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crackerjake
07-28-2009, 05:35 PM
I'm going to be posting the various stages my world goes through as I create it for my D&D campaign, hopefully you guys can give me some advice and help as I go along. So far, I've only got the continents and seas. I've decided on the name "Paupus" for my world.

crackerjake
07-30-2009, 04:54 PM
I've run into a bit of a problem, I've gotten the mountain range I wanted done on the northernmost continent (so I can have a desert), but I don't know how to draw a desert on a map like this. It's easy to draw forests, seas, and mountains, but how do you draw a flat expanse of nothing but sand, sand, and more sand (and the occasional sandworms -thinking of drawing a miniature sandworm in the desert, much like you see sea monsters in the ocean on some maps-)? I've tried a bunch of dots, but that looked stupid and made me feel dumber (no offence to anyone who's done that before and is/was happy with it, just me and my opinion :P)

The desert is going to be west (left) of the mountain range, and north of the sea. Btw, should I clip the mountains some in the southern portion? I'm thinking they might bring the desert onto/near the lake's east side, which I don't want.

Coyotemax
07-30-2009, 05:10 PM
Are you going to colour it eventually? if so that'll sove your problem real quick, just toss in a place marker for now :)

I like the sandworm idea, that's great. maybe a few cactuses and such or boulders near the southern boundary to help define it. Some dunes perhap? Though that might look too much like regular hills/mountains.. but if you labelled them (White Dunes or summat) that would help the illusion.. Once you name the region it'll help too. I think it's coming along fine.

crackerjake
07-30-2009, 05:17 PM
The desert I'm going for is Arabian themed, no cacti :( It's actually going to be kinda weird, it's Arabain themed, but there are going to be pyramids (old and abandoned...or are they?), although the pyramids are going to be from an older race of jackal people. Maybe having a couple of pyramids on the map might do the trick.

Steel General
07-30-2009, 05:18 PM
Pyramids would work, or maybe a string of camels?

crackerjake
07-30-2009, 05:51 PM
Crap, I just thought of something:

Is it too far north for a desert of Arabian theme to be? I was thinking it could be a sandy desert on the southern part, but further up north, it gets cold? How would that work? There's going to be an obvious lack of moisture, so nothing would get frozen, so would it just be REALLY cold and sandy? There's obviously going to be ice around the northern edge from the ocean, but I'm not sure how this would impact my desert. Grrr, this is getting complicated...I guess I could make this a map of the KNOWN world, and not the whole one.

Ascension
07-30-2009, 05:58 PM
I was going to say that you could just put this in the southern hemisphere so that the desert would work out but if you want the polar region in the north then this area would have to be tundra or taiga. I guess that you could make it a grassland like the Midwest of the USA but it's your world after all, do what ya want and say old dead wizards blew something up and scorched the land. :)

LamilLerran
07-30-2009, 06:18 PM
Back on the subject of symbolizing it: one possibility is to speckle it with dots to represent sand. Something like in the attached image (heh, it's from the first map I ever made. Never expected to have a use for it).

Edit: And I see you tried it and disliked it. That'll teach me to read carefully

Ascension
07-30-2009, 07:11 PM
This is what I use for deserts...some dunes and some flat lines. The pyramids and camels ideas are good to reinforce the idea by association.

crackerjake
07-30-2009, 09:00 PM
Here are two copies with the desert, one with the texture, and one without.

1) Did I overdo the symbols?
2) Does it fit?
3) On an unrelated note, do the hills to the south look good?

Any suggestions on what's there?

Karro
07-31-2009, 12:04 PM
Crap, I just thought of something:

Is it too far north for a desert of Arabian theme to be? I was thinking it could be a sandy desert on the southern part, but further up north, it gets cold? How would that work? There's going to be an obvious lack of moisture, so nothing would get frozen, so would it just be REALLY cold and sandy? There's obviously going to be ice around the northern edge from the ocean, but I'm not sure how this would impact my desert. Grrr, this is getting complicated...I guess I could make this a map of the KNOWN world, and not the whole one.

There are certain general principles on the placement of deserts (plenty of details in your Australia thread). Short answer: cold deserts are certainly possible (the poles are in regions where various effects can cause desertification, and the South Pole, in particular, is an example of a cold desert: precipitation there is very low, but it's so cold that all the water that does exist there is frozen.) That being said, a cold desert is going to have a very different flavor from a warm/hot one, and the culture that arises there is going to be different as well. If you want an Arabian-themed desert culture, I'd look for something a bit closer to the tropics to drop that in.

crackerjake
07-31-2009, 12:40 PM
I've already got it on there, I'm just going to make it the known world, not the whole one.

Karro
07-31-2009, 01:14 PM
I've already got it on there, I'm just going to make it the known world, not the whole one.

Good point; you haven't exactly drawn in a polar ice cap, so nothing's set in stone.

When working on my own map, I discovered that those desert-forming principles meant that I couldn't put a certain desert where I wanted it. So... I simply* shifted the whole continent southward, away from the poles, until it did. It had the added benefit of putting more of that continent in the temperate region where it really needed to be anyway.

*For certain definitions of "simply" that include the long and arduous wrestling with GIMP on a computer that's slower than it ought to be, but that's another story ;)

altasilvapuer
08-03-2009, 11:40 AM
I think I prefer the second of the pair, so far. The dots are far enough apart to not look strange, and they really help define where exactly the desert's boundaries are.

The hills also look pretty nice. My only thing I'd mention symbol-wise is that the mountain range is a little thin. You have a little bit of room that you could probably flesh it out a little bit, if you wanted to. Or if you want a relatively thin ridge (which I believe is possible; and if not, there's always that ubiquitously mischevious wizard friend of mine) it works pretty well as it is now.

I've found that the easiest way to figure out where my deserts, etc, are going to be is to lay down some quick gradients based on latitude. Korba has a couple nice examples of that here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4812
Another good place to look is Karro up there's world map that he's building. (Here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2463)

Even though you've decided that this is just the 'known world', which will likely have further benefits down the road in terms of the depth of the world's development as you start adding/discovering the rest, it still might be worth throwing a couple quick gradients or somesuch on there to get a feel for climates. Then you won't have any problems with climatological problems elsewhere in the map.

That, or you could just use my favourite excuse: "A wizard did it!" Sometimes life's more fun when you throw a pie in the face of the rules.

Can't wait to see more!

-asp

crackerjake
08-03-2009, 01:24 PM
I'm drawing things for a purely representational value at this moment, I may go for realism when I draw up my next draft of the map.