After posting some maps of Ismam, the desert city on reddit, someone asked how they were made. So here is short guide on how to get started transferring 2D drawings into a more lifelike version. In this guide, I’m going to use my map of a town called Cogburgh.
1. Just open up the program. SketchUp can be downloaded for free at www.sketchup.com
3. Import the image file you want to use. In this case, I’m using my Cogburgh map.
4. Place the map in the corner and then stretch it out quite a bit. Here I have stretched it way too much, as you can see by the large grids compared to the near invisible human.
5. Since I don’t want buildings the size of mountains, I decided to scale down the map a bit.
6. Using the line tool to check my dimensions. A look at the numbers to the bottom right of the screen tells me that my grids are 8,79m. That’s close enough for me.
7. The quick and easy way to get started is to use the line tool to follow the outlines of the buildings. Note that once you complete a figure, it turns white and covers your drawing. So work outwards, if you know what I mean.
8. Then there is the OCD way of making buildings. Although it is quite time consuming, it is also the best way, since your structures will be WAY much better off in the end (especially when the time comes to make roofs. Here you use the rectangle tool to make a square/rectangle about the same size as the one on your map. As you can clearly see, the placement and rotation is way off. So – let’s take the time to fix that.
9. First I have to mark it using the marking tool (the arrow). If I don’t, anything can (and will) happen.
10. Using the orientation tool. Click the marked area (twice if I remember correctly) and start moving your mouse. Look at the magic. Click your mouse once you are satisfied with looking at it spinning round and round.
11. And with the move tool, we move it in place. Look, it’s a perfect fit, and it only took 5 minutes!
12. Using the elevation tool, you click your little square and type in a number on your keyboard, then hit Enter. I chose the number 3. And my square turned into a cube 3m high. You can elevate it manually, but it’s difficult to get precise numbers.
13. Time to start making a roof. Use the line tool, try to find the midpoint. SketchUp will let you know once you locate it. Click it and draw a line to the midpoint on the other side of the top of your cube.
14. Once that is done, use the selcetion tool (the arrow) and mark the line.
15. Now use the move tool again to move your selected line upwards. Make sure you do not stray from the blue axis (unless you like weird houses).
16. Using these guildlines, you can start working on the rest of the city. Mind you, it’s going to take hours and hours and hours and days if your map has more than a handful of houses on it.
17. Oh God, this is going to take forever. Let’s go back to the quick way, where we just use the line tool to make shapes.
18. Way easier and much faster, but you can forget about making roofs (feel free to try anyway, though).
19. This is why you want to type in a number when you elevate your squares. Whenever you doubleclick on a top surface, it will automatically elevate your designed number. So the houses jump up in no time, and it’s easy to make them several stories high. Btw, why are some of the houses grey? Probably because I did something wrong somewhere. Not quite sure exactly what I did wrong, but grey houses is a great way of knowing you’ve messed up somehow. Anyhow, let’s just stick to flat roofs from now.
20. As you can see, there’s a lot of work to be done still. But just keep going and before you know it, your kids have moved out and your map is done.
21. Here the old map is hidden. but the surface is some kind of green (?). To make a white surface, just create a gigantic rectangle/whatever around your whole city once you are done.
22. And of course, I’ve cheated a bit. I made this map quite some time ago, but here’s how it turned out. Not too great, but not horrible. And the better your original map is, the better your 3D version will be, too.
To finish this guide, here are some maps of Cogburgh (notice how you can play around with the camera perspective, too):
De Trondhjæmske Tusenknusere are making our own rules (yes, I know – stealing rules all over the place and calling them ours, it’s more or less the same, right?). Here is a rules light version rpg, only 3 pages of reading material. Feel free to try this and give some feedback on your experience/thoughts either here or to the email address in the pdf.
So, without much introduction, here it is: Rollespræll Light
It hasn’t been playtested much yet. In its current form it has so far survived an evening with 5 players aged 3, 8, 8, 12 and 38. They all had fun, so at least that was promising.
