View Full Version : Rhedden Peninsula (D&D 4e FR) - Seeking River Police & Geo Cop advice...

09-08-2010, 07:08 PM
Hi all,

First up a huge thanks to everyone who has posted so many tutes and good practical info on this site. I've got the innate artistic talent of the average cobblestone and could never have expressed my ideas with this kind of visuals without that mass of work to learn from.

A few fact regarding the attached draft map...

It's my second attempt at doing a map and the first I'm comfortable showing anyone. My first map sucked up scores of hours and was never finished. This one is around the 8 hour mark and a whole different story.
The general outlines come from the eastern part of D&D 4e Faerun and the topmost peninsula is the focus area for our campaign.
I've switched off the forest colour layer so you can see the rivers more clearly.

Draft map:

And now to my queries... :)

I've got the slope of land generally running down from the big old plateu and, for most of the map, running NE. Any comments on where I've messed that up and can correct it would be gratefully received.
The smaller rivers draining the hilly/mountainous areas on the peninsulas are driving me insane! I've sketched a few in but haven't bump mapped them yet. Any comments on improving these would also be greatfully received.
Much of the length of these small rivers has forest sitting over it. Is that right? Wrong? If that's generallyt correct should I maybe run a small soft transparent colour fuzzy brush over the forest colour layer so the river shows through?

Anyone able to give advice on any of this has my gratitude.

General C&C also sought - hell in general any practical advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for all constructive commentary.


09-08-2010, 09:41 PM
Just from the general overall look of the mountains and hills in the two peninsulas, I can definitely say that the river drainage systems will be trellis style. Attached is a DOC file I wrote up some time ago for a friend. It gives a general idea and discussion on river drainage systems.

RobA also gave a good link in this post (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?3822-How-to-get-your-rivers-in-the-right-place&p=125111&viewfull=1#post125111).

Also, look over this topic (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?3822-How-to-get-your-rivers-in-the-right-place) for some good advice.

And yes, perhaps some fuzzy brush work to allow the rivers to show through. Or you could do a select on the rivers and punch out the forest. Or you could select out the rivers, copy them to a new layer, and put them above the forest. Those are just a few ideas that popped into me head.

And the map is looking good so far. Keep up the work.


09-08-2010, 11:53 PM
About my only suggestion is to have a altitude difference across the peninsula. Currently the water on either side looks the same height connected by a river. I'd expect one lake to be higher than the other, maybe with an escarpment of some sort and a waterfall. But I could be biased living in Niagara ;)

-Rob A>

09-09-2010, 02:11 AM
Thanks guys,

I've mostly done this based on the existing outline (something like 100x200px LOL), my ideas of what kind of landscape I want and how I imaing water would fall.

Yeah I figured it would need to be trellis style, particularly on the northern side of the peninsulas where there's some low hills and plains (which the rivers need to meander on). On the southern side I figure there's going to be more and relatively shorter seasonal drainage that drains directly into the sea. Something like the Radial Pattern in your Word document. Whether I've succeeded in any of this is a whole different story.

And yes I've read RobA's river guide a few times :-) Along with several of his other tutes. You might say I am becoming quite the fan of his work.

I thought the fuzzy brush to break through the forest might give a good impression of occasional overgrowth... But if that doesn't look right there's plenty of other tricks to try, as you mentioned.

And thanks for the compliment. I'm surprised my second map attempt has shaped up so well, in such a short period of time!

Thanks for the comments! Like I said above I'm rapidly becoming a big fan :-P

The water mass to the right is a lake. That to the left is an extensive inland sea (not my idea - straight out of the sourcebook). The joining river also comes form those same sourcebooks. I've also drawn on earlier material and the westernmost end of that arterial river, where it meets the sea, is supposed to be where the highest waterfall of that setting exists! But I haven't a clue about how to do that on an 8px=1mile scale, LOL. (That reminds me the one I posted is at half resolution). Any thoughts you might have on that would be well received.

Reading between the lines I'm guesing the lake should be lighter than the sea? Perhaps I should do separate layers for the lake to have that control. Or I could cheat and just do a small lightening filter layer over the lake :-P

Not quite sure how to do an escarpment on that scale, tho.

Any suggestions on how long should these river systems be? The one meandering towards the plateu (which is in the original 100x200 excerpt) bothers me a bit. Yes the land down there is more arid. But some drainage off those mountains will still be necessary, even if it's only seasonal. How long is too long for that kind of narrow river?

Thanks for all the advice so far! And for all that yet to come...

03-02-2011, 06:04 PM
Apologies for the necro, but I just realised I never did post my final map!

Again thanks to RobA, arakish, all the folks how have posted tutes and everyone who provided feedback.

Only my second map, but I'm pretty happy with it... And my players like it.

03-02-2011, 10:34 PM
I kinda dig those mtns, pretty cool.

03-02-2011, 11:14 PM
I kinda dig those mtns, pretty cool.

Aawww thanks. It borrowed heavily on the material from http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?4335-Award-Winner-Simple-Mountains-in-Gimp. But with a lot of experimentation and tweaking. I actually did several layers of the base mountains, merged them togethor and then hand painted in about 70% of the snow with fuzzy airbrush and gaus blur on it's own layer. For me the mountains took a lot of fiddling about.