important point though is I'm not just talking about the use of maps for combat. I'm thinking about them as one of the ways to give information to players. That can be information in a scenario or general game background information.

In the example above the elevation was of a location where combat was extremely unlikely to occure. Giving them a greater understanding the location would allow the players to take broader range of actions than a simple description or flat map allowed.

BG Josh Friday, May 21st, 2010

You might consider doing more research. Vertical maps have been in use since the 80's. The current trend with mini combat did away with them because of the complexity they pose.

Off the top of my head, many maps were done this way for Dungeon magazine, including the adventure where the dragon Flame returned.

The original Ravenloft featured this and one of my favorites "ochimo the spirit warrior" did as well.

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