View Full Version : Ember - A Pathfinder Campaign World

11-14-2011, 06:30 PM
It's been a long time since I did any serious mapping, but I finished my second degree, and though my job has become a bit crazy, I decided to get back into it. My primary motivator is that I'll be hosting our next Pathfinder campaign, so I have to get my ducks in a row and get something done. In the past, I've done maps for four other campaign worlds. All are documented here. There is Laramis (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=17364&d=1254604895), Esteria (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=18236&d=1257038741), Praamador (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=34037&d=1299034110) and Arindelia (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=36566&d=1308183999). I also did a parchment sub-map of Esteria (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=21408&d=1264368479).

This world being mine, I felt I had to strike out into new territory. I read up on the tutorials and looked for inspiration, but didn't find what I was looking for. Finally, I saw that a new version of Fractal Terrains Pro had come out, so I paid for the upgrade and started playing with it. Kind of by accident, I generated a world that looked exactly like what I needed: a huge inner sea that was round.

As you can see I've already done a good bit of work, although I've stuck primarily around the campaign area initially as I'm using the map for distance calculation.

In a nutshell, the terrain came from FT3. The water area was the result of endless filtering. The land textures started with the FT3 terrain. The sequence of filters and adjustments that were applied to get it to the point it is now would be impossible for me to reproduce. The "look" I'm looking for is a fairly modern map with a stress-free palate. Something easy on the eyes that conveys a great deal of information without looking overcrowded or too cartoony.

Those of you who know my work know that I'm not a color guy, and I lean heavily on my wife and you guys to point out when I go too far off the reservation. I appreciate any input you care to give on this project, whether it be color or something else. Thanks in advance for your help.


11-15-2011, 11:55 AM
I love the coloring of the land!

11-25-2011, 01:04 AM
^Ditto to was is said above, but moreso I like the shape of the land, I've tried fractal terrains to make landshapers but they always came out to be so generic. Did you use a particular setting or something to get this more dynamic shape?


11-25-2011, 02:59 AM
I like the colors too. I'd change a few things, though.

Are the rivers meant to be so jagged and angular? If you're using Illustrator, you can apply a rounded corners effect to them, to make them look more "natural" (whatever that is).

The font for the natural features looks far too heavy and, indeed, cartoony. Like a squared Cooper Black. Particularly things like S. Table - the light color, the outline, it looks too punchy and it contrasts too heavily with the font you're using for the towns and cities. Also, it seems to be a font meant for setting at smaller sizes (it's very "thick", leaving little white space).

I'd also do a little trick to gain more space on the coast - type on path. Make curving paths leading out of the towns into the sea on which you type the names of the towns. That's a trick I learned here, on CG. Examples from the 1911 Britannica: Oregon (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/1911_Britannica_map_of_Oregon.jpg), South Africa (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/South_Africa_map_EB1911_reduced.png).