October 21, 2007

Bringing a Map to Life

It was with great delight that I saw the recent-most work of None the Wiser, an architectural illustrator by profession, on the Goodman games message boards. None has already lent his expertise to Wildsgate from Into the Wilds (DCC # 28) and Kyarovsk (and other far wilder locales) from Talons of the Horned King (DCC #36), so I couldn't wait to see what he could do with The Scaly God. I certainly wasn't disappointed! Check out a sample:

None also included several awesome "beauty shots" and should be posting more SG work after he works on other projects. I can't wait.

The main thread on the GG boards may be found here.

Ever since Ravenloft castle, and Sutherland's incredible map of Strahd's castle, 3-D maps and level break-aways have proved invaluable to players and DMs alike in conveying a better sense of layout and view that simply cannot be reflected in flat, static maps on graph paper. I encourage DMs to make use of sketches, alternate views, 3-D views, physical props—I once plopped down a working, medieval-style hand crossbow on a table during a session to imply the threat made by a guard, and I've brought crystal balls and bags of gemstones to use in sessions as well—anything that can help your players visualize the fantastic realm they are exploring. The architectural (and structurally accurate!) renderings that None produces are a wonderful example of such a tool that makes the dungeons more real.

Here's to None the Wiser and his outstanding work!
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