Normally when a client comes with a map commission, they know what they want you to draw – or they have an idea of the major locations, or at least a landmass. But Open Design doesn’t always choose ‘normal’. Right now I’m mapping the unknown – literally:
The vast ocean will not remain unknown for long. Explorers will board ship in Barsella, the City at the End of the World, and traverse the uncharted waters off the west coast of world of Midgard. They will happen across strange and wondrous lands and populate them with fantastic and deadly beasts (such as the Nethysule). As they create the world, the map will evolve to show their discoveries. The Isle of Morphoi is already taking shape:
Who are the explorers? Well – anyone who chips in on the Journey to the West Kickstarter(it’s not a press-gang, crew on this voyage are entirely voluntary). This project, like many Open Design projects, is a community driven affair. If you contribute $25 or more, you’ll get to jump into the forums and help shape the lands beyond the horizon. The project’s already funded, but there’s no limit on the number of crew for this particular voyage. And, if the kickstarter hits the top goal of $6,500, the final version of this map will be printed out in lustrous glory to adorn the walls of those intrepid explorers that decided to jump the life to come and set out into the storm lashed waters of the Western Ocean.
The Lost City has been found! Logan Bonner and Open Design have released their archaeological delve into the secrets beneath the sands this week and I had the pleasure of mapping the crazy locations that Logan and the patrons came up with. I’ve never before been given an art brief that involved drawing a deity – I’m just saying.
The Lost City takes place under the sands that hide the crashed remains of a flying city. As the PCs investigate they uncover the history of the city and must find out why the city fell from the skies.
A flying city is a wondrous location anyway, but the patrons and Logan pulled out the stops when coming up with fun sandbox locations for adventurers to explore. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers (but there are some – so if you’re a player you should look away now), but here’s a selection of some of the maps I created for the book: Continue reading “Enter the Lost City and unearth its secrets”
Streets of Zobeck has been unleashed upon the world by Open Design this week. It’s an adventure anthology of 7 Pathfinder adventures for levels 1-10 set in the city of Zobeck in the Midgard world. But that’s not all, it details drop in locations and stand alone NPCs as well as feats, traits, spells and gear for your gritty inner city gutter rat. The majority of the maps are by Gill Pearce, but I got to work on one of the lairs of villainy – the Old Stross Bathhouse:
In the last Kobold Courier, the kobolds of Open Design revealed the final Midgard logo, completing the set. So here it is in all it’s glory. As befits a world born of fire and ice, this one is bitterly cold.
This was designed for use in print at 2.5 inches wide. The smaller scale meant that the dragon’s head needed to be scaled up so it would still read well at small sizes. This also meant that the central letters needed to be nice and large.
You can find out more about the world of Midgard here and get involved in building it from the ground up. You can find the rest of the logos for the world in my Logos and Heraldry gallery.
Open Design has released their latest patronage project – the Tales of the Old Margreve. It’s set deep in an ancient forest of dark happenings and lingering curses.
As the cartographer for the project I’ve just received the final pdf and it’s a beauty. The layout work is fantastic and really reinforces the feel of old eastern European legends and horror. The anthology draws on fairy stories of the old school. Anyone who read the Brother’s Grimm wouldn’t go gaily into the forest looking for elves. This forest is one of ancient power and you disrespect it at your peril. Continue reading “Gather round and hear Tales of the Old Margreve”
Some time ago there was a discussion on the Kobold Quarterly forums to decide upon a layout for the Midgard logo, the logo that would represent the world of Zobeck. This caused some interest (to put it mildly) and many opinions were presented for and against different designs. I was then asked to go off with these and make everyone happy. This was one that passed the cut:
The final logo officially appeared for the first time in this month’s Kobold Quarterly so I can finally share it with the world! This is actually one of the five final logos – but you’ll have to wait for the others.
The new Kobold Quarterly is out in pdf – and being shipped in physical form. It’s a beautiful creation with a very lovely cover. I was asked to do a map illustration for the interior for a vertical battlemap. Here’s a downsized (25%) preview of the map:
Cassedega – Built on the Ruined Remains of Ankeshel
This sunken city map was created for Open Design for their Pathfinder supplement Sunken Empires. I was asked to create a city in two halves – one above the sea and one below – built on top of the ruins of an ancient city that had been sunken beneath the waves and recently re-appeared. Nothing like a challenge…
This was created as a personal piece and was then picked up by Open Design. It has since graced the back page of Kobold Quarterly #13 in glorious full colour and turned up in Sunken Empires – a sourcebook for underwater adventure. It can be purchased at full resolution – 100 pixels per grid – in the Kobold Quarterly store here.