On the Zeitgeist

Zeitgeist is here. This week we heard all the buzz as the ENnie nominees were announced, but ENWorld has long ago ventured forth from just being the busiest D&D community on the net to publishing great content too. I picked up the job of illustrating the world map and several regional maps for the new campaign setting that’s coming out shortly – the world of Zeitgeist:

The fantasy world map of the pathfinder world of Zeitgeist for ENWorld publishing

The world map features pretty heavily in the GM and player guides and there’s a city map that appears in the GM’s guide. There are also a couple of sneak peaks of other maps I did for the first adventure arc if you look carefully at the trailer video, but I’ll wait until those are in a published supplement before I post them here.

The world of Zeitgeist is one of steampunk and grit. Fell magics battle with mighty monsters of steel and brass. The art in the series gives the world a great feel. Deep in the jungles men carve out cities from the virgin woods. One such city is the city of Flint (I’ve removed the labels to minimise any spoilers):

Map of the fantasy city of Flint for the Zeitgeist pathfinder worldIt was great fun to work up some cogs and wheels, and to create another full blown city map. The different areas all have their own character and hopefully the layout, houses and organisation reflect that – right down to the switchback roads leading up into the jungle peaks.

If you want to check out the Zeitgeist world (and seriously – the GM and player guides are free so you’ve got no excuse) then check out the ENWorld page as the world develops. I’ll be posting another update once the other maps I’ve done go live and I can show off a little more of this remarkable world.

23 thoughts on “On the Zeitgeist”

  1. Jon, did you do some of the battlemaps as well?

    Some of us online DMs have been hassling Morrus to give us the pixels-per-square information so that we can line up the maps with the automated grids of virtual tabletops such as MapTool.

    If I’m not being clear, let me give an example. The squares on the “Docks” map that Morrus has posted on the EN Publishing forum appear to be roughly 51.6 pixels by 51.6 pixels. Therefore if we set the MapTool grid to 51.6 x 51.6, the MapTool grid lines up perfectly with your drawn squares.*

    If you did any of the battlemaps, any chance you could give that information to Morrus or us?

    *In actual fact, MapTool doesn’t allow portions of a pixel, so in fact what we do is rescale the image so that each square is 52×52 or 51×51.

    1. I didn’t do the battlemaps, but I know the guy who did. I’ll see if I can get you an answer on that. I know partial pixels can be a pain with maptool – I remember trying to line up scanned maps from old Dungeon adventures in maptool…

      1. That’d be awesome!

        It’d probably be enough just for the battlemap cartographer (who we know only by the alias d20Monkey) to know that giving Morrus the info would help us immensely. I’m pretty sure that Morrus would pass the info on, what with being an all-round great guy and all…

      2. Oh, and partial pixels aren’t a big deal. I’m certainly not suggesting that ease of creation should play second fiddle. After all, it only takes a calculator for me to figure out that I turn a 51.6 map into a 52 map by scaling it up by a factor of 1.007 and then Microsoft Paint for me to do that rescaling.

        The key thing is to know that it’s 51.6 to start with, and there’s no painless way to get to that level of specificity at our end.

    2. Hmm, nested comments don’t seem to be working that well on here. Ah well.

      To figure out partial pixels I generally take an area that’s 10 or 20 squares across and measure the size in pixels. Photoshop and gimp both have measuring tools that will do this. Or if there’s a whole number of squares in the total image then you can divide the total pixel size of the image (available from Get Info or lots of other places) by the number of squares. Or you can just ask Brian (d20Monkey on twitter) 🙂

  2. Hey guys! I’m Brian Patterson, the cartographer doing the battle maps for Zeitgeist

    Jon called me over to get in on the scale discussion for online map-tools, etc. I’m at my day job right now but when I get to the house this evening I’ll get the specifics for you. I just wanted to pop in and let you know answers are on the way.

    I hope you all enjoy the work on the battle maps and I am looking forward to the rest of the series as well.

    Jon, your work on the continent maps is absolutely beautiful. Well done, sir.


    1. This one is all photoshop, so no CC3 in there at all. It can be done in CC3 I believe, but it’s a more involved process.

  3. Hey guys! Sorry for the delay. It’s been a hectic week and I had to send along the hi-res versions of the battle maps to the EN crew.

    Okay for the hi-res versions of the maps:
    1746 x 2550 at 300 resolution

    It looks like they included the hi-res maps in the DM Maps section of the PDF so this should line up. I’ll admit, I do not use Map Tools (I’m lucky enough to have access to a large format printer) but I would love to get the logistics down to include the Map Tools information with any maps I do in the future (ZG or otherwise) for the folks who use it.

    Let me know if this works for you. If it is still off a bit, the layout guys may have changed the image size for the PDF. I’ll send along an email and ask for specifics.

    Again, I hope you guys enjoy the battle maps and I’m looking forward to the next installment!

  4. After taking a measurement for partial pixels per grid square on the hi-res version of the maps here is what I came up with (in Pixels):

    Docks: 59
    King’s Arrival: 27
    Tower: 75
    Coaltongue: 31
    Hedge Maze: 37
    Sea Cave: 63

    During the creation process I had to adjust the grid for each map to account for scale, zoom and level of the detail called for with each map. I hope this gives you guys what you need but if not, please feel free to let me know here or through Twitter (@d20monkey) and I’ll keep working on it until I get you what you need to enjoy the maps online. 🙂

    I’ll ask Ryan Nock about possibly adding a small key for Map Tools users with future maps as well. Maybe a small ghosted annotation at the bottom of the map with the scale.

    1. My hand drawn style tends to lend itself to an old-world feel rather than sci-fi, but I have done a couple of sci-fi pieces for Mongoose publishing. Are you a sci-fi gamer?

      Apologies for the delay in replying – your comments were captured by the spam demon, and I only just managed to break them free.

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