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Lwaxana
01-20-2008, 04:47 PM
I'm new here - found the URL on EN World. I'm a female gaming geek from Germany and the DM of several RPG groups. One of them is rather large (13 players) and plays an epic D&D campaign which already goes on for 8 months and will at least last for 2 more years if nothing happens. And yeah, we did this before and it worked, so I hope for a cool repeat.

With such a large group, I've decided to create a whole world again (there are 13 worlds altogether but I'll only be able to flash out the main world). Given my limited financial opportunities, I'm mapping with AutoREALM and while not very good at it I think, made good progress. The world gets filled in as the game goes (I do not believe in limiting possibilities beforehand).

I've also done lots of smaller maps before (hand drawn as teenager and then later with computers) but as it is, that's a long time back and I lost most of them. I might be able to recover some of my Star Wars/Star Trek stuff though when I'm in my parent's place again.

I'm hoping to get an idea what mapping program to use in the future, as I am not all that happy with AutoREALM. Especially not with its tendency to crash on me with the larger files and then messing the symbols up. I spent 2 hrs a few days ago fixing it once more. *sigh* I'd also like to be able to create detailed and varied floor maps/town maps in colour in the future, which does not really work well with AutoREALM.

I'm also hoping to find more maps/worlds to use for my epic campaign as one world is enough work already. I'm creative enough to fill 13 worlds but there's this annoying thing called real life and the even more annoying shortness of a day :)

I might not always post much, especially now that there is a family crisis and I might be away for weeks at a time (when in my parent's place). I'm sure I can learn a lot though. Nice to meet you all.

Oh yeah, and I'm on the autism spectrum, so if i word my posts weird at times or step on someone's toes, that's not intended, I'm just bad with communication at times.

NeonKnight
01-20-2008, 09:30 PM
Welcome to the group

As far as program preference, well, that is a tough nut to crack. Some here prefer GIMP and similar programs. Some of us (myself included) swear by Prfantasy's Campaign Cartographer 3 and it's suite of programs. Others like Fractal Mapper (Similar to CC3 from what I can see).

Basically, all I can suggest is look into as manyas you can, try them out if able, look at the maps on this message board, see what kind you like the look of, and what you believe you can accomplish as well, and go from there.

Gamerprinter
01-20-2008, 09:38 PM
Mapping software solutions, there are a bunch, it really depends on the way you like to work, how much time you have to learn, what your budget allows and your goals.

Many members here are Profantasy Campaign Cartographer users CC2, CC3, Dungeon Designer, City Designer and more. These are CAD programs and completely different than standard graphics applications.

There's also Dundjinni which more of a combat scale battlemap maker, not good at regional/world mapping. As well as NBOS Fractal Mapper.

There proggies cost around $40 each.

GIMP is the open source version of Photoshop, Inkscape is the open source version of Illustrator - which basically means that most any vector drawing app and/or raster image editor works great for creating digital maps.

Some prefer CAD, some prefer vector or raster apps - it really depends on you, there is not a single package that is best for all mappers.

Explore this site, look deep, there are many samples, tutorials and discussions about all these apps. Read them, try out the free ones, or splurge on one of the low cost paid-for apps and start mapping.

That's my advice! 8)

Torq
01-21-2008, 10:23 AM
Welcome Lwaxana

I agree with the sage advice dispensed by both NK and GP. Have a look at as much as you can and decide what software best suits the style of map you are looking to do.

Torq

ravells
01-21-2008, 10:50 AM
Hi Lwaxana,

Also be sure to check out the sticky on the 'Software Discussion' thread here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1033), which has a discussion of the relative merits of different type of software.

:edit: I've copied Game Printer's post to that forum too.

Cheers

Ravs

NeonKnight
01-21-2008, 11:16 AM
Gameprinter, that was such good advice it deserves some rep!

Lwaxana
01-22-2008, 06:05 AM
Yeah I'm reading up on a lot right now. It's amazing what today's software can do :-)

pyrandon
01-23-2008, 05:19 PM
Hi, Lwaxana! Welcome. I'm so glad you hopped in our Guild's mapping pool; the water's fine, isn't it? :)