View Full Version : My first map... (yet to be named)

06-05-2010, 03:18 AM
I'm new to cartography, new to photoshop, new to DMing, and new to DnD. I've got a lot to learn, but I am enjoying it quite a bit. This is my first map done in an effort to start a story for a campaign. I followed Ascension's atlas style tutorial, and after a few false starts, I am finally getting to a point where I think it's looking acceptable. Feedback and critiques will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for looking!

06-05-2010, 03:27 AM
Welcome! I think you'll have fun with all of your new hobbies, they enrich each other beautifully :D Good work with Ascension's tut there, looks great for a first map. The only suggestion I'd offer is to tone down your text a little. It's a bit overpowering as is.

06-06-2010, 01:08 AM
Sure looks a heck of a lot better than my first try with that tut! I like the landmass layout; looks kind of like a broken hand.

The only things that jump out at me as 'off' are, like Gidde mentioned, the overwhelming-ness of the text, and the continental shelf - in places in looks like it's reversed, as if the landmass is at the bottom of the ocean, and the shelf is actually a cliff instead leading down to the land.

06-06-2010, 02:54 AM
thats a good start, and yep - the lettering is a bit overpovering so lighten them up a bit :) ... and look forward to many good years with D&D, I've been playing 30 years myself :)

06-06-2010, 05:46 AM
Thanks for the feedback!

As for the text, I'll tone it down. It's mostly just a place holder now until I figure out what the lands are called. Although, i may scrap the idea of having divided territories. still debating about that.

The shelf looked off for me as well, but I wasn't sure what I had done wrong. I tried altering it and I suppose I'll get around to trying to fix it again.


06-07-2010, 06:43 AM
I decided to try out the tutorial a few more times to see what things do when I change them instead of following the tut to a T. I updated this first map as well.

Took off labels.
Removed territory boundaries.
Accented the rivers.
Removed some mountains and hills from the southern dry-lands.
Smoothed out the desert that's in between the two central mountain chains.
Added an oasis. (really curious what people think of this and what I should do to improve it).

Things to ponder:
While unintentional, I see a dog (or deer) and a rabbit in this map...

Thanks for looking and all the feedback!

06-07-2010, 07:29 AM
nice doggie.. sit! *lol* ... well, that sometimes happen - but now you'll have to make a quick decision if you should change your landmasses - cause you will always see it ;)

06-07-2010, 05:17 PM
Yeah, I've thought of it as the Dog Continent since you first showed it, but as long as you don't put in a big lake or volcano to serve as an "eye", I think it'll be okay. Our brains just like to make pictures out of splotches.

06-07-2010, 08:31 PM
As far as the oasis goes, I think it depends on what scale the overall map is at. If this is a continent, the scale's much bigger, making that oasis look like a huge fertile valley instead. Also, it seems a little too artificially round. But then, I know jack about oases, so that may be perfectly normal. :D

06-07-2010, 11:09 PM
Hmm, I haven't even thought of scale. Is there a tutorial for that as well I could learn from?

06-08-2010, 03:35 AM
Nice to see fellow DND players. ))

Looks very nice. Keep up the good work.

06-08-2010, 06:02 AM
Nice start. Welcome to the D&D Darkside... I'm getting the impression you're possibly under the near-infernal influence of 4th Edition... but then I'm biased like that.

Welcome to the Guild. Pester the nerds for their advice and tutorials.

06-08-2010, 06:09 AM

The books I picked up were all 4e. What about 4e are you not fond of?
Maybe it's my noobishness showing, but when I thought of DnD, I wasn't thinking along the lines of miniatures.

06-08-2010, 07:11 AM
Good job sinastir. I think you need to bring back the continental shelf. Although the desert color is fine it has washed out all of the texture in those areas, I thought that looked nicer in the first version. My mountains in Ascension's tut became too washed out for me so I tried adding a bump map layer ala Rob A's regional map tutorial. I sort of borrow techniques that work for me from each of the tuts. The other thing I noticed is that the grid layer seems to be below the mountain or peak layer, it disappears in a few places. Keep up the good work.

06-09-2010, 02:51 AM
The books I picked up were all 4e. What about 4e are you not fond of?
Maybe it's my noobishness showing, but when I thought of DnD, I wasn't thinking along the lines of miniatures.

DnD (no matter what edition) isn't about miniatures, its about roleplaying. But for combats its nice to see where the participants are in relation to one another. And to be sure that everybody has the same picture, a battle map and miniatures might be good. That being said, I've had tons of combats where we just drew some lines on a paper and a letter for each character. Then we've played a lot with miniatures, and handpainted them and all that stuff - and thats really cool, but also rather expensive on the monster front ;) Now we use cardboard pieces - ie we print 1 inch square representations of everything (or more squares for big monsters) and glue them to cardboard to make them easier to pick up (and less likely to be blown away by an open window).

And on a personal side - it so much more fun with a cool Battle map - just made my first (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?10686-Battle-Map-Backyard-in-City), working on my second (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?10689) and not planning to stop soon *lol*.
But you can work your way down to those ... You've begun your world map, then you can go regional, city and finally battle map ;)