Today we’re going to do something a little different…
When I saw the announcement for a gorgeous Haunted Mansion map from the folks at Heroic Maps show up in my e-mail box, I knew it served a perfect opportunity to bring a number of things together…
First, I love the work the Heroic Maps folks have done. Every one looks fantastic in color, though I’m wishing the black and white versions were a bit clearer (perhaps lighten the background a bit more and darken the more important lines. Printing on my old laser printer it’s a bit tough to see what things are.) But that’s a minor point. They’re just what I was looking for in this case and will work great!
Second, though I know I have some great products to populate the rooms in this spooky place, I suspect to really fill it in with the details it may need, I’m going to find some gaps in the Moebius catalog that need to be patched up. My plan is to work through the floor plan a room at a time using books like the Big Book of Little Spaces: Haunts and Brick by Brick: Doors and see where that gets me.
So let’s get started with the front door. It deserves the Brick by Brick treatment. Some of the categories are already chosen for me based on the maps and I’ll roll a few.
- Purpose: Keep things out (it has a lock)
- Purpose descriptor: Starting (it’s the entrance)
- Placement: High sill (it appears to be at the top of a small set of stairs – three steps, roughly 8 inches in height each, would bring the top step to about 24″ off the ground)
- Doorway shape: Rectangle (appears to be a traditional door or double door)
- Maker, Fixer, Saboteur: Craftsman (old houses were made with care)
- Reason made: Legacy (random)
- Materials: Mahogany (random)
- Construction type: Double door
- Opening: Swing (hinged)
- Automation: Auto (random)
- Lock/Closure type: Hidden switch or button (random)
- Door condition: Cracked (random)
- Door state: Stuck (random)
- Age: Decades old (random)
This collection of terms starts to form a bit of a picture:
“As you approach the old house, it is clear that nobody has lived here for a very long time. The grounds are overgrown, covered in grass, dirt, and rocks, and the walkway is made of broken and missing stones, making it a hazardous walk to the stairs. The three front stairs are short, made of poured concrete, and rise to a set of double-doors made of mahogany. They would be beautiful if not for the ugly cracks where someone tried to bash their way in at some point. Oddly, there are no handles to open the door in a traditional way — the doors are locked tight and do not budge.
After a bit of searching, you find a hidden stone button on one of the stairs that moves one of the doors a couple of inches towards opening. It’s obvious the mechanism has not worked in some time, but you are able to pry them open with some tools and a bit of elbow grease. They open with a disturbing creak that may in fact be loud enough to wake the dead…”
(I have to say thanks to my friend Mike (aka Forged) for offering some editing suggestions on that first paragraph. He’s been writing a great series of posts over at Game Knight Reviews called “The Forged Front” if you’re interested in his take on some gaming topics…)
Yes, I think that will do nicely. And that’s just for starters! Tomorrow we’ll see what exists in that front hallway and how we approach populating a room…
Looking for other ideas in this challenge? Check out the 31 Days of Halloween category!