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Nytmare
02-04-2009, 11:18 AM
Just found the site (thanks Penny Arcade) and figured I'd drop a map as a hello.

The following map is a map I made for someone over at scarn.com of the city of Lave from the Scarred Lands.

Gandwarf
02-04-2009, 11:25 AM
Hi Nytmare,

Welcome. I gave you some reputation for posting your first map. I like it, it would be a great handout for players during a game. The parchment look to it is really good and the small docks are great :D

What software did you use to create this map?

Also, you might want to convert your map from BMP to JPG or PNG. Those will be displayed in the browser, while this (quite heavy) BMP needs to be downloaded first.

Nytmare
02-04-2009, 11:34 AM
All Photoshop. The parchment is actually a photograph of a stained and aged piece of paper. (I think that particular paper background is one my friend Otto Germain made)

Also *ding* converted.

landorl
02-04-2009, 11:35 AM
This looks rather good. It is a clean, simple style, and well done.

I do have one question though, why are there no bridges over the lake? It looks like there are only 2 entrances to the city that do not require boats.

Nytmare
02-04-2009, 12:55 PM
I do have one question though, why are there no bridges over the lake? It looks like there are only 2 entrances to the city that do not require boats.

Technically, there's only one. The stretch of land along the river is a marketplace that is not part of the city proper, and though walled and guarded, the eastern gate is the primary entrance into the city. The city grew up around a military outpost and is deep in enemy territory. It was built on the inner edge of that lake expressly for the safety it provides.

Oh good. I thought that my original writeup had been eaten by a forum crash, but it looks like they had it all backed up.


I got the idea for the geography of the city by jumping onto google maps and scrolling up along the Mississippi River Delta. Defense was my immediate concern, seeing as how they're so close to the Mourning Marshes, and I figured that turning that kind of lake into a huge natural moat made a lot of sense. My thought was that there was one main gate on the east side, accessible either by boat or through two simple gates in the shorter north and south walls. The major gates against Lake Madriel are used primarily by the people who live in the city, and are only accessible by boat (I imagined a couple of rope ferries) or by swimming if you're willing to get wet.

The northernmost quadrant, Noon's Gate, is named after the gate, which I decided was named after the hospice, which I stole from the Ghelspad book. According to the book, it was a theater that was converted into a temple of Madriel. I named Highsong Park after Madriel's page. Noon's Gate is the artsy fartsy part of the city. On the far side of the lake from Noon's Gate is a temporary settlement made up primarily of low end traders trying to save a little money by staying in a tent instead of paying for an inn. During festivals "Noon Town", as it's sometimes referred to, swells to 4 or 5 times it's normal size.

The eastern quadrant is Morningside, so named because it faces the rising sun. It's the merchant's quarter and is the only real part of Lave that most travellers see. A large open air market fills the entryway of the city along the river and spills into the city proper for a few blocks in every direction. A single watchtower sits on a low hill on the far side of the Hornswythe and a second market has sprung up around it, filled with landbound traders not willing to pay the fares necessary to get their wares to the other side of the river.

To the south is Vigilant's Corner and the Acernoth Gate. This part of Lave is home to the bulk of the cities armed forces. A standing force of 300(?) Acernoth Delta Vigilants reside in the southeast corner of the city, in addition to the city militia and several mercenary groups.

The western edge of Lave is where the city stores are kept, along with the major trading houses and their warehouses. The Sunset and Acernoth Gates are used primarily to get the goods produced by the outlying farms, that are not intended for market, into the city without having to fight their way through Morningside.

Lave is built on a large hill that overlooks the Hornswythe, and at the top of that hill lie The Arbors. The streets of The Arbors are a mass of steep climbs and staircases lined with flowered trellises and pergolas. Government officials and the social elite of Lave call The Arbors home. City offices and sprawling, multi-tiered estates compete for space amidst the slopes.

