This sunken city map was created for Open Design for their Pathfinder supplement Sunken Empires. I was asked to create a city in two halves – one above the sea and one below – built on top of the ruins of an ancient city that had been sunken beneath the waves and recently re-appeared. Nothing like a challenge…
The original city was vastly technologically superior and huge so the current city only needed to occupy some fraction of the ruins. I was told that the ancients used the golden ratio in their work and liked spirals. From that (and a very comprehensive art brief) I created the original city layout:
Once that was done, I turned the walls to rubble and totally destroyed large areas of the city. On top of the ruins I built the new cities, creating buildings in the rubble and filling out the districts. This was done in black and white (the original art brief) which ended up looking like this:
The guys at OD decided that they’d like to have it in colour too, so a little more work resulted in the map at the top of the post. I did a short Q&A on the development of the map over on the KQ website. You can find that here.
This is commercial work so it is rights reserved.
4 thoughts on “Cassedega – Built on the Ruined Remains of Ankeshel”
That map just blows me away, its so much cooler than any standard city map. The use of the Ratio combined with the ruined nature really helps suspend disbelief that this is not a real place.
This is exactly the kind of work I’ve been looking for for my historically-inspired campaign. I want to find (mega)dungeons where the layers intermingle in this way. Sometimes the new inhabitants will find and expand on what previous inhabitants have done and sometimes they will build unknowingly over the top.
I’m also interested how natural disasters might close off or cover up previously inhabited levels only to be (partially) rediscovered and reused later.
Thank you for this work.
Can you point us to more work you’ve done like this?
If you like sunken cities and post apocalyptic ruins then I’d recommend the book this map was created for. It’s called Sunken Empires and it details how to run games in locations like this. Now this map is the only half sunken city map in the book, but you’ll get a higher resolution version in the pdf itself.
As for my other work, I’d recommend having a look at my Paizo Store, or the RPGNow equivalent, where you’ll find map packs of a number of different locations – some of which might fit your needs. The stores get new contributions regularly, and I’ll announce here when they do so keep an eye on the blog for those announcements.