A while back I created some dungeon geomorphs that you can find now in the downloads section. I thought that today I’d write a tutorial on how to create them yourself.
Before I start, I thought I should mention that there are also a number of video tutorials available created by Joe Sweeney that may be helpful as well. I have an article with links to all of his videos listed in order. Hope they help.
Before You Start
In order to create dungeon geomorphs, you will need a copy of Campaign Cartographer 3 and Dungeon Designer 3, both from ProFantasy. You will also need Joe Sweeney’s Battlegrid template, available free on the ProFantasy website.
Load Campaign Cartographer and click on the DD3 icon. Select File | New and save your existing work if necessary. When the New Drawing wizard comes up, select Dungeons for the map type, checkmark Pick a Predefined Template and click Next. Locate Annual Battle Tiles Dungeon.FCT and click on it.
Enable the Guides
This template has a number of guides showing you where to place the corridors so that each geomorph will have corridors in the same places and therefore all fit together. Click on Layers and you will see that there are a number of layers with names that begin with “Guides” that are all hidden. Un-hide Guides – 10F Connectors and click OK
Drawing the Floor
Right click the Floor icon, select Floor, Dirt Brown 3, Straight and draw the floor outline.
Drawing the Walls
Right click the Default Wall icon and select Wall, Current Fill, Current Width. We need to modify that a bit. Click Fill Style and select the Bitmap Files tab. From the Fill Style Name dropdown, select Dirt Brown 5 Bitmap and click OK. Click on Width, enter a new Line Width Setting of 1.0 and click OK.
Since we used the same color for the walls as the default background, the walls currently don’t really show up. That will change. Click on Sheets and Effects, checkmark Activate Sheet Effects and click OK. You should now be able to see the walls more clearly and there should be a shadow just inside the walls all around the room. However, the gridlines are over everything and they look odd that way.
Click on Sheets and Effects again. Click on the Grid sheet and use the Move Up button to move it up the list until it is just below the last of the Floor sheets. Click OK and the gridlines should no longer be above the walls.
Click on Sheets and Effects again. Click Add to create a new sheet. I like to name it “Dead Space”. Type in whatever name you like and click OK. Use the Move Up button to move the new sheet up the list until it is just above Walls and click OK.
Click Fill Style and select the Bitmap Files tab. From the Fill Style Name dropdown, select Dirt Brown 5 Bitmap and click OK. This is the same fill style we selected for the walls. Click Polygon and outline the same areas you did when you created the walls and click Redraw.
The areas outside the walls should no longer have any gridlines showing. The gridlines in the room area have a couple of effects set to help them stand out. Against some backgrounds this really helps but with the background we have selected they aren’t needed and I think the map looks better without them. Click on Sheets and Effects, select Grid, un-checkmark both effects, and click OK
One last thing. Go to Layers, re-hide the guide you selected earlier, and click OK.
You should now have a beautiful dungeon geomorph. Print it out, laminate it and it’s ready to go. Be sure to watch Joe Sweeney’s video tutorial on Printing to see how to print it out so that each grid is exactly 1″.
There’s Something Wrong
I made a number of geomorphs using this method. They are all available in the downloads section. When I started creating some with 5′ corridors, I noticed that something was wrong. The squares weren’t square. When I drew the walls, I selected 1′ thick walls. These were drawn centered on the grid lines. That means that half of each wall projected into the rooms and corridors. The 30′ x 30′ rooms are actually 29′ x 29′. That’s not really noticeable. The 10′ wide corridors are really 9′ wide corridors. A little more noticeable but still not a real problem. However, the 5′ wide corridors are only 4′ wide. That’s a bit more significant.
How To Fix It
The answer is quite simple. Go to Tools | Snaps | Grid Settings. Currently, it is set to 5′ Grid, 2 Snap. Click Edit and change Snap Divisions from 2 to 20. Click OK and OK again.
Now you will snap to 0.5′ snaps. Use the same process described above but draw the walls and the polygons for the areas outside the walls (but not the floors) all set back one snap point. That will put you 0.5′ away from where you want. Your walls will then stick out 0.5′ to either side of where you draw them. That will put the inner edge of the walls exactly where you want them. Your 5′ wide corridors will now be 5′ wide.