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Mechanus

   
Mechanus



I was experimenting with creating a battlemap for a D&D game I am running, currently on the plane of Mechanus. I always found it quite flavourful as a place in Forgotten Realms yet rarely depicted.

Since it is conveniently pretty featureless, and I happened to have some gears from a past project, one idea I had was to render an object from above (I happen to know how to use 3ds max), using mostly shadows to imply the shapes nearby and then put a battle grid on top of it with the maptool.

Naturally I went off the deep end and started playing with it (photoshop filter galore!) and I kinda like the "inky-industrial" feel of how this picture turned out and thought to share. (obviously not a battle map)

That's pretty cool. I always thought Mechanus was one of the most interesting planes but sorely underused.

I agree. I set a whole dungeon crawl through the plane with towns and cities built upon the clockworks. It turned out to be too difficult to actually keep track of where the gears where at any particular time, so I rolled randomly to for when bridges were open or closed or for when there were 'clock events' like a gear change which would drop sections down to pick up different gear ratios. A big drawback/interesting feature of running in Mechanus is that players suddenly discover that bullrush is awesome.

True, but that only really works well if you're having a fight near the edge of one of the cogs (at which point the berks have a bigger problem due to the fact that Mechanus' directional gravity gives out near the edge of the cogs) or you're on a really small cog.

I have to say, I am not imagining Mechanus as being "just" floating gears, rather those gears as having gear shafts too, which in turn are supported by other elements etc. Machines are often defined by their non moving elements as much as their moving ones.
As a result there's quite a bit of non-rotating superstructure. All of which naturally has austere geometric shapes like pure rectangular plates etc.





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