View Full Version : [WiP] Dheghom

11-05-2011, 10:03 AM
After a sudden bout of nostalgia I decided to update my DnD campaign world from highschool.

This is a rough sketch of the decade old map I would be working on.

After a dozen iterations I've more or less settled on this for the new coastline. This was drawn entirely in inkscape. You may notice some bits of the coastline that look suspiciously like Norway, Australia or Korea.

This is a quick woodcut version I threw together. Idea for the strange travel notes was lifted from Greg Stolze's Reign maps. I borrowed the compass rose from a post by Tilt. This version was done in inkscape and gimp.

This is the satellite style version I've been working on, done entirely in gimp with the exception of the imported coastline. I used a heavily modified version of Ascension's atlas method.

I plan on tweaking both versions, adding lakes and rivers, doing some minor coastline fixes, and making a political/cultural map.

Suggestions and criticism welcome.

11-05-2011, 11:43 AM
Wow! That's pretty exhaustive! I don't think I can add any comments at this point, because it looks great. Maybe on the satellite style map I'd add a bit of continental shelf, right now it looks like the western edges of the lands are floating above a sea of glass ...

11-05-2011, 07:56 PM
Suggestions.... hmmm. "Keep up the good work". "Please post more often". "We'd definitely love to see works in progress for this kind of stuff." You mean like that?

Commentary ... well "this stuff is made out of awesome", and "freakin' lovely woodcut, sir" spring to mind. Also "nice - a continent with an appropriate selection of islands".

Criticisms.... well, the northern coast and the northern passage have coastlines that look like fjords, or some level of drowned roughness, but most of the mountains don't match that. You have the "all mountains are bare rock" disease (well, mild illness...) - it'd be fine to run your forest colors a ways up their flanks. For that matter, if the colors indicate landcover and climate, you could get a little more plausible with placement of the dry zone. Like, pick a latitude and extent, and 'dry out' the areas of 30-ish N & S, and wetten the areas around equator & 60 N or S. Pick some prevailing winds - there's guidance in a number of threads herein if you want to get compulsive, or stick with simple stuff - and apply some of the "wetter on upwind side of mountains / drier downwind" effect.

I bet the currents in those long skinny straits are absolutely evil ! I like the travel tips :-). And thank you for jumping in with a bang - that's repworthy even if the work you show wasn't also great stuff !

11-06-2011, 09:25 AM
That woodcut version is covered in awesome-sauce! Great job all around so far. I look forward to seeing more! Have some rep, sir!

"The tigers can speak, do not listen to them" :D

11-07-2011, 08:24 AM
I made a post yesterday but the forum seems to have swallowed it.

Anyways thanks for the comments! I got a little work in.

- Added a contenietal shelf as per Lukc's suggestion. It's pretty sutble I'll probably tinker with it some more.
- Greenified the mountains and added some roughness around the fjords as to jbgibson's post. I want to revisit the elevation around that part to put in some proper detail later. The climate zones are actually supernaturally influenced in this setting, but I have gone in and greened up the coastlines a little.
- Speaking of supernatural climates, one of the main influences is 'Ahwa. Through most of the world it appears as a bright red star which always points towards Mount Erum (a mountain in the center of the desert), but when one enters the Red Desert it inexpicalbly starts to grow. It becomes larger and larger as one nears Erum. At the base of the mountain it is as large and feirce as the noonday sun, except it never sets. A few strange plants gain sustenance from 'Ahwa's scarlet light, but little else survies in the wasteland. Anyways I redrew 'Ahwa's glow on the map.
- I also added a layer of lowland elevation.
- I darkened the isle in the middle of the circular sea as it's supposed to be an obsidian peak.
- I flattened out the plateau above the circular sea which is the site of a massive kingdom sized city built by the gods who have long since fled the world. I'm currently struggling with how best to represent the city. In reality it would probably just look like a big grey blob from this far back. Here's my current attempt:
I don't really like the looks of it, but I'm unsure how to fix it right now.

11-07-2011, 11:07 AM
Here's version two. I made the city circular, added a gradient backdrop, and buffed up the landscape around it. It's better than before but I'm still not sold on it.

11-07-2011, 11:31 AM
Fantastic looking :) that gigantic city looks like a massive ossified growth or bacterium ;) (which, in this context, is a good thing)

11-07-2011, 07:32 PM
Haha, thanks.

I redid the city again. This time with an overlay of concentric circles which grow lighter towards the center. I like the elevated effect it produces after embossing.

I've also started work on another prop style map for the same world.

11-08-2011, 10:18 AM
Updated the new map. It's inspired by that chinese map of the world that was supposedly from the 1400s, so I've ran with that theme.

