It can be tricky to draw water on a map. You don’t want to fill areas with a flat blue, but you also don’t want to draw every wave and ripple. The trick is to strike a balance, and provide a visual shorthand that quickly sells the presence of water. When putting this together I was thinking about Mike Schley‘s water style (shown in this map).
This week I’m looking at how to take published maps, rescale them for miniature or virtual tabletop use and then slice them up for printing at home. Continue reading “Tips and Tricks: Rescaling Maps and Slicing Them Up”
Any self respecting bandit needs a lair. This month’s Fantastic Maps release, in partnership with Kobold Quarterly, presents a cavern lair that any Bandit prince would be proud of. The cave system was carved from the rock by the waterfall that still run through the middle, cascading between the two levels. Continue reading “The Bandit’s Lair”
I’ve been keeping up a game with a couple of friends from university (using maptool as we’re now on different continents). We take it in turns to run sessions, and in one Pathfinder game we’re exploring the manifold intrigues of the Kingdom of Thulaan and the royal court of Orphaleson. There are scheming Dukes, warring religious factions and dispossessed sons of nobles, along with a looming orc threat and some unwholesome undead raised by forbidden necromancers.
It’s great fun and we’re starting to get a feel for the world. The GM has managed to create a great suspension of disbelief by keeping most of the foes human and the plot lines believable – no mean feat in the fantasy world of dungeons and dragons. I suspect his PhD in Mediaeval Polish history has come in very handy whilst building this campaign.
But this is a cartography blog rather than a campaign journal – so it should be no surprise that I’ve been playing with putting together a map of the lands of Thulaan. Continue reading “Work in Progress – The Kingdom of Thulaan”
It’s the first of the month, and that means a new Fantastic Maps map pack, in partnership with Kobold Quarterly! This month we go dark and dungeon-y with a Necromancer’s Lair. The map shows a large underground room with spiked pits, rubble, raised platforms, gargoyle statues and magic circles. Continue reading “New Map Pack – Necromancer’s Lair”
After showing off the city map tiles for Wayfinder #4 (previous post) it got me thinking. The square format is repetitive and blocky. Also, the directional lighting means the tiles can’t be rotated for variety without it looking like there are 4 different suns. So, whilst they are pretty, they have their drawbacks when trying to create a large map. I also feel that creating a whole city at this level of detail is a bit of a fools errand. That’s a lot of tiles to build a district, let alone a full city.
So I’ve been playing around, and because this is a personal project rather than a commission, I can make my mulling public. So here’s what I’ve come up with so far.
Here’s some of the logic behind the design: Continue reading “City tile ideas”
March 4th is GM’s Day and RPGNow is running a GM’s day sale until the 7th. For this time Fantastic Maps are (almost) all $0.99. Dropping your players in lava has never been so cheap! Check them out here.
Two new map packs on sale this week – Glass Ships and Icebergs and the Arena of Fire. These are both from the Coliseum Morpheuon project by Rite Publishing and form the backdrop for different contests in the adventure. In you own campaign these could be the terrain for an arctic exploration with ice breakers, or the entrance to a frozen underwater lair. The Arena of Fire could be an alien vault with a river of lava or the central square of a city, shaken by an erupting volcano. Continue reading “New Map Packs – The Ice Ships and the Arena of Fire”
As with the last map pack, this one hails from the Coliseum Morpheuon project by Rite Publishing. In this case a library destroyed by meteors. Fun to create with the landscape torn and blasted under an aggressive sun:
Here’s a small preview of the full size map in the pack: Continue reading “Another New Map Pack – The Ruined Library”