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Mithril Maiden
01-26-2014, 10:16 AM
This is my first map made with Campaign Cartographer, and one of my first real mapping projects, so I'm doubly inexperienced.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B11W8TDWLNweUWtoM3NlUm9rNEE/edit?usp=sharing

My first problem is already apparent. It's too small to read. I can see it much better in CC3 than I can here. Anyone know how to export a bigger picture than this?

My other issue is making sure the climate is realistic. This landmass is roughly twice the size of California, with the white area being arid and bitterly cold, and the northern part is in the rain shadow of the Western and Eastern Wall mountain ranges. In the south, the climate tends to be very wet on the coast and near the mountains, with rainforest being rather common. It is a bit drier inland, but still on the moist side. It is a cold climate, but not as bad as beyond the mountains. Heavy precipitation characterize summer, with thunderstorms being common, and winter brings deep snow. The mountain ranges are volcanic, but it's been a very long time since the last eruption, so it doesn't generally cross the minds of this who live there. Several cities are located on or near volcanoes do to the highly fertile soil. The country in general is pretty fertile, but the volcanic regions are on another level. The whole landmass is above sea level, with altitude being moderate to high.

Where are the geographic plausibility errors I made in creating this continent? I'm sure I made at least a couple.

Zach
01-26-2014, 11:16 AM
I'm not familiar with Campaign Cartographer, but I will give such advice/suggestions/questions as I can.

If the land area is twice the size of California, then the green region is a little bigger than California, which is 163,700 square miles. So the green is on the order of 180,000 to 200,000 square miles? Is there going to be anything of interest in the white area?

Generally, a rain shadow creates very dry and arid land on its side of the mountains. It doesn't really make sense to say that the area in the rain shadow is "still on the moist side". It would make more sense, I think, if the prevailing winds blew north/northeast/northwest over the land, dumping a lot of water near the coast, and then leaving a rain shadow on the north side of the mountains.

Here's a possible tectonics explanation. What are now the north and south halves used to be their own islands on opposite plates. The north one slammed into the south one, creating a big line of volcanoes. Now that the continental crust has joined, however, subduction is mostly finished and that explains why the volcanoes have not erupted for a long time. (Except I get the feeling that you're planning some sort of a volcanic cataclysm...so maybe there's enough magma left under the mountains for one final show.)

Rivers look mostly good, except for the two on either side of the gulf. Those two, and the right one in particular, come close to the gulf without emptying into it. This means that the land between it and the gulf is exceptionally high, which the map does not indicate. I would shift the rivers further away from the gulf. Also, are there any tributaries to be seen?

Is this going to be a Norse inspired map, at least with place names?

Jalyha
01-26-2014, 11:41 AM
Now that the continental crust has joined, however, subduction is mostly finished and that explains why the volcanoes have not erupted for a long time. (Except I get the feeling that you're planning some sort of a volcanic cataclysm...so maybe there's enough magma left under the mountains for one final show.)


Tons of volcanoes that are inactive, dormant, or even thought to be extinct, erupt ALL THE TIME. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcano#Extinct) so I think that would probably work, if that's what the OP is looking for :)

Mithril Maiden
01-26-2014, 07:29 PM
If the land area is twice the size of California, then the green region is a little bigger than California, which is 163,700 square miles. So the green is on the order of 180,000 to 200,000 square miles? Is there going to be anything of interest in the white area?The white area is very, very sparsely populated. In the south, it's extremely arid do to the rain shadow of the mountains. In the north it's above the arctic circle. A few people scratch out a meager living, and there are some ice related monsters like Linnorms, but it's generally a region left alone.


Generally, a rain shadow creates very dry and arid land on its side of the mountains. It doesn't really make sense to say that the area in the rain shadow is "still on the moist side". It would make more sense, I think, if the prevailing winds blew north/northeast/northwest over the land, dumping a lot of water near the coast, and then leaving a rain shadow on the north side of the mountains.When I said that the rain shadow was on the south side, I was mistyping. I meant to say it's on the north side. That's why the white area is so arid. Heavy coastal precipitation is the norm, with inland areas being drier, but by no means arid.

