Firstly my apologies for resurrecting this long dormant thread but it felt an appropriate thread to continue rather than create a new one.
I've been considering running some old Basic D&D red box for my group. Give them a taste of the good old days (before any of them were born!!!) and Karameikos seemed like an excellent place to use as a campaign setting so I thought I'd work up a nice bird's eye illustration of the city. Searching for info on Specularum (now apparently named Mirros), lead me first to the above topographical images and also to this thread.
My plan is to first create a 3D block model of the city to use as reference, for drawing over. Of course, I'd love to do a fully detailed, textured 3D model of the city that one could run about, but it would probably take the rest of my life, so I'll settle for a paintover
- something like this one I did for a friend's campaign:
Loudwater Player's map
I've long since given away my copy of GAZ1 and so I found some images of the various maps online.
I rescaled them to 1 pixel = 1 foot and overlayed them with the above topographical map.
As a side note, here's an interesting discrepancy: I scaled the Stronghold map to 1px=1' aswell and overlayed it. Once this is done, it is substantially smaller than the plan on the map. This isn't a surprise as it's quite possible that the plan on the map wasn't drawn to an exacting scale, just 'close enough'. However, I re-sized the GAZ1 map so that '1 inch' = 500 feet (instead of the 600 shown on the map), and the Stronghold plan overlayed almost exactly!
If you take the map for K:KoA and scale it similarly, Mirros is only about 2/3 to 3/4 the size of Specularum despite being the same map!
So, for arguments sake, I'll stick with the '1 inch = 600 feet' scale of the GAZ1 map and just give the Stronghold a little more breathing space.
Once I had my scales all sorted, I drew up an elevation which I'll share with you here and it pretty much confirms what's been discussed above. Quite a shallow incline and the hills are more like subtle undulations in the terrain rather than the sharp rise in the illustration mentioned (which makes Specularum look much smaller than it should be and places the Stronghold more around 400-500 foot above sea level, if not more.
I've resized this one so that 1 pixel = 8 feet (1/8th the original image)
The lower blue line is Sea Level, the upper, River level at 90' - decided upon above, and then the green line is the elevation cut through the Stronghold and the bay and across the river.
So, I then went on to start creating the 3D block model, and whilst it's really quite rough, I thought you might like to see some screenshots:
An aerial shot of the city looking NorthWest. I angled the light steeply so that you can get some idea of the 'hills':
A view from the river giving a more realistic idea of the lay of the land and the size and position of the Stronghold:
A view from the Guard Posts (9) at the docks looking up the main road to the Stronghold:
A view from the Stronghold gates looking out across the bay and the river:
I'll do some updated versions of these once I have some block buildings and walls put in.
Oh, as a side note, I made the Stronghold walls about 39 feet tall, which Wikipedia claims is an average height for a defensive curtain wall. It also says that they are usually about 9 feet thick, but the plans of the Stronghold would have it otherwise. Unless there are any strong objections, I'll probably make the city walls the same height.