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BISHDP
09-26-2012, 04:40 PM
I have been creating my world, mainly for the uses in my D&D campaign, for about 12 years now. I have many maps, all hand drawn at not of the quality that I would like, and my world is rather fully fleshed out. Now, after a hiatus of about 7 years, my friends informed me that they would like to start up our campaign again. I have decided that now is as good a time as any to re-forge my world unto better quality maps and, thanks to you all, I now have the means to do so. I have three or so months before we begin, so I mean to use my time wisely.
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Here is the B&W outline for my re-forged world. I feel that, like it was in medieval times, the world should not be fully explored yet. So I have centered the map on the “Known” world. I am not sure as to what scale to use yet. I was thinking the scale would be roughly the area of the Mediterranean. The southeastern kingdom is supposed to have five countries in it. The other continents are not nearly as set in stone as the southeastern one as throughout all the campaigns I have run in this world, none have been outside of the southeastern continent.
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Here is it a bit further along. Still playing with the mountains. Whatcha guys think?

jtougas
09-26-2012, 04:52 PM
The land forms are very good (I'll bet it's going to be fun writing up all those little islands :) ) Those mountains are truly epic as well. I'll be watching this :)

BISHDP
09-26-2012, 06:42 PM
Thanks, Jtougas. I spent a little time today after work brushing this up and here is what I have now. Time to start adding trees.
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For those of you geography and climate buffs, this area is situated in the southern hemi with the lower tropic line running through the northern continent. That gives us a desert to the west of the mountains up there and dryer areas to the east further down south. Hadley cells and all that. The southern most areas are frozen flat lands before it truly gets to the antarctic. I decided it was similar in shape and size to earth. Easier that way. No need to re-invent the wheel. Let me know if anything seems off or could be done better/differently. Thank you all for you help.

arsheesh
09-26-2012, 07:20 PM
Hi there BISHDP,

Just wanted to let you know that I posted some feedback for you over at the tutorial thread.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

jtougas
09-27-2012, 01:02 PM
This gets better and better. The colors are wonderful as is the texturing. (did I mention I LOVE those mountains? :) ) I am by far no expert on any sort of "actual" geography. (I tend to just happily ignore things like that and put stuff where it makes for the best story) After a quick glance however you seem to have one or two "orphaned rivers" Fine with me but a member of the "river police" might be by.... Anyhow this is a great start to what will surely be an incredible map !! :)

BISHDP
09-28-2012, 01:53 PM
I actually think I will reforge the mountains. At the very least I want to blend them better into the land and redo the western most peak of the northern range. It looks like flat on top due to too much white. I also am considering duplicating this map in a "ancient parchment" look for distribution to the players. Any suggestions on a good tutorial or approach for that? I could also use a better way to do the water.

jtougas
09-28-2012, 03:36 PM
I actually think I will reforge the mountains. At the very least I want to blend them better into the land and redo the western most peak of the northern range. It looks like flat on top due to too much white. I also am considering duplicating this map in a "ancient parchment" look for distribution to the players. Any suggestions on a good tutorial or approach for that? I could also use a better way to do the water.

I like the idea of a player handout but you might want to consider only doing a section of the map at a time. The easiest way to do parchment is with a GIMP plugin that creates the base parchment for you. There are of course other ways to do it as well. Then you could simply threshold your landmasses to a black and white duplicate that layer a couple of times and put it on the base parchment with multiply selected as the layer style. It should look similar to faded ink. You can of course play around with the opacity and other filters to get it to look just how you would like. As for the water I think it looks very good the way it is. I like the subtle division between the deeper water and the shallows. I hope this helped. Keep up the great work.

GIMP Plugin (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?15077-Parchment-texture-script-for-GIMP-2-6)

jtougas
09-28-2012, 03:54 PM
I actually gave you the wrong plugin. (Although the one I did link too is very good as well. HERE (http://registry.gimp.org/node/24679) is the one that I use. (I've had it for so long I forgot where I originally got it from... ) :) Also I did a very quick example of a parchment effect for your map. This is just running the parchment plugin taking your map and thresholding it to black and white and then using "select by color" to select all the black and hitting delete to erase it. I then placed this as a new layer onto the parchment base. Hopefully this will give you some idea of how it could look. Of course you can play with layer styles and opacity to get different results. :)

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arsheesh
09-28-2012, 10:26 PM
I actually think I will reforge the mountains. At the very least I want to blend them better into the land and redo the western most peak of the northern range. It looks like flat on top due to too much white. I also am considering duplicating this map in a "ancient parchment" look for distribution to the players. Any suggestions on a good tutorial or approach for that? I could also use a better way to do the water.


