View Full Version : New Campaign World

01-25-2008, 06:05 AM
So, with 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons on the horizon, and less than 6 months to release, I figured it is time I made a new campaign world. I realize it will be a lot work on my part. We know from reports that the theme of D&D 4th edition is Points of Light, meaning the game has humanity and it's allies in small pockets of civilization with the little to know contact with neighbouring communites. Vast kingdoms are a thing of the past, and beyound the firelight evil stalks the night.

Sure, I could keep my current campaign world, and just bring it to the 4th edition Points of Light, but other things about 4th edition do not mesh with my current world. The presence of Tieflings, Aasimar, etc as playable races has never had a place in my world, and so I figured, it's 25 years of history has come to a close, and the time has come to start anew.

That said, I will soon be posting images of my new world, my new setting, and starting the whole creation process over. Many things from my old world with be stripped away and brought into the new world. All them city maps wil be transplanted (no need to reinvent the wheel here ;)).


01-25-2008, 08:38 AM
So, here is my new campaign world. It will be interesting to proceed with mapping this thing out for 4ed.

01-25-2008, 11:50 AM
That's a very watery planet!! Neat effect.

01-25-2008, 05:16 PM
That's a very watery planet!! Neat effect.

Oddly, when it comes to campaign worlds, I prefer less land, as then there is less 'mapping' to do ;)

01-26-2008, 01:54 AM
But long journeys, never far from water...

01-26-2008, 06:39 AM
So, here is a few different views of the world, and the area I will be detailing.

01-28-2008, 07:12 AM
So, I have done the 'Good' copy of the new Continent for my Campaign World.

I really need to think of a better name than 'New World' :(

01-28-2008, 07:43 AM
It looks lovely, but is there an 'in game' need to have so many fine gradations of altitude? I can see the problem, having the fine gradations on the map makes it nicer to look at but imports a need to explain what each colour means. I'd suggest combining the two green spectra into one and then you would just need to use the first colour of each spectrum, green, light brown, dark brown and black in the key without labelling each colour in the spectrum individually. The map user ought to be able to figure out roughly the altitude of individual colours from that. Of course this means having to make a key manually rather than use the auto one that FT generates in CC but it may be worth the effort...although it's only a very small point and not worth the effort if you are going to be generating tonnes of maps.

01-28-2008, 07:49 AM
Funny you say this, right after I posted it I thought, Hmmmmm.....Too many Contours, so I cut it down by half :D

01-28-2008, 09:14 AM
But then you lose the pretty colours on the map :)

01-28-2008, 09:30 AM
But then you lose the pretty colours on the map :)

Ah, I still have the many colored map for myself.

01-28-2008, 02:36 PM
The revised gradient is more akin to hypsometric tinting, while the first provided contour line information.

If the transition elevations are actually important (different rules due to elevation...travel rates, air quality, air clarity/turbulence) to the world, then keep them in so you can clearly identify "this community is > 4000 ft, or you are traveling above 7000 ft" times.

Also - were the rivers auto generated by FT? They seen to run at 45degree angles an awful lot...

-Rob A>

01-28-2008, 05:37 PM
The rivers were auto generated with the INCISE FLOW and then Find River function. I then retraced them with a fractal line to make them less straight. I'll look tonight to eliminate some of the 45 degree ness of them. Tha x for the input.

02-20-2008, 09:08 AM
Hi Neon,

I want to create a new campaign world for our 4E game, and your mapping project looks like something I've been wanting to do. Your work is excellent and very inspiring!

I started my project with CC3 and created a gigantic 10000x8000 world map with just the continental outlines (basically just green borderless landmasses with VERY intricately drawn coastlines and islands). My goal was to create the continents and then go back and create the individual regional maps as needed. But the continental map proved to be too large and unwieldy. It was difficult to copy portions of the continent over into the smaller regional maps. So, I decided to buy FT and start over. That's where I am now.

Did you use FT for everything so far? If so, what settings did you use when you generated your landmasses? How about the coloration - what settings did you use there? Any other tips for us newbies?

Once again, I really enjoyed your maps!

02-20-2008, 09:52 AM
I used Fractal Terrains for the iniital map, and then zoomed into a smaller area (An Australia sized Island Continent) and then choose the EXPORT TO CC2 option.

My settings on Fractal Terrains for that particular world were:

Under World Settings:

Highest Peak - 30000
Lowest Depth - -30000
Circumference: 25600 miles
World Seed: 933476636
Roughness: 1.00
Percent Sea: 70
Land Size: 2.44

Method: Ridged Mutlifractal
Flip Fractal Function (Both Horizontal and Veritcal are checked)

After that, to get the nice Earthy Look, choose:

MAP > SHow Gaia

And that gets you the nice view.

