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View Full Version : My (Sort of) First Map - World of Tellus



Hecklerus Prime
08-25-2012, 01:11 PM
Hello, viewers! Thanks for stopping by!

The image you see below is my second attempt at mapping my homebrew D&D world, Tellus. You can see my first attempt in my album, Aldurian Adventures. Anyway, this map will get filled in as my players explore it, which is why there are so many vast expanses of emptiness. The map is based off of one I found nearly a decade ago, used as my world map, and then lost. Hence, the attempted recreation. Several elements of my world are, admittedly, borrowed from other works of fiction (Mermidon River from Terry Brooks' Sword of Shannara and, later, The Free City of Greyhawk from Gary Gygax's campaign setting, just to name a few).

As I said, I'm very new to this whole map making scene, so any words of wisdom are greatly appreciated. So far I'm using Tolkien's Middle Earth map as a guide for how I want mine to turn out. I enjoy my method of making mountains, but am only moderately content with how I draw my trees. For some reason I have a terrible time with those, and am not impressed at all with Tolkien's method. Any suggested would be welcome.

The map is supposed to be able to retain detail at deep levels of magnification. I fear the attachment will not do this justice, so feel free to hop over to my deviantART page and have a closer look, pun intended. I've added a close up of the only explored region, Alduria, so hopefully that helps.

Eilathen
08-25-2012, 02:02 PM
Hi HP,

I like the map. The shape of your world is more than heavily borrowed from the Birthright world by TSR named Cerilia. But as i liked that map, i also like yours ;) I'd change the Alduria name...it is too close to the name Aduria for my taste (the name of the old continent on the world of Cerilia). But then again, not everyone is such a rpg-nerd as me :D

Schwarzkreuz
08-25-2012, 06:38 PM
Eilathen, yau are truely a nerd. I havnt even heard of that line of rpgs

Hecklerus Prime
08-26-2012, 11:30 PM
The shape of your world is more than heavily borrowed from the Birthright world by TSR named Cerilia.

Wow. Years of trying to find that map and it takes an hour on this forum. God bless the internet. Thanks very much for helping me find my original inspiration, Eilathen. I did a quick search using what you said and found my original map! It was apparently an old WotC Map of the Week called "World Overview", hence my never knowing the actual name. I can now safely credit my source. Thanks again.

As for Alduira, I see the resemblance and I'm not that surprised. My world (content, not map) is based off of my first DM's world, and Alduria is very much his creation. Knowing him, I'm sure you've nailed his inspiration as well, as he was an RPG fan from the very start. I spent years adventuring in Alduria and wanted to continue his world in his absence. (Not to darken the mood, but a four-wheeling accident left him a quadriplegic and ended his dice rolling days). But thanks again. I'd hate to be throwing this map around here and have people think I'm copying another's work without giving them their due. Little too much drilling about plagiarism in college for me to ignore :P

arsheesh
08-26-2012, 11:43 PM
I quite like the map outline, especially with the sort of calligraphy outline that you've given it. However, when you zoom in the resolution of the background is out of whack with the crispness of the land and geographical details. Still, looking good so far.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Eilathen
08-27-2012, 07:00 AM
Wow. Years of trying to find that map and it takes an hour on this forum. God bless the internet. Thanks very much for helping me find my original inspiration, Eilathen. I did a quick search using what you said and found my original map! It was apparently an old WotC Map of the Week called "World Overview", hence my never knowing the actual name. I can now safely credit my source. Thanks again.

As for Alduira, I see the resemblance and I'm not that surprised. My world (content, not map) is based off of my first DM's world, and Alduria is very much his creation. Knowing him, I'm sure you've nailed his inspiration as well, as he was an RPG fan from the very start. I spent years adventuring in Alduria and wanted to continue his world in his absence. (Not to darken the mood, but a four-wheeling accident left him a quadriplegic and ended his dice rolling days). But thanks again. I'd hate to be throwing this map around here and have people think I'm copying another's work without giving them their due. Little too much drilling about plagiarism in college for me to ignore :P

No problem, glad i could help :)
As a map-enthusiast and a rpg addict, i know a lot of worlds and maps ;)

And i hear you about plagiarism. It's a shame that there are people out there who steal maps from talented folks to pass them on as their own work. That is why some of those talented artists start to limit their online appearances or have very strict rules as to the sharing of their stuff. Which is, imho, a shame. The thieves spoil it for the honest folks...which really gets me and makes me angry :x
Anyway...sorry for the rant ^^

Sorry to hear about your friend. That's a harsh fate :(

Seleucus I
08-27-2012, 12:15 PM
Your maps is generally looking good, but you have a few river violations. See here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?3822-How-to-get-your-rivers-in-the-right-place)for more details. The biggest problem I noticed with this was that the central sea / lake has 3 rivers flowing out from it, it should only have one. Also, several of your rivers fork down stream which can't happen: tributaries may flow into larger rivers, but smaller rivers don't split off from larger ones.
I'm not a huge fan of the font you've used, but that's a personal choice.
Otherwise, like I said, looking good. I like the color scheme and background texture you've chosen; they go together really well. You've also done a god job with the positioning of your labels, and the compass rose you've added in goes very well with the rest of the map.

