Ever since I read The Hobbit, I've been drawing maps. In fact, I was drawing maps before I even finished reading about Bilbo and his adventures. One of my best friends from school and I would get together on afternoons and sleep-overs and just draw and draw and draw. Sometimes we'd draw spaceships; other times we'd draw monsters; or mazes; and sometimes we'd draw maps of magical worlds. Mine were mostly Middle-Earth rip-offs, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Well, time went on. I acquired new interests--music, mainly. My friend and I went from drawing on college-rule paper to creating MIDI-based music and