22 August, 2014

A Fox's Guide to Geomorphs (Part 13)

Geomorphs don't have to focus on wide sweeps of landscape, they can just as easily be used to model small locations...perhaps the specific confines of an encounter, a dungeon room, an alleyway, a passage with traps.
I was actually asked about this when I first started the series, but I figured that it was necessary to lay some ground rules and background information first.

There was a recent kickstarter where geomorph tiles were offered (I'll provide a link here as soon as I find it). That basically worked with these ideas, but I like a bit more detail in my geomorphs.

This system is basically four-phase "open space", "building", "left wall", and "right wall". Once you decide to add in varying widths of alleyway, you add in two more phases "narrow left wall" and "narrow right wall". In assembly, like the swamp geomorphs indicated earlier, left wall sides can only match up with equivalent right wall sides.

Basically it allows you to lay out modular settings for encounters to take place in, without needing to completely draw up new rooms each time. The set-up could work for square based movement games of the "Heroclix" variety.

Let's add a bit of colour to it.

I like to make sure each of the geomorphs has something interesting or different about it, but not too much. You'll note that in the straight wall sections, one has a sewer lid, one has a fire escape, one has a bit of a puddle draining away...in one of the corners I've added a stairway. For this particular colouring scheme I've made the alleyways seem a bit darker by showing the lighting effects on the ground from open windows. I could do more colouring effects to the rubbish piles and bins, but you get the idea.

From a cluster of a dozen different tiles (2 or three copies of each), you could make hundreds of possible encounter locations, making them all interesting and unique.
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