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The Good Doctor
11-18-2008, 01:47 PM
I've been playing DnD for 31 years. I have a thick binder of hand-drawn fantasy maps, and always bemoaned the fact if you made a mistake, it detracted from the final map. Players, of course, were always doing things -- building cities, using magic to change the terrain. Always something new! And the fuss of having to update the map...

I took a couple of cartography classes in college many cycles ago, and learned a lot from using the ink and nibs on the large map sheets, and the terrain transfers were interesting. You learn quick about where you rest your arms!

Several years ago I started digitizing a portion of my campaign, using Freehand 7. Life sort of interrupted that project, but now I seem to have the time, so I'm back at it. My maps are 2d, but I like the layering that Freehand offers. I took a look at some of the campaign mapping programs several years ago, and I must say that it looks like things have improved.

The only non-fiction maps I've done were for an archeology dig and for a book on Tudor history.

I've yet to look around more thoroughly, but looks like I just might learn something, and that's always a good thing. :D

Steel General
11-18-2008, 03:09 PM
Welcome Aboard!

Looking forward to seeing some of your work.

I hereby banish your 'Blue Pip O'Anonimity' *bonk*

11-18-2008, 03:49 PM
Excellent Nick! (Although one wonders if anyone calls themselves 'the bad doctor' or 'the average doctor' or 'the doctor who occasionally misdiagnoses' .... anyway, welcome to the guild and I hope you find a lot map making tips which translate into maps for us to see!

11-18-2008, 05:44 PM
Hello Doctor, 31 years is a while huh ? That must be bordering on the very first editions cos I started with red covered basic edition and that was an import only to UK and I think my tally must be err, whirr, scratch scratch, ching... 28 years I think.

Can you still get those map transfers and do you know a supplier (even in US) ? There was somebody here asking and nobody knew.

11-20-2008, 02:01 PM
Welcome to the Guild, TGD. I agree that learning where to rest one's arms when working on a large map is very important. :lol: I look forward to seeing some of your work.

The Good Doctor
11-24-2008, 04:32 PM
Red Robes --

Yes, I have the first three books by Gygax & Arneson: Vol 1, Men & Magic (36pg), Vol 2, Monsters & Treasure (40pg), & Vol 3, The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures (36pg), the TSR Reference sheets (no, I no longer have the box), Supplement 1: Greyhawk (68pg), Supplement 3: Eldritch Wizardry (56pg), and Supplement 4: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (76pgs). I also have the first three volumes of David Hargraves Adruin trilogy: the Grimoire (1), Welcome to Skull Tower (2), and The Runes of Doom (3). The books were a gift in the late 70s from a friend who abandoned playing, and unfortunately he personalized a lot of pages. Nonetheless, the artwork is intact, and the books remain in pretty fair condition. And, somewhere I have the remains of the DnD Basic booklet, though I cannibalized that pretty early on. I've been running a version 2.5 for many years now, even though the game itself is in version 4.

Regarding the transfer sheets. You can still find them in the hobby area. After digging for several hours, I found a site that sells them relatively cheaply. Link address below:


Copy the above line and send it along to your friend. Apparently the dry transfer gradient is used for doing manga artwork, so the sheets are still being made and are relatively cheap.

For the others --
I did upload two of my maps into the album. One is a map of Tudor Britain (England and Wales); it's a simple map, but was unique in that it included the Welsh lands as most show only England. An odd circumstance, when you think about it, as William Herbert was Earl of Pembroke, and Pembroke is in western Wales. Maps of Tudor Britain should include Wales as well. The coastline was used with permission and provided by the UK Ordnance Survey. I submit the map freely as long as people don't remove the copyright information, nor the Ordnance logo (their requirement).

The other map was done in Freehand 7, and is from a small section of the campaign. Many many years ago (okay, maybe ten or twelve) I did the original map. It took me several months to recently relocate my copy of Freehand. The newer 3d graphics are neat, sure enough, but at the moment, I simply can't afford to upgrade. I fell in love with vector graphical art a long time ago: you can resize it without loss of clarity.

Yes, I destroyed a lot of maps by smudging. The cotton glove tip posted elsewhere was a good one, and one I would have appreciated knowing a lot earlier. I did notice in the photos, however, the lack of rulers (aka straight-edges). The raised bottoms were crucial to keeping the ink from bleeding under the length of the device. I have triangles, French curves, even a "Flexicurve" tool by Fullerton made in the UK. For artistry, I liked doing ink maps. I couldn't afford to keep at it though, especially as it was outside my field, and at the time, I had a family to support. The nibs always made a dent in my pocketbook.

