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[In-Progress] The Sunken City

 
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[In-Progress] The Sunken City
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Terrainosaur
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Post [In-Progress] The Sunken City Reply with quote
This is the creation of a large project called The Sunken City.

If you want to skip the introduction and see the first pieces, click here!

I like big terrain projects, the kinds that take years to complete and cover an entire table, like my Necropolis. Several years ago I went to Origins with Minidragon. There were all kinds of big displays ... the kind of over-the-top terrain I like. I’d finished the Necropolis, and was trying to think what I wanted to work on next. The Necropolis is mostly purchased pieces. They needed to be assembled, based and painted to look good together and that took a lot of time and some experience, but I didn’t carve each tombstone. I wanted my next project to be different. Bigger pieces that required construction from the ground up.

I brainstormed some pretty crazy ideas. Of the top ones, I decided the most do-able was a sunken city. The concept is a city that was slowly engulfed by a swamp over time. All that remains are the ruined tops of walls, towers and roofs. Some islands exist in the swampy city, but the bulk of the landscape is dangerous bog. Troglodytes inhabit the city. They built wooden walkways between all these structures.

The Necropolis was built so it could be used for any tabletop game: D&D, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Hordes, etc. The Sunken City will probably only be useful for roleplaying games.

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Last edited by Terrainosaur on Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:56 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Terrainosaur
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Post Ruins of Rhest Reply with quote
One source of inspiration was the D&D adventure Red Hand of Doom. The Ruins of Rhest are a site in the adventure. "For the last two centuries, the city of Rhest has slowly been sinking into the sodden Blackfens."



In the background of this illustration you can see the staircase and walls of the city of Rhest.



This causeway isn't actually in Rhest, it's in another bog in the adventure, but it's a good example of the wooden bridges that span island-to-island.



The map of the Ruins of Rhest.



In this map of the Rhest Town Hall, you can see the wooden walkways around the building and how the swamp provides ideas for structural changes, like holes in the floor.



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Last edited by Terrainosaur on Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:46 pm View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Reply with quote
Another source of inspiration came from Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance for the PlayStation 2. The setting is the Marsh of Chelimber in the Forgotten Realms (a D&D world).

The two levels “Chelimber’s Crown” is a community that was flooded, so all you can walk on are the rickety wooden bridges and tops of long-abandoned buildings. It’s basically an outdoor dungeon, and an ingenious one at that. Just like the corridors and rooms of dungeons, this sunken city has bridges and open areas to move around and fight in.



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Last edited by Terrainosaur on Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:48 pm View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Chelimber's Crown, 1st level Reply with quote
Here are screenshots of the two levels of Chelimber’s Crown, from Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance. The first level is overgrown, mossy and green. The second is a castle, its battlements, walls and towers.

I took these pictures on my big-screen LCD TV with my digital camera. The game is old too (2001), so the screenshots are a bit grainy.

As you enter the level, you’re in a grassy field near a Save point. You can see a some flagstones beneath the vegetation. Trees are even growing up here. Some lizardmen attack you.



If you go left, you realize you’re on an island it seems. The edges have battlements. Around that, on all sides are muddy brown water. A little ways away, you can see the top of a ruined tower also jutting up out of the muck.



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Last edited by Terrainosaur on Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:05 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Terrainosaur
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Post Reply with quote
Exploring around you find a raised wood and rope bridge leading further in.



That bridge leads to a tiny island … the top of a once-circular tower.



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Last edited by Terrainosaur on Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Terrainosaur
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Post Reply with quote
At the top of this picture, you can see that some of the islands are inaccessible.



In this picture, I just wanted to show the mound of dirt that leads up to the next bridge.



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Last edited by Terrainosaur on Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:50 pm View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Reply with quote
There are fieldstone ruins atop the ruins, and they’re overgrown. The flowers emphasize the wildness of the ruins.



I took this picture because it gives a clear view of the stonework.



There are some raised ruins here, with doorways you can’t enter. The dripping moss looks really good.



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Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:50 pm View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Chelimber's Crown, 2nd level Reply with quote
This is the second level, which is more like a sunken castle. Notice the tall towers at the top of the picture. You could easily build those with a Castlemold!



The semi-circular turrets with little steps going up to them accent the long castle walls.



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Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:05 pm View user's profile Send private message
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Post Reply with quote
Large open areas have been inhabited by the lizardmen. Starting from the upper left going clockwise, there’s a ballista, a tent, a brazier, a battering ram, another brazier and a weapons rack.



A trebuchet sits atop a wall. In retrospect, I think the siege equipment should have been overgrown and rotted too.



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Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:06 pm View user's profile Send private message
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Post Reply with quote
This is the dungeon below the Marsh of Chelimber. Pretty standard stuff.



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Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:06 pm View user's profile Send private message
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Post The Plan Reply with quote
So that's the long origins of The Sunken City. Now on to planning the thing.

The beauty of The Sunken City is it’s a city I don’t have to fully build. I only have to build the top of it. I have to construct the top third of each building.

The base of the table will be a blue-green cloth matt to represent the surface of the water. Everything else will be pieces to place on top of it. In other words, I'm not modelling the water.

Here's my list of things to build:
  1. Entrance: A path leading down into the bog, as if the forest trail you were travelling on suddenly and unexpectedly came to an end in this place.
  2. Towers: Four towers, each mostly sunk and probably tilting.
  3. Houses: Mostly just the roofs showing.
  4. Stone walls: Some ruined on top, some still useful to get place-to-place.
  5. Rubble: Either the tops of ruined structures or blocks piled up by the troglodytes.
  6. Steps: Some going up nowhere, some sunk, maybe one staircase that hasn't sunk leading up to one remaining tower.
  7. Islands: About 6-10 islands of various sizes.
  8. Wooden walkways: Attached to buildings or free-floating as bridges.
  9. Pillars: Just sticking up out of the mud.
  10. Reeds, bushes, trees, stumps and such to give the whole place a very 3D look.


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Last edited by Terrainosaur on Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:19 pm View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Reply with quote
1/1/08: This is a work-in-progress. I would like to finish The Sunken City this year, 2008.

I expect to post some pictures of finished pieces soon. Although this is WIP, I'm not going to post construction shots.

I have eight pieces all but done except for painting. For it to look like a forested swamp, it needs to be dense, with lots of pieces. And to give it three-dimensional depth, I'll need some tall pieces. I'm considering trees in actual scale, meaning they'd be pretty big. Terrain trees usually aren't tall enough. The ones in my neighborhood are easily 50' tall, which would be 10" on a table and I've never seen one that big.

So more work is to come.

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Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:07 pm View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post First pics Reply with quote
This is the first piece I created. It's one of four sunken towers. As it sank into the bog it displaced mud, producing mounds along its sides. Moss grew on those.

In the first pic, a troglodyte troll approaches one of the towers. These are 25mm D&D Miniatures.



After looking inside the tower, some of the scouts see something in out in the swamp.



Oh no, it's a drow ranger, a barbarian, a dwarf fighter, a mage and a sneaky halfling! The troglodytes are in trouble.



We'll forget about the fate of the poor troglodytes. The tower looks a little off-kilter in that last pic because the top comes off. I could put water effects down in the bottom of the tower, but few would ever see it.



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Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:18 pm View user's profile Send private message
Terrainosaur
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Post Reply with quote
In Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance I'd used cheat codes to jump to the Chelimber's Crown level, but then went back and played through the game. When I got there (the fair way), I found one important building I'd forgotten ... the roof of a building.



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Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:04 pm View user's profile Send private message
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