I actually gave you the wrong plugin. (Although the one I did link too is very good as well. HERE (http://registry.gimp.org/node/24679) is the one that I use. (I've had it for so long I forgot where I originally got it from... ) :) Also I did a very quick example of a parchment effect for your map. This is just running the parchment plugin taking your map and thresholding it to black and white and then using "select by color" to select all the black and hitting delete to erase it. I then placed this as a new layer onto the parchment base. Hopefully this will give you some idea of how it could look. Of course you can play with layer styles and opacity to get different results. :)

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I agree with JT that RobA's tutorial for generating parchment is a good way to go. As to blending it, A2area has actually discussed this in his phenomenal Israh tutorial (http://www.worldofgotha.com/PF_TUTORIAL/israh_index.html). I drew some of the inspiration from my Eriond tutorial from him btw.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

BISHDP
09-29-2012, 11:20 AM
Thanks guys for the great plug-ins. Here is my map at this moment. I have reworked the mountains and the ocean, though I am still not really satisfied with the ocean. I think the mountains came out a lot better though.
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I think I will now play around with Arsheesh's tutorial for trees until I am happy with them and then add them to this map. After that, it will be time for labels.
I completely agree with you, jtougas, it would be best to hand out bits and pieces of the map in parchment form. I figure I can zoom in on my map, copy that section to a new file and antique it for handouts and more detailed area maps. Thanks again for all the help. You guys are great.

BISHDP
09-29-2012, 12:35 PM
Here is a quick attempt at trees on a regional view of the southeastern continent.
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jtougas
09-29-2012, 02:25 PM
Not bad. I'd make sure that there are no trees covering your rivers as at this scale you wouldn't be able to see individual trees and it kind of "throws off" the eye. Keep up the great work :)

bartmoss
09-30-2012, 04:50 AM
I like it - but it looks quite pixely (I am guessing an artifact of you zooming in on a region and that you are ignoring that intentionally).

BISHDP
10-04-2012, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the comments, guys. I have been trying out the smaller tree patterns with some luck. I did, however, get tired of drawing trees, so as a break from it, I created a political map.
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I kept the map confined to areas, kingdoms, & capitols. The font I am using degrades too much to do the smaller towns at this scale. Any tips for blowing up regions and not having the pixelated artifact effect?

jtougas
10-04-2012, 05:57 PM
Oh my Neverwinter font.... :) I have to be honest and say that although I have used that font in the past it is best left to Neverwinter... Having said that there is no real way to avoid the "pixely" effect when you take a smaller image and blow it up. The zooming stretches the pixels and they get blurry. The only way to avoid that is to begin with a very large image and take sections of it to make individual maps of. Keep up the good work :)

BISHDP
10-04-2012, 06:22 PM
Ok, I guess my regional maps will have to be a little pixelated. I can work with that. I don't see the issue with the font, besides some of the capital letters being a bit hard to read. It was the best looking font I found that remained legible.

jtougas
10-04-2012, 08:00 PM
As I always say: If you like it that is ALL that matters :) My point with that particular font is it is very recognizable. It makes one think immediately of Neverwinter and sometimes that can distract from the map. But like I said if you like it then that's all that matters. :)

Yora
10-05-2012, 05:09 AM
That's a really cool map. And it made me realized my continent needs some super huge mountains as well. :D

BISHDP
10-05-2012, 08:02 AM
Thanks Yora. So can anyone tell me a good way to add Lat/Longs to my map or direct me to a good tutorial? I would like to get this world map finished before I start breaking it into regions.

Yora
10-05-2012, 08:46 AM
Because of how coordinates on a sphere work, you always have 90° North and South and 180° East and West. The equator is predifined by the spheres rotational axis, but the 0° longitude is randomly picked. You can set one anywhere you like, for every reason you like.

To see what latitude the northern and southern edge of your map is on a sphere the size of Earth, take a map of the world and see where you would place it so the climate at both the northern and southern edge fits what you have in mind. Once you know the latitude of the upper and lower edge of the map, filling in the rest is easy. Since they are given in degrees, the surface distance between every degree is always the same, there is no stretching as you have with the longitudes as you get closer to the poles.
As reference, I'd rather use North or South America or East Asia, as Europe actually lies much higher up north than the climate would indicate because of the Gulf current and some other circumstances that are unique to Europe.