It is possible to have rainforests and heavy snowfall exist in the same biome, correct? I want to be sure that isn't an error. I want rainforest near the coast and mountains, and temperate pine further inland.


Here's a possible tectonics explanation. What are now the north and south halves used to be their own islands on opposite plates. The north one slammed into the south one, creating a big line of volcanoes.Perhaps the gulf is pretty shallow, so that underwater mountains have cropped up between the Eastern and Western Wall ranges. It'd still be navigable, because a longship can sail in only a meter if water if it must, but entering and exiting the gulf would be dangerous do to those mountains.


Now that the continental crust has joined, however, subduction is mostly finished and that explains why the volcanoes have not erupted for a long time. (Except I get the feeling that you're planning some sort of a volcanic cataclysm...so maybe there's enough magma left under the mountains for one final show.)I haven't decided whether individual volcanoes are active or not. The inhabitants of this land don't understand such a distinction, so I haven't felt the need to make a decision. If geologically possible, I'd like the last eruption to have been a few centuries in the past. I'm not planning an eruption at the moment, but I'd like to have the scars from the last one present, so that people know this can happen, but it's been long enough to have faded into story.


Rivers look mostly good, except for the two on either side of the gulf. Those two, and the right one in particular, come close to the gulf without emptying into it. This means that the land between it and the gulf is exceptionally high, which the map does not indicate. I would shift the rivers further away from the gulf.I'll revise them to empty into the gulf.
Also, are there any tributaries to be seen?I forget where I should put those.


Is this going to be a Norse inspired map, at least with place names?Culturally, yes. I'm basing this region off of Scandinavia somewhat, though I did change the climate to be colder and snowier in the winter, and wetter in the summer. Despite being colder, it should be more fertile, thanks to volcanic soil and heavy rainfall.

Mithril Maiden
01-26-2014, 07:33 PM
Should I add some lakes? With the level of precipitation this land has, it should be very easy for one to form.

octopod
01-26-2014, 08:27 PM
I like the idea of the gulf being very shallow and almost unnavigable; that's pretty cool. Your rivers, as Zach pointed out, do some kind of weird stuff -- in particular I'd expect the far left one to drain into that nearby gulf, the way the Colorado River drains to the Gulf of California. (If you wanted to leave the big central capital city on a river, though, maybe you could have a manmade canal through the narrowest point of the continent at the south end of the gulf?) Just keep in mind that if you want a river to go straight, you need to make it go downhill. Something that might be useful to you would be to go over the whole map and mark what you want to be the highest points, connect them with ridge lines, and then put the rivers in afterwards. And then the lakes would go wherever the rivers are on a very slow downhill slope.

Temperate rainforests may be the solution for your biome thing. You can totally have those in the same climate band as boreal forests and just further away from the coast. That and the fact that you want volcanic soil and a steep rain-shadow means that you should maybe be looking at the Cascades as a good model for what to expect -- what do you think?

Scoopz
01-26-2014, 08:59 PM
Not that i'm the most experienced, but Id like to point out the great disparity between the mountains and the landscape around them.

Specifically in that they just start. If you see my point, generally as mountains are caused by the collision of tectonic plates you would see like a slow build up on one side, as in going flat=>hilly=>small mountain=large mountain=>peaks (I only tell you this because of the height of your mountains, they seem very large) and while I know the trend is towards snaky mountain chains, I think that this one needs a little more substance.

I will further extrapolate that by saying that the map is somewhat "flat", I feel bad about saying that because, well, maps are flat, but it just looks like there isn't any height/edge between the water and the land, if you get what I'm saying. If that's just like a limitation of campaign cartographer than feel free to disregard that.

Those seem like the biggest geographical things to me (and that others haven't already pointed out)! Anyways, I can't wait to see the next iterations of your map!

