View Full Version : My first overland map attempt, looking for suggestions

06-17-2014, 03:58 PM
I hand draw all my maps as I don't have any fancy programs to make them with, and little skill with those things anyhow.

The following is a map for my pathfinder game set in a custom world called Artos, the game takes place in the country of Shathrah was has been subjugated by not so nice forces bent on destroying the world. Typical badguy stuff really. I've drawn a couple smaller regional maps but I finally put the actual map to paper and I thought it came out nice enough to maybe show it off a bit, any bits of advice are welcome but there isnt a great deal I can do to change the map too drastically without getting gross smudge marks everywhere.


06-24-2014, 02:25 AM
For a first-time map, it's not half bad. Some of my biggest complaints come from disagreement in scale, as your largest mountains (which are quite frankly, approaching silliness compared to the smaller ones) impose a perceived angle of viewing on the map, making the objects to the front of the map appear as if they are closer, and therefore smaller, and the objects in the rear further away, and therefore bigger. Also, without color, it is sometimes hard to keep straight the land from the sea.

If you want to digitize this and get started with some of those "fancy programs", I can make some recommendations. Campaign Cartographer is a great (if not very powerful) option for beginners, though it has a steep learning curve and will cost some money to acquire legally. Many people move on to Photoshop or, my favorite, GIMP. GIMP is free and open source, meaning that it has tons of plugins which are made and updated by the people who use the program. It will take some learning, but both Photoshop and GIMP are very staples in every area of graphic design and can make some truly stunning maps. There is a tutorials section here too, to help you learn your way around using them,

Happy mapping!

06-24-2014, 09:11 AM
Looks great for a first! Programs are only one option of many, GIMP is a common tool like Scarce says, but pencil and paints are perfectly enough if you like that look. I do recommend paints, though. Not necessarily a lot of them, black/white maps are awesome, but at least some black ink to make the lines a little more confident and the scan cleaner. If you do choose to color it, watercolors are wonderful for the job – just make sure the ink is waterproof.

Welcome to the forums, you've got a good start and I hope to see more hand-drawn maps from you! :)