11-16-2011, 08:13 AM
River police I summon thee!

I finished my first draft of rivers for Dheghom. This isn't a totally comprehensive river map it just shows significant rivers. I just want to make sure it makes sense more or less. Story trumps science here so although total realism isn't my aim I do want as much verisimilitude as possible.

Mountains are roughly sketched in as grey blobs for reference.

There are a couple of notes:
1 - This is actually an old river bed. The far east branch still sees a small amount of flow but it drains into the sands of the desert.
2 - This lake drains into an everglades style wetlands.
3 - This lake is fed by a seemly magical spring. It has been used to feed a canal system to the south. Further south the canals feed into old river beds. (Canals have yet to be properly detailed)
4 - This fast moving river cuts a canyon through the dry countryside. It is completely unnavigable.
5 - Slow moving shallow river that is easily crossed except during the spring when fording is impossible. It is either too shallow or too fierce to navigate in anything bigger than a canoe.


11-16-2011, 09:31 AM
Without a scale, it's hard to say how realistic the rivers really are. My first instinct is that they are a little wiggly if this is a continental-scale map.

Overall, though, the river systems look plausible. They generally start in the highlands (with a few exceptions like the one in the lower-left corner of the map where a river starts near the sea and flows between two mountain ranges on its way to another sea) and end in the sea. There do seem to be a lot of rivers, but that may be a scale issue.

11-16-2011, 10:15 AM
The area is about the size of europe, plus north africa and the middle east. Scale of wiggliness was one of my concerns. That river to the lower left is actually a bit of an eff up, I'll have to fix it. I originally had the branching system draining into the sea near to it, but then decided it would be more interesting to rotate it, connect it to the lake system and make the valley drop below sea level, but then I forgot to erase the outflow of the lake system. "Wha.. why is the river flowing uphill?" "A wizard did it."

11-16-2011, 11:12 PM
Great maps! I got nothing else to add except that the first image you posted looks like an elephant. Ha! :D

11-17-2011, 03:56 PM
The big ocean basins are interesting; the ones in the middle suggest glaciers followed by deglaciation and sea level rise, like the Baltic.

Stuff I love on this map:

-- volcanic island arc in lower middle-left
-- massive crater in lower right

11-18-2011, 02:01 PM
Haha ChicagoMay, That image is atleast 12 years old and I never saw an elephant until now, and now it's all I can see when I look at it.

I've been messing around with wilbur and ran some terrain through it. The result:
Don't like the weird angular mountains in the bottom left.

edit: ignore the currently terrible forest effects and such

11-18-2011, 02:13 PM
This looks like the head of a wolf looking west to me. There, no more elephant! :)

11-20-2011, 06:18 AM
Ha, nice I totally see the wolf. Ironically the first version of this world was designed to look like a dragon. I've lost those very first drafts, they were scribbled on loose-leaf paper in some binder I probably threw out years ago.

Anyways I redid the relief in wilbur. Slowly working on redoing the colour and effects.


11-20-2011, 08:10 AM
You have to tell me which tutorial you used for the wilbur-to-bitmap-to-wilbur relief work! :)

11-20-2011, 11:11 PM
I actually just went back to my first rough copy bitmap and altered it then ran it through wilbur instead of trying to salvage what wilbur had given me before. I wasn't happy with the results from the few tutorials I tried, so I've sort of been playing around on my own. I'm using the basic difference clouds in gimp adjusted by hand to create the original bitmap. My big discovery is the importance of adjusting curves before exporting to wilbur so you get actual ridges instead of plateaus. Also that if you're trying to place non random mountains you can adjust curves so you isolate the ridges then cut and paste them where you want them. After a touch up it looks better than trying to just lighten a section with an airbrush.

Anyways got some more work in:

My master copy is 3000 px wide with about 20 layers, my poor little netbook hates me when I open it.

- The salt flats sort of stick out like a sore thumb, haven't decided what to do with them yet.
- Forests still need adjustment.
- Coastline too rocky? I don't know, it seems way more of my coast is rough than not.
- Need to finish water effects, may darken rivers and lakes.

11-22-2011, 04:14 AM
Another update.


Shrank the god city, added some forests, played around with water effects, and a few other tweaks.

11-22-2011, 04:49 AM
You like your maps so dark, don't you? :)

11-22-2011, 06:10 AM
Heh I do seem to, this last one was probably getting a bit too dark.

11-22-2011, 11:42 AM
Another small update and a copy of the map at full size which is about 3000x2000.


11-22-2011, 12:00 PM
Very moody!