A bit of a departure from my usual Classic 80's castle, but I've taken a brief deviation into Heroica. I picked up Castle Fortaan cheaply the other day and have become rather enamoured with it's Micro scale architecture. Dusting off my limited selection of Bley I decided to attempt a landscape of my own.
The inspiration came from Matthew Copeland's LEGO Multitier Heroica that I spotted on Flicker, that of a multi-level set. However, as ever, I'd rather try to do something that looks as if the Lego group might actually sell it rather than Matthew Copeland's detailed designs.
The starting point was a valley piece and mountain piece.
The step on the mountains was deliberately intentional, partly to make them at least slightly conical but mostly to act as a mounting point for the linkage between mountains: a bridge.
Valley floors are somewhat simpler, 4 tiles in a row.
To introduce a bit of variety some variants of mountains were developed. Here we have a rocky outcrop and a watchtower.
Similarly the valley pieces are enlivened with the occasional tree.
Finally a number of different variants for bridges. A rope bridge, a stone bridge with path beneath and finally a stockade blocking off the valley.
The stockade led to the idea of a gatehouse. The standard Heroica rules applying to the door.
A grotto might act as a good place for hiding some treasure, a potion or gold.
In order to move between the valley floor and the mountains there needs to be some steps. The set below straddles two mountains and allows you to climb up and down the far side as well as getting to the mountain tops. At this point on fairly simple rule needs to be added, you may only move onto an adjacent tile if it's height difference from your current tile is one brick or less.
Another variant on the steps theme.
Waterfalls also occur in mountains and add more variety to the landscape. A double section of waterfall and bridge.
Another waterfall and another new rule to allow quick descent from the mountains. If the hero lands on the dark blue tile at the top then they move straight to the blue tile at the bottom and roll the dice. If they roll a skull then they suffer 1 point of damage as they "go over" the waterfall.
A bridge across the water
The water flows beneath a mountain.
The full set of water tiles aassembled.
With the modular sections all built up it was time to assemble a landscape. This actually proved to be harder than it seems, not in terms of clicking the bricks together but in terms of providing a sensible landscape to adventure across. My original design intent was to allow the adventurers a choice of taking the mountains or valleys to get a key (temporarily represented by the brown stick in the pearl gold cone) then they could again choose the to go high or low to get to the door in the gatehouse.
These and the main image show the landscape from each side.
I hadn't put in monsters but the intention is to use scorpions in the mountains and spiders in the valleys. Each route would have the same number of monsters.
Whilst pulling all this together I realised that a few things were missing.
The grotto isn't attached, therefore nowhere nice to hide treasure.
The bridges over the river go nowhere! Why cross them if there's nothing there.
There's no focus to the quest, once you're through the stockade there's nothing.
I'll have to keep playing with landscape and trying to build it up in different ways until I find a configuration that I'm happy with.
I've been trying to resolve my own issues with the original and to build a better more playable landscape in the process.
Firstly a couple of new sections. This temple acts as the focus of the quest and gives the landscape and acts as an end goal.
When building the first landscape I realised that the linear river was problematic. This bend in the river might just help when I come to building another landscape.
Corner links, these allow the heroes to get to the grotto.
Modified steps, a little waterfall breaks up the grey.
Some additional steps. It wasn't until I started building up the landscapes that I realised just how useful and important the steps are since they are the decision points at which the heroes decide whether to go up through the mountains or down through the valley. These steps have a little hut as decoration.
An alternate valley tile with a little house.
I started working on the landscape backwards. I put the end-goal, the temple, in first and then went back from there. Access to the temple is either through the gateway or over the waterfall, the routes intertwine back from there. They rejoin again exactly the same number of tiles away and this is where the key is placed. From there there are two routes back to the start, again the same number of tiles in length. Side quests to potions and treasure give some additional structure to the landscape.
From the start the heroes ascend up the stairs into the mountains. They reach their first decision point, turn left and fight the goblin for a potion, turn right and travel through the mountains or descend back down into the valley.
When the two paths rejoin it's an all out race to the key. If someone gets there before you then your decision might already be made, take the high road through the mountains and jump the waterfall! The mountains also has more side quests for treasure or potions if you think it will help.
The final stretch, the temple and the treasure are protected by the Goblin King.
This is really cool. I just went and bought the Ilrion set today and it has re-sparked my interest in the game. I like your ideas and I will use some of the concepts in my map idea, such as the 1 brick steps to higher tiers. Great design too! ~Thoy
i love it! this is a great set, the bridges could perhaps lead to a old fort on a island? and the stock-aid could lead to the next map? and the grotto..... could perhaps instead of a grotto but lead underground to a different map? just some ideas, 5/5, love the build!