View Full Version : [WIP] Elsir Vale (from D&D 3.5s adventure Red Hand of Doom)

11-11-2013, 11:50 AM
Gretting, Cartographers!

For an upcoming Pathfinder game I am working on the adventure Red Hand of Doom. One problem is that the original map is a) only available in an insultingly low resolution, and b) is very hard to read. Lots of black high-contrast lines cramped together to depict a small valley, nothing I'd consider a good RPG supplement.

So right now I am working on my own version of the map, using Photoshop CS3.


It is by no means finished, so I'd like to hear your thoughts!

11-11-2013, 12:04 PM
I'm not sure it's the answer you want but : http://willsfamily.org/games/rhod/MainMapGM.jpg

11-11-2013, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the link. I know that map version and while it's certainly enlarged, in my opinion it suffers from the same problem the small version does - too much stuff cramped together, difficult to read.

11-11-2013, 07:30 PM
The scale of your terrain icons seems off -- the marsh plants are the size of mountains! Other than that, I think it looks good.

11-12-2013, 08:15 AM
Yeah, I noticed that myself... I will scale it down a notch. Thanks for bringing it up!

EDIT: So here's the new version. Smaller plants in the marsh, grass icons and settlement names added. The names are a bit hard to read, but I'll work on that.


11-12-2013, 03:09 PM
Next iteration with all locations, names, and a few changes here and there. I replaced the white border with a paper texture from the CG ressource pages on DeviantArt (autor is coyotemax).


11-13-2013, 03:10 AM
Looks nice! Are you planning on putting some sort of tree icons on the forests?

11-13-2013, 09:13 AM
Looks nice! Are you planning on putting some sort of tree icons on the forests?

To be honest, I haven't thought about that. While it sounds intereting enoguh to try... were you thinking of something like this?


11-13-2013, 04:11 PM
Ok, here's a version with tree icons in all forest areas. I think it's an improvement, so thanks for the idea :)


11-13-2013, 04:20 PM
Looks good.

11-14-2013, 10:41 AM
Latest and probably last advancement of the map. I shifted Drellin's Ferry and Witchcross a bit further to the streams, and gave the latter cultured lands. Smoothed some minor details here and there. In case anyone is interested in using the map when playing Red Hand of Doom, I created a player-friendly version without the adventure sites the players are supposed to find on their own.

GM Version (all locations)

Player Version (Vraath Keep, Ghostlords Lair, Fane of Tiamat removed)

I also created a Forgotten Realms version, with the 3rd edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting map as guideline. The geography doesn't match perfectly, but otherwise the names reflect the region of Faerūn that served as template for the RHoD map. Two small additions: to justify the name ovf River Talar, I placed some ruins of the original Talar in the west (opportunity to introduce some background), and I adapted the northern settlement Kormul from the Faerūn map (also good to implement into the adventure, as it would be the first village to fall victim to the Red Hand).

GM Version FR (all locations)

Player Version FR (Vraath Keep, Ghostlords Lair, Fane of Tiamat removed)

11-15-2013, 02:54 PM
I love those trees -- the forest just seemed a little blank without its own icons, but now it's awesome!

11-16-2013, 07:43 AM
I love those trees -- the forest just seemed a little blank without its own icons, but now it's awesome!

Thank you!
Originally I was aiming to (in parts at least) imitating the style from the 3rd edition Forgotten Realms map (here (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/wd_maps/FRposterLarge_150.jpg)), but your idea of putting little icons in the forests really looks great. I may or may not continue to fiddle with the colors, at least my printouts didn't satisfy me...

11-21-2013, 01:08 AM
Really like the map, not too fond of the background texture. It may be a color perception problem on my part (colorblind). But I think what 'disturbs' me most is that the paper texture should show through the map on any "real" drawing; of course if you did that you would compromise the cleanliness of the map. Perhaps a lighter texture would work better. Just my two nitpicking cents.

11-21-2013, 09:15 AM
Thank you!
You are right about the texture, it collides a bit with the clean style of the map, I noticed this myself after printing a copy or two. I am in the process of finetuning the colors a bit, and I also thought about replacing the parchment texture alltogether, since I really want to preserve the clean style of the actual map - the unreadability of the original map was the reason I made my own version in the first place :)

I will upload a new version when I found something satisfying.

11-21-2013, 09:35 AM
It's definitely nice to have trees in those forests in place of a green blob. However, the happy look of those trees doesn't fit well with dark names such as "The Witchwood". In the Witchwood, I'd expect some gnarly old-looking trees. Nice and spooky, dark woods would be nice to see :)

But nice job overall, I really like it.

11-23-2013, 01:03 PM
After browsing the inspiring amount of templates and Photoshop brushes both here on CG and on Deviantart, I fiddled around with a handout version that looks a bit more hand-drawn. It's a bit smaller and misses a couple of landmarks and entries, to reflect the nature of a bad copy by someone uninformed. Colors are muted on purpose.


11-25-2013, 03:54 AM
I like this map. Actually, I like it way more than I did the original, the style you used is very impressive! It must be awesome to play a game on this!