Steel General
02-04-2009, 01:10 PM
Very cool and bonus rep for uploading a map in your first post *bonk*

Ever consider doing a more detailed view of the city - with all the various buildings, etc.?

and oh yeah...Welcome Aboard!

Nytmare
02-04-2009, 02:14 PM
Ever consider doing a more detailed view of the city - with all the various buildings, etc.?

Thanks.

I tend to not go into that kind of detail on my maps at this scale and don't like to be hemmed in quite so much as to the specifics of what exists where. It's hard to have forgotten back alleys and abandoned churches show up at the last minute when my players have an aerial photograph.

Steel General
02-04-2009, 02:44 PM
Fair enough...

Ascension
02-04-2009, 04:45 PM
The colors are a great touch...steel blue rivers with the amber/oranges of the parchment. Kudos for a well done map.

woekan
02-04-2009, 08:02 PM
I really like this style. Its a great hand-out for players. I like the parchment. Only thing i would tweak is the outer glow on the numbers on your map.

ravells
02-04-2009, 08:13 PM
Ah the name of the thread made me think this was a map from 'Elite'....most of youa are probably too young to remember!!!

Gandwarf
02-05-2009, 11:01 AM
Ah the name of the thread made me think this was a map from 'Elite'....most of youa are probably too young to remember!!!

LOL... as if.
I am not that old and I still remember Elite. I played it on the Amiga.

Turgenev
02-06-2009, 12:00 AM
I really like that map! Love the parchment look. Have some rep.

ravells
02-06-2009, 03:07 AM
Forgot to say, Fantastic map, Gandwarf! I really like the oxbow lake idea! Really well executed too!

Gandwarf
02-06-2009, 06:21 AM
Forgot to say, Fantastic map, Gandwarf! I really like the oxbow lake idea! Really well executed too!

I agree, but it's not my map :)

ravells
02-06-2009, 01:16 PM
Oooops! I meant Nytmare! The hour of my posting was late and my brain had rotted to nothing!

Nytmare
02-06-2009, 01:33 PM
I really like this style. Its a great hand-out for players. I like the parchment. Only thing i would tweak is the outer glow on the numbers on your map.

I had tried to do it without the white, having the area around the numbers fade straight back to the parchment, but I couldn't find something I liked. Nothing seemed to make the numbers stand out from the background as well as that highlight.

Feralspirit
02-09-2009, 07:23 PM
Whoa! Very nice work Nytmare. I've been so preoccupied with my own project that I haven't been looking around lately. Couple questions from a novice, if you don't mind sharing.
What is that you've done to create your walls and towers? I think it would work nicely on my bridge and keep.
The shadow around the river bank, is this accomplished with a seperate layer? I like the way it makes the river look like it's set below the land.

Nytmare
02-09-2009, 11:32 PM
Hmm... It's been about a year since I did this map, let me see if I can figure it out by looking at it.

I'm using Photoshop exclusively, I'm not sure how many of these things translate over to Gimp for you.

For the walls it looks like texture was a combination of Clouds, Noise, Pixilate > Crystalize, and Bluring.

The walls were probably just made with the line tool. I'd imagine that the variations in height along the walls were done by selecting the walls themselves and the interior space and then Select > Contracting and then messing with the brightness and contrast. Rinse, repeat.

The towers look like they were done much the same way. Making the shape, selecting it, contracting the selection, and then futzing with the contrast. It looks like I might have added some shadows (both above and below) after the fact. There are a bunch of ways I might have done that, but I'm not really sure if I should introduce you to my bad habits.

As for the river, I probably did that as a drop shadow. Cutting the space for the water out of the parchment layer, making a layer of "water" under that (transparent blue over a copy of the parchment methinks?), and then sticking an offset shadow between the two layers to add depth.

I really wanted to make it look like everything on the map existed on that piece of paper. Aside from the walls, I wanted it to be able to see the underlying parchment like I was looking at it through transparent inks.