View Full Version : My Very Basic First Project (WIP)

01-31-2012, 11:35 PM
This is the first, basic draft of a map for an RPG campaign. Any advice is appreciated.

02-04-2012, 06:52 PM
You have river violations.

Rain falls on sloping land and collects into rivers that flow downhill to the ultimate destination (usually the ocean, but rarely a lake).
Each area (called a basin) is seperated by high land (called a ridge).

So no area will flow in two directions (like some of your rivers and lakes do).

02-04-2012, 08:53 PM
Its still in an early Stage. Try to correct wrong rivers so they look more naturely. Well I always do wrong rivers myself, and still try to avoid this. I like your basik forms, its looking very dualistic.

02-05-2012, 07:31 PM
I have followed/combined a few tutorials on here and have managed to make a new draft of my regional map. I tried to place mountain ranges and hills in realistic places for water flow, but I imagine there are plenty of mistakes and I plan on correcting those before moving on to other features. Thank those of you that replied, as it brought river issues to my attention. I'd still like any advice or opinions.

02-05-2012, 09:10 PM
I tried to place mountain ranges and hills in realistic places for water flow

Always place your mountains first. It is incredibly hard to correctly place mountains after rivers.

02-05-2012, 09:58 PM
Yeah, I have definitely learned my lesson there.

02-05-2012, 10:00 PM

OK, just spit-balling here to convey ONE of many possible ideas ... (it is YOUR world)

Look at a map that shows the rocky mountains or apalachian mountains running down the opposite coasts of North America.
Start with a 'Spine of the World" series of shorter mountain ranges running down the center of your world (east - west). This will not be a continuous range, but a series of mountain ranges separated by hills and perhaps a few large valleys connecting the north and south halves of the continent.

Along the south coast is a second mountain range (perhaps set in a short distance from the coast).
The rain tends to move from NW to SE across the land, creating a great desert between the two mountain ranges.

The NW coast of the land masses get lots of rain and will tend towards lush forest, swamp or jungle (based on your temperatures). Further inland , less rain falls and normal forests dominate. SE of the mountains tends to be drier with forests along the coast transitioning to grasslands further inland.
Note that the SW coast can get rainfall that misses the central mountains.

From the general terrain and patterns above, the rivers north of the spine will tend to flow north towards the nearest coast. The North will have either many rivers, or great rivers with may upstream branches. The South will have fewer and smaller rivers (less rain).

Like I said, that is just one quick option out of many - Yours (not mine) is the correct one.

02-05-2012, 10:35 PM
I'm definitely going to take that option into account and redraw the mountains/rivers.

02-06-2012, 11:04 PM
It actually depends on where in the world your continent is situated to depend on where the rain comes from. (However, in the United States, your NW to SE is very accurate.)

What is important is that you choose a direction for your wind and rain to travel in, and notice that rain will dump on the first mountain range it reaches, leaving a rain shadow behind it.

desert vs grassland and Forest vs jungle will depend on a lot of things, so you can play around with a lot of things as long as you get the general patterns right.

02-07-2012, 07:41 PM
I've placed the mountain ranges, I plan to color them and place rivers soon. I plan on having the NW-SE model for my rainfall.

02-07-2012, 08:30 PM
Your map looks very natural now, only some desserts of the eastern continent seems to be slightly in the NW Rainy area of their mountains. (I mean the top north dessert south of the Spines end and same on the top of the western continent)
I also like the most western mountains directly at the sea. It could be a stormcatcher, means an dangerous area with lots of storms clashing at the cliffs and mountains there. So only from defining the rain dirction you get a lot of interesting areas and climatzones.

02-07-2012, 08:43 PM
I realy like how the mountains form climateareas and extremezones, e.g. you get a very stormy coast at the westend of teh western continent where stormfronts clashes with the mountain barrier. Also the dessert is a very nice idea.

EDIT: Somehow my posts got mixed up, and double posted.

02-07-2012, 09:25 PM
I drew rough outlines of where I expect rivers to be. If anyone points out any violations or gives suggestions I'd love it.

02-07-2012, 10:21 PM
I drew rough outlines of where I expect rivers to be. If anyone points out any violations or gives suggestions I'd love it.

Your forking is largely backwards with lots of distributaries and no tributaries. You also have two river systems that don't seem to go anywhere. There are a few rivers on earth that really don't reach a basin of any sort but just evaporate away into an "inland delta". This requires fairly unusual conditions, much more so than for an endorheic lake (one with no outlets).

Finally you have a very improbable looking water gap (River running through a gap in a ridge) in the east of the western continent. A water gap either means that there just is no possible way for the water to get out except through the mountains, or the mountains raised up after the river was already established. Remember that rivers flow downhill.

02-08-2012, 01:16 AM
I've tried to fix the river issues I saw, but I plan on going over it again before I start to actually draw the rivers. For some reason I completely forgot about the existence of tributaries (All I learned about watersheds in the 5th grade is coming back!) so I've tried to correct the forking.
Here's the current draft:

02-08-2012, 12:29 PM
there are only two now in the north east of the western part.