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This isn’t my best-looking map by any stretch of the imagination. I struggled to find a way to shade it while making it obvious that the dungeon is situated underwater, and I had to fall back on some free vectors of the lighthouse and rocks that form the surface because I completely forgot to draw them in. At some point in the (probably near) future I’ll go back and draw this up with a bit more polish (including fixing the wonky dome at the bottom).
Disclaimers aside, it’s probably fairly obvious that this map takes a large chunk of inspiration from the Bioshock series and Sealab 2020. I doubt it’s ever something I’ll get to run my players through, but it was fun to design and once I’ve populated it I may write it up as a free standalone adventure.
The elevator descends on chains from the lighthouse above through a clear tube that allows a perfect view of the darkening ocean surrounding it and the glowing lights of the complex far below. The elevator opens up into a large atrium with more tubes that branch off into the sea, containing walkways that lead further in to the base. The Overseer Lives in the domed chamber at the top of the base, with a direct passage to the atrium that is guarded at all times. The chamber below his contains a private elevator that leads directly to the hangar dome on the seabed.
The westernmost passage from the atrium leads up to the guards’ room and down to a elevator used to transport captives and criminals down to the dungeon built in the to floor of the ocean. This elevator shaft contains huge sliding steel doors above an airlock door of sorts that opens directly in to the ocean. In the event of an attack on the base or an uprising in the dungeon the steel doors slam shut and the airlock opens, allowing the water to rush in to the base and flood the dungeon below.
The second level of the base contains general living quarters for those who live and work here – barracks, kitchens, dining rooms and the like,
The bottom floor of the main complex leads to individual labs and research centres that are suspended from the complex in a circle that expands out beyond the dungeon and hangar below. Each of these research centres can be jettisoned from the complex in the event of an emergency, when they will fall to the seabed below.
The large domed structure on the base of the ocean is the hanger, which contains the Overseers fleet of aquatic vehicles and the bulk of his weapons cache.
I’m a little torn when it comes to populating this map, truth be told. It obviously lends itself well to a scifi setting, and could definitely be made to work in a more Jules Verne-ian steampunk-feeling world. My group play in a traditional (ish) fantasy setting, though, and I’m really curious to see what I can do to this base to make it work in that kind of world without feeling anachronistic. That’s for a future post, though – along with a better quality map.