Keep in mind that you can always make the planet larger or smaller or make the difference in climate between the poles and the equator weaker or stronger. You probably know what the effects of either are on the latitude lines, but if you want an elaboration of that I'd be happy to help.

Getting the longitudes right is the more difficult part. Because as said earlier, the distance between to longitude lines becomes smaller as you get to the poles and larger as you get to the equator. Quick and dirty solution would be to just have paralel lines from north to south. This means that the pole-side part of the map is actually stretched out a bit, but if the area is relatively small, like smaller than China or the US, the amount would ne begible and you could still estimate differences by just putting a ruler to the map. Near the one edge 10cm might be 98 miles and on the other edge 103 miles, but that wouldn't be a problem.
If the map covers a very large area like half of the globe or even just a quarter, things get a lot more complicated. Because planets are spheres it is impossible to make a flat map at which the distance between two points on the map has always the same ratio as the distance on the sphere. As shown in this xkcd strip (http://xkcd.com/977/).
But I think that's probably something to be adressed once you've decided what the northern and southern latitudes of your map are and where the equator is.

BISHDP
10-05-2012, 09:00 AM
Already done actually. I decided the scale of the map and the Latitudes it would cover back when I designed it. The southern tropic line 23.5 runs through the upper continent, hence the desert to the west of the mountains. The southern 60 is near the bottom of the map, giving way to the frozen south. I was more inquiring about the best or easiest way to draw them on my map in GIMP.

Sathurn
10-05-2012, 11:19 AM
I realize it not what your asking but 0 degree of longitude would probably be determined by the most powerful or advance seafaring country. i.e (Britain in our world)

As far as doing it in gimp I would say just add a transparent layer and put a grid on it. But what I kno of gimp couldn't fill a post.

BISHDP
10-05-2012, 12:09 PM
I actually had not considered that. As far as the environment goes, lines of Longitude have no effect but it is something interesting to think about for more geo-political reasons. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, Sathurn

BISHDP
10-06-2012, 09:12 AM
Well, here is my first attempt at a regional map. Do you guys think it would be too cluttered if I added river names?
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jtougas
10-06-2012, 09:43 AM
That looks good. I think you can add river names but maybe in a different font so they didn't get lost. :)

BISHDP
10-06-2012, 01:34 PM
Here is the finished(?) map. Is there anything you guys think I should add or fix?
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jtougas
10-06-2012, 02:26 PM
Looks good to me. There's ALWAYS something you can go back and tweak or change or add (hence the saying NO map is ever truly "done") The questions are: are YOU happy with it for a first project? (I know I would be) Does it do most of what you wanted it to? Did you learn some new techniques and tricks to make the next one a little bit "better"? and MOST IMPORTANTLY: did you have fun making it? If you can answer those with mostly yes than I would say that it's "done enough" and time to move on to the next one. Great job I really enjoyed watching this evolve. :)

BISHDP
10-06-2012, 03:22 PM
Then Yes, that region map is done. Is the world map done? No. Still working on that. On to the next region.

BISHDP
10-09-2012, 08:18 PM
So I am working on the island region to the west of my last region map, Du'Lar. The south western part of the map, a very cold region (think Scandinavia) is populated by four main "barbarian" or "viking" tribes. As you can see, I have colored each town based on to which tribe it belongs. Does this seem like a cheesy or overly simplistic way to do this? Is there a way that you guys would suggest that would let the reader know they are different tribes but is not quite so overt or blatant? Thanks for your help.
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jbgibson
10-09-2012, 09:15 PM
It's not cheesy. If you do want the distinction to be more subtle, you could use filled dots, with the fill color carrying the meaning.

Do be intentional in how you choose elements and characteristics to support your desired look. The drop shadows don't look bad, but they do steer the viewer away from the "hand lettered" statement your font choice seems to be trying for. I guess any satellite style will do the same - hard to look anything but modern from orbit :-). Still, if all you want to do is match the era depicted, no problems - just don't have an in-character cartographer pass it off as his handiwork, or he might get in trouble.

I like it - keep going!

BISHDP
10-10-2012, 05:17 PM
Ok, here is where I am now. I am rather satisfied with this map and, barring anyone pointing out something I should fix, I plan to post it to the Finished Map section. What do you guys think?
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Sathurn
10-10-2012, 09:02 PM
2 comments:

1 you might want to go back and add the "shipping lane" to your first map. That is a shipping lane right?

