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LonewandererD
11-09-2009, 06:22 AM
Hey

With the complete mind blowout i had with the Everlandias I decided to scrap the whole thing and move onto another project, although I will recycle the parts that I felt worked great in the Everlandias. Now, instead of a whole world I'm just going to be doing small parts of it as is needed by the story I'm trying to write. Besides, you get more details in smaller regional maps than regional ones.

First I'm starting with the Lands of the Eleven Tribes (better name pending), a large, green, mid-latitudal country thats on the verge of great change. Will get up more maps as soon as I can make a believable coastline, so I leave now this small practice map, it borrows elements from Tuts i found from all over the guild e.g. pasis's mountains, ascension's forests, etc.

-D-

Steel General
11-09-2009, 08:14 AM
Looking good so far...

Ascension
11-09-2009, 08:30 AM
I like it.

LonewandererD
11-09-2009, 08:56 AM
Thnx, i really like these new mountains. Getting a base map for this soon; shamefully I must admit I'm making the map by chopping uyp my old maps and pasting them together to make something new, hope no one minds. Four quick questions though, one about scale, two environment and one artisitc.

1) What do you think a large enough size for this map should be? The nations is basically made up of eleven smaller nations, hence the name, and I'm using a scale of 4 pixels = 1 mile. I want it to be large enough that I can get plenty of details in there but not too large.

2) Is there a rule that dictates where forests grow. I was thinking of having a huge inland forest.

3) Same as two but for snow. I'm thinking of having a race of ancient beings that live in castles high up in snowy peaks for protection.

4) Floating/flying islands are not uncommon in my world, along with magick-powered airships. How would I represent flying islands on my map, have them floating on top of a cloud layer?

-D-

wormspeaker
11-09-2009, 09:26 AM
I'm really digging those mountains. There's a little posterization (or at least what looks to be posterization) on them in some places though.

LonewandererD
11-09-2009, 09:35 AM
if you mean the area near the peaks of the mountains don't worry, I just rushed the peaks a little too much and so they look a little "craggy", which works in some areas but the next mountains I do will be neater.

Also while fiddling around I came across what I think would make a nice farmland look, I'm not going to post it becuase the map is essentially the same as the previous one and so it seems a waste. On a side note, I'm thinking of using pasis' little town texture-symbol-things, because if farmlands are visible than the same would apply to towns/forts/villages and maybe towers. Unfortunately I'm stuck as to how to do it :?: . Not the painting of the towns but the preperation of the town pattern.

-D-

Aylorian
11-09-2009, 02:30 PM
Love the mountains and the style of this map - wish I could pick your brains on how to recreate it :)

Only feedback is that the bevel/shadow on the river makes it appear to jump out of the terrain rather than sink into it on the fully zoomed view. Could just be my eyes/monitor, but worth mentioning in case anyone else sees it.

Steel General
11-09-2009, 02:43 PM
Only feedback is that the bevel/shadow on the river makes it appear to jump out of the terrain rather than sink into it on the fully zoomed view. Could just be my eyes/monitor, but worth mentioning in case anyone else sees it.

It appears that the light source is coming from the South East rather than the North West (which is the default in PS), so it may just be your eyes 'tricking' you. :)

elemental_elf
11-09-2009, 02:56 PM
Looks good thus far, can't wait for more! :)

Ascension
11-09-2009, 05:04 PM
The scale on that map is tricky...the river is too wide for the mountains or vice-versa. The mountain size makes me think around 800-1000 miles but the river and forest makes me think 200-400 miles. I'm all for artistic exaggeration but some aren't. If I had to make a call then I'd put it in the middle and say 500-700 :)

There are rules and there are generalities for where forests are. I don't the know the rules so I'll stick to generalities...no water = no forest and really big mountains block rain. It's your map and if you want a forest somewhere in that desert then I'd put an oasis there.

Snow is pretty much the same but with the added dimension of hot/cold. Rain + cold = snow. Hot/cold is also affected by height...higher = colder. So if you want some snow on your mountains then I'd put it in.

Floating islands would best be indicated with a drop shadow that has a big distance. Drop shadows are great at making things look like they're floating.

Juggernaut1981
11-09-2009, 06:12 PM
Land of the Eleven Tribes isn't as terrible a name as you think. It might need a little finessing, but it's not bad. There is a place in China literally called "9 Tribe Region".

I see you're an Aussie, have you been out in the "inland"? Just travelling around there will give you the idea of what you need for a big forest.

LonewandererD
11-09-2009, 08:39 PM
Yeah I've been inland, I'm in Canberra so we have plenty of bush out here. I suppose I could explain away the mountain with magick or a real big river.

The practice map is a bit misleading, the green is actually supposed to be on the other side of the mountains. These lands are on the eastern coast of a continent (which explains why the shadows fall to the northwest, i didn't want them obscuring the detail), so they get plenty of rain to keep them green.

For the scale, if I made the mountains large would that make them better for the scale. I can't really make the rivers smaller as they are already at 2-3 pixels.

-D-

LonewandererD
11-10-2009, 07:48 AM
Okay here is my map base

It isn't very lively along the coast because most of the action is set inland, I'll be making up for this at a later date as their is a large island chain to the south. My canvas is 4000x4000 just so i can get some detail in but the actualy map is only about 900x1000 miles.

I'm currently thinking of a new map name, still keep the Eleven Tribes name just changing it into something that would be translated into the lands of the Eleven Tribes.

