View Full Version : posting maps of published modules

09-04-2009, 05:21 PM
hi all. spending some quality time here, loving what i'm seeing so far, and though i'd ask a question. i spend quite a bit of time on the dundjinni.com forum (great place for mapping objects!) and they have a very strict policy on not posting any map that is based on published work. i've noticed some maps here that seem to be artistic interpretations of professionally printed material (i found some forgotten realms and greyhawk stuff). i use maptool since my players are all over the states and i redraw the maps that come with the published modules i buy so i can use them in the software. should i refrain from posting such work here? :?:

09-04-2009, 06:47 PM
Finally, another Dwarf! Welcome.

As for posting maps of published modules: I am not a regular in the scene and I have no idea how protective these publishers are. We have seen a couple of maps from popular settings and we also had some book maps posted here. All artistic interpretations of course.
Let's see if someone else chimes in...

09-04-2009, 06:58 PM
I don't see anything wrong so long as you don't claim the maps as your own intellectual property...just say that you redrew the maps to your own liking and I think things will be cool. Say something like "These are my interpretations of the maps by Mr. such n such in the adventure module Whatsitsname." We have plenty of industry pros and a few lawyers here so hopefully they will stop by and we'll see what they say.

Steel General
09-04-2009, 09:24 PM
Welcome Aboard Irondwarf!

I frequent the Dundjinni forums, but don't post much.

09-04-2009, 09:51 PM
We still tiptoe around the published works area.

Anna Bernmalm makes those Greyhawk maps, although nothing really wrong here, as she doesn't charge money for them, she's from Sweden and they have very different laws about published works then here in the US, for example.

One map by Midgardsormr is kind of a tribute to one of his favorite books and the map that came with it.

All the other maps like the Cormyr map for Forgotten Realms are actually a map commissioned by WotC for that map, by one of our members.

Plus several of us, including me, often post maps we've been commissioned by publishers to create for them, and we post here, with a mention of All Rights Reserved or something other than a Creative Commons license. You need to check each post, to see what the legal rights are in sharing them.

Other than these exceptions, we avoid posting maps for published settings.


09-05-2009, 05:08 AM
Well then, I think it would be best not to post stuff that is basically a copy of a map from a published setting (artistic interpretation or not). We could get in trouble with that.

09-05-2009, 08:24 AM
thanks for the clarifications, folks. personally, i don't see a problem with fans posting their interpretations of published works, especially if there's no money involved, but i'll be sure to post only original works here just so i don't step on anyones intellectual property toes.

09-05-2009, 11:05 AM
The law in this area is somewhat murky, and as mentioned, it is different in every country.

I was careful to include full credits to both Mitchell and Jordan on my Wheel of Time map and make it clear that I was in no way challenging their claim to the IP. Even so, I was somewhat trepidatious about posting it since the original map was truly a work of art and not just a pencil sketch done at the last minute.

NeonKnight has posted battlemap-sized versions of many of the small maps from the official 4e D&D modules, but none of us have posted replications of the poster maps that came with the modules because we consider those to be part of what you're paying for when you buy such a module.

It comes down to whether you're going to be taking food off someone's table by posting up a map. If it can serve as a reasonable substitution for "the real thing," which might prevent someone from buying the original product it was based on, then it's out-of-bounds.

On the other hand, many fan works, such as Tear's incredible Westeros map, actually serve as advertisements for the works they are based on. I'm almost tempted to give Song of Fire and Ice another go thanks to that map (couldn't get through the first book last time I tried).

As for Dundjinni's very strict policy, because they're actually a business with a product that they make money from, they tread much more lightly. The Cartographers' Guild isn't a commercial venture, so it is not as vulnerable to a lawsuit.

Even so, some copyright holders are quite zealous in their defense of their property, so it's always a good idea to err on the side of caution. i.e., don't post anything based on a property held by FOX—they're quite unreasonable.

09-05-2009, 03:17 PM
Yes, I do not replicate the 'postermaps' from the Various WotC mods, but I will make the battlemaps of the encounter areas not included. I also provide nothing of the written commentary, and consider what I am doing as providing a GMs aid.

However, if anyone from WotC were to come and ask me to remove them, I would in a heartbeat (I don;t think it's gonna happen because I know the Penny Arcade boys are pretty tight with the WotC boys and the Penny Arcade Boys are using my maps).

The Litmus test will happen when I start doing Battle maps of the later P and E series of Modules that now make use of the Dungeon Tiles.

09-14-2009, 08:10 AM
Same. I only make battlemats for encounters that WOTC doesn't give posters for. And when I redid KOTS, I made sure to credit the original artist on the maps.

I really don't anticipate it being a problem. I posted my KOTS maps on the D&D official boards, and got nothing but "cool, thanks".