We had saved the wild world, like we do with all worlds we visit. Everything was ready for our return to our homeworld, but as usual, Mokferouso had to read some book for several days before we could leave. With Romana deteriorating by the minute, i felt it is a bit selfish to set ones own reading need in front of something like that. But Mokko is what he is. We traveled to the hypergate and Romana punched the correct coordinates and got us back to the city of union, or CoU as Mokferouso likes to call it nowadays.
As expected we were met by the city guards when we came through the portal, and they strictly but politely escorted us to the union council. I tried to reason with the council and even with our mighty gifts, they would not listen to reason. I wonder how someone so rigid and square ever got the right to live, even less to lead someone. Its total madness as I see it. But at least they let us enter the Plane of trials to helt Romana finis her insane quest, before we got our 6 month ban from the city. We found Romanas employer without any problems, we handed him a mighty cube with unlimited possibilitys, and we got a berry in return, fair trade. He started fiddling with the cube and one could see a grin growing for each move he made on the cube, untill suddenly the grin turned to a pout. Surely he had fucked it up, a portal opened and som hiddeous creatures came through and draged him with them back through the gate. I only got a short glimse, but the other side of the gata didn`t look too pleasant. Believe me, ive seen hell, even endured it, but this looked like a worse kind of hell. So good luck to you mate and thanks for the berries.
And thats that, poff, we were at the Lilly of the west. Arthemis` decayed pub. Our arrival emptied the facilities in a mather of secunds. But the “barkeeper” managed to say that Innia wanted a word. So, with the cast of a mundane mass teleport, we all suddenly found our selves outside of Innias castle. The guards paniced and ran for their lives. Stupid, if i wanted them dead, running wouldn`t have helped them one bit. We entered the castle and Innias throne room. All of the important people in the resistance was there. The congregation looked shocked when we entered. Like we were some kind of ghosts. They said word of our deeds have been whispered in the darkness. But no one was sure if it was fact or fiction. Well I can tell you all its not fact, we are indeed as awesome as the storys would have it, and maybe even more so. The resistance told us about their army and what we are up against. I have been fighting against some of these people before, and i can`t help but wonder. Where did thei massive armies go? When i was up against them they were many times the amount of soldiers. Strange, i think some of them are holding back at us.
But the real problem, besides the obvious Sauron, is Shelob and her 100000 eggs. If these eggs hatch, the dragons will annihilate any resistance. But i have a joker up my sleve. A scroll that i haven`t told anyone about. This scroll will asure the destuction of Shelob and all her offspring. So once again the burden of turning the tides falls on the friendly neighbourhood necromancer. If i succeed, it will raise the moral for our troops, and devastate Sauron and his feeble troops. Sauron might be wary of me, so he might have something planed for me. This might be the last adventure for Anthrax the little boy from Isobar, one last task.
So Shelob, would you honor me with this last dance…….
Our job was done, the ancient plague was neutralized, and it was time for us, the mighty heroes from the material plane, to leave Wild World. Mokferuso thought this was an excellent idea, but had some work left to do. He hadn’t finished his study within The Codex of Demigod, so he spent 3 days and acquired 3 abilities; WIS +1, physical damage +5 and +10 fast healing (also working in wild world). The party voted whether or not to release the draconic dragons still alive, and unfortunately for the beasts, they still have to rest in their chains. The loot found in the library was collected, and most of the objects were somehow interesting enough to be put to use elsewhere. The heroes went to the portal by the mysterious, flying ship, which was left here for later use. Romana placed the coordinates in the mighty Portal, thereby providing access to City of Union. We all entered.
Immediately after entering City of Union (CoU), we were arrested by a Union Sentinel, and promptly taken to the Union Council, where all members were present. Of course they wanted to know why we had broken one of the laws of the city, thereby being banished from the city for six months. We addressed Chief councillor Revenia, and Anthrax produced stories which touched their hearts and gave us a bit more sympathy. In addition we presented a mighty gift, the book describing the forbidden portal and how to safely visit other universes. They were impressed! Mokferuso thought it would be a good idea to also tell the council about Sauron, the evil necromancer who had captured the demon Chaosalem inside him, gaining all his powers, and present the forbidden deed as a way to conquer him. We got their sympathy and finally everyone gained access to the Plane of Trials (POT), where our award was awaiting.
