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jdf
06-27-2008, 10:20 AM
I'm J.D., I'm also new here. Been futzing some with Campaign Cartographer 3 getting some work done on a fourth edition campaign.

I've always been fascinated by old maps, so I'm enjoying building maps for the game (that said, I'm up to two maps total so far...).

I'm also enjoying working through some of the quirks of using CC3. So far, most of them appear to be self-inflicted since I'm running it through Parallels on a Mac instead of on the Windows box they expected me to.

I'd posted Old Man Danvers' farm in the "Town" section down below already. It's not an encounter I actually expect to need a map for, which means it's an excellent place to practice and hone my skills. (though as any DM knows, no plan ever survives contact with the PCs)

I've also done an overland map of the continent that'll go up for comments when I get back to it and improve it some. I'd originally tried to do the land layout with fractal terrains-- but while I can get some pretty nice looking stuff out of it, I never managed to get anything that looked to me much like a fantasy map.

jfrazierjr
06-27-2008, 10:52 AM
I'm J.D., I'm also new here. Been futzing some with Campaign Cartographer 3 getting some work done on a fourth edition campaign.

I've always been fascinated by old maps, so I'm enjoying building maps for the game (that said, I'm up to two maps total so far...).

I'm also enjoying working through some of the quirks of using CC3. So far, most of them appear to be self-inflicted since I'm running it through Parallels on a Mac instead of on the Windows box they expected me to.

I'd posted Old Man Danvers' farm in the "Town" section down below already. It's not an encounter I actually expect to need a map for, which means it's an excellent place to practice and hone my skills. (though as any DM knows, no plan ever survives contact with the PCs)

I've also done an overland map of the continent that'll go up for comments when I get back to it and improve it some. I'd originally tried to do the land layout with fractal terrains-- but while I can get some pretty nice looking stuff out of it, I never managed to get anything that looked to me much like a fantasy map.

Welcome to the Guild jdf! Post up some more samples soon! And don't be shy about posting up your works in progress as you go(that includes your continent that you want to improve on). Several people here use CC3 exclusively to map and they can give you plenty of pointers. And of course, the rest of us will be happy to help with the non-technical bits of style.

Joe

Steel General
06-27-2008, 05:22 PM
Ditto on what Joe said and welcome, welcome, welcome!

NeonKnight
06-27-2008, 06:17 PM
Welcome aboard. Give a shout out if you have any questions.

jdf
06-28-2008, 01:09 AM
Welcome to the Guild jdf! Post up some more samples soon! And don't be shy about posting up your works in progress as you go(that includes your continent that you want to improve on). Several people here use CC3 exclusively to map and they can give you plenty of pointers. And of course, the rest of us will be happy to help with the non-technical bits of style.

Joe

I've got it online as part of the wiki I conjured up for the game world at http://forinash.dreamhosters.com/gamewiki, the whole map is under "Geography and Politics", local zooms in are under "Locations", for the curious. I'm mostly just pacing myself on asking opinions because I can learn better from working on one thing at a time. Once I've got some more ideas and work done on smaller-scale maps, I'll probably post that in the World and Regional maps section for comment.

Since I couldn't get Fractal Terrains to give me anything that I thought looked like a fantasy map, I built it out of the fractal land tool in CC3, and then I went through and looked at what I had and tried to place my mountains how it might have occurred from what I know about plate tectonics (which, admittedly, is exactly what one might suspect from someone who never even took the Geology 101 "Rocks for Jocks" class in college.)

Digressing as to why: The major problem, I believe, with FT for this sort of project is that it is indeed too real. If a fantasy world is going to be populated with characters who, at least to start, get around no faster than horseback, then it's got to be pretty small-- the mountains have to be pretty close to the ocean has to be pretty close to the desert; travel time is not particularly cinematic and it doesn't scream of drama to say, "Yes, you must be at Gasping Canyon in three months' time or all will be lost!"-- and let's face it, that's on the order how long it took, say, Lewis and Clark to find the other end of the country. However, if you're not working on a worldly scale, things seem insufficiently epic-- saving the valley is grand when you're a few levels old, but when you're throwing around disintegrate spells, flying, and smiting mighty dragons, saving the whole world is where it's at. And I think a good fantasy campaign needs both-- it needs the great power, but it also needs the feel of knowing where the characters came from and the development to that point. To do that sort of sweeping fantasy, the world has to be pretty small. It's tough to build a small world in FT that's not either Indonesia-style archipelago or doesn't have one or two islands that simply look like cones sticking out of the sea. That said, when it comes time to do a sci-fi RPG, FT's gonna get a lot of use. :) (Now, where D&D 4 fits into "good fantasy", well, that's an open question and beyond the scope of this discussion. :) )

I actually like many things about how the overland map turned out, though it needs some cleanup, like making the text more uniform (Haunted Wood is larger than anything else on the map, ferinstance). Doesn't exactly match the color text from the world, but that can easily be changed. It doesn't look like a Real Map of Real Terrain, but it looks to me like a Fantasy Map. With the possible exception that it's not all obviously built of hexagons. :) One thing I'm quite proud of is the hints of local climate I made by placing single trees (and Saguaro), though I'm not sure the southeastern conifers make people think "Southern Pine" or wonder why that area's cool enough for "Northern Fir"; I may sub those out for deciduous trees instead if it turns out to be confusing.

The other major continent isn't on the wiki (as the players have not rediscovered it yet), and when I do it, I'll need something that looks entirely different, which will take very different technique. While this map's a reference map for players and clean and bright is fine, the other will need to look more "in-game"-- faded, on a background that looks like cracked parchment, etc. THAT's where I'm really going to be asking for help. :) The stuff I'm doing now is, in a lot of ways, practice.