But, in Fractal terrains, I usually just keep clicking the RANDOM SEED button and then the APPLY TO CURRENT WORLD

02-23-2008, 08:58 PM
Ok maybe a stupid question but in FT, I can't figure out how to add in clouds. Could you possibly enlighten me in this area? :?:

02-23-2008, 09:37 PM
Hey Neon! :)

I cant await 4th Edition and already worked up three stretches of land for campaigns... but i scrappd them all and now I wanted to the same thing as you, only from the other side out.

I will probably begin with a small area and work out... look forward to it! ;)

See you round..!

02-23-2008, 09:55 PM
Map> Show Gaia

02-23-2008, 11:05 PM
ahah! Figured it out, thank you.

06-23-2008, 01:40 AM
So I am currently in the process of Redoing in a sense the Campaign Ilse for my 4e Campaign.

I redid the isle a bit using Waldonrate's fabulous tutorials, and am currently redoing the island Colors and stuff.

07-20-2008, 10:36 AM
Neon, I finished off your map today. Made a few tweaks to GTS based on it so it was useful to me too. Found yours a bit harder than usual - dont know why, probably because I was trying to keep the overall shape intact. Anyway, I said it would change a little and it has but its eminently recognizable after the erosion. Hope you like it. The full zip version is here (www.viewing.ltd.uk/Temp/CG/Neon/NeonsCampaignIsland.zip) but its 40Mb.

You can run it up in 3D with Dragon Flight. After it loads, press 'G' about 3 - 4 times and then maximize and press '4'. Press '6' if you can and '8' if your graphics card can stand it as these up the res of the screen pic. The color image is the full 4K square unlit version tho.

EDIT -- Oh yes, you will have to add in the smoke / steam trails as it would depend on the prevailing wind direction.

07-20-2008, 11:35 AM
Thank you very, very much!

07-20-2008, 02:54 PM
Seriously RR...quit teasin us...when will we be able to shower you with money and buy our own copy of GTS? :P

07-21-2008, 09:49 AM
Seriously RR...quit teasin us...when will we be able to shower you with money and buy our own copy of GTS? :P

Theres some volcanoes in this map. Theres 4 on the top which I told it to extinct at some point and left the middle three on. Now when I set this up I put in the commands to add some lava at the requested spots and then 'go'.

No lava.

Faff faff faff... Do you know I couldn't figure it out - I got the fraggin debugger on the code to see what happened and lo there was a line of script which adjusted stuff so that the volcano would have been way out in the ocean miles off the map.

The program can be made to give great results but its a beast to drive. I cant drive it in a completely straight line and I wrote it ! I am convinced that the overall process is the right way of doing it but it needs to be tamed a lot more before it can be set free. Some people say ViewingDale is quite tricky to use but I think that one is pretty easy after an initial hump of learning and its got a GUI. This is just a command line driven scripting language. The only errors it gives are syntax not terrain parameter types. It wont say that its too hot, too cold, too much permeability and so on - you just wait for ages and get a flood or a barren wilderness. It's not a pleasant ride at the mo - you would need to package me (and a code debugger it seems) with each one sold. Making a terrain using the app is more like debugging a dodgy program until its perfect. You have to have an understanding about whats making it not work right and then adjust that bit knowing that the changewill have a knock on effect and the process repeats until desired result. Not the way most people want to build terrain I think.

07-21-2008, 09:57 AM
We still love you.

07-21-2008, 10:24 AM
You have to have an understanding about whats making it not work right and then adjust that bit knowing that the changewill have a knock on effect and the process repeats until desired result. Not the way most people want to build terrain I think.

Just bundle up a version that will randomize parameters within ranges...random world creation... if you don't like it, try again!

-Rob A>

07-21-2008, 10:53 AM
Just bundle up a version that will randomize parameters within ranges...random world creation... if you don't like it, try again!Ahh the randomizing bit is the easy bit - I have my Noddy freebie program InstantIslands (http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/cgi-bin/viewingdale.pl?category=instant_islands) to do that job. The problem is that just noise by itself is not enough to be realistic. You can mix n match your noise types and this can take you a bit further but at some point you have to run a simulation of sorts to get terrain out instead of bumpy noise. The most essential is some form of erosion as this can eliminate stuff with is obviously impossible and that gets you something looking haf decent. To go further tho requires at least some form of fluid calculation and maybe some environment stuff like weather or temperature. And you can keep going more and more complex. These are the parameters that have less latitude for adjustment and so are not easy to randomize to get a working system. Its like the Earth and its biosphere - small adjustments mean global disaster, wipe out of all current living organisms and a whole raft of new ones that acclimatise to the new state. I suspect that if I randomized these and run it through with random initial conditions then I would provide millions of deserts or oceans but very few balanced terrains.