A Union Sentinel brought the heroes to another entrance, and we safely entered POT not far away from the Lars Monsen look-alike, who sat at the camp fire, warming his hands. He was quite pleased when he saw Romana, and asked for the cube. Mokferuso handed it over to him, and in return everyone got a berry to eat. All ate it, and got the following bonuses; CHA +5, Nat. AC increased by 1 per second level, initiative +5, + 5 on attributes placed wherever you want. It was, in the beginning, a win-win situation. Everyone were happy. The heroes for increasing their powers, Romana for getting her gear and Sirrush as well as increasing her powers, and Lars Monsen for his hellraiser cube. He started pushing and twisting the cube, and we all knew that he had to do it twenty times in order to achieve the possibility to twist reality. Fortunately for the universe, and in the same time unfortunately for him, he somewhere lost track of his operation and instead of controlling the cube, the cube somehow controlled him. Pinhead advanced from his hideous universe, throwing some sort of angles at Lars Monsen, capturing and slowly dragging Lars Monsen from POT to his sado-masochistic Hell, where his near future looked a bit like this; being tortured for the next 10 000 years. Lars Monsen screamed like no-one had ever done before, and the screaming eventually stopped when the portal closed behind them. We picked up the cube and left POT, and were immediately expelled from CoU for six months. How rude and uncivilized!
We entered Lili of the West, Arthermis’ water hole. His friend, someone so unimportant that his name isn’t worth saying, told us to return to Princess Innia’s castle for some sort of a meeting. Mokferuso sighted; there’s always someone who wants his attention. Some mighty mass teleport without error brought the heroes to the castle. The ice giants, normally guarding the entrance, flew from us upon sight. Strange behaviour… We entered, and the crowd stopped talking. The silence were total. Obviously, we had all changed, -except Arazaka Hara, of course, who is always at prime age. Princess Innia addressed us, and told us that stories of our deeds had been whispered in the corners of this world. We smiled, and explained our advancement to becoming demigods and demigod ascendants. Which they didn’t understand of course. Anyway, all members of the White Resistance were present. Their army was ready to attack upon demand, and the dwarven portal had been made ready for the final push. The 100 000 dragondemons were one day from hatching, and a woman and a man (sounds familiar Anthrax?), had been breeding a demonic orc race to mount the dragondemons. Some other information was also given; size of Sauron’s army, our army, Shelob and Sauron’s fortress. We’re hopelessly outnumbered, we need to act, and we need to do it fast. By the way; where is Balthazar and his pack of no-go(o)ds? (Ta-ching!). I will need his sword for beheading Sauron!
Dr. Strange said something interesting. On the top of the mountain in Himmelbyen, where Silvereye has his HQ, is Angelius’ heart. Brought to the dragon mountains, and a ritual is probably needed, he will awake and be able to stop Sauron. On the other hand, he might still be hungry and devouring the planet is a probable event…
Our second option is using time, letting Romana build her strength as a Godslayer before finishing Sauron within one year. Unfortunately, this might cause the annihilation of most living beings.
A third option is to use Baltazar’s sword, finishing Sauron with a natural 20. This is possible, but maybe together with the cube, -after Anthrax or someone as brave as Mokferuso, has solved it. This, of course, will bring the user down in HP, thereby weaken him permanently. Not a pleasant scenario, but it might work.
But first we need to finish 100 000 unhatched demondragons. Does someone have a plan? Anyone…?? HELLO???
Mokferuso, Arazaka Hara and Ottamata
Agents in the service of Good
Pics: Innia’s Ice Castle and the (new inhabitant of Hell) Lars Monsen-figure.
