Map Making

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I created an homebrew setting and I made a (crappy) map of the part of the World where the campaign goes on.


After more than a year of campaigning, I feel I should reward my players (and myself) with a "better" version of the map.


THIS is my (crappy) map.


Any idea of how I can "pimp" it? I do not have any graphic programs, so if you know of some free software it would also help.


I'd like to give a "middle-age" kind of feeling to the map, like old parchment or something.


thanks in advance

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 

You might want to shoot cwfilson a message to his inbox.




Take a look at his maps and ask him how he draws them out. He seems to have a system set up for regional stuff at least.



I got a map loaded up too. It still needs more work though. I'm no artist but it gets the job done. What I really want to change about my map is to add more obvious adventure sites to it. I'm thinking it would be nice if players could look right at the map and choose some place interesting to adventure at. Like Durlag's Tower from Baldur's Gate y'know?



Any ways that's my advice.

GIMP is free; takes some getting used to, but it is better than nothing, right?


Question; are your nations actually circles (like the Wizards area), or is that just to show their general location?

Birdies!

Download Gimp ( www.gimp.org/ ) and then follow this:-


 


Using GIMP to Create an Artistic Regional RPG Map


forum.cartographersguild.com/showthread....


 


It can seem a bit intense but it teaches you loads of really nice tricks.


Question; are your nations actually circles (like the Wizards area), or is that just to show their general location?




They are actually circles.


The idea of the campaign is that the whole mainland has been conquered by Dark Elves, who have created giant monoliths that spread a dark cloud all over the land, so that creatures normally affected by sunlight can go around safely. So the main human/elven civilizations have used arcane rituals to "lift" their countries above the cloud, thus creating huge floating islands.

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 

I guess I'll give GIMP a try then

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 

ok I did give it a try... but it's kind of complicated, even with the tutorial...

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 

I've been looking to get a better-looking map myself, I've bookmarked that tutorial for when I have the interest. Thanks for the link.

IMAGE(http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b336/shadowhntr7/33wtu21.gif)


ok I did give it a try... but it's kind of complicated, even with the tutorial...




If you've go the time stick with it. If you've not used the GIMP or photoshop before then the learning curve might seem a little steep but the results can look really good.


If you've go the time stick with it. If you've not used the GIMP or photoshop before then the learning curve might seem a little steep but the results can look really good.




the problem could also be that I have gimp 2.6, while the tutorial is for gimp 2.4


I've seen a demo of Campaign Cartographer 3, and I've been playing a bit with it. I must say that for a "noob" like me it's much easier and faster. The one thing I didn't get is how to save the stuff I do in a BMP or JPEG, while still retaining the details.


When I use "save as", it saves the image as a quite "small" jpeg, with VERY BIG pixels...

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 

I've used Gimp for hundreds of roleplay maps. I used it to create my entire kobold lair campaign maps which I then printed out and taped together (and laminated) to create a map that was 36 inches by 60 inches. I used to use CorelDraw, but moved to Gimp several years ago. There are still a couple of things CorelDraw does that I miss. About a year ago I purchased "Dundjinni" and I now do a lot of my maps in Dundjinni and then convert over to Gimp. Dundjinni has some nice tools which make it easy to create some very nice looking maps.


Even after years of using Gimp I find it to be an awkward user interface and I don't like how it does things like tracing edges or manipulating sections of images. But it works. And, as has been noted, it's free. One of the nice things about Gimp is how easy it is to scale images to arbitrary scales. This helps me a lot since I use a digital gaming table and have to scale images so that the resulting image on the table screen (using a projector) has exactly 1" squares. Another nice thing is the layering which allows you to mask and unmask portions of maps very neatly and easily. It's very nice for managing large image files on the digital gaming table.

I hand draw, ink and paint my maps.  Though I am quite computer literate, I have enver had much experience with Photoshop.  Just too lazy to learn, plus I tend to like the way my hand drawn and painted maps look versus the computer illustrated variety.


To the OP, I can probably be talked into painting a campaign map for you.  Send me a message.


Filson

is there a specific bribe you would consider?

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 

For coloring, inking, or texturing maps, I find Photoshop and this youtube tutorial series very handy.


If you're looking for quick & neat maps (PS: as well as being able to import a pre-existing image and trace over it), try Hexographer. It has a few bugs, but it's extremely easy to use, runs in your browser (no downloads) and has a free version. You can also create random hex maps with it and then edit them, print them, & save them for later editing.

were all the maps for the Original Dungeons and Dragons Gazetteers made with that??? Nostalgia...

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 


is there a specific bribe you would consider?




Better make that a pretty good bribe!


My original Map




Mr. Wilson's improvements


Mr. Wilson's improvements




For the record it is "Filson" not "Wilson" . . . no worries though.


I have already begun on the OP's map.


Filson


 

and it rocks already!

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 

I like the map concept, Delazar. Low res does not a bad map make.


I'm glad someone posted a link to the Cartographer's Guild. I'll second that recommendation. Go there, follow their tutorials. Learn from them, because they're the best. Better even than the people at Wizards (no disrespect).

Behold the work of mr Filson!

My RPG Campaigns

 

I joke that D&D Next is what happens when, A Christmas Carol-like, 3rd & 4th edition's ghosts travel back in time to an evening near the end of AD&D 2E's life, and say "this is what is coming" and so AD&D 2E heads off in a different direction. So, it's like alt-reality AD&D 3rd, maybe?Cam Banks

 

Give my free hex map software, Hexographer, a try: www.inkwellideas.com/roleplaying_tools/h...


See the website's background for an example of the kind of map it makes.