Mithril Maiden
01-27-2014, 01:54 AM
I like the idea of the gulf being very shallow and almost unnavigable; that's pretty cool. Your rivers, as Zach pointed out, do some kind of weird stuff -- in particular I'd expect the far left one to drain into that nearby gulf, the way the Colorado River drains to the Gulf of California. (If you wanted to leave the big central capital city on a river, though, maybe you could have a manmade canal through the narrowest point of the continent at the south end of the gulf?) Just keep in mind that if you want a river to go straight, you need to make it go downhill. Something that might be useful to you would be to go over the whole map and mark what you want to be the highest points, connect them with ridge lines, and then put the rivers in afterwards. And then the lakes would go wherever the rivers are on a very slow downhill slope.I just plain messed up when I did the rivers. They need to be redone. Thanks for the tips on how to do it. I love the shallow gulf idea, too. It isn't totally unnavigable, because a Norse-style longship can sail in water only a meter deep, but it is difficult and dangerous going because of the large amount of stuff to hit that's hidden just beneath the surface. The water is usually cold enough to kill a sailor who jumps off a sinking ship within an hour at most, very often less. The gulf is an excellent trade and transportation route between communities on its banks, so sailors risk the danger. Such danger makes for fun times, and I loves me my naval adventures.


Temperate rainforests may be the solution for your biome thing. You can totally have those in the same climate band as boreal forests and just further away from the coast. That and the fact that you want volcanic soil and a steep rain-shadow means that you should maybe be looking at the Cascades as a good model for what to expect -- what do you think?As long as it can exist on hilly ground and withstand snowy winters, it works perfectly.

Mithril Maiden
01-27-2014, 01:59 AM
Not that i'm the most experienced, but Id like to point out the great disparity between the mountains and the landscape around them.

Specifically in that they just start. If you see my point, generally as mountains are caused by the collision of tectonic plates you would see like a slow build up on one side, as in going flat=>hilly=>small mountain=large mountain=>peaks (I only tell you this because of the height of your mountains, they seem very large) and while I know the trend is towards snaky mountain chains, I think that this one needs a little more substance.It was mostly a matter of time. Good mountains take forever, and this is a draft. The mountain range is very substantial and thick, and some mountains like Bonifjall could make Everest feel inadequate. These mountains are like a giant volcanic Himalayas.


I will further extrapolate that by saying that the map is somewhat "flat", I feel bad about saying that because, well, maps are flat, but it just looks like there isn't any height/edge between the water and the land, if you get what I'm saying. If that's just like a limitation of campaign cartographer than feel free to disregard that.

Those seem like the biggest geographical things to me (and that others haven't already pointed out)! Anyways, I can't wait to see the next iterations of your map!The land is very hilly outside the mountains, with terrace farming being the norm across the whole island. The problem is one of knowledge of my software. I don't really know how to show height yet. It looks flat as a result of that.

Thanks for the confidence. Once I have the time, I plan to start going to the software help subforum.

Mithril Maiden
01-28-2014, 04:59 AM
It's looking like this is going to be a robust school week. Hopefully I'll have time to work on this map this weekend.

I would like to divulge a few details that will effect this map quite a bit. The technology level is not medieval, as my earlier references to longships would suggest. It is industrial. I don't hold myself to accuracy to any exact real Earth time period, because this is fantasy, it isn't Earth, and it's not like Dungeons and Dragons/Pathfinder has any sort of accuracy to any specific Medieval period, so, while I take most inspiration from the second half of the 19th century, I'm gonna do what I want stylistically.

Another major factor is the undead. To put a long story short, wizards have only been as powerful as they are for a short time. They didn't understand their new depths of power, and things went bad when the Great War broke out and shiny new magics started flying around. End result is undead everywhere, and not just zombies. Markkheim is one of the few still standing, and they've fallen back to the mountains for safety. Unfortunately, Markkheim had a fairly large population do to it's large agricultural production, and the breakout happened among swarms of refugees fleeing the continent. This means there are a ton of zombies on Markkish soil, and they are starting to form a megahorde, and that would threaten the mountain sentinels. The backs of the hordes must be broken before that can happen.