-D-

Scott Livingston
11-10-2009, 10:03 AM
I like the name "Land of the Eleven Tribes" also. Sounds realistic enough (reminds me of the Ten Arrows (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onoq) or Six Nations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iroquois), or of course the Twelve Tribes of Israel), yet is also mystical/exotic. Your newer idea of a name that would translate to "Eleven Tribes" works well too!

LonewandererD
11-15-2009, 12:17 AM
Not much of an update as I've been busy.

Anyway, heres is the map with hills, grasslands, ocean and the largest of the rivers. The grasslands are a bit bright I know, I had to add an extra pattern on top of the grassland pattern to break it up. I'm hoping that the darker shades of the forests and the mountains will help to balance out the bright grasses but I'm still going to tinker with them.

I'm currently stuck as how to place my mountains, using my scale I need to make the mountains big but not so big that they take up the map. I was thinking of placing them along the edges in the southwest and some in the north. After I'vee done the mountains I'll be moving onto inland waters sources like rivers, lakes and marshes.

My plans for setting up the map will happen from the edges inwards, basically the edges need to be set up as follows.

- Southwestern corner needs to mountains to seperate the lands from the isolationalist Kadonites of the Kadonite Valleys.
- Northeastern and eastern edge needs to be mix of mountains and marshes that seperate the lands from the nation of Belkadaia
- Northwestern area needs to be grasslands and forests where the Ithekin Tribes roam.
- North centre needs to have some small mountains that are low enough to not disrupt weather patterns too much but large enough to provide significant defense and mining.

Also included is my practice map but with some farmlands added in the top left hand corner around the rivers, I just wanted to know what people thought of them. But I've bored you all enough, will add more maps soon.

-D-

su_liam
11-15-2009, 12:28 AM
Yeah. I read it as, "Elven Tribes."

LonewandererD
11-15-2009, 12:37 AM
I know, i keep reading it as Elven Tribes too, which is why I thinking of a name change.

For the records, the more commonly used fantasy races like elves and dwarves are not found in this world.

On a side note, I was thinking of names for the Eleven Tribes, some are recycled directly from countries of my Adallian Map, and wanted to know what people think of them. Specifically I want people's opinions as to whether these names sound like they come from the same culture. The names are as followed.

- The Lobradis
- The Belphradunn (H is silent)
- The Dunn (descendant of the Belphradunn)
- The Sorresnan
- The Ihlii
- The Rothidyn
- The Maer
- The Heruhdol
- The Truiet
- The Arathyl
- The Khadon

Note: The Ihlii is supposed to sound different becuase they were originally an Ithekin Tribe whereas the other ten were humans.

-D-

Gandwarf
11-15-2009, 06:53 AM
Your practice map is beautiful. It looks like you got your rivers fixed as well :)
I think you could improve the farmland though... I didn't even notice it at first, until I read your comment and went looking for it. I think farmland should popup a bit... it screams civilization.

LonewandererD
11-15-2009, 07:14 AM
Thnx Gandwarf, I'm still fiddling with the farmlands but in truth i was aiming for something a little more subtle, sonmething that doens't scream civilisation but rather adds more of a civilised flavour. Besides, I have no idea how to do convincing farmlands anyway.

Update on my map, now with mountains, rivers, beaches on the coast and a few lakes. I know the mountains look off, I still haven't gotten the hang of drawing them in yet but at 100% zoom I don't think they look too bad. They're small but as they are only the tips of two larger mountain ranges I think it works.

Next I'll be breaking it down into eleven small groups so I can the land layout right for the ancestral lands of each of the tribes, for example, the ancestral Sorresnan lands are covered in dence forest but with a large burnt chasm running through from the War of Unity. First on my list of features are more smaller mountains, tiny really, and more water features like lakes and marshes.

-D-

Gandwarf
11-15-2009, 07:29 AM
Well, if you are going with subtle this farmland will certainly do. It looks good as it is.

I guess I just like farmland that catches the attention... man against nature :P

LonewandererD
11-15-2009, 07:39 AM
Man vs Nature takes on a whole new problem in these lands as Nature has a means to fight back. When I first thought of this land I was initially inspired by Princess Mononoke (awesome movie) so the spirits and various god-like entities of the land are very real and powerful and so should be treated with respect and fear.

The humans here have to keep the spirits of the land calm or else it would mean war. That doesn't say that they don't engage in agriculture and industry, just not to the degree that other fantasy countries do. Basically they're allowed to cut down trees and dig up the earth but just not too much and if they do it is recommended that they make some sort of offering to whatever greater spirit reigns over that area, e.g. if they cut down a grove they should make and offering to the Watcher of the Woods else some tragedy befall the woodcutters.

Anyway, that's some of the backstory to these lands.

-D-

Gandwarf
11-15-2009, 07:46 AM
Ah yes, then the farmland should work perfectly.

LonewandererD
11-15-2009, 08:54 AM
Okay, the new name that substitutes for "The Land of the Eleven Tribes" is "Evelakaia" (Ever - lay - ki - a). The name is a recycling of the Everlandias. The people of Evelakaia are the Evelins, which the exception of the Ithekins who still call themselves the Ithekins.

Also, when I do future maps of the surrounding areas you'll note that all of the lands end in "Aia", such as Ithekaia and Belkadaia, which in the local tongues of these lands basically means land or earth. It's a mimicry of Gaia I know and I only acutally realised that after I established it.

-D-

Steel General
11-15-2009, 09:08 AM
This will be interesting to watch develop. I like what I see so far, though I can't even find the farmlands :).

