Scenic Tour: Falcon’s Hollow

Falcon’s Hollow is a small lumber town in Paizo’s Pathfinder Chronicles setting. It sits in the Darkmoon Vale in the nation of Andoran, a short distance from the Darkmoon Wood which serves as the town’s primary economic resource. The town is governed by Thuldrin Kreed, a petty tyrant who rules the town and the Lumber Consortium through brutality and intimidation.

Pathfinder as a setting provides a neat alternative to Forgotten Realms as a generic sword and sorcery setting. It changes enough to be unique and interesting while still feeling comfortably familiar. This particular area is for an upcoming project in the Pathfinder setting. Details will follow as they’re released publicly.

Most of my experience design areas for PWs has been for custom settings, or custom regions in familiar settings such as Forgotten Realms or Medieval Wales. This has granted me an extraordinary freedom in terms of design, as there was no onus on adhering to an established lore. I was in a sense creating it as I went, each street and building establishing the layout.

In this case, I decided to adhere to the general structure of the city as it’s presented in the Pathfinder setting. Neverwinter Nights 2 has some difficulty handling areas of a certain size, so I scaled down a little bit by leaving out unimportant buildings and streets, all the while maintaining the general feel of the town and the placement of noteworthy structures.

For comparison, here is an overhead shot of my rendition taken in the Electron toolset. The rendering within the toolset itself isn’t quite on par with what the game looks like, but you get the general idea.

FH Top Down

The fun in designing a town like this doesn’t need to come from creating an intricate layout. Yes, it’s certainly possible. Wonderful works are to be had when you create a bizarre and twisted landscape and proceed to imagine how people might have settled there. In this case though, I had to content myself to filling in the details. To that effect, here some of them are.

Falcon’s Hollow’s lower market is where most of the town’s population comes to barter and trade. The food is of dubious quality, and everything else is worn and cheap.

FH Lower Market Close

One of the longer streets opens onto the lower market. The roads are hard-packed dirt. A small wood adorns the hill above the market, marking a natural boundary to the town.

FH Street ViewAn intersection of two more streets. The market is visible to the left. In the foreground is an herbalist’s abode and one of the grander buildings of the town.

FH IntersectionUnlike the layout in Pathfinder’s map, I decided to add a boardwalk to the riverfront. This is partly out of convenience, as the assets available to me suit a boardwalk over several piers.

FH Boardwalk

The town’s Cutyard is the central component of its economy. This was an interesting challenge, as I hardly had any appropriate assets at all. The sawmill is assembled out of a dock, a few saw horses, a windmill in place of a waterwheel, and a saw-toothed falchion in place of a proper saw. It only looks okay, but it’s the best that could be done given the tools available.

FH Cutyard

The follow two are of the upper market in the aptly named Perch. This raised portion of the town is more fortified, and is restricted to the rich, wealthy, and lucky. The food here is fresh, and the goods fine in quality and quantity.

FH Upper Market 2

FH Upper Market 1

Finally, we have a view of the town’s northern gate. It isn’t all that interesting save that the house and trees off in the distance are at half-scale. The road gets narrow and the assets shrink in size, creating the illusion of distance. The Electron toolset only allows for a small amount of space outside of the walkable map to create a visual border. This was an experiment in making the most of it.

FH Gate

All in all, this was a fun project. It was my first time working with mostly dirts and muds instead of grass, and it took an extra effort to keep the whole area interesting to look at. I’ll leave you with another screenshot from the toolset, showing the town as a whole.

Falcon's Hollow ToolsetThis post uses trademarks and/or copyrights owned by Paizo Publishing, LLC, which are used under Paizo’s Community Use Policy. We are expressly prohibited from charging you to use or access this content. This post is not published, endorsed, or specifically approved by Paizo Publishing. For more information about Paizo’s Community Use Policy, please visit paizo.com/communityuse. For more information about Paizo Publishing and Paizo products, please visit paizo.com.

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