Honestly, I'm still a fan of Gridsmith even though it hasn't been supported in a good long time. It's easy to make tile sets, though it's geared more towards interior mapping than cartography.
Hope this is the best place to post this...
Does anyone have thoughts or opinions on the different versions of mapping software out there now?
I'm considering something for our club run campaigns and would like to hear from some actual owners. Particularly those who have tried more than one product and can offer a comparison.
I've seen some info on these and some other lesser known products...
Thanks for any info anyone might have.
This might seem odd, but I use the Neverwinter Nights I Aurora toolset to build maps. Its fairly easy to use, and there are a number of tilesets out there even beyond the ones that were officially produced by Bioware. Since I have a remote game, I just take screenshots of areas from a top down view in the toolset and then use those as the maps.
Hadn't thought of that. Good Idea.
I really like Dundjinni and Campaign Cartographer 3. I know they aren't free and they aren't the easiest to use, but man they produce some really nice maps.
I mostly use Dundjinni for dungeons and some buildings, and Campaign Cartographer for overland maps and cities. I can't wait until Profantasy, the company that makes CC3 comes out with their updated city mapper!
Best thing I can say is check around and look at the different programs that are available and decide which one(s) you want to use.
I've just started tinkering with Fractal Mapper. It seems to do both outdoors and indoors well. I was up and running almost instantly, but I think some of more advanced features are going to require some reading of help files and tutorials for me to master. I'm very impressed, but I wish I could learn it faster. Like I said I'm very impressed, and I think the steepness of the learning curve is due mostly to the sheer mass of features it has.
Do you know of a decent free software that's super easy to use?
That's what I listed a few lines up Ed, free and easy to use.
Oh, so sorry Ed.
1) Click on Link: http://home.paonline.com/zaikoski/ak/
2) Click on the red bold words RPGTools
3) Scroll down until you see Download HexMapper 1.0b Program* (oh hell, just click here - I didn't realize we could easy link like this)
4) Click on that.
5) Click the Save to disk option and then when it's done downloading open it.
6) File/New - Pick Grid Size - Drag and drop map icons onto the hex paper. And when you're done, save. Then when you get ready to print it, my best suggestion is to use Windows Paint. Mainly because it will print it full scale. The map I use is 4x4 pages in size, full color and stuck to posterboard.
I tried that hexmapper program out and it works pretty good. Very basic of course and the finished products aren't nearly as polished as Campaign Cartographer or Fractal Mapper but its FREE. hehe... I can over look a lot when dealing when free stuff :-)
I still do the bulk of my mapping using Luddite 3.0 (ie, by hand). I get a lot of enjoyment out of drawing maps in pencil, then shading and inking things in afterwards. And if I need a map in a hurry, Dungeon magazine and/or the map archives on the WoTC/DnD site have never failed to please.
I use Campaign Cartographer 2, the learning curve is pretty steep but once you master it...it certainly is very useful. One of these days I will upgrade to CC3.
Play games...have fun!