Volcano Island for D&D 4e campaign
My name is David Flor and I am the president of Darklight Interactive (@BrainClouds on Twitter). We have already created two reasonably popular D&D 4th Edition modules called "The Endless Winter" and "The Dragon's Master" (both distributed under the 4e GSL), and are currently working on our third.
If you are familiar with my work, you probably know that I consider myself fairly decent in creating indoor tactical maps for dungeons. In fact, I have already written two tutorials on how to do so on my own blog.
Problem is that, when it comes to outdoor maps, I'm abysmal. I tried making an outdoor map, really I did, but the end result looked as if it was drawn by a two-year-old.
Normally, this wasn't much an issue since most of my campaign occur indoors or in a small area - "The Endless Winter" is partly outdoors, but it's in a small area surrounded by mountains, so it's quite limited. But for my next project I'm working on a campaign whose principal location is a sizeable geographic location and, although most of the encounters and content does occur indoors in a "dungeon crawl" setting, I still would like a world map to give the module some flavor.
To be quite honest, I don't know. Right now it is difficult for me to pay for the map in advance, especially considering I haven't a clue how much it costs to make a map in the first place. I've gotten estimates between $5 and $500, which sounds high to me at first glance but again: I haven't the foggiest idea. I'd *like* to pay, really I would, but I don't know how much it would be or even if I'm capable of affording it at this time. The holidays are being kind of rough, so I'm not even sure if I have funds secured to do this, but lord knows I'll try.
In addition to whatever payment is agreed upon, I am willing to provide two softcover color copies of the module once it is available for print.
If you wish to trade services in exchange for me making you indoor tactical maps, I am willing to entertain that. Samples of my tactical maps are available on request, and I'll even send free copies of my past modules to those who are really interested.
There is also the possibility of more future work; I have lots of ideas, just not enough time to put them to paper.
Of course, if you're willing to do it for free... don't let me stop you. I'm very vocal online, and a lot of people have heard of me due to... er... "legal issues" with WotC in the past. So you will get exposure for your work if that is sufficient enough for you. And, like I said above, I will use you again given the chance.
Added 1/31/2012: Although I will be able to pay something eventually, emphasis is on the "eventually" part. If you absolutely need any sort of payment for doing this, maybe we can come to some sort of arrangement for payment in the future or something.
The module isn't 100% complete, but it's close. In any event, I'm not in a major time constraint to get this out the door, but would like to get it distributed "soon". Or, for you hardcore gaming folk, "when it's done".
The module is going to be released for D&D 4th Edition. Since the new version of D&D is imminent, I would like to release the module in about the next month. Which means I would like the first versions of the map (NOTE: Not the final versions) within the next week or two so we can make adjustments as needed.
The primary setting is the island of Pyrias, located in a collection of islands known as the nation of Cerra. The island is approximately ten miles wide, but I'm flexible on that.
The biggest feature on the island is a volcano, which is located on one end of the island (currently intended to be the Southeast region). There are two entrances in the volcano's side, meant to be two separate dungeons: one of which is an active temple in the North/Northwest side (home to a cult), while the other is an abandoned cave entrance beachside to the East (infested with non-cultish bad guys). The volcano is currently moderately active, and lava outflow favors the Southern and Southeastern sides.
At the opposite end of the island is a fishing village known as Serpent's Cove. Not a particularly big place... 100+ people live there, tops. It's a modest fishing village, and not meant to have big ships.
The volcano takes up about a 1/4th of the island and is mostly at the water's edge. The village is at the far end of the island (Northwest region), at sufficient distance to not be constantly threatened by the occasional lava flow. Picture a Hawaiian island.
Between the village and the volcano it is primarily forest, with occasional terrain features scattered about. Rivers and streams, hills, maybe a lagoon, small mountains if need be... typical island stuff. There are no roads leading out from Serpent's Cove.
The island is meant to be tropical, which means that the majority of the coastline except in the vicinity of Serpent's Cove (where it would get in the way of fishing) is beach. On the East side of the island, near the aforementioned abandoned entrance to the volcano, several bad guys have landed and established a beachhead.
I will do my best to provide a very rough sketch of the island and points of interest in the near future, but don't know how much time I have to do that.
To seriously interested parties, I am willing to provide a copy of the campaign as it currently stands, but I don't know how much that will help: currently, the island itself isn't talked about much.
I've been researching recently, and have decided that my original idea for an island was too small.
What I'm thinking of having is an island similar to Martinique in the Lesser Antilles, which has the volcano Mount Pelee in the Northern area. If you look at a map of Martinique such as this one (Wikipedia), I would like something similar in terms of what's where with some exceptions:
- The island would be flipped 180 degrees, with the mountain to the Southeast region.
- The volcano would take up almost the entire area it is in all the way up to the coastline, leaving nothing more than a beach.
- The volcano is active, so I would want it to give the impression of recent flows. If the flows go anywhere, they should pour out to the South where they can't harm anything.
- The only major settlement for now would be the fishing port of Serpent's Cove, which would be at the polar opposite of the volcano on the island. In other words, it would be in the NW corner. I may add other settlements once I see the map.
- The island should be about half the size of Martinique, only 20-25 miles long.
I'm flexible on style, but I would like it similar in style to maps in WotC publications, such as Dungeon or Dragon.
The map must be in full color.
I attempted to draw my own map on several occasions, using everything form Photoshop (and tutorials from this very site) to Bryce. It did not go well.
I'm not looking for a photorealistic map. I'll try to dig up some examples of map styles, but the general concept is a map similar in design to most of the maps you see in Dungeon magazine and other Wizards of the Coast and Paizo publications.
Quality and Size
This module will hopefully be published in hardcopy format, so reasonably high resolution would be ideal. Considering a 7.5"x10" print area on a page and sufficient print resolution, I would like a map no smaller than 2000 pixels on each side, maybe more.
If you are willing and the map is good enough, I would consider publishing the map in "poster" format, which would require significantly higher resolution. This is not a requirement for my project, but if you would like to take advantage of that opportunity I'd be willing to consider it.
Although vector format would be ideal, if the map is sufficiently high resolution (300 DPI for the non-poster hardcopy) raster will be fine.
I would like reproduction rights to the map, knowing full well it is intended to be part of a commercial product. The artist is welcome to include it in his portfolio, but not as part of any other commercial product. Beyond that, you can maintain the copyright.
The artist would get full production credit in the module, on my blog and anywhere the module is listed for sale. In very big letters, if necessary.
You may contact me at dflor--at--brainclouds.net
My blog where I discuss this project and also have examples of my mapping is at http://rpg.brainclouds.net/
Tnx & Rgds...
David "Nighthawk" Flor
President, Darklight Interactive
"Omne ignotum pro magnifico"