View Full Version : The City of Spur

01-20-2010, 10:28 PM
Hey folks, I've been lurking here for a while now but I figured its about time for me to show my work. I'm running a D&D campaign and am in the process of creating a world for it. This is something I've been working on for a couple of years now and I'm finally getting around to making nice looking maps for it.

Anyways, this is a map of a city that plays a prominent role in my games, so I decided to finish it first. Let me know what you think!

Oh, I used photoshop for this, and everything was made by me.


Here's part of my write-up for the town.

The quiet town of Spur is nestled in a valley nearly surrounded by a mountain range that forms a horseshoe shape around the valley. To the north and south lie other human settlements. The Gate, the capital of the Kingdom of Spur is 4 days ride to the north. In between Spur and The Gate are several small settlements and inns that line the road north. The southern settlements are mainly small farming and mining villages, most are within a half a days ride from each other.

Spur is one of the larger towns in the region although it is overshadowed by the much larger Gate. It's ruled by a small city counsel(mostly worthless) and a single lord who has been given his stewardship by King Osidious which takes his seat in The Gate. Ninety-five percent of the population is human, the rest are made up of orcs, half-elves(no pure elves are known of), halflings and gnomes. There are a few goblins but most are slaves in the farmlands and mines, if you see one it's a good bet that it has escaped or is on errands for its master. Orcs around here are considered second rate citizens (mostly because they are poor) but there are a couple successful ones. One of them owns the largest tavern in the city, the Wailing Banshee. Most of the orcs/half-orcs in the region are farmers or miners.

01-20-2010, 11:46 PM
Pretty nice. I'd like to see it bigger and the trees a bit more subtle to match the subtle colors of the rest of the map but overall it's good work.

01-21-2010, 12:00 AM
Very nice first map Wynn, I dub thee repped!

The map has a grid, but it looks natural and is not too monotonous. Most of the critical buildings are where they should be, and kudos for properly placing the cemetery on the outskirts of town (in the middle ages, this was done for both sanitary and scenic reasons).

A few brickbats: first, it would be nice to be able to see the map at a higher resolution. I believe the board will allow up to 3-4 megs (I could be wrong about that, but I have seen larger maps). Second, a scale would be helpful--how large is this city? Third, while the city may be relatively young for this, if your city has been in existence for several generations, there should be a ghetto/slum/warrens area (not massively sized per se, but I suspect the majority of the few orcs that are in Spur would live there). Fourth, although the area around the fountain near the south ward may serve as such, it is not obvious that your city has a market, which it should. Fifth, I'm rather surprised by the small dock ward that your city has. Rivers historically have served as both means of communication and a key path for trade. A city as large as yours (I'm guessing at least several thousand people) will be the trading hub of a much larger region, with docks, warehouses, and markets to reflect that. Sixth, I find all the empty space inside the city walls disconcerting. In the middle ages, space inside city walls was both valuable and at a premium (as it offered refuge from marauding armies and robbers). Due to the difficulty of expanding city walls (an expensive and long term undertaking), medieval cities tended to build up, not out (some parts of medieval London and Paris had streets that barely got any sunlight during the day due to the overhanging additions on the buildings on either side of them). Unless your city is very young, the density of the city should be increased, there should not be empty space near the walls. Also, while you do have a few buildings outside the walls, unless the city is very young or the kingdom under dire threat from humanoids or other armies, there should be small neighborhoods that have grown up outside the gates. Lastly, you may want to experiment with the color scheme a bit. I find that it works quite well, but it does look a bit on the drab side. I'm not sure what effect you could use, but I would point you to RedStar's City of Fogdown here on the guild (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?3044-Fogdown-by-Redstar)--muted in some respects as to colors, yet still eye popping and crisp to look at.

Regardless, you have a good first map Wynn. I hope you post more and am curious to see how your style develops.

01-21-2010, 07:23 PM
hey thanks for the comments :)

thebax2k, I think you have some good points.. I think you're definitely right about pushing the buildings up to the city wall, and making the port bigger. I'll take your ideas into consideration for my other maps I'm going to do, this will really help out. Thanks :)

I don't have too many buildings on the outside of town because the city was relatively new, but I think there should be a couple of neighborhoods at least now.

01-29-2010, 07:53 PM
I would have liked to see it a little bigger, but it looks pretty good. Cities are probably one of the trickier types of map, too. Well, with magic, city walls could be cheaper than in reality and they might be built with some expansion in mind (and meanwhile, in case of siege, you've got room for tents and some grazing for animals). I would, however, put the graveyard outside the walls in a world where I had to worry about the dead rising from an unquiet grave.

01-29-2010, 09:10 PM
first maps posted, AND being a city map no less! Love it!

It's a pretty nice map, nicely laid out overall, any concerns I might have are covered by others. I do like the style you've used on this, I'm thinking of borrowing a few cues from you since I have a city map project coming up myself.