Ottamata knew this would be a day not like any other day he had experienced. For seven days he had prepared a nest, a home, a place to return to if his bode ever was killed. The universe would restore it, -he was sure. It felt right. His senses were sharp, his breath clear, his mind open. He rose, packed his bag and placed it neatly close to his bed. He went down to 6th floor, where he met Mokferuso and some other. He just uttered: “I’m ready”, and stepped into the Black Metal Transformer. Mokferuso pushed the green button, and Ottamata was enveloped by a cold, black liquid, totally covering him. Some seconds later Mokferuso pushed the red button, and Ottamata fell to the floor; shaken, but alive. His skin was now replaced by Black Metal, and he felt different. Ottamata smiled and left for his nest to pick up his bag.
The rest of the party was discussing which vessel to use. They knew they were going down, deep down into the lake, deeper than they ever had been before, but a lot of the time was spent on discussing whether or not to use the small crafts rather than the larger one. After some intense hours of discussing, the heroes chose one large ship rather than small ones. They lost maneuverability, but now Mokferuso could shoot while someone else drove the ship. One transporter was chosen and proudly named “Tirpitz”. Our heroes also spent some time learning how to steer Tirpitz, i.e. Mokferuso threw a wish, asking for Knarg to learn piloting. Knarg read the repair manual, learning how to fix the ship if something went wrong.
The assassination team was now ready to launch. But how? The hatch for transporting Tirpitz to the deck of the ship was closed, and the emergency system barely had enough power to sustain lightening and the elevator. The answer was chlorine gas from the dragons, etching up the steel. But it worked! Knarg easily maneuvered the ship into the air and landed smoothly on the calm surface. Tirpitz behaved, and suddenly the ship started to sink into the deep, black and unknown water…
It quickly became dark, and the heroes had to rely on their sharp senses as well as the ship’s radar system. The first 5000 meters went quite well, and suddenly 3 gigantic sharks appeared on the radar. Although the radar had a range of 1 km, the dots moved rapidly toward Tirpitz. Anthrax and Mokferuso used the sharks as target practice, because they were unable to do any damage to our solid ship. At 10 km a beholder kind of creature, 100 meter in diameter approached. Anthrax didn’t take any risks and left the ship. The beast didn’t even stand an Intensified Cone of Cold, and ended its miserable life (if one may call it a life?) frozen into pieces. So far, so good. So what next?
Knarg had his steady hand on his instruments, and Tirpitz descended to 20 km. Now Tirpitz started making noises, and the team had to make a halt to identify certain loose nuts. Knarg opened some hatches, used frequently dived into his toolbox for screwdrivers and wrenches. Quite interesting how our little comrade moved around, fixing stuff, but Tirpitz clearly didn’t like the environment he was put into. The party moral went from ok to a bit more nervous when a swimming naga moved at an incredible speed towards the ship. The beast coiled itself around the ship and squeezed. Tirpitz didn’t like it at all and started to take damage. Anthrax, now on the outside of the ship, resembling a pike, didn’t like it either, and casted an Intensified Horrid Wilting. The naga didn’t like it at all, and did the only appropriate thing; it died.
The hull was damaged, but could be repaired. It would take some time, so after a quick cost-value-evaluation the group went up and grabbed another ship. It was named Potemkin, and Potemkin took the heroes deep down under the sea. But also Potemkin felt the fury of a 20 km water column above it. The bald heroes went down to 22300 meters below water level, before they realized that it was futile to go any deeper. Potemkin ascended to 20 km. It looked like Anthrax was the only hope for going any deeper.
However, the group was distracted. 80 singing mermaids approached the vehicle, and unbelievably managed to charm Mokferuso, thereby gaining access to the craft. Mokferuso was in love for the first time, and he seemed satisfied. But Anthrax wasn’t satisfied with anything. The mermaids seem to be quite resistive with respect to damage, but he killed one of them. The creature died in a scream, and the other mermaids (except one) left. But they weren’t gone for long. Old daddy’o, an undead gigantic octopus, was woken from his sleep, and he looked a bit grumpy…
The shark and the octopus. Beasts from below.
Mokferuso’s eternal love.