View Full Version : Barovia

10-06-2009, 03:22 AM
Inspired by the Ravenloft game setting, what better choice to follow up a real world Transylvania map created in the same style :)

Between the practice map and this one, I actually caused hardware damage from all the clicking :) This one is done with a number of handdrawn mountains, those turned into brushes to save the new mouse. Trees and town markers are brushes I created for the Transylvania practice map. I played around with the brush settings until I found a convincing watercolour stroke for the colour layers, i think it worked out well (the main things being Opacity set to Fade, and wet edges - when opacity sets to fade, it has a rather nifty effect if you look at the brush stroke itself, not only does it fade out, it fades in a bit first). The large font is Teutonic #4, the smaller is Carmilla. Neither of them did numbers the way I wanted, so those are from Calligraphic421.

This is also the first map that I used Smart objects on as a matter of course (didn't think about it, just did'em) plus layer masking by reflex :)

100% photoshop work. I brought in other tools for a few things, though I ended up discarding the results in favour of a more consistent look.

It's been a long time since I played, so the journey to find an accurate map to work off was was time consuming - there are a lot of re-imaginings out there, some well done, some very cluttered and.. completely wrong as far as I'm concerned. Anyhow, I did research and find as many existing town names as I could (i know there have been books written in this setting that I've not paid attention to) to add in. Anything within the borders is mentioned in either a book or supplement, anything outside the borders is borrowed from Transylvania.

I know at least one person has been waiting for this to use in an actual game setting, let me know how it goes :)

Thanks for the helpful commentary to everyone who commented as this grew from a simple border into a full out map :) (even if i set things to the side for purposes of this map, it will certainly be taken into account for future projects)

10-06-2009, 03:27 AM
Dude that's really good stuff!

It is very much in the style of those olde tyme maps :)

10-06-2009, 05:06 AM
Awesome...and you did it quickly too!

Gregorus Prime
10-06-2009, 05:36 AM
Probably just the lowered resolution but it's kinda hard to read. Sort of blends together, you know?

It does look good, though, and I have no doubts that when printed out onto the right paper it will be fantastic.

10-06-2009, 05:38 AM
I keep looking at it trying to see how it's hard to read.. Maybe it's a monitor setting thing, because everything looks very clear from here *shrug*

10-06-2009, 05:53 AM
Great work... but I have come to expect that from you :)

10-06-2009, 06:17 AM
mearrin: btw, thanks for the comments, and I expect updates from you on the use of the map :P

Steel General
10-06-2009, 07:10 AM
Very nice C-max, I think you have the style 'nailed down'.

10-06-2009, 10:01 AM
I don't really like the style but I love the map because you have executed that style with exceptional consistency and talent. Wonderful work!

10-06-2009, 10:10 AM
Yes, kudos to you, oh howling one, on teh awesome of this map.

10-06-2009, 11:13 AM
A wonderful map, CM!

10-06-2009, 11:54 AM
mearrin: btw, thanks for the comments, and I expect updates from you on the use of the map :P

Ah, yes. It'll be a while before I have an opening to run it, though:

Fierce fighting in the recent border skirmishes between Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia has made it difficult for the World Health Organization to address what may be the latest outbreak of a mysterious hemorrhagic fever somewhere in the western mountains of Romania. A delirious man, suffering from the strange disease, recently stumbled into a UN peace-keeping camp muttering about someplace called "Barovia" and the "Devil Strahd". During treatment the delusional fellow, following a brief heart-stoppage, assaulted two UN medics who were treating him and was killed by guards, sustaining an incredible amount of damage before finally relenting in his attack. The UN has decided to dispatch a small force of guards and medics to look for Barovia and assess the situation - unfortunately, the only clues they have to go on are the assumed path of travel taken by the victim and an old map, provided by a helpful local.

I've been making some notes on toning down the D&D v3.5 adventure for use in D20 Modern. Strahd and company are truly killer in that module - I think they hoped to offset D&D's crazy PC power-curve with equally powerful foes. He'll be a little more down-to-Earth in my modern version (though still hella scary). He also might have gotten his hands on a Vanquish recently...but maybe not. The Vistani will definitely be packing heat, however.

10-06-2009, 03:11 PM
Oh wow, that's very promising :)

10-07-2009, 05:01 AM
Nice map!

I loved the original I6 module from TSR.

Here is one of Wizard's remakes (map from Wizards.com map of the week collection):


10-07-2009, 08:23 PM
This fits its purpose perfectly. It's the sort of map I would expect the people of Barovia to make. Spot on!

Total gothic terror. 450 XP


10-07-2009, 08:30 PM
That's a great style for a Ravenloft map. Its not just the style itself, which I think could be easily tailored to a number of themes, but also the really great color palette. Great work (as usual)!

I think I might have misunderstood, but are you saying that you based this style off a real map of Transylvania?

10-08-2009, 05:33 AM
dmg: Thanks!!! I think that's the coolest compliment format I've seenyet ;P

msa: thanks for the compliments :) As to your last comment, you are correct. the practice map was of transylvania, to get the style right. the link to that thread is here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7221). being as it was a copy of the original, I did not post it in the finished maps thread, it didn't feel right to me. Next up, I'm going to redo my Danassis map (the one that started it all, woot) on paper! I'll scan it in when I'm done, this may take awhile though since I can only sit in a chair for limited periods.

10-13-2009, 01:19 PM
Wow, nice. I'll repeat others before me: the style fits the setting very well. It's very elegant and dark.

10-13-2009, 01:23 PM
Thanks! Always good to know I've accomplished my intent :)

10-14-2009, 03:49 PM
Personally, I love the style. You're absolutely spot on with the evocative 19th century flavor. I especially like the illustrated vignettes in the corners and your font choices. My only crit would be to illustrate the individual cities instead of cut and pasting them. The little town and city icons that you use look awesome but just need a bit more variety between locations. Great work overall though.