2 Relan is the name of the region right. Because it almost looks like the name of the sw landmast. But if it was it would need to centered on the landmass.

BISHDP
10-10-2012, 10:12 PM
You are absolutely right. I thought to add the shipping lanes on this map and hadn't gotten around to adding them on the other map. Here are both. I also moved the sw landmass name, Relan, to be centered. It makes the area kinda crowded but hopefully it doesn't detract too much. Added river names and several large landmarks. Fixed some legibility issues as well.
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edit: I also fixed an issue where the forests covered by more than one map were different between the maps.

Eilathen
10-11-2012, 06:38 AM
I like the maps. Interesting shapes and the style you have is good. I see how the first and second map fit together, but where does the third map (which i like best so far) fit into it? Do you, by any chance, have a world map?
Have some rep.!

BISHDP
10-11-2012, 08:42 AM
Added my unfinished world map for you to get an idea of how it all fits together. Thank you for the kind words. I am going through bit by bit and fleshing out the regions.

Eilathen
10-11-2012, 02:38 PM
Thanks! And after reading the thread, i saw that you posted it already...so consider me ambarassed that i didn't check first :oops:

Now, as an enthusiastic roleplayer myself...how about you talk a bit about your world?! You must have a lot of notes after 12 years...and i always like digging into worlds that other rpg-ers have cooked up. So if you're willing to share, i'd like to read it.

BISHDP
10-11-2012, 03:53 PM
Certainly. I would love to. Attached is the history of my world, from creation to present day, the state of each major race in today's society, and some historical accounts of a select few heroes from ancient times. I am currently reworking the country breakouts to include current political structure, economics, and the prevelence and control of magic. Below is some basic stuff people who grew up in the world would be aware of.

Tan'et

World:
...The world functions much the same as earth. It has the same size, tilt, seasons, days, and temperatures. The known world centers around the southern hemisphere around the Ocean of Fire. The south-eastern continent of Bremen is the most populated and explored. The Kingdom of Du'Lar is the most powerful and prominent kingdom on that continent. The other know continents are the land of Lliira in the west and Merahna in the north. Trade across the ocean is common but not as prominent as trade amongst the eastern kingdoms.

Planes:
Since the time of the Collapse, the connection between the planes has been sealed by the gods, prohibiting denizens from other planes to cross into the material world. Few have even seen a denizen from another plane and they have been relegated to stories of myth and legend. Only the darkest magic, outlawed on pain of death for any of its practitioners, is said to be able to breach the seals and force creatures from other planes into this world. As such, Summoner’s are the worst of criminals and hunted wherever they go. Even the common folk will burn a summoner at the stake if they are found in town.

Edit: The Third Age was the multiyear campaign that my players played through. The (group) references are their as I have yet to get them to agree on a name.

arsheesh
10-11-2012, 04:54 PM
These maps are really coming along nicely Bishdp. As a fellow worldbuilder, I can appreciate all the care that you've given to this project. I wish you all the best in your goal of getting this setting published with WoTC.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Realmwright
10-11-2012, 06:30 PM
This looks great so far! I love the way the guild comes alive to help with stuff like this :D I really dig the landforms. Just a suggestion since you're going for the "known world" feel/story - do a cool fog effect around the borders so it doesn't just end at the edges. Maybe within the fog place a hint of distant shorelines or little dragon doodles ;)

BISHDP
10-11-2012, 09:19 PM
Thank you all for the kind words and suggestions. I like the idea of a fog or blurred edge. I will have to "probosculate" on that. Here is the finished Imyria and Dramerus map. The title "Dramerus" is over the northern continent, I know, rather than over the country. This was a design decision as Dramerus is already really crowded. The Dunsick Forest in Imyria runs the length despite the name only being over the top section. Also to avoid overcrowding. Let me know what you think.
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BISHDP
10-11-2012, 09:20 PM
And here is my most recent map. This one is located to the far north and takes the role of my world's India, a place of exotic spices and strange cultures.
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As always, I would love to know what you all think and if there is any area I missed or could improve on. Thanks.

BISHDP
10-15-2012, 04:58 PM
To finally finish up the eastern kingdoms, this is my progress so far on the Athlea's
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Updated to have the town names and the forest. Still have to add the river names. Tell me what you think.

Ker'ion
10-17-2012, 05:38 AM
Wow.
Very nice.
My map seems pretty dismal at this point, though it is old and hand drawn.