The flowchart doesn't have to be the same page as the battlemaps. Since they are not connected in physical space they could be presented next to their keyed entries, and if you are publishing for VTT you can include larger battlemaps as a separate file. Not really sure how this would work on practice, so throwing it out there more as a possibility than as a recommendation.You nailed it Beoric; the map is more a flowchart than a map. I believe we do need the the drawings for the purposes of VTT, just to have a place to put our counters and visualize combat. The circuit board is indeed for show and you're right, it's obscuring things. I was in love with my artwork and didn't want to rip it out. This can easily be cleaned up. Your criticism is in no way harsh, bring it on!
I guess my only constraint is I need the art to fit on an 8.5x11 page for print purposes, so I can't further separate the profile drawing of area 4 from the other areas.
Working in two-column mode with inset-maps allows some flexibility along these lines. You can live in a single column if it's long and skinny or span a strip across the top or bottom of the page if the illustration is wide and short. You can also have many small images in-line with the text.I guess my only constraint is I need the art to fit on an 8.5x11 page for print purposes, so I can't further separate the profile drawing of area 4 from the other areas.
I like what your suggesting here, but I'm staring at that stupid tree and failing to see how I could do it. I mean I guess I don't need accurate scale on the side view (though I like seeing the vertical distances mapped) but the top view I'm pretty attached to keeping the scale for tactical reasons. Definitely a cartoony representation of the map like in a video game would be more visually appealing and easier to disentangle though...Something this big gets a lot of advantage from being stylized for the sake of comprehension.
I still think that, but not necessarily in this case. I think your problem here is you are thinking two-dimensionally in what you are considering to be a "level", which causes you to have these unusable cross-sections. If you instead consider a level to be "all the branches that start at around the same height on the trunk", and follow them as they rise and fall so that you have different elevations on the same level, then it would be easier to read.Someone (Beoric?) mentioned that some things just weren't meant to be mapped for D&D which I am stubbornly refusing to believe.
I'm not sure I entirely understand this, but it sounds really promising. Almost the entire map is from the trunk, only the topmost path wanders out onto a branch, so pretty much everything is winding around and around the trunk overlapping platforms further below. I put in faint lines to show where some key overlaps are on the top-down map but even I can't entirely understand what connects to what.You could then mark elevations periodically, and use grid or hex coordinates for the maps. By comparing elevation and grid coordinates between mapped "levels", you could figure out how to move horizontally or vertically between levels when you are moving from branch to branch. So if you fall from hex xx.yy at elevation z, you could look at the other maps and see if you would hit a branch or if you would fall all the way to the ground.