March 14, 2012

The Ruins Above The Dungeons

My original plans for the Tower of Zordaz included the ruins of a big castle over the dungeons; not for nothing the project started under the name of Castle Doom (a fact that I recall only because the original maps where so labeled). By the way, at some point I decided to go with a dungeon built under a big, alien, inaccessible tower, the entrance of which I was thinking to locate at the very end of the last level. Now I'm reconsidering this choice, partly for being inspired by JRient's Caves of Myrddin and partly because I've had some cool ideas on how to make that ruins worth of exploration.

Now, my grandma happens to own a castle, il Castello di Riva. It was the residence of her family, and I used to go there each and every summer when I was a kid. This probably has something to do with my addiction to fantasy gaming and literature. By the way, I'm thinking to use the real castle floorplans to model the ruins above the dungeons of Zordaz. If you look at this map you will find that it's composed by five main buildings: the lord's manor (incorporating the gate), three small towers and a big 100' high tower in the northern corner (this also has a small dungeon right under). The green region indicates the old moat. The castle is located on the top of a ravine, with a river flowing dozens feet below; I'm thinking of relocating it at the top of a cliff, kinda like Camelot in the tv series of the same name.

I imagine several caverns opening directly on the cliff, one of them possibly housing an ancient red dragon. Now, back to the castle itself, I find it sexy because it adds several new exciting possibilities. For example, I always wandered what was beneath the well in the middle of the garden when I was a kid. I guess it's time to find out myself.


  1. Quite jealous. My grandmother owned a watermelon farm... ;)

  2. I did the same with my megadungeon Castle Verge, making the surface levels just as detailed as the dungeon below. Somehow it makes the place look even bigger (and more complicated) than it would have if I just included more dungeon levels below the surface.

    I like how the castle you linked to is composed of several seperate buildings.
    (And your grandma owns a castle? That's just awesome.)

    1. I won't lie: your floorplan maps were quite inspiring too. I think you did a great job with those!

  3. Molto pittoresco! I also use a real castle as the model for my megadungeon aboveground, in this case the enormous Spis castle in Slovakia.

  4. "Now, my grandma happens to own a castle..." :) My grandma has a condo. Score one for Europe. haha

    1. Sorry dude, my grandma has a castle and a condo ;)

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