Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Hero Kids Setting: The Brecken Vale

Last year my art buddy Josh Sacco and I spent some time developing a Photoshop map template that people like me (semi-artists) can use to put together decent maps without having to spend years and years actually learning how to art...

I've finally gotten around to using this beautiful piece of PSD action to put together this map of the setting for Hero Kids: The Brecken Vale, which is described thusly:

You live in a small village, Rivenshore, which is nestled in a tight valley beneath a range of towering mountains.
Rivenshore would be a beautiful place to live, if it weren’t beset by an endless series of calamities.
The village is on the eastern shore of the Camarva River. The river runs fast and crooked from the mountains, down through the valley, The Brecken Vale, and out into a small bay. To the east of the village are the dark and wild Darkenwold Woods, which have claimed many foolish travelers.
The Brecken Vale is bounded by the Druinhowe Mountains, their snow-covered peaks cloaked in cloud.
The vale should be a haven for its civilized inhabitants, but instead it keeps them in close proximity to no end of threats that offer boundless opportunities for adventure.

And here's the end result, which should give the GM and kids something to get their imagination going:

Probably the most difficult part of this map was the research for the etymology of the place names:

Brecken Vale: Valley of the crooked river
Druinhowe Mountains: Ridged mountains
Darkenwold Woods: Holy woodland
Rivenshore: River-shore, but without any great etymological basis!

Considering I do most of my research late at night, don't sue me if my derivations are erroneous (or crazy).

People keep telling me that Heroes Against Darkness needs a setting, so this is a start:
Heroes Against Darkness: Downloads.


  1. That really is a sweet looking map. You mention a template? What does that entail, and is it something which you would be willing to share?

    1. Thanks.

      It's a Photoshop file that contains a bunch of elements which can be duplicated and repositioned (etc) to create the details of the map (mountains, forests, towns, rocks, cliffs, etc). It also has layers for the landscape, so that the water shading and ripples are automatically generated. It does require some Photoshop competence, so it's not really good for beginners.

      I'm not sure whether I will end up releasing it for free or putting it up on DriveThruRPG. Obviously free is better, but I gotta make a few dollars off all this some day! :-)

  2. And here was me thinking it was a nod to a lovely camping holiday you may have had. http://www.breconbeacons.org/

    1. Ha, we're a long way from there, so our camping holiday's going to be closer to home (Australia)...