Hecklerus Prime
08-28-2012, 10:45 AM
when you zoom in the resolution of the background is out of whack with the crispness of the land and geographical details

I have noticed that and am trying to find a way to fix it. My skills at drawing in Photoshop are somewhat lacking. As in, I can pretty much only draw lines right now. Haha. I've used two different pre-made backgrounds available in the program, so their resolution is set. If anyone knows a way to increase that please let me know. My plan so far was to leave it as is so that my player's aren't just looking at lines on white and attempt to re-do the backgrounds once my skills mature.


The biggest problem I noticed with this was that the central sea / lake has 3 rivers flowing out from it, it should only have one. Also, several of your rivers fork down stream which can't happen: tributaries may flow into larger rivers, but smaller rivers don't split off from larger ones..

Thanks for the link. I've been trying to keep realistic rivers in mind, but it looks like a few slipped through. The central sea you mention is Lake of Ghularad, a body of water created when a massive object (rumored to be a fallen deity) impacted the world ages ago. Those three rivers all flow into the lake and have baffled scholars for centuries, as they have yet to find where the water flows out of the lake; the bottom is unreachable with current methods. Myth has it that the fallen deity on the bottom must drink all of the water flowing in before he or she can rise once more. In reality, I don't even yet know how it functions, but it will be magical in nature. Obviously, there is no way for you to have known this so I cannot fault your comment. However, the branch to the side does have a pretty big violation. I'll have to fix that. I think I'll definitely take the advice of that link and draw terrain before rivers from here on out. Thanks again.

One more question on the topic of waterways. If you look at the eastern most river group in Nanoi it has branches on both ends. The right-most branches are to be swampland and a river delta, similar to the Nile. I've tried to represent swamps around the city of Sandpointe in Alduria, but I'm not really feeling the hash mark style. Any suggestions on how to draw nice looking swampland? Or could/should I leave it as is and call the area one massive braided river system?

Seleucus I
08-28-2012, 11:10 AM
Around Alduria, you've used diagonal slashes, which as you say are somewhat confusing. I would suggest pattern based more on horizontal lines (to suggest water) with plants sticking out occasionally. I'll try and post a sketch of what I mean later.

Realmwright
08-28-2012, 12:18 PM
I like that quite a bit, but I'm a sucker for anything Tolkien :) I see nothing wrong with the trees. I especially like the inland waterways. That's something I struggle with. We mappers/artists all have that Achilles heel.

Seleucus I
08-28-2012, 04:32 PM
Here's an example of what is produced by the horizontal lines marsh texture I suggested. I hope this helps!

47852

Hecklerus Prime
08-30-2012, 07:51 PM
That looks great, Seleucus. I really like that bit of swamp. Now, I've noticed that Photoshop has these brushes that repeat patterns. Does anyone know if I can create a custom pattern, like your swamp, and have it duplicate it over and over? I feel like it'd save tons of time in creation.

Seleucus I
08-30-2012, 11:07 PM
One way to do something similar would be to do the swamp texture over a very large scale (ie: a whole sheet of 8 by 11.5 paper) and then scan it in and make it a separate layer. You could then add a layer mask to it and erase the correct portions of the mask to let the swamp come through. This wouldn't be quite as difficult as it might sound - the texture is not at all time consuming to draw. Also, it would have an advantage over repeating patterns in that there wouldn't be banding. Alternately, you could draw a much smaller section and make liberal use of the clone tool to put the marsh in. Unfortunately, I'm much more familiar with GIMP than Photoshop, though, so I can't help you very much with actually creating a repeating pattern.

Datoria
08-31-2012, 04:06 PM
I think it looks great, I love the idea of all that open space to be 'discovered'. The branching rivers downstream issue is something I never thought about, but it's a fault in the map I'm making myself too :/ I'll have to remember that.


I've noticed that Photoshop has these brushes that repeat patterns.

Do you mean like the special effect brushes? I can't remember how to make them, but I'm sure I could figure it out or ask someone in work :/