Friday, July 15, 2011

[Sketch] Towering City

Sometimes I survive long meetings by bringing a clipboard with some drawing paper and an HB pencil, and letting loose. I'd love to know where this city is. I was thinking about Kafka's castle and about Gormenghast when I was developing this. I think there's a mastermind or demigod up at the top, and people ascend the city to seek his favor. There's also a great Neil Gaiman story in Miracleman: Book Four about some mortals climbing MM's pyramid to ask him for help with various crises in their lives.


  1. I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to say that I love this sketch. I've been working on a campaign with a similar tower city at the center of a wilderness sandbox. Most structures are similarly vertical (though often underground). I was just wondering if you'd thought about how to present the verticality of the city to your players... dungeons are easy, they just have to bring lots of rope. The city? I'm not so sure... Does it even matter unless there are city adventures?

  2. Thanks for the post. I can think of several ways the city could be organized, but like all maps, I design them first as a series of nodes connected by lines, like a flow chart. All you need is a capsule description for each neighborhood/zone. One cool idea might be that the city is like a coral reef, with a "living" outer later and a "dead" interior. As new structures are built onto the sides, the old ones beneath are occupied by poorer and poorer castes of people, with the old core of the city basically a tall, thin dungeon.