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thegnome
02-19-2011, 02:20 AM
So, I've started putting together a D&D campaign after a few years role-playing hiatus, and decided to throw together a map that isn't some god-awful chicken-scratch on notebook paper. Techniques used are gleaned from all over, including Ascension's atlas tutorial (GIMP version). land-masses were made in gimp, rivers, borders, etc... drawn in inkscape and imported into gimp.

Campaign is based in a "fantasy medieval europe with stereotyped civilizations" so the landmasses should be relatively familiar. I've tried grouping all the countries into overly simplified "nations" for my campaign.

I'm still tweaking things (and trying to figure out names for everything) so if you see any glaring problems, or can think of anything, just lemme know.

tilt
02-19-2011, 04:16 AM
well, I can see you're not danish *lol* ... it looks good - however I'd variant the texture some more to give it more life :)

Ascension
02-19-2011, 07:41 PM
Yeah, grab the eraser, lower its opacity, and erase some of the little dot-hills to break up the constancy. Otherwise, good so far.

thegnome
02-19-2011, 10:26 PM
Yeah, grab the eraser, lower its opacity, and erase some of the little dot-hills to break up the constancy. Otherwise, good so far.

Good idea... I'm also toying with trying to figure out a good texture for deciduous forests.

danjr
02-19-2011, 11:00 PM
That looks pretty sweet.

thegnome
02-21-2011, 08:15 PM
Yeah, grab the eraser, lower its opacity, and erase some of the little dot-hills to break up the constancy. Otherwise, good so far.

This better?

Ascension
02-21-2011, 09:44 PM
Much better but your rivers are way off. If you post a version without anything on it then (just the terrains) I'll do you up some rivers.

thegnome
02-22-2011, 12:57 AM
Much better but your rivers are way off. If you post a version without anything on it then (just the terrains) I'll do you up some rivers.

PNG format of landforms and seas can be found here (https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/LQNw1NjF65vlti7gniYEHg?feat=directlink). I would have uploaded it as an attachment, but it's ~12MB... and the .XCF is almost 300MB.

My biggest problem with the rivers was just deciding where rivers should be... not having any inland bodies of water left me stumped on where they would even spring from. Only thing I could think of were mountain-fed rivers (which is why almost all of them follow the formation of raised landforms... while not entirely realistic, it's slightly more believable than rivers seeping out of bare ground). I basically just connected dots from mountainous areas to coastal formations which looked as though they could be the mouth of a river. I haven't been entirely satisfied with them either, but it was a rush job to make sure the work-flow would work out, and that things didn't look horrid.

Any insights into positioning are much appreciated.

Ascension
02-22-2011, 08:18 AM
No prob, man. I'll do this up in the afternoon when I get home from work. I should have a post for ya sometime around dinner. Hope you can wait that long :)

Ascension
02-22-2011, 07:30 PM
Ok this is sort of a mini-tut on rivers.

Step 1 is how I think about rivers. I don't put the arrows on my maps because I can just look at things and tell what's going to happen - experience. For novices it's a good idea, though.
Step 2 is just roughing in the basic river lanes.
Step 3 is refining problem spots by either erasing mountains or darkening rivers valleys and flood plains and deltas.
The last pic is a reference pic to show how people draw rivers backwards accidentally.

thegnome
02-24-2011, 09:39 PM
I think I'm following your logic, but I don't get your notes in the second image... I'm assuming the 'erase these' notes are referring to the mountainous regions? in order to create a floodplain? Then in image #3, it looks like you just went snaking around the mountains/hills. Are the blue rivers the only ones you feel should exist? and if so, why? I actually care a lot more about the theory and thoughts behind the actions than the actions themselves. The notes in images #1 & #4 make a lot of sense, and are perfectly understandable, it's just the middle two that I'm having a bit of a hangup with.

Ascension
02-24-2011, 09:51 PM
The second pic shows the way things would go as is. The river snakes around and heads north but there is this huge bay sitting so close...it looks like a perfect place for a river to empty out in. The third map shows how I think things should go. It's purely my own opinion, though, so do what you will with that. Now that I look at this thing as a thumbnail, it looks a lot like Europe and my idea of the scale could be way off so you could have rivers doing anything if this, in fact, is meant to be Europe-like.

thegnome
02-25-2011, 01:09 AM
Yeah, modeled very much after europe, though I'm considering zooming out a bit and changing landforms to muddy the waters a bit... as I'd like to add a fantasy aztec civilization and have it's location make sense. I'm thinking I may start over, because the resemblance to actual europe is far too noticeable... I think I need to just simplify things a bit and decide which civilizations I would like to include and just draw landforms to match.

I'm still at a stage where I'm drawing maps and fleshing out the "fluff" for my campaign, so nothing is set in stone.

waldronate
02-25-2011, 01:33 AM
Whenever I look at the rivers in Europe I can't help but think that the designer could have used a little help with some of the rivers. Some are far too long and look to be going in the wrong direction, a couple start out by a coast and flow away from the ocean, some of them get really close without joining, and so on.
33886

Fransie
02-25-2011, 04:19 AM
European rivers make more sense if you added a height map to your map. And the closest these get to each other is about 50 kilometers, so there is plenty of room for a mountainrange between them. Some of them do tend to stray from their proper path, when there's insane amounts of rain. Very impractical.