Perhaps I should try it and see. Most of the time I am asked to provide a map looking like something somebody has in their mind, but assuming that theres no preconceived ideas, I wonder what they would work out like. Will try that soon (ish).

07-21-2008, 11:01 AM
I've always thought that a combination of functionality from a program such as FT, GTS, and add in some of the calculations that determine wind and water currents effects on climate with coriolis effect and whatnot would be a BIG seller amongst fantasy gamers.

RR, you and Joe Slayton should both team up and start your own company and develop that tool...

07-21-2008, 11:15 AM
RR, you and Joe Slayton should both team up and start your own company and develop that tool...Now wouldn't that be somethin' :o but I am sure that there would be some difficulties working with GTS and for ProFantasy at the same time.

07-21-2008, 09:41 PM
Hmm, I really like that island, it reminds me of something or someplace, but I can't pull it from my tired old noggin,,,,is the zip file free to play with, peruse, perhaps storm the beaches,,,,,wait Snap doesn't have a Navy, no beaches will be stormed, but maybe landed upon in a raft of empty Tatershine kegs....

edit, I still get a kick out of seeing the way GTS braids the water channels and heaves up the glaciers, pure art.

07-22-2008, 04:41 AM
is the zip file free to play with...
edit, I still get a kick out of seeing the way GTS braids the water channels and heaves up the glaciers, pure art.
Its Neons map of course but i'll keep it up on my site for a short while. The zip is the colour an height data for use with Dragon Flight so you can spin round it in 3D if you want or are able.

The river braids are sometimes quite cool but often there not supposed to be there. That was actually part of the fix applied to try to cut them down a bit more but don't worry, its still producing them in abundance - just a bit too abundant for my liking. What I did was where veg grows it adds a little height so that the water now flows around the veg a bit more. Thats thinning the rivers as the banks grows trees in the really flat flood plains. The problem used to be that when a lake overflowed then it blasted an exit and all the water would run out but the floor of the lake would be dead flat from the sediment build up. Now when new water comes in from the inlet it used to spray all over the flat bed and it would grow trees and stuff there but become patchy as the next bit of water would flood those trees, kill them off and new trees would grow in another equally flat bit and so on. Now where the first trees grow it adds some height there, the next bit of water tries to steer around them and so leaves them in place and then the erosion starts cutting a channel and before you know it, you have a new thinner river appearing on top of the flat flood plain. Much better. Its good to run it up over these new terrains to flush all of these issues out.

07-22-2008, 12:47 PM
dragon flight was just what I had in mind, for the FHCO's to spin about for a look see, especially since old horsehair found a token of one of those old Da Vinci style (I guess) style gliders and has had visions of flight.
I have let them tool about in Global Mappers 3d view and they quite enjoy it, DF will be way better for them.

07-22-2008, 01:06 PM
I wasn't tooo worried about the rivers. It IS a place about 2500 miles by 2500 miles after all, kinda like Australia in Scope. It looks cool, and helps me to visualise what the Players can see from certain areas.

07-25-2008, 09:26 PM
Very nice start. You are using FR PRO i presume right? And the globe was made with it also?



07-25-2008, 10:09 PM
Yes, other than the nice 3d render Redrobes did for me (thanx again!), I do all my mapping in the profantasy Suite of software.

12-02-2008, 12:41 PM
New update of my Campaign map (more to come):

12-08-2008, 06:11 PM
WOW... It's a Pole Spanning Megacontinent!!!

12-08-2008, 06:47 PM
Actually, the Red Lines depict approximated 30 and 50 degrees north, so, a continent slightly smaller in size of Australia ;)

12-09-2008, 06:28 PM
I didn't mean Karhelion, I meant the HUGE one on the world map with the giant (what seems to be Crater) Inland Sea in the middle of it.

12-09-2008, 06:32 PM
Ah Yes, that one. That is kinda cool, I think ;)

12-10-2008, 09:01 AM
So do I, But I wonder how geologically stable and/or possible that is. I might have to go look that up.

12-10-2008, 11:25 AM
Well, assuming the planet also has plate tectonics (and if one has earthquakes, volcanoes etc, then that is pretty much a given), the current theory of Earth's history shows Pangea was a mega continent spanning between the two poles.


12-11-2008, 12:55 PM
hmm true, as was Vaalbara I believe. Cool, well the next thing I'd like to see is some History behind that seemingly Crater Ocean. Got a story for that or if not would you like one? *evil grin*

12-11-2008, 01:52 PM
Ohhhh, I gots ideas, I gots ideas :)

12-13-2008, 08:10 AM
LOL, okay. I'll shall have to wait and see then, neh?