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Thread: First map: Streamdales Province

  1. #1
    Fub
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    Wip First map: Streamdales Province

    This is the first map I made with CC3, by simply tracing the steps of the video tutorials on the Profantasy site.
    The Streamdales is a province of the Erebur Imperium, and the setting for my RPG campaign. My motivation to map it all out is to provide the players with an immersive campaign that feels 'alive'. The needs of the campaign drive the map, so I'm not too concerned with whether my map is geologically plausible: moderate amounts of handwaving are acceptable!
    As I wrote, it's my first map with CC3, and I'm still learning. If you have any tips on how to make the map look better, please let me know! I'm specifically not very impressed with the 'harshness' of the roads and the rivers, and I think the map labels could do with some sort of effect to make them stand out more. However, I couldn't get those fixed with the little amount of fudging I could muster.

    If you're interested in playing around with the map file, you can download it here. And if you have the stomach to read my campaign setting, the 24-page PDF can be found here.

    EDIT: This is now the second version of the map, after comments from Larb and Freehand 5.5.
    First map: Streamdales Province-streamdales-map-v2.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First map: Streamdales Province-streamdales-map.jpg  
    Last edited by Fub; 01-15-2013 at 04:57 PM. Reason: Updated map image

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      Larb is offline
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    I did take a look at the pdf. There's some interesting ideas in there. I like the nice blend of cultures and the believable relations. I assume the older map is the one in the PDF? Unfortunately I am not familiar with CC3 but I wonder if you could add some hilly terrain (the pdf suggests it should be hillier than it is but all I see are the snowspike mountains).

    On a side note, I think your campaign document would look better with the text arranged in two columns per page. =P
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    Guild Journeyer Freehand 5.5's Avatar
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    The setting is nice. You're doing a great job there.
    Headlines could be more readable. Perhaps you can rearrange the ornament to the sides of it instead of layouting it below the typo.
    In the timeline you could add a legend of what had happened between -500 and -200 (what caused the builders to disappear from history).
    That would give some clue in what condition the ruins are (destroyed or damaged by siege, ruined only by time etc.).

    The map is okay. graphics could be better.

    [river police alarm] The rivers could be more curved when they flow down the plains.
    The lable size is absolutely okay, but the river lables could be set closer to the rivers.
    The downright river lable should be curved, too, like the others.[/river police alarm].

    More forests would be nice.
    The mountain valleys could be a bit more narrow at the end (like in the left one).
    Last edited by Freehand 5.5; 01-14-2013 at 05:33 PM.
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    Fub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larb View Post
    I did take a look at the pdf. There's some interesting ideas in there. I like the nice blend of cultures and the believable relations.
    Thank you! I must admit that I have been thoroughly inspired by historical cultures and settings (spoiler: the Empire is like the T'ang Dynasty in China, and the Dalers are Vikings with a Shinto bend). Everything else went from there.

    I assume the older map is the one in the PDF? Unfortunately I am not familiar with CC3 but I wonder if you could add some hilly terrain (the pdf suggests it should be hillier than it is but all I see are the snowspike mountains).
    Yes, the map in the PDF was made with Autorealm and coloured with GIMP after -- I was so dissatisfied with the result that I bought CC3.
    And yes, I need to add more hills. I am thinking of adding some just north of the roads connecting the cities. And I realise I need to label the mountains too.

    On a side note, I think your campaign document would look better with the text arranged in two columns per page. =P
    I printed it out with two pages per sheet and bound that in nice paper from an artisanal papermill from around here, and distributed that booklet to my players. Having the text in two columns would have made it harder to read, I think -- because while the PDF is on A4, the booklet has the pages in A5 size.

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    Fub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freehand 5.5 View Post
    The setting is nice. You're doing a great job there.
    Thank you! The setting was three months in the making, so I'm happy that the hard work paid off.

    Headlines could be more readable. Perhaps you can rearrange the ornament to the sides of it instead of layouting it below the typo.
    In the timeline you could add a legend of what had happened between -500 and -200 (what caused the builders to disappear from history).
    That would give some clue in what condition the ruins are (destroyed or damaged by siege, ruined only by time etc.).
    The thing is: no-one knows. This was all before recorded history, and they were gone when the first Dalers appeared in the area.
    (This is my escape hatch for when I want to do a dungeon crawl once in a while. And I have an idea of what happened, but I'm not sure I'll ever get it into play.