In any event, I look forward to browsing for more ideas, and welcome critiques. I have scanned in the other parts of my hand-drawn campaign, and plan on digitizing them in the near future. Years ago, I scanned in the mon (family crests) from the Milton-Bradley game "Shogun" and started creating images. (Apparently, MB had to change the name because of copyright battles over Clavell's novel & movie; how anyone can copyright a word in common usage is beyond me, but MB renamed it "Swords and Samurais". And, yes, I have that game, as well as first runs of Conquest of the Empire and Axis & Allies.) I'm nearly done with creating the mon, and if people want to see them, I will upload jpg versions, and can even make them wall-paper if desired.

The moniker is actually from my brother. In science fiction, the Good Doctor was Asimov, and in my campaign, there is a sage who goes by that nickname. My brother thinks I write pretty good, and calls me that on occasion. When I put together some music CDs for him recently, I used it as DJ persona, and liked it, so it stuck. So there you go.

11-24-2008, 04:45 PM
Really cool thanks for the link. I looked at your maps especially salivating over a Pembroke Tudor one. Therses 5 maps uploaded but I can only see 4 image ? Dont know why. Yeah wasnt one of the Kings born in Pembroke castle - Err... Henry 7th (possibly...). Pretty important area I think.

I ran a long campaign in D&D V2.5 it fizzled out by about 3rd and we all kinda didn't get into it so much and we don't play so often now. Haven't even tried 4th ed. A lot of people criticized 2 / 2.5 and they had their point but it was the one I most played and enjoyed.

I'll have to dig out that user wanting the transfers now. I think it was Toff but ill try to check.

BTW - your getting rep for the map I did see let alone any others that I didnt get to see !


Edit -- no it was Ghalev !

The Good Doctor
12-01-2008, 03:01 PM
So, you do cartography for your profession?

Pembroke came to power during Henry VIII. He was well connected, and well-liked by the king. Pembroke, by good luck and the king's patronage, served Henry for more than twenty years, and became a wealthy landowner, knight, royal relative (related via the Parr family) and member of the Privy Council. Pembroke managed to survive in the Privy Council under Henry, Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth, and managed to avoid the round-up following the tragic Jane Grey episode. It was from Edward's reign onward that Pembroke showed his mastery of politics. He never instigated plots, but made sure he became aware of them and timed it so as to back the winner. It was that acumen that allowed him to survive when his long-time ally, John Dudley, Earl of Warwick and Duke of Northumberland, fell to the axe under Elizabeth.

In my online album, there were three "mon" (aka "kamon") and two maps.

Re: Mon
Doing a bit more research into the Japanese crests revealed to me that Milton-Bradley, while covering their game in delightful artwork, played willy-nilly with the mon, by randomly assigning them to the families. I am going to amend the postings in the album accordingly, and when I find out the correct family associations, mark them so.

Years ago there was a delightful game called "Kingmaker" put out by Avalon Hill. The game designers had to make choices as to who to include while not overwhelming the game with too many nobles. With as many liberties as they took with their titles and offices, they didn't alter the family arms. The Neville arms in the game, 'gules saltire argent' or red shield with a white 'x' cross was the actual arms of the Neville family. If one played for awhile, you would recognize the arms and the family name -- a bit of heraldic education while having a deucedly good time. (I won a lot of times, but I still remember getting caught by my rival, outnumbered 50:1 in little Bath outside Bristol. Argh!)

Historical games are tough to do, but they should have a solid foundation in fact. "Shogun" was a great deal of fun, and the map for the most part accurate. It was a shame to learn their research did not include respect for the family crests as well.

Re: DnD
The fun part of gaming has been watching the interaction. The campaign is old, and 'game time' is even older. Fascinating and delightful watching people interact with grandchildren and great-grandchildren of past players and NPCs, and all the familial interdependencies! Sometimes it's like a bloody soap! I've despaired of finding a good genealogy program to map the lineages, and have had to do it by hand.

I miss the gaming, getting to play only every other week online with friends. But, I've taken up my cartography and writing again, so that's probably a good thing.

In any event, thank you for the compliments.