View Full Version : I'm glad to be here

01-07-2009, 02:52 PM
My maps blow. I have CC2 but it seems like I never have the time to work through the learning curve. Maybe my wife should chain me to the computer and load CC2 and not feed me until I've drawn a map that's as good quality as the ones I've seen on these boards.

Looks like starvation is in my future.

My current need is to draw building plans and a bit of the exterior area, which includes a river bank. So, I need more than rectangles. I tried graph paper, but soon the eraser bits filled more of the paper than my lines. I started thinking that the issue is with my process, not with the medium. For example, does anyone use a sketch or prototyping stage before doing the final version? I think it was because I was trying to draw something that I didn't have a clear mental picture of that I was having such problems Monday night.

Anywho, my name is Johnn. I publish an RPG ezine called Roleplaying Tips Weekly. I've also just started a DM blog that includes two fluffy mapping posts:

Drawing RPG Maps (http://www.campaignmastery.com/blog/maps-have-three-parts-part-on/)

Cure DM Writerís Block With a Map (http://www.campaignmastery.com/blog/cure-dm-writers-block-with-a-map/)

I know Arcana from years ago when we worked on some Roleplaying Tips related stuff. Also, Mike from RPG Print Shop suggested I lurk over here to pick up some great mapping ideas.

I'm glad to be here.


01-07-2009, 03:20 PM
Ha! I've been reading your tips for some years. I've been off the mailing list for a while, but I pop in to read the archives.
Thanks for the great work!
I'm not a CC mapper, but any help i can give

Steel General
01-07-2009, 04:48 PM
Welcome Aboard!

Several very knowledgeable CC users here (I am not one of them), I'm sure they will be along in due time to answer any questions you may have.

01-07-2009, 04:51 PM
Johnn!!! Absolutely delighted and honored to have you here as a member!!!

I can personally guarantee you that if you stick around you'll be the mapping envy of your gaming group in no time (unless others in your group have already been hanging out here, because then we've already corrupted them)

01-07-2009, 05:17 PM
Thanks for the welcome, guys.

01-07-2009, 05:25 PM
I know Arcana from years ago when we worked on some Roleplaying Tips related stuff. Also, Mike from RPG Print Shop suggested I lurk over here to pick up some great mapping ideas.

I'm glad to be here.


Glad to see you finally showed up to say, "Hi!"

And that's Gamer Printshop, not RPG Printshop, but close enough - which reminds me I have to send me ad over to you yet... never enough time...

Post what you got in the World/Regional or General WIP Forum, and let us help you out. We do have some CC2/3 gurus here, though that's not me! I can help you out with just about any other application, though.

Or let one of us whip you up a map, it would be our pleasure!

I seen you lurking a few weeks ago, I'm glad you finally posted!


01-07-2009, 08:04 PM
Hey there, Johnn! Glad you finally got around to posting here.

I generally make a couple of sketches prior to starting a map, and I like to make lists of things I need in the map and objectives I have for it. If I intend to use a new technique, I'll prototype it, but I like to keep the prototype pretty close to what I'll ultimately want, so it's easy to transition from testing to the actual map if I come up with something really good.

If my final map looks anything at all like what I started with, that's very surprising. Definitely put up a work in progress thread--I learned tons more that way than I could have trying to learn CC3 on my own or through tutorials.

Bryan Ray

01-07-2009, 09:18 PM
Sorry about the name mixup Michael. D'oh.

What is the consensus on the boards about CC2 vs. CC3. Should I upgrade?

01-07-2009, 11:51 PM
Yes, you definitely should. The additional features of CC3 are well worth the cost. I don't have any comparisons on hand, but the blur and glow effects alone really improve a CC map's look. To say nothing of the greatly improved symbols (though I still use the CC2 line artwork more than anything else).

01-08-2009, 06:40 AM
Welcome. On my sig is a keyword index link - look up CC3 and see zillions of threads for that. Neon and Jaerdaph are strong CC users. Lots of tips and stuff here for maps - enough to drown in.

