This looks pretty good PaxVeritas, glad your long period of lurking is over.
I've been a member of Cartographersguild.com since the mid 2000s, or at least lurking and viewing. I've recently upgraded my game room to include a projector, new laptop, extra monitor, and use of Maptool. Thus, it's time for me to share some of my finished maps. The designs are geared toward usability in tabletop roleplaying of the Pathfinder RPG game. I use my own world, adventures, and have loved drawing maps for my games since I started playing in 1983. Feel free to use them in your games, especially if you've got a similar set up. Enjoy.
>First up is the Northtrail that runs from the edge of a border town northward toward a small barony. Along this trail, covered in snow, the adventurers come across a relative of a party member who is beset by a terrible frost worm. The trail runs left to right on the map for usability, as projections are rectangular, but the party is aware that north is either right or left, depending on the GM's campaign world.
Very nice work. Is there more of the map? Would love to see more.
My Battlemaps Gallery http://www.cartographersguild.com/al...p?albumid=3407
That's a well structured map, PaxVeritas. All the elements and colours work well together; I also love the scale of the trees (which as Bogie says makes us feel like the world outside is huge). I'd love to see more of your maps.
Nice map but I would really love to see/hear about how you set up your game room with all this. I hope you create a thread on that as well. Thanks!
I installed an inexpensive projector to my gameroom ceiling (Dream land series LCD DG-737/747). On the table, I placed 3x4 foot whiteboard (removable by just lifting it up). I loaded Maptool (freeware from RPTools.net) on my computer. I downloaded hundreds of art bits and image tiles (free on the internet) to my computer. I placed a second 17" monitor next to my laptop to display what the players see, and use Maptool to show me the GM view on my PC. I searched the web for hundreds of great game maps, and found it very easy to create hundreds of my own (for any occasion: swamp, roadside, snow terrain, castles, buildings, towns, temples, massive settings, and dungeons galore)!
The players love it, and I enjoy the freedom to create wondrous maps of any environ, use vision blocking layers to show line of sight for the characters, and it makes battles equally amazing as when using PAIZO's Gamemastery Flipmaps or map tiles. PAIZO's thoughtful inclusion of free .pdfs of their materials upon purchase means I have thousands of maps (from the APs and from modules) that I can use or even repurpose. Additionally the good folks at Cartographer's Guild and other websites such as Dundjinni forums make digital maps and tile bits that are easy to download and use.
When I first heard thought of using a projector I was a bit intimidated. But now, my game table has never looked or played better. I lay down some Steel Squire AOE templates, or rise up miniatures on clear, gridded Combat Tiers above the projected digital maps for elevation. To complete the cool feel of the game room, I'll throw down some Paizo Gamemastery cards for treasure, or draw from the Critical Hits or Fumbles Decks. Players use Pathfinder minis (or other brands) including those new cool invisible tokens on top of the digital maps (Alea Games I think - I've tossed the packaging so not sure). Sometimes I'll add terrain such as crates, barrels or rocks/crystals over top the digital projection if needed, but honestly, the move to digital maps really makes the encounter come to life.
Now, please note, when I'm a player I don't really need any of this stuff, but more and more these days I find that most players benefit from the detail shown on digital maps; it helps spark imagination as well as show detail that guides combat, making often overlooked possibilities possible, like jumping on a ledge for higher ground, ducking for cover behind a rocky outcropping, and even hiding out of view of the enemy. Sure this can all be described, and I still do, but the combination of Fog of War effects with vibrant maps, tokens, and other artistic atmosphere makes each combat more compelling.
The diversity of quality maps you can create is unbelievable, and does take up some time. By adding vision-blocking-layers to maps, the players map lights up within their sight range, illuminating corridores, shinging through portculli, and peering through dark dungeon rooms; then, in the shadows hide the beasts who seek to cause their doom.
This testimonial is rare for someone of my years with the game; after 29 years of gaming, some would expect a guy like me to never go for the technology or the new shiney stuff. I'm just here to say that old schoolers and digital or virtual tabletops are not mutually exclusive. Just like Arneson and Gygax cut floor tiles to make some of their original battle tiles, I'm open minded enough to find the joy of our hobby within cool things that don't "detract" from the game. I'd like to suggest that if you thought "going digital" was akin to selling-out, or like Bob Dylan going electric, just consider that you might not know how much it enhances game play until you try it. And a lot of Dylan's electrical stuff was great too.
More maps will follow below....
Thanks for being such a great supportive community, Cartographer's Guild!
Next up, these "Inquisitor's Ruins" provide mystery and intrigue to any travelers looking for shelter for the night, yet they are unoccupied by the old inquisitor who once dwelt here. The trappings of human cages, and other interrogation tools can still be found in the old rotting wood cart, remnants of pain once caused in the name of truth. But the travelers soon find they are not alone, and must face the men or beasts who have also claimed this shelter as their own. The next morning, a rare flower is discovered to be thriving in the yard, depite the poisoned soil in which it grows.
Last edited by PaxVeritas; 05-29-2012 at 09:38 AM.
good start... you have some artifacts near the building corners you need to fix up(top right and bottom left where the "black" terminates.) I would also suggest adding some shadows to the trees to give them some depth as well as to the house.. Good start though...
My Finished Maps
Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Here is the lair of an herbalist. One adventurer contracted lycanthropy from a werewolf and the party searches the forest for a cure. When the rainstorm gales become too strong, they seek shelter via a staircase descending into a wondrous herbalist's garden. The freshly picked herbs and tamed violet fungus plants, along with a wide assortment of odd growth ends with a trapped door. Various rooms are here, along with an earthen trail of earth droppings, as though the master herbalist has brought her harvest to a laboratory at the far end of the hall.
This is a great side-trek adventure for PCs, and an opportunity for the GM to "plant" a journal depicting some evil entitity's life, but fortunately she is not home, although her traps and magical symbols ward the passageways.