Everyone says it is very simple to use.  For example, "I own [two other more expensive fantasy map programs] and got more done in my first couple of hours with Hexographer than I did after days with either of the those programs. I really appreciate the simplicity of Hexographer's user interface..."


There is a Pro version with a few extra features (such as run off-line, swap out the map icons used, add more hex row/columns to an existing map, automogically generate a map key), but the free version does everything most people need.


 


Edit: Whoops... I missed the mention above

I just want to say I tried out Hexographer and am quite impressed with the simplicity and ease of use.  I occasionally have need for a hexmap and had ben making my own using MSPaint.  If you check out my gallery, I experimented with making a Hexogrpaher version of a MSPaint map I already made.


Good product.  If I was more into hexmaps, I might consider purchasing the pro version.


Filson


Good product.  If I was more into hexmaps, I might consider purchasing the pro version.




Thanks!  I'm happy whenever people find it useful whether they use the Free or Pro versions.

I don't want you to think I was being snarky, but I don't really use hexmaps very often (the one hexmap I made and duplicated on your program is the big exception).  Actually your program has somewhat enticed me to consider using them a bit more because the end product looks pretty nice.


Filson


I don't want you to think I was being snarky




No Problem.  I didn't get that feeling at all.  People are going to like different styles.  Some people will love hex maps, some love a more artistic map or realistic map.  And some may like one style but find it easy to do an initial version in another style (like a hex map) because the tools make it quick & easy.

I hand draw, ink and paint my maps.  Though I am quite computer literate, I have enver had much experience with Photoshop.  Just too lazy to learn, plus I tend to like the way my hand drawn and painted maps look versus the computer illustrated variety.

I tend to hand draw my maps as well, but they're not as pretty as I'd like. They're still better'n anything I can make in GIMP or shop, though.
I hand draw, ink and paint my maps.  Though I am quite computer literate, I have enver had much experience with Photoshop.  Just too lazy to learn, plus I tend to like the way my hand drawn and painted maps look versus the computer illustrated variety.

I tend to hand draw my maps as well, but they're not as pretty as I'd like. They're still better'n anything I can make in GIMP or shop, though.



I have actually just started playing with GIMP.  My lack of skills with that type of software is really frustrating me, though.  Newbie DM actually has a nice two part tutorial on dungeon map making using GIMP.

My plan is to redo my hand drawn and painted campaign map in GIMP and see how it compares.  I'll post the results here.

Filson
... and there's a third part to that tutorial up today. Let me know how you get on with the tutorial and send me a note if you find anything that causes problems. I'll be doing a regional one a little later in a similar style.

cwfilson: They're lovely maps. You certainly know your way around with brush and paint so I'm sure you'll get the hang of gimp pretty quickly. If you can stand a $60-$80 investment I can't recommend getting a tablet highly enough. I'd suggest getting a small Wacom Bamboo. They won't break the bank and it's easily large enough. The pressure sensitivity will actually make the switch to Gimp easier.
cwfilson: They're lovely maps. You certainly know your way around with brush and paint so I'm sure you'll get the hang of gimp pretty quickly. If you can stand a $60-$80 investment I can't recommend getting a tablet highly enough. I'd suggest getting a small Wacom Bamboo. They won't break the bank and it's easily large enough. The pressure sensitivity will actually make the switch to Gimp easier.



So I got the Wacom Bamboo.  It's taking some getting used to.  Unofrtunately, I've been working too much the past couple of weeks to actually take the time to play around more with GIMP and the pad.  I hope to have something done in the next week or two.

Filson

I lok forward to seeing what you come up with. I noticed that the new bamboos also work as multi-ouch trackpads with your fingers? I'd be interested to know how well that works.
I actually purchased the pro Hexorapher after a few days trying to deceide... I cannot draw worth a damn, do not have the skills to use GIMP or Photoshop good.... So hexmaps make me remarke my world map in hexes, and I must say that while not as pretty as the one I "borowed" online, it now lets me edit the maps to what i want, instead of having to go with a pre made one, and not editing anyting

I just wish it had more "tiles" and a way to link up a world map to an area map...
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. Robert A. Heinlein
I just wish it had more "tiles" and a way to link up a world map to an area map...



Thanks for your support.  Which tiles would you like to see?  I tried to include ones similar to everything I could find, but I'm sure I missed some, especially if they were only on a couple of the classic maps.  Also, remember than in the pro version you can replace any terrain/feature icon with your own PNG image (ideally transparent).  You can also add completely new terrain/features in the pro version.  But you need a PNG image that matches the look you want.

I'm sure I will get to linking (or something) maps so you can drill down and up to detail and expand the game world.  But it probably isn't the next thing I'm going to add.  But I wouldn't be surprise to see it several months down the road.

Oh, I would love more, so I can create a better looking coastline (beach style as an example)
I know there is theis coastline thingy, but I could not get it to look good.. still love your software.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. Robert A. Heinlein
All my maps are hand drawn. I must be a bit old fashioned. I feel showing players a hand drawn map gives more feel of authenticity and serves as a pretty handy prop.
I know this post doesn't contribute much, but I wanted to be a part. Embarassed
And then Buffy staked Edward. The end.
I do not run 4e but I respect it and use many mechanic ideas for my own games. I am one of those players who can see merit in all editions and I do not see any reason for edition bashing. Currently reading: Boneshaker
Dungeons and Dragons is pretty much just an excuse for me to make maps. ive used photoshop and its nice, but my heart really lies in handcrafting them. heres some of my work:

Senvale

The capital city of that last one. its divided into sectors by canals, and has a protected royal bay at the center.
Senvale___finished_map_by_vman3force.jpg
 

 
I'll post some of my hand done ones later, after i compress the file size, since theyre monsters.
~
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