View Full Version : Greetings All!

Halo of Gnats
10-20-2010, 03:25 PM
Hello Cartographers.

My name is Tim. I stumbled upon a link to this site researching fantasy map-making software
and felt like a dwarf next to a new ore deposit. I've been an rpg'er since...well, 1983.
Pen and paper is still my favorite, but there are such lush and/or amazingly detailed
maps out there using software that I wanted to try outlining districts for a city
a friend and I are creating for an upcoming campaign of 4ed. D&D. Lots of ideas are
written down, with more each week as we research what makes a (fantasy) city
a city. I'm looking into 3-D rendering, but currently I've picked up Gimp and Inkwell,
since the price is unbeatable.

I am returning student with a dual major in Spanish and English, emphasis
in translation; and when not trying to 'kill' my party, I consume a lot of poetry.
Ultimately, I'm brand new to cartography software, so I will be spelunking the tutorials
here and at youtube, until I'm ready to start posting works-in-progress.

Thank you for making and populating this site; I'm off with my canary and lantern.

~Tim (Halo of Gnats)

10-20-2010, 05:01 PM
Welcome to the realm!

Halo of Gnats
10-20-2010, 05:17 PM
Thank you Aenigma, I appreciate the welcome.

10-20-2010, 09:02 PM

I'm new here myself, but there are a TON of resources here for learning the cartographer's art.



10-20-2010, 09:03 PM
... and can I just say I love the Borges quote!


Halo of Gnats
10-20-2010, 11:03 PM
Hello Thom,

Thank you for the welcome. I'm glad you like the quote; it fits all things we do in life
with a passion; but in this site, it particularly lends itself to Borges' notions. I've enjoyed looking
at your Cruenti Dei series; the style is very much likened to 70's political maps I remember as a kid.
I like the colorization of regions and borders along with the easily understood symbols. The partitioned water
segments in the first piece remind of a board game. Is that what they're for?


Steel General
10-21-2010, 07:39 AM
Welcome Aboard!

10-21-2010, 10:39 AM
Welcome to the Guild!

Nice to see another 'grognard'!

10-21-2010, 10:50 AM
Welcome to the guild, Halo (great nick btw). City building is jumping into the deep end, so I applaud your courage! There are a few of us city builders who share the same asylum and you're welcome to join us! Check out the city building tutorial in my sig, it may be of help in your planning. I must get my finger out and write the next part for it. Enjoy your stay!

Halo of Gnats
10-21-2010, 12:06 PM
Thank you Steel General.

Greetings Neon, what's a grognard?

Ravells--I skimmed your tutorial yesterday, but had to prep for class.
I'm sketching out some notions on pad right now for the first and probably
most difficult district of town. If a cartographer can't be ruthless and methodical
what can s/he be?
Oh, can I get cell with a window? I like to stare at birds.


10-21-2010, 01:07 PM
I like the colorization of regions and borders along with the easily understood symbols. The partitioned water
segments in the first piece remind of a board game. Is that what they're for?

Hi Tim,

The maps are for Cruenti Dei, which is a strategic fantasy PBeM I've been running for, oh, several years now.

You can find more here (http://www.sardarthion.com/?page_id=42).

It's funny you mentioned those 70's political maps - I think I first got my love of maps by poring over those maps, and the old National Geographic portfolio atlas, when I was a kid. And yes, it was the 70's. :)



10-21-2010, 01:26 PM
Welcome, doing a city is difficult but possible. It depends on how sensible or historically accurate the city should be. Anyway, there are lots of city tutorials about but were all still striving to get an easy and less laborious way of making them. For price, Blender is also in that unbeatable price range. Sketchup from google is definitely a must check out too. There are others as well. And other pricey versions to look at too. Nothing is very simple in 3D tho.

10-21-2010, 01:36 PM
Odd. Thought I had replied to this thread...guest the postmonster general ate it.

Welcome to the Guild! You don't need the canary. It's safe in here...heh, heh...right guys? :)

So, let's see some city! I'm a fan of city/town mapping and I know lots others here are as well.

Halo of Gnats
10-21-2010, 01:54 PM
Hello Redrobes,
Historically accurate for D&D? Somewhat. My co-DM and I are looking to start the first session in about a month,
so I bite the bullet and work a 2D model up with side renderings for places that may be hard to imagine. For example:
one place in the city is called the Hive which is an old warehouse district interconnected and the center rests on a platform
(of some sort) over a large river. The buildings along the edge of the platform had water wheels/mills allowing
for different artisans to work. The city is mysteriously sieged by wyvern; therefore, each build is connected and fortified.
I'm thinking about some windmills on top for extra umph, because dwarves live in an undercity below this platform
and the power generated by the mills (perhaps with a little steam punk) powers a lift they use to send and receive
So, this lengthy response boils down to 'how do I render the topside of this construction in 3D modeling.
Ambitious? Yes.
I will check out blender and sketchup. I'm not against buying software; I just wanted a little practice on the
free stuff.

Mearrin 69, thanks for coming back and re-greeting me.

I'm off to cafe render the buildings, first.


Halo of Gnats
10-21-2010, 05:51 PM
Hello Again,

While I study gimp awhile, I thought I'd offer up the only surviving map from my D&D career: Bäs.

This map was created using pencil, pen, colored pencil (including experimentation
in watercolor pencil for the bodies of water), marker to gain additional saturation against the prevailing
muddier colors. Yellow lines present portal ley lines between ancient fortress or places of power,
while the thick magenta represent known trade routes. At early paragon level, the group encountered
a surviving mage, who gave them a map. I didn't have any maps to physically offer the group, so
I drafted this in about a week and a half, so much of this is pretty crude (and written upon by the players).

Also, I do not have a scanner big enough for this map, thus I'm forced to upload as a camara image.
Note: Please keep in mind, any lack of quality is purely the photographer
and not the equipment.

Historic Ramble
Bäs is a world the party found at 1st level stepping through a portal (or window as Bäsians call them).
None of the creatures or peoples in Bäs can claim to be indigenous. The lands are ruled by a splinter
group of Tieflings, tracing their houses back to Bael Turath. The party arrived many years after a magick
war between the Tiefling Warlock Knights and the existing kingdoms, who were backed by various
wizard houses which arrived before the Tieflings. Smothering the western portion of this continent
is the Sea of Storms, a stormy wasteland created as by-product of the war and maintained
by a catastrophic-styled black/blue dragon.
Along the east, many of the Tiefling houses are situated and they, keeping with their forefathers'
heritage, have been slowly juxtaposing Bäs with hell, creating a hell upon earth environment
called the Grey Wastes. Many of the "points of light" that exist are under the direct control of one of
the Tiefling houses. Instead of the party attempting to find a way to flee the madhouse, after the first
character death (level 1...not my fault), the group decide to wrest control and began their rise to herodom.

30321 30322

30323 30324


Thank you for stopping by.

~Tim (Halo of Gnats)

10-21-2010, 06:55 PM
Greetings Neon, what's a grognard?



Basically it also represents someone who has played D&D for many, many years, and is aso often an older (over 40) roelplayer. If you have been playing since 1983, you should fit the bill!

Halo of Gnats
10-22-2010, 02:04 AM

That's fair.


10-24-2010, 01:56 PM
Welcome from a new mapper!!

Halo of Gnats
10-24-2010, 11:20 PM
Hello teevee,

Glad to "see" you here, from one new mapper to another.
I'm stumbling through some troubles right now, but
I look forward to getting inspired by some of your work.