01-08-2009, 09:42 AM
Hi Johnn, I have been reading your tips for quite some years now. I have just joined. My instroduction comes next. This is my first post here :)

01-08-2009, 12:39 PM
Hey Johnn, welcome to the Guild (sorry for so late but I have been on refresher courses all week at work (TELUS)), so welcoem.

As to upgrade o hell yeah. Upgrade (all those Thunderspire maps I did were in CC3 with the DD3 add one and symbol packs etc. All stock except the background fills)

01-08-2009, 01:32 PM
Welcome Johnn! We have chatted a few times regarding articles and the Alliance of Creative Communities, I believe, and it is great to finally see you posting! You are in for a real treat and hopefully we can get your mapping skills whipped into shape in short order. :)

01-08-2009, 06:06 PM
Thanks for the welcomes.

Looks like I upgrade to CC3 soon!

jo„o paulo
01-11-2009, 11:08 AM
Welcome Aboard!

01-11-2009, 03:44 PM

I just posted some questions about CC3 in the software forum. Hopefully I will decide about upgrading this week.

01-11-2009, 04:42 PM
Welcome to the Guild, Johnn - I read your bulletin for many years and always admired your self discipline to produce it regularly and with so much material. We have some really accomplished CC2 and CC3 users here, although I would also suggest that you download the GIMP and have a play with that too.

01-11-2009, 07:25 PM
Thanks ravells. I've got GIMP and PS installed. Is there a pro-con comparison of GIMP vs. CS3 anywhere? Feature grid or pro-con column report?

01-11-2009, 07:32 PM
JF, they are completely different animals, one is CAD, the other is an image editor, so its difficult to Pro-Con. To further mix things up, I use Xara Xtreme which is a hybrid raster/vector application for all my maps. So many of us use all types of software to do our mapping.


01-11-2009, 07:39 PM
I though GIMP had some vector functions, but I guess that reveals my level 0 mapper ranking. :)

I was checking out Adobe's Creative Suite. I'd love to use Illustrator for mapping. <checks pockets> Nope, no $1500 here. Maybe if I sold chocolate chip cookies at work?

01-11-2009, 08:26 PM
Eh? Gimp and Photoshop are both raster editors. Feature-wise, they're very similar, but each has a few little tricks the other does not. For instance, I really wish Photoshop had an image hose feature like the Gimp's, and the standard cloud filter in Photoshop lacks some functionality.

Gimp, on the other hand, has a non-Windows-standard interface (naturally, since it was developed for Linux), which is off-putting for many users. I don't use it much, so I don't know what features PS has that I'd want if I were using Gimp all the time.

They're both very useful, even if you're primarily using CC. I use Photoshop to label my CC maps because text looks nicer that way.

edit: By the way, if you're looking for an affordable vector tool, take a look at Inkscape, which is an open-source project. It's still a bit rudimentary, but it's got the basics. Serif DrawPlus, Xara, and CorelDRAW are good commercial vector tools for much less than the Illustrator price tag.

01-11-2009, 08:35 PM
I'm thinking of switching to gimp instead of PS CS4, whats the pros and cons of that? Anyone who use both?

Steel General
01-11-2009, 08:39 PM
I've used both, though I primarily use PS now - here's a couple of things I've noticed.

- GIMP doesn't have the lighting effects filters that PS does (unless someone's come out with one recently)

- GIMP's interface takes a bit of getting used to - not difficult, just different

01-11-2009, 09:45 PM
Photoshop has a bunch of add-on plug-ins, some free, some not, some good, most not. I use the Eye Candy and Xenofex ones the most, but never found them all that useful for mapping except for the astronomical amounts of cloud variations.

01-12-2009, 01:38 PM
And many photoshop plugins can work with gimp (on windows - not sure on mac) using the PSPI plugin to interface them...

That includes most all of the filter factory .8bf style, as well as (for example) executable plugins like Eye Candy.

-Rob A>