LonewandererD
11-16-2009, 05:58 AM
Yeah the farmland texture is being revised but for now heres an update

Added major marshes, 2 great chasms and some more smaller mountain groups. Also included is a very rough idea as to where the tribal boundaries are. I'm now going to go back and clean up the map, move the hills around a bit and maybe add some more rivers or mountains. I know the smaller mountain groups stand out a bit but once i've added the forests they shouldn't be as noticable.

-D-

Steel General
11-16-2009, 06:02 AM
I see that theses are only 'rough' tribal borders, but I would have thought the rivers would play a bit more prominent role.

Also I think you need some foothills around the various mountain ranges.

LonewandererD
11-16-2009, 06:23 AM
I'm moving most of my hills around the mountains, and free up more space for open grasslands, to make foothills but as the forest layer will go on top of these foothills it seems a bit of wastes to make anything significant as it'll just be covered up anyway.

The borders will be revised but they're aren't permanent in these lands becuase when the lesser lords and townships change allegiances between the tribes so too does ownership of the land so the borders are in a constant state of change. The Tribal lords don't think much of it as their main terriories sit really far in so as not to be affected by the fickle loyalites of the lesser lords. When a border dispute does arise it falls to the Judge's Caste to decide the outcome.

-D-

LonewandererD
11-16-2009, 11:09 AM
Not really an update, just a practice run of how some of the forests will look on my map. I've also lightened up the rivers to try and blend it with the coastal water and I added a texture to the ocean to give it more depth.

A question for our environment gurus, this country lies a just above the northern tropics line, just a little bit south of where Japan is in our world, so would it receive snow in winter and if so would it be light (confined to the mountains) or heavy (across the land) snow? Also in which season would tropical storms be striking the coasts?

-D-

Juggernaut1981
11-16-2009, 06:02 PM
***Sirens of the Geopolitical Police***

So basically what you're saying is that Lords bounce between tribal alliances frequently? Are these tribes or university politicians or teenage social groups?

You are seriously unlikely to have the kind of level of flux around you're suggesting. Stability is the norm for feudal systems, and even more so for tribal society (they tend to have internal ambition). The people who rise to the top do everything they can to secure their own powerbase (e.g. land, lords, goons, livestock and peasants... almost in that order). Any system that is in the kind of level of flux you are talking about will dissolve into internal conflicts quickly and rivals will just sweep them aside.

End result = Valley of One Kingdom controlled by a megalomaniac with a bigger army and tendency to execute those who change alliances. (Makes for a nice BBEG if you wanted).

Inter-tribal stability basically requires mutually recognised boundaries. The simplest mutually recognised boundaries that do NOT require full-time cartographers and surveyors (which seems out of place in a tribal society) are: forests, hills, valleys, rivers and lakes. So the boundaries of groups will tend to fall closely along those landforms.

If you are going to have a kind of "border skirmish" type scenario in the area (which I would advise against unless the campaign for PCs involves surviving in this society and maybe rising to the top)... then you should have "Core Tribal Lands" and "Disputed Territory". The young up-and-comers will gravitate to the Disputed Territories because there is a chance to gain land and prestige with the Political Heavies in the Core Tribal Lands. The good ones will hold some of the disputed territory, the poor ones will lose it fairly quickly.

LonewandererD
11-16-2009, 09:15 PM
Okay, i need to explain, which is also another reason why i changed the named from "The Eleven Tribes" to the "Evelakaia".

In the modern time of this map the tribes don't really exist as the tribes anymore, they're closer to being great houses or city states. The real reason why the tribes exist today is because there are families that continue to claim tribal heritage, also there are certain traditions still practiced by certain tribes. Claiming direct tribal descendance is a way of claiming that your blood is better than that of other families, having "purer" blood is also a way of determining status amongst the nobility.

Now the land itself is divided up amongst the Jhul (nobility) and there are three levels of Jhul. At the top are the D'Jhul (high nobility), these nobles are the families that can claim the purest tribal blood and are second only in power to the reigning Jha'N (king or queen), they are technically all that remain of the original eleven tribes. Below them are the This'Jhul (sworn noblility); these are the families who can claim direct descendence from a particular tribe but aren't as pure as the D'Jhul, there is some mixed blood here. Finally at the bottom are the Jhal'a whose blood is the least pure and therefore have the less power. To roughly translate, the D'Jhul are the equivelant of Dukes and Duchesses, the This'Jhul are Marquis and Marquesses and the Jhul'a are Barons and Baronesses. All these groups still use the informal title of Jhul'N (noble person).

Now the land is divided as so. The traditional lands of tribe, also the best lands, are given to the D'Jhul. The next best land are assigned to the This'Jhul by the D'Jhul but in all actuality the lands really belong to the D'Jhul. With the combined lands of the D'Jhul and the This'Jhul the eleven tribes each have their own established lands and power bases. Still the borders are blurred because the borderlands between the tribes as well as farflung townships and frontier territories are given over to the Jhul'a. These lands aren't considered to be of enough worth to fuss over and so it's left up to the Jhul'a to determine where their loyalties lie. As a tribe's political power waxes and wanes the Jhul'a will change their loyalties accordingly though they have to be careful about it for if a Jhul'a where to suddenly support the Khadon but they're surrounded by the Lobradis and Belphradunn then they're going to have a hard life. Now as the Jhul'a can't claim power through blood they can only claim power by trying to impress their superiors or claiming land from other Jhul'as; this leads to minor skirmishes and scheming amongst the Jhul'a but these are heavily monitored by the judges. The Judge caste are the ones who maintain order and peace through the land, like the Inqusition in Warhammer 40K its their sacred duty to uphold the law and keep the peace and they have the power to requisition the services of anybody except the fifthteen Council Members to do so.

