hey everyone! new member but longtime worldbuilder, cartographer and occasional lurker.
i just moved away from SF so i could take some time off of work to get this novel i've been worldbuilding, out of my head and on paper. i'm also toying with the idea of making it into an RPG supplement.
i've spent almost my entire life making up new worlds, drawing maps and designing campaign worlds for my friends' D&D games, and just recently thought it was past time to figure out how to use GIMP to make really great looking maps.
i'm really glad this place exists and really excited to learn some new stuff and see the awesome maps people are making.
Welcome, Scott. A map right in your intro is worth a starter dollop of rep :-). Tell us about it - is this the world of your novel-to-be? It looks like ballpoint on paper - are you going to duplicate it in Gimp? Does it need to wind up in digital form looking just like this version, or are you open to letting the process dictate some geography?
this is the WIP and novel setting. it's the most recent iteration and it's definitely ballpoint on paper. i'm totally up to letting the world build itself. or rebuild in this case.
the planet is called Merra and this is the southern continent, currently called Sullust. right now, i am in the middle of overhauling and updating the info. it was the setting of both a D&D 2E and a Palladium Fantasy RPG campaign, both of which happened between 10 and 15 years ago, and a lot of it is built with high school knowledge and outlook, but now i'm keeping that enthusiasm and innocence and sort of sanding down the rough edges and making the world more realistic while not stamping out the fantastic.
if Merra were projected on our globe, Sullust would be approximately the southern half of Africa. the entire southern hemisphere of Merra is ocean, excepting Sullust, so the continent is frequently beset by huge hurricanes in the summer and autumn months that slam into the eastern half of the continent (generally several a season in a normal year). i'm redesigning the cultures of the eastern coast to better reflect that because previously, it was pretty much Prussia, the Teutonic Knights and Tolkein Dwarves. the winter months are known as the 'rainy season' in temperate and tropical climes, and colder climates see plenty of snow. Merra is a much wetter world than Earth, so there's lots more precipitation and a more active weather system, and the world has more swamps, bogs and large rivers than Earth.
the sea separating Sullust from Norres, the northern continent is called the Middelsee, and it joins the Sea of Storms in the east with the Sunset Sea in the west. Two straits allow passage through the Middelsee from the Sea of Storms to the Sunset Sea. The eastern portal is called the Gates of Morning, in the east, which are open and free, and are patrolled by the navy of the city state of Seagaard. Think Italian Maritime Republic on steroids meets Switzerland and Swedish neutrality, run by Merra's version of the UN, called the Kingsmeet and you've pretty much got Seagaard.
The western portal, called the Limberry Gate, is rather odd, in that it used to be part of a swampy lowland until a cataclysm several millennia previously. Now, the area is still very swampy, but there's also a strait and several deep channels in the swamps carved out by a megatsunami. the other odd thing about this area is that Limberry, the southern side, and Norberry, the northern side, are controlled by Halflings, Gnomes and other 'smallfolk' of Merra. These aren't your regular 'smallfolk', however, as they are jaded and veterans of many military campaigns to seize their strategic lands. They are also masters at guerilla warfare and asymmetric tactics and their Irregulars have pretty much secured their independence as not even the largest kingdoms have the manpower or resolve to last long in those swamps. Even worse, the Smallfolk have become a power of their own and they regularly close the strait to shipping on 'humanitarian' grounds. If a country is treating a group of people wrong, boom. suddenly, the straits are closed to everyone until they all play nice.
anyway, i'll avoid the tl;dr and save the rest for later (and the novel!!!). hope you enjoyed the mini tour!
Welcome to the Guild scottrossi! Well if you are looking to learn how to use GIMP to do digital cartography then you have come to the right place! There are loads of helpful tutorials here on the subject, so dig right in and throw up a WIP thread once you begin. Looking forward to following your progress.