    The map is okay. graphics could be better.
    I agree -- that's why I posted it here: to get some critics to look at it!

    [river police alarm] The rivers could be more curved when they flow down the plains.
    The lable size is absolutely okay, but the river lables could be set closer to the rivers.
    The downright river lable should be curved, too, like the others.[/river police alarm].
    That is really good advice. I will add some bends into the rivers, and I'll see about labelling the rivers a bit better. Perhaps trace the river itself to get the curve, and put the labels directly underneath the curve? I'll have to experiment with it.

    More forests would be nice.
    The mountain valleys could be a bit more narrow at the end (like in the left one).
    I'll add some forests (though not as large as the Gilto forest) between the Camrun delta and Ervos: there's a nice big patch of land that could use some lovin'.
    And narrowing the valleys won't change the map around too much, but it will make it look more natural -- excellent advice, thank you!

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    This is your first map and according to first map it is really nice map. I really like it.
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."-Confucius
    Old map and Historic map

  7. #7
    Fub
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    (I replied to your comment before, but apparently my reply was eaten...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Freehand 5.5 View Post
    The setting is nice. You're doing a great job there.
    Thank you! My players liked it too -- I guess those three months planning were well spent.

    Headlines could be more readable. Perhaps you can rearrange the ornament to the sides of it instead of layouting it below the typo.
    In the timeline you could add a legend of what had happened between -500 and -200 (what caused the builders to disappear from history).
    That would give some clue in what condition the ruins are (destroyed or damaged by siege, ruined only by time etc.).
    I'm not known for my design sense, so the layout and design of the PDF could indeed be better. At this time, I'm not focussing on that, however.
    The thing with the fortress builders is that no-one was around to see what happened. The fortresses are there to provide me with an escape clause when I want to run a simple dungeon crawl! I have an idea of what happened, but I'm not sure it'll ever be a factor in the game.

    The map is okay. graphics could be better.
    As I wrote above: I'm not known for my design sense.

    [river police alarm] The rivers could be more curved when they flow down the plains.
    The lable size is absolutely okay, but the river lables could be set closer to the rivers.
    The downright river lable should be curved, too, like the others.[/river police alarm].
    Thank you for this excellent advice. I have made the rivers a bit curvier in the plains, and re-labeled them.

    More forests would be nice.
    The mountain valleys could be a bit more narrow at the end (like in the left one).
    I've added a forest between the Camrun delta and Ervos, and I've added a few hills. And with a bit of fudging I've narrowed the valleys towards the top -- they now look much better.

    Thank you for your comments! I'll update the top post with the new map.

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      rdanhenry is offline
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    I'd say it is a quite decent start. Yes, rivers could be curvier, but they aren't doing anything unnatural. This could easily represent the geographical knowledge of someone in the setting, without an extensive survey or satellite photos to location every bend in the river. What I don't like is that some river names run top-to-bottom, while others run bottom-to-top, while the rivers would all be flowing the same way, so it isn't some clever follow-the-flow variation. If I were actually going to use this map, the thing I'd most want is indications where roads cross rivers as to whether that is a ford or a bridge (or maybe a ferry) at the crossing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdanhenry View Post
    I'd say it is a quite decent start. Yes, rivers could be curvier, but they aren't doing anything unnatural. This could easily represent the geographical knowledge of someone in the setting, without an extensive survey or satellite photos to location every bend in the river.
    It's also quite an extensive region that's shown in the map: travelling from Trevald to Leneg takes about a day (depending on your mode of transportation) -- so this map won't show every detail. It's 'only' an overview of the province. I'm also making more detailed maps of smaller regions, which will have lots of more detail. (This is also why I won't show how the roads cross the rivers: that's for the maps of the smaller regions.)

    What I don't like is that some river names run top-to-bottom, while others run bottom-to-top, while the rivers would all be flowing the same way, so it isn't some clever follow-the-flow variation.
    Good point. I'll fix that! Thank you for your suggestions.

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