View Full Version : Vaalah, a Large City

08-29-2007, 02:14 AM
I am running an online D&D campaign using Fantasy Grounds II and the program's ability to use maps and images is amazing and really makes me want to use maps in the campaign. Thus, I've been working on making more and more detailed city maps. I'm working on Vaalah right now, which is the largest city that will be used in the campaign. I'm tentatively placing the population at around 18,000, but I'm not sure at the moment.

I'm using photoshop elements and going quite slowly. As you'll see when you open it, I plan on making the map quite text heavy so that it is easy for the players to pick out areas when I mention them in game. It'll also serve as an informational map with the texts about each area. I realize the current text is blurry, which is due to me resizing it a couple times and the text eventually giving out. I'm going to have to redo that, but that's all right.

Let me know what you think and if I should work toward something now, because I'd rather know now than later.


08-29-2007, 10:53 AM
You're off to a good start. I look forward to seeing what the finished map looks like.

The only (minor) criticism I have at this point are the buildings that comprise the city. Is there anything you can do in photoshop to make them a little bit more shiny or sharp? They seem a bit drab as is.

I guess I've been influenced by the city maps Mongoose did for the Conan rpg. You can find a city map they put up for free at http://tinyurl.com/2t496s to get an idea of a map thats distinctive but doesn't look like an explosion in a Crayola factory.

08-29-2007, 05:01 PM
So I'm guessign the village is just a small part of what will eventually take up the entire map? Interesting idea on the bubble pull-out, too (though doing this for an entire city will be a challenge--though very useful.) I can't see anything wrong with the image--just be careful, if this is a giant, well-established city, not to place each dwelling an an idividual box. Sure, some cities may even have great sections where this is the case, but from my understanding a well-developed medieval city will be much more crowded, crammed, and confused.

Keep it up! :)

08-29-2007, 09:17 PM
I am guessing that much of the surrounding country will get swallowed up bu the city as you build it, but the terrain (forest) texture reminds me more of stucco than forest.

Also, I find it a bit hard to tell terrain contour. The land area looks fairly flat and uniform as depicted, with few, or no hills. Working through a few "city growth" tutorials and examples, I know that terrain (hills, swamps, creeks, farmland, heavy forest growth) as well as rivers other water bodies tend to dictate city growth, so identifying that now (realistically or symbolically) should help in the long run.

-Rob A>

08-30-2007, 01:20 AM
I'd like to see a symbol to represent scale. It's one of the first things I usually create and often find myself comparing objects to it to make sure I don't accidently slip out of scale as I go along.

Otherwise, looks great...I have a hard time mixing text with graphics and you've done a great job integrating the two elegantly.

10-10-2007, 11:22 AM
Wow, this is a nice looking start! I like the way the houses look, they have a little bit of detail, but not too much, because if this is going to be a large city, then too much detail will be overpowering for the eyes.

I think that this will be a nice looking map when finished.

I will also state that the texture of the "ground" looks a little odd, but in the finished area of the map, it worked out well, so I would imagine that as you get further along, then it will get better.

It would be nice to have some sense of the contour of the land. I would assume that it would have to rise a little, or the city would be flooding a lot.

10-10-2007, 11:50 AM
Fish Roe? That is soooo bad! ;)