BOATS!

So, I don’t know if ship tokens are actually a thing anyone uses or wants, but I hope they are because I made a bunch of them. If they’re not, well, they were only an hour’s work, so no big deal.

Originally, I’d planned to make tokens out of the ships from the Vlyn’darastyl map, but they were too small, so I used boats I drew for other maps instead. The only one I drew specifically for this was the Century Pelican, which I figured might be useful too.

Anyway, I’m about to start my first session on Roll20 later today. Thanks to everyone for the advice about how to get started! I’ve got everything set up: the maps, the tokens, the macros, the discord and all the rest. Let’s hope it goes smoothly. And good luck to any other first-timers out there as well! We will screw this up together.

The tokens are free, as is everything else this month. You can get them from this post on the patreon or from Google Drive.

The Kothoa – The Dual Harbor of Carthage

 

The Carthaginian harbor is one of those things that has to have been imagined by a fantasy artist, except it wasn’t. It was real and this is, from what we know, what it looked like. On the left is the merchants’ harbor, built for trade, with a chain boom at the entrance that can be raised or lowered to block access. On the right, the war harbor, housing the mighty Carthaginian fleet. And in the center of the war harbor is the Admiralty Isle, a man-made island with more docking space, a naval shipyard and an observation room from which the fleet’s command can oversee everything.

The main departure from reality is the scale– the war harbor shown here has space for 34 ships, but the real harbor held around 220. Still, I think this gets the point across without the need for a map the size of a mattress.

Thanks to Anders, who proposed this idea to the Cartographic Congress. Some of my favorite CC maps are the ones where I started out thinking, “How the hell am I supposed to draw this?!” I definitely felt that way with this, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. Hopefully you like it too.

Next up is the second (and last) floor of Brazenthrone’s Anvil quarter. Then I’m going to do last month’s Cartographic Congress map, which will be inspired by the Rock of Cashel. Then I’m going to go straight into Brazenthrone’s Noble Quarter. I was thinking about trying to get one of the Great Vote maps done in between, but my thinking on that is this (and correct me if I’m mistaken): the Great Vote maps people are really champing at the bit for are the bigger ones, but I need to get the core of Brazenthrone (the Noble and Anvil Quarters) finished. Once I’ve got those two huge maps taken care of, I’ll be freed up to take on Mont-Saint-Michel, which, I suspect, is the map a lot of you are looking forward to the most. So, that’s the plan at the moment. We’re just gonna run past all the minions and rush down the big guys. Can I get a Leeroy Jenkins?

If you need it, here’s a version without the ships. There’s also an annotated version of this map and DM notes available to patrons.

The Tempest of Reckoning – An Airship of the Line

This is the second of the maps chosen by patrons in the Great Vote. The Tempest of Reckoning is like the Goodyear blimp’s crazy older brother who got mixed up with the wrong crowd and is serving 40 to life for a triple homicide.

If you’re in the market for an airship for your players, the Century Pelican might be more your speed. It has 2 fewer engines, 29 fewer ballistas and, crucially, 1 less bomb bay. Do think carefully before giving your players a bomber. It’s your game, of course, but… I’m just saying.

I didn’t do four different engine variants for this like I did with the Pelican, but here’s an alternate version with the engines removed. If your setting features airships powered by sails, you’re good to go. Or you can draw in your own zombies-on-a-hamster-wheel or whatever. Or you can just tell your players the power plant is there and leave it at that.

Next up is the second level of Brazenthrone’s Common Quarter. After that, the Library of Alexandria, as chosen by the Cartographic Congress. Then it’s the third and final level of the Common Quarter, then the map just chosen by the Cartographic Congress, a Persian-inspired Assassins’ Keep. I need to catch up on that and this seems like a good time to do it.

As usual, there’s an annotated version of this map and DM notes available to patrons.

The Grey Huntress – A Ship for the Underdark

This is the ship my PCs are currently on, cruising through the Underdark with a crew of orogs whose occupation might be described as “often but not always pirates.”

Since the Underdark lacks wind, this ship lacks sails. Instead, it’s powered entirely by rowers on the lower deck. And since the Underdark is a dangerous place, this ship is equipped with a pretty solid arsenal of weaponry. Still, there’s nothing here that rules it out as a surface ship if you’d prefer to use it as one. In the Greek and Roman times, this is more or less the kind of warship you might have seen.

Here’s the black and white version. And there’s an annotated version of this map and DM notes available on the patreon.

The Century Pelican (with 4 engine variants)

She’s the finest airship in all of your party’s price range. “But wait!” you say. “That’s a mechanical engine. In my world, airships are powered by…”

By the way, I’ll be out of town for a few days for Christmas, so the next post will probably be around a week from now. Have a good holiday!

An annotated version of this map and DM notes are available to patrons.

Tortuga – Overview and DM Notes

Here’s the final map of Tortuga: the overview.  The image above is the gridless version because I think it looks better.  I’m not sure why.  Here’s the gridded map.

Also, I’m giving away the DM notes on this one because they explain some important things about this map, as well as my thoughts on the ways it can be used in a campaign (especially as a traveling home city for PCs).  Here they are:

So, now that the six-story turtle town is out of the way, it’s time to start on something much, much bigger: Brazenthrone.  I’ll have a map of the layout of the city up on Monday.