I hope this clears things up.

-D-

LonewandererD
11-17-2009, 06:45 AM
By painting the entire area in forest and deleting large swathes by ctrl-clicking certain layers and deleting i was able to come up with this rough forest covering, i'm now going to go back and clean it up. Any suggestions as to what I should focus on in my clean up?

The second pic included is the same as the first but without the drop shadow on the forest, which looks better?

-D-

Djekspek
11-17-2009, 04:15 PM
hehe, both looking great. personally, i like the drop-shadow better (little more depth but i'm not sure if it fits with the scale). btw it seems your rivers are floating a bit above the forest, maybe ease a bit on the bevel? or is there some glow/shadow on it (cant really point out why the river looks elevated).

Juggernaut1981
11-17-2009, 04:47 PM
Okay, i need to explain, which is also another reason why i changed the named from "The Eleven Tribes" to the "Evelakaia".
...
In the modern time of this map the tribes don't really exist as the tribes anymore, they're closer to being great houses or city states.
...
I hope this clears things up.

-D-

All I can suggest D is that you read about the political shennanigans that went on in France and England. The War of the Roses and the times leading up to that are a great example of how to get "semi traitorous" politics within a feudal system.

In what you have described there would be a large cemetary dedicated to those in the lowest rung of nobility. They would change allegiances and be executed by assassins, suffer "accidental horse runs into tree" deaths, the odd bandit raid which happens to kill the nobleman's son and other "clearly it was an accident, what a tragedy" events.

If I was a high ranking noble (or the King) in your lands, I would have to whack heads hard to keep order. Kings that spend too much time working on keeping things stable tend to get conquered. Solutions: kill the untrustworthy, exile them on trumped up charges, send them on a battle campaign you don't intend for them to survive, execute them for crimes against the crown, etc. Oh and make sure I keep the Inquisition FIRMLY in my pocket, those guys are a weapon to be used not just some kind of 3rd party commission.

LonewandererD
11-17-2009, 09:19 PM
Okay, I'm keeping the shadow on my forests to give it depth but i can't dial down the bevel, its pretty much as low as its going to get.

Now Juggernaut. Some of the methods that you have described are som of the ways that the higher nobles have kept anarchy amongst the Jhul'a to a minimum; there is always call for more troops at the frontier. However, should too many lesser lords end up having accidents than the judges are going to get just a wee bit curious as to why. Also a lesser lord doesn't just openly declare that he now likes this noble over this noble, he has to make his switch more subtle, normally taking months. By then they would have grabbed the attention of the new noble that they're trying to impress and if the noble accepts them than they announce their new allegiance. Once that happens the Jhul'a gains slight protection from the new noble but should the new noble reject them than they better try to be charming to try and win back their way back into their old nobles good graces. To the higher lords the loyalty of the lesser lords isn't away of measuring power but popularity. The reason that the high nobles don't take the lesser seriously is that they just don't have the power to challenge them; the higher lords would rather focus on the other higher lords than worry about the clucking of the little people.

On the judges, it isn't necissary to keep them in your pocket because they keep themselves n check. The judges have three mission and one is to protect the interests of the castes and one such interests is to protect the interests of the royal caste. Too make sure that the judges do their jobs there's even a subgroup of judges that monitor the judges.

-D-

LonewandererD
11-18-2009, 07:42 AM
Firstly, ignore my last comment about the judge caste, i'm rethinking alot about the people of my map and secondly, update time.

I clean up the forests and moulded them into their base shapes, i kept the drop shadow but changed it from a black to a dark green. I'm now going back and reshaping and detailing the land as needed, such as what i did in the southeast. I'm sure f you can see it but i try to experiment with creating a mix of dense and light forest to try and make it more natural.

Back to detailing.

-D-

LonewandererD
11-19-2009, 10:00 AM
Update, filled in more of the map.

Now guys level with me, what do you really think of the map, I think it's turning out alright but what do you think?

Anyway I'll be focusing on the large blank space in the central-eastern area next.

-D-

jfrazierjr
11-19-2009, 10:25 AM
Update, filled in more of the map.

Now guys level with me, what do you really think of the map, I think it's turning out alright but what do you think?

Anyway I'll be focusing on the large blank space in the central-eastern area next.

-D-

I think it's quite lovely. Several items of note:

I am really rather interested as to the reasons for the two chasms. Especially as they are both essentially surrounded by forests which seems a bit odd to me. Now granted, I am no geology person(not even close), but what little I have been exposed to in the real world appears to put such chasms in a more rocky barren type areas. AGAIN, I could be wrong one this and it's still a good looking map anyway, just wondering, thats all.

Are these jungles or unexplored lands? I noticed the forests all go directly to the edge of the land up to the water. Not a big deal though, just wondering. Also note, in two of the "bays" on the center right hand side, it appears like the forests were note masked off properly and you have some greenery into the sea/ocean. The higher one(location wise on the map) is very thick, but the other one takes a bit of looking unless you are zoomed in...

EDIT: Oh... and your water pattern repeats. Not a huge deal and its not super noticeable, but it is there in the zoomed in version....

Steel General
11-19-2009, 10:32 AM
No 'nit picks' from me, I think it looks good so far.

LonewandererD
11-19-2009, 10:45 AM
Adressing the items of note.

The chasms were caused by two different events. The one on the left, the Western Scar, was actually supposed to be a large geothermic vent or something on those lines, i'm still trying to figure but it needs to be something linked with the hotsprings that the area is known for. I visited a few such areas in New Zealand and they were quite green, although the odour of sulfur was a bit off-putting (I have a touchy sense of smell). The second chasm was actually formed several hundred years in the past when the Great Uniter completely obliterated the armies of the Sorresnan tribe that opposed him. The event was so great that it left a great rent in the land and turned the surviving Sorresnans into pacifists.

As this area is a bit too far north for jungles to appear, think about where Japan is although Japan may still have jungles. I've got to do more research. I'm thinking they are more just deep forests, I just like green maps. I am going to go back and break it up a bit, i already have tried to do this with the large rocky areas, once i can figure out how to make a nice transition from forests to grasslands. I'm going to have to look it up but here in Aus its not uncommon for the trees to go straight to the coast, quickly turning from dense vegetation to beach. The two areas where the forests break out over the water was actually just a mistake, I forgot to delete all forests over the water last time i opened up this map. It will be corrected by my next update.

Lastly i was hoping that people wouldn't notice the repeating water pattern, i'm using one of my older textures that i havn't actually work alot on. I will try and change but the texture is mainly just there to break up the large matt of blue that is the ocean.

Thnx for the feedback.

While I'm here does anyone know how to make a good mist/cloud cover? I ask because I'm going to use to cover the edges of the map, sort of a fog of war or something instead of just putting in a border.

-D-

Ascension
11-19-2009, 05:37 PM
Personally, I like it. It looks like a blend of my style and Pasis' style but with your own, more vibrant, color scheme. JFJ hit all of the points that hit me so the only other thing that I'll add is that I think your rivers could use some variation in thickness...they're all the same thickness from coast all the way up to the mountains. I'm not referring to the branches, that part is good, I'm referring to the main trunk of the rivers...put some thick and thin parts in. If you only have a mouse to do that then it can be tedious to do (I know, I did it that way for 5 years). Oh, and maybe a delta or two for the bigger rivers. Nice job, though so :)

Gandwarf
11-19-2009, 06:44 PM
Very nice... no comments from me. Certainly up to par with your earlier work, maybe somewhat better even.

LonewandererD
11-20-2009, 07:53 AM
"The Kaiga Stones. Carved from the bones of the gargantuan Miga-Junts, the surfaces of these posts are painted with intricate symbols of Junt blood and powered spirit bones and enchanted with many an ancient incantations. It is said that these posts have the power to repel malevolent spirits when they face outwards, or imprison a spirit when they face inwards, in either case creating a magical wall that block all except the most powerful of uninvited spirits. The Humans and Ithekins of Evelakaia line their villages and towns with these to protect against malevolent spirits while the Majud L'Kia (Judgement Caste) and Sol L'Kia (Spirit Castes) use them to imprison particulary violent and powerful spirit-beasts."

I thought it might be interesting to provide a little snippet of my background story with each post just to add some extra depth to my map. Anyways onto the map. I went back and played around with the thickness of the rivers and added a river delta as suggested by Ascension and fixed up the two little forests mistakes that JFJ pointed out. I also detailed more of the map and added a new layer on top of my grassland layer to make the transition of forest to grasses smoother and to make the forests more vibrant. Right now I'm experimenting with a new water texture and then I'm going to move onto to cleaning up the western frontier. All in all most of the terrain is done and I'll move onto towns and such soon. Again this shaping up to be one of those maps that you have too zoom in to see as it was intended.

-D-

wormspeaker
11-20-2009, 09:59 AM
Wow! Very nice. The nearly finished work looks great.

Tear
11-20-2009, 10:10 AM
That's coming along well.

One thing you could try if you want:
Instead of the soft fading from forest to mountains, put some light forest on the mountain edges, just like you did in several places when going from forest to grassland.
This way the forest till gradually thin as it goes uphill instead of fading into haze.
You'd have to be careful not to overdo it, but I think it's worth a try.

LonewandererD
11-20-2009, 10:31 AM
I tired do that Tear but the problem is that the mountain peak layer is above the forest layer and the edges of the mountain peaks are faded anyway so anything that is under it would also be faded. I tried putting the forests above the mountains but the the forests seem to overpower the mountains a bit (if that makes sense) which made the map look a little flat. Also I have some small mountains that wouldn't do so well if i changed them.

-D-

Tear
11-20-2009, 10:37 AM
I'd try adding an extra layer above the mountains and do some tree sprinkling there, so you can try things completely independent from your main forest.
Maybe copy the forest's layer styles over, maybe not. See what works better.

Just some thoughts.

Ascension
11-20-2009, 04:40 PM
Some of the forests have some funky erasing in the top part.

LonewandererD
11-21-2009, 12:53 AM
Yeah, I haven't worked alot on the northwestern portion of the map so the forests up there are still quite rough. Adressing that problem now.

-D-

LonewandererD
11-21-2009, 06:40 AM
Okay, pretty much finished with the terrain, just doing the finishing touches. Along with all of the touch ups I've done to it i decided to tone down the grasslands a bit, the seond pic shows the grasses as they were, which is better? While the second pic is brighter and so makes the map look warmer the first pic blends with the forests better.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how to do the town texture as well as some other little pics to signify the presence of forts and towers and the like.

While I do that I invite you all to nitpick away, find my mistakes before its too late.

-D-

Gandwarf
11-21-2009, 08:02 AM
Two nitpicks, both concerning rivers:

- Some of the rivers seem to float above the terrain...
This is especially noticeable near the mountains to the bottom left (and then the rivers in the northern part of those mountains). The drop shadow near where the rivers start is too much.

- Sometimes the amount of river branches seems overdone. For example: the rivers near the mountains to the bottom right. So many branches it doesn't seem right to me.

Otherwise very cool as I stated before.

LonewandererD
11-21-2009, 09:20 AM
Thnx for pointing out the river problems Gandwarf, no idea how i missed them :?. Hopefully these rivers are better, I couldn't completely fix them up and a lot of what has been done to make them look as such is very difficult to undo at this stage.

I also went back and tried to improve the transition of forest to mountain as Tear suggested, I think I found a way to do it.

-D-

Juggernaut1981
11-22-2009, 05:50 PM
Lone> Don't mind helping you establish your politics. As you can no doubt tell, I'm big on grand scale politics in D&D campaigns and how they burrow down into individual stories.

Also in D&D terms, I tend to also be very aggressive about alignments in D&D (particularly Evil societies... 3.5E and onwards don't make Evil societies "evil enough", they're just 'not absolutely friendly' instead of EVIL with a capitalised BBEG thrown in).

But then again, that's probably for another forum and a set of posts about 6 months long about wether 4E is the D&D equivalent of fairy-floss or a "genuine evolution".

LonewandererD
11-23-2009, 07:07 AM
Okay, with the terrain done of this map I'm moving onto towns and other signs of civilisation and settlement. On my last map I did this with small and rather simple symbols to represents towns, capitals and forts and with a simple line of dots to represent major travel routes. Now, aiming for a more detailed and pseudo-realistic map I'm trying to make symbols and stuff that actually look like what they're supposed to look like.

Let me begin by saying that I have no idea what i"m doing so most of this is based of Pasis' tut with the town texture made using Pyrandon's town tut. Here on this practice map I have a city, a town, two small villages and a lot of farmland. I have four because I have four different farmland types, which do you think looks best? I personally like the fourth one but some might find it too bright. And before people point it out, I know the roads aren't that great, as we speaks this I have fixed the problem and have a more cobble-like road for the next map.

Also note that all of these things are much larger than they will be on the real map, its just practice right now. I'm also trying to make some forts and towers and such but first I'm doing some research to try and figure out which cultural architecture I want to try and emulate. I'm aiming for something a little less european and a little more asian or indian but so much that people couldn't immediatly relate them back to either culture, maybe i could aim for babylonian

-D-

Steel General
11-23-2009, 08:32 AM
Honestly I don't care much for the farmland texture, looks more like cracks to me. Maybe try something more like this (http://spiralgraphics.biz/packs/terrain_civilization/previews/Agrarian%20Economy.jpg)

I do like the towns, etc. though.

LonewandererD
11-23-2009, 08:46 AM
Yeah, the farmland does look like cracks, which was something i was hoping to downplay in the third pic which looks more like fields than the other three but the colour threw me off. My farms are still in an experimental phase.

I do have a concern about my scale though. Right now I have it at 1 pixel = 1/4 mile or 400 metres, would things like towers and fortress even be visible at that range or should I make the map bigger to increase the scale. On the same note would it be feasible for a 1000x1000 mile country to have 12 cities or should it be 1 city and 11 towns?

-D-

LonewandererD
11-23-2009, 09:46 AM
I have a question about this map, does the geography make sense, is it possible to find this kind of layout in a real world place. I ask because I was thinking of redoing the geography, mainly mountain placements, but if people are fine with it I'll continue as it is.

-D-

Diamond
11-23-2009, 01:31 PM
Just wanted to say I love this map; it looks simply beautiful, especially the mountains.


I do have a concern about my scale though. Right now I have it at 1 pixel = 1/4 mile or 400 metres, would things like towers and fortress even be visible at that range or should I make the map bigger to increase the scale. On the same note would it be feasible for a 1000x1000 mile country to have 12 cities or should it be 1 city and 11 towns?

I've always found this to be useful: Medieval demographics made easy. (http://www.rpglibrary.org/utils/meddemog/)

LonewandererD
11-23-2009, 09:12 PM
Yeah, i founf my copy of medieval demographics and found out that a 1000x1000 mile map gave me more people and cities than i knew what to do with. So i changed the scale so that 8 pixels = 1 mile which gives me a 500x500 mile map. This gives me a population of 5 miliion people, about 20 people per square mile to represent that most of the country is still wilderness, and can support 1 big city and 11 smaller cities, exactly what i was aiming for, although naming 60 towns isn't going to be easy.

On the subject of terrain, I'm leaving it as it is but I'm now breaking it down into 11 territories and will change any terrain that I believe needs changing.

-D-

LonewandererD
11-24-2009, 05:38 AM
Okay, fooled around with the farmlands, put in two castles and redid the roads. The farms look more "farmy" here and while they're small here when put on the full-sized map they'll actually look bigger.

Short update I know.

-D-

Draszmar
11-24-2009, 06:08 AM
Since I'm currently also trying to get cities right in my map I'm familar with the topic.:)
I like your towns and especially your keep.

But I'm not sure about your farmland, looks more like orchards now...I would (and did) also use the texture Steel General suggested.

Edit: In your main map some of the rivers still seem to be floating, maybe you could correct this by using a reversed bevel or bump map.

LonewandererD
11-24-2009, 06:47 AM
More playing around with the farmlands and have come up with these two. The first is former farm type but made lighter to blend in more with the terrain and the second is the texture that Steel suggested. The second one does look more farmish but there is something about i don't like. I can't figure out what though.

-D-

Gandwarf
11-24-2009, 08:11 AM
I like the second one better, it does have a bit of a neon glow to it though...

LonewandererD
11-24-2009, 08:45 AM
Okay, I have three maps here. The first is Evelakaia with the last of the terrain done and the tribal borders put it, the borders are still quite rough and probably won't be on the end map but are there to help me figure out who owns what. The second and third maps are my farm types with two different colour styles, which is better? Note: on the large map you have to zoom into 100% to see as intended, the zoomed out look does it no justice.

In order to use the more accepted farm type and use my orchard farm type I've decided on two farm types. As you can see on the map there are large areas of rocky terrain, these areas are actually a lot greener and wetter than they appear. As the farming of things like grain and rice and such tends to ruin the soil the fertile valleys of these rocky areas are given over to the cultivating of fruit orchards and several special farms devoted to growing medicinal herbs. The main farm types of grain and rice will be cultivated along the rivers near the cities.

It is to be noted that only about 11% of the land will be farmland. Alot of the newer towns will rely on their own small crops or would have to have food shipped in from other towns. Most of the food production in this country is done around the older, major cities and these lands are always heavily guarded against "bandit" raids and spirit attacks.

Also, I'm having a slight colour problem with my rivers right but that should be fixed by my next map.

-D-

Steel General
11-24-2009, 09:03 AM
I prefer the first of the 2 farmland styles, the second is a bit 'neon/fluorescent' for me.

Coyotemax
11-24-2009, 09:15 AM
I like the second one a tad more.
The rivers look fine to me, the one on the NW has a few spots where it looks like the forest layer has some bleeding over, but that's the only possible issue I saw.

Overall, I like it!

Ascension
11-24-2009, 03:41 PM
I like the second farms too; color seems to fit better while the first one seems to be more realistic.

Ramah
11-24-2009, 03:59 PM
I actually don't like this style of farmlands you seem to be settling on. To me it just looks like a texture overlaid on your map and faded at the edge. It just doesn't gel for me.
I definitely prefer one of your earlier farmland experiments, when you were worried they looked more like cracks.
It seems to me that you are trying to please too many people when we all know that taste differs greatly between individuals. Just pick something that you like personally and go with it. Your last finished map was featured so you can't be too far out in your design choices.

LonewandererD
11-25-2009, 04:23 AM
I thought i was all set to get onto the fine details but I've hit a snag. It seems that almost all of my textures are too big and don't work too work on a small scale, you'll notice when you zoom in on the rocky areas and mountains that they start to look pixelated, even at 100%. So I'm goin back to my textures to clean them up, make them more seamless and make them better to be used at a smaller scale. I won't chage my map all that much, I'm just going over it again to make it look cleaner, especially as you zoom in. What is really annoying about this is that I deleted all of the old pics i used to create my other textures so now I need new pics or hunt down the older ones.

In regards to my farming I am going with Ramah and reverting back to my older styles. I'm grateful for all input so far its just that as I'm already using a lot of other peoples techniques it would be nice to have a few techniques to be able to call my own.

-D-

LonewandererD
11-27-2009, 04:45 AM
Okay, updating. Instead of just redoing the texture i redid the whole map, hopefully this one is better than the previous version. I made the mountains much more imposing and rotated the coast line so that the northern and southern borders can be established easier. I tried experimenting with creating an inland cliff feature that divides the tribes into the upper and lower tribes.

-D-

Coyotemax
11-27-2009, 06:50 PM
I really like the way this is looking, you did a fabulous job on the mountains. the cliff works, but the larger of the northern rivers looks a little odd by going down the slope at an angle :)

LonewandererD
11-28-2009, 12:40 AM
Okay, I pretty much have the terrain done and got the rough tribal borders drawn in. Now moving on to refining the town texture to work at a smaller size. Currently drawing out my civilisation plan, town locations, rough road plan, etc.

-D-

Ascension
11-28-2009, 12:57 AM
So far so good. If I haven't said it yet I will now, that's a great lookin forest.

rdanhenry
11-28-2009, 02:15 AM
Nifty. Are those islands populated by the Eleven Tribes? If so, you ought to make sure their tribal affiliation is clear.

LonewandererD
11-28-2009, 02:26 AM
Yeah those islands belong to the Truiet tribe and serves as the first line of defense against southern raiders. There affiliation with the tribes will be established later when i actually do the borders for real.

-D-

LonewandererD
11-28-2009, 07:07 AM
(insert expletives here)

Due to an unfortunate error on my behalf I have lost the photoshop file for this map and so will have to start it over again :x. While I struggle to reclaim what i have lost, here is the practice map I made for towns and civilisations and stuff. Included is one town, one city, 2 keeps, 1 castle, farmland and several small villages, no roads as of yet. Still needs refining but my larger map comes first.

-D-

Ramah
11-28-2009, 07:24 AM
Ouch. That's gotta hurt. At least you're getting straight back into it though, I'd probably mope around kicking things for days. Hehe.

LonewandererD
11-28-2009, 07:28 AM
Yeah, the problem is that I won't be able to get back to it for a few days, I have work and my mouse has finally died. Might try a less strenuous map before returning to this one actually.

-D-

Ascension
11-28-2009, 03:41 PM
I've done that a few times myself, flattened the image and saved the flattened version as the psd instead of jpg and thus lost all of the layers...hate when I do that - lots of moping and kicking here as well.

Your farm pattern is still a bit off but I have a trick that you can use that I use myself. The pattern itself is called Metal Landscape and is 128 x 128 pixels. Make a new document that is that same size with 100 ppi. Duplicate the background layer. Add the pattern overlay. Create a new layer and put it under this layer. Link the two layers then merge the top one down onto the empty layer = no more layer style. Now you can take this pattern and alter it into differing versions: the original black lines/white chunks, white lines/black chunks (just hit ctrl + i to do this and don't forget to click on Edit - define pattern), white chunks/clear lines, and black lines/clear chunks.

The reason for doing this is to get more usability out of the pattern...sometimes you will want fields to be a certain color or have a pattern of their own with no interference from the lines. Other times you will want the lines to act as roads or cracks for stone and have their own color separate from the fields. Four patterns for the price of one and therefore far more usable than just one pattern with black lines all over it. If you go and invert the colors on the transparent images then you can actually get six patterns for the price of one (white lines/clear chunks and black chunks/clear lines).

For the sake of ease I did the first three to show you (the first is the original).

Juggernaut1981
11-29-2009, 06:18 PM
Yeah those islands belong to the Truiet tribe and serves as the first line of defense against southern raiders. There affiliation with the tribes will be established later when i actually do the borders for real.

-D-

Okay, here comes a big pile of Geopolitics.

If the Truiet control the mouth of the river (via the islands) they will be able to charge whatever level of exorbitant taxes they please (without it being enough to cause any of the other tribes to outright attack them). It will also mean they should have a very strong navy compared to any of the other tribes (or at worst very impressive anti-ship tech) so they can control the river-mouth and shipping channels.

Based on geography, the Truiet should potentially be the most dominant tribe, politically. Even if they do not hold the "throne" they will be the strongest influencers of who does. Truiets should probably be viewed as the King-Maker tribe.

LonewandererD
11-29-2009, 10:27 PM
While the Truiet are indeed one of the four strongest tribes they hold no major sway over the throne and neither they nor any other tribe may have claim over the Kaiga Throne. First, while the Truiet may have control over the sea trade lanes the three other great tribes have monopolised the control of Evelakaia's main resources notabely rice, iron, salt and Magice. Second, the Truiets control over the sea trade lanes are constantly being challenged by the other tribes (this form of challenge is political although it has rumoured that the D'Shin of Belphradunn may be conversing with casteless pirates), the Southern Raiders of Odalaia and the overwhelming power of the Zephyrn who are pushing their control over the trade lanes further north. Thirdly, there are certain merchant that are immune to taxation such as the leader of the Wandering Caste.

-D-

Juggernaut1981
11-30-2009, 12:31 AM
I am not saying that "The Truiet claim the throne". What I am saying is "Nobody gets to be the King without the Truiet agreeing". Because when it comes down to it, it wouldn't be hard for them to let the ships of a bad ruler get destroyed by Pirates while they carefully protect the ships of an ally.

Don't assume people play politics nicely.

If you control the trading, you control the value of commodities and resources. Via the shipping paths (the only credible export path based on this map and their apparent isolation), the Truiet will have the physical (and therefore political) power to basically destroy whichever guild/family or tribe angers them by cutting off their supply of cash.

What makes OPEC powerful? They all agree about the value of their goods and it's hard to get them any other way. They control the shipping of oil. Even if they didn't already control its production.

What made the Dutch East India company powerful? Control of the delivery of goods, and so on.

It isn't the MAKERS of materials that always hold the power, it is often those who TRADE it.

Negotiations over the trade lanes, I would suspect, would follow this kind of format:
Tribe A "Why should the Trueit control the sea lanes?"
Trueit: "Sure, we'll take our ships out of the water and let the pirates get your ships until you can defend them yourself..."
Tribe B: "But we can't afford to lose many cargo ships to pirates, they are already taking enough"
Tribe A: "But we don't want to pay taxes to the Trueits"
Tribe B: "Taxes vs complete losses... we'll take Taxes"
Tribe C: "I agree with (side)"
Tribe D: "We agree with (other side)"
... [insert stalemate here with Trueit retaining the role and power associated with protecting shipping for the whole nation]

LonewandererD
11-30-2009, 01:10 AM
That is true but with a few exceptions. Only about a quarter of the nation's Magice is traded to other countries, the rest is used by the tribes themselves and the Belphradunn and Arathyl Tribes control the mining and distribution of Magice and so they remain on an equal standing with the Truiets who need their Magice for their own needs. The Lobradis Tribe, while not as financially powerful as the other three have been able to maintain their high positon becuase they control the routes in and out of the capital and are the only tribe that can claim direct blood relation to the Jha'N (monarch) as the Uniter, the first and greatest of the Jha'Ns, was originally of the Lobradis Tribe.

Also trade ships of the Wanderer Caste returning from the south have brought with them The Enlightenment, and with it comes airship technology. Currently only the Jha'N and the Wanderers posses the only working airships in Evelakaia but this still threatens the power of the Truiets as airships can bipass their trade routes altogether.

Theres a lot of stuff about this world that complicates things and I don't want to bore people with the details just yet but hopefully this info helps to clear up the matters.

-D-