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View Full Version : Maps, Map-Making, Cartography, Etc.



Talmek
06-11-2008, 03:46 AM
Okay, here's my dilemma: I have this awesome homebrew world in my head, and I'm attempting to create it from the outside-in (Whole world down to a single starting village). My main obstacle currently is a lack of artistic ability with regard to drawing maps. I would rather stay away from the 3rd party programs if possible (I'd like to keep my handiwork in a sketchbook instead of in a file) but it looks like I may have to fork out some major money in order to do this.

Onto my question: Does anyone know of a map-making resource online that could help me create a world map or maps of individual countries? As I said, I'm not gifted in terms of cartography (or art in any form, really) but I'd like to try to get this started ASAP.

Thanks in advance.

Shadow Dweller
06-11-2008, 07:04 AM
There is a free downloadable program that you can use to build out this sort of thing, but I can't think of the name off hand. When I get home I'll check on my coputer and post the name up. I've gotten it, just haven't sat down and tinkered with it yet.

cplmac
06-11-2008, 09:25 AM
Is there a reason why you need so elaborate of maps for the party? I have found that as long as the party can find their way around with the map, it doesn't need to have elevations and other such notations also.

nijineko
06-14-2008, 05:27 PM
check out the cartogrophers guild site and forums. they have lots of resources, advice, tutorials (step by step) so that even non-artistic people can turn out decent looking stuff. plus they even have people who will (sometimes) offer to do a map for you (usually with some sort of bribe, or at least an interesting concept full of fun place names and back stories for the world setting). http://www.cartographersguild.com/

Farcaster
06-14-2008, 05:49 PM
Moved from Campaign Resources. The Campaign Resources section is meant to be a repository of resources for DMs and players.

nijineko
06-14-2008, 06:17 PM
?? i thought that maps and map-making would be a resource for players and dms?

Farcaster
06-14-2008, 06:22 PM
It hasn't been very clear in the past, but I am going to be cleaning up these sections. The Campaign Resources forums are going to be repurposed as solely a repository for gaming resources. In other words, I have a map or a link to a map I want to share. Or, I have written an adventure or campaign. Or perhaps I want to share pregenerated monsters, etc.

Make sense?

Talmek
06-15-2008, 05:49 AM
Is there a reason why you need so elaborate of maps for the party? I have found that as long as the party can find their way around with the map, it doesn't need to have elevations and other such notations also.

It's not really for the party so much as it's for me. Once I get the maps together I'll have a (for the most part) complete campaign setting of my own design. I'd like to have as elaborate and complete maps as possible, that way when a player has a question about the geography, I can show them instead of just telling them.

Also, thanks for all the timely replies. Who's awesome? You're (all) awesome!

nijineko
06-15-2008, 08:30 PM
glad to help. and i hope that the links did. check them out yet?

agoraderek
06-15-2008, 08:40 PM
It's not really for the party so much as it's for me. Once I get the maps together I'll have a (for the most part) complete campaign setting of my own design. I'd like to have as elaborate and complete maps as possible, that way when a player has a question about the geography, I can show them instead of just telling them.

Also, thanks for all the timely replies. Who's awesome? You're (all) awesome!

computer cartography is pretty good, but it takes a little experimentation to get it to do what you want. how soon do you need the maps? you're just over an hour from here, and im a fair hand at fantasy cartography (analog, not computer)...

tesral
06-16-2008, 09:58 AM
A pity zipatone is near impossible to find anymore.

RivenNookRavenClaw
06-16-2008, 02:04 PM
The only thing I have to add to the great replies you got is not to drive yourself nuts with any perfectionism you might have regarding these maps.

Depending on your background maps may of great use to you and your group. Since I taught Earth Science maps are much more helpful to me. We a could topographic made of terrain, water sheds, vegetation cover, land masses, cities and all that stuff it actually helps me with stories and what buildings to put where....however most of my life I pretty much ignored all the maps in fantasy novels except to help me remember names of cities so...

don't break yourself over this. If possible I'd have your group help you with terrain, if they come from a specific area I think it is not out of line to ask them to help you with what EXACTLY is there.

It can be a lot of fun for players who actually understand and like maps.

:)

warlock
06-17-2008, 09:25 AM
spend a little time with autorealm. Its pretty easy, and the fractals make things a bit easier, and the symbols are a big help as well.

http://www.gryc.ws/autorealm.htm

Talmek
06-18-2008, 07:40 AM
glad to help. and i hope that the links did. check them out yet?

Yes I did, and it really is a great resource.


computer cartography is pretty good, but it takes a little experimentation to get it to do what you want. how soon do you need the maps? you're just over an hour from here, and im a fair hand at fantasy cartography (analog, not computer)...

I have no real time frame for the maps to be completed, as I'm only in the development stages of my world. It's not actually a playable world just yet. As for travel, I'm kinda tied down at present due to work constraints (working a inspection & turnaround for an oil refinery).

Valdar
06-18-2008, 12:40 PM
I did my game maps (http://www.worldsedge.org/perinor.html) in Photoshop, and ugh, they suck. I need to redo them when I get the chance.

They are sparse for a reason though. I'm using the "rule of yes" to have the players help create my game world. If someone says "Let's look for the local Paladin temple" you can be sure they'll find one very close.

tesral
06-18-2008, 02:04 PM
I did my game maps (http://www.worldsedge.org/perinor.html) in Photoshop, and ugh, they suck. I need to redo them when I get the chance.

They are not bad, really.

agoraderek
06-18-2008, 11:47 PM
I have no real time frame for the maps to be completed, as I'm only in the development stages of my world. It's not actually a playable world just yet. As for travel, I'm kinda tied down at present due to work constraints (working a inspection & turnaround for an oil refinery).

yeah, y'all are busy right now, too. my gf's family is involved in the industry in odessa, good times ;)

but, if you ever get a chance (or i ever get my scanner to work) i can probably do some drawing for you. all i need is a rough draft of the maps you want, with geographical points of interest, and i could whip something up. i work slow (lots of detail, fairly "artsy" stuff) so the "world in development" gives me more time, i guess :)

Talmek
06-19-2008, 01:17 AM
Wow, I never thought I'd have someone offer to draw up maps for me! Thank you very much, and I'll have to get to work on drawing up a rough sketch of the whole world, rivers and lakes, etc.

Once again, thanks to everyone offering help! It's appreciated more than you know!

agoraderek
06-19-2008, 01:22 AM
Wow, I never thought I'd have someone offer to draw up maps for me! Thank you very much, and I'll have to get to work on drawing up a rough sketch of the whole world, rivers and lakes, etc.

Once again, thanks to everyone offering help! It's appreciated more than you know!

eh, i have time on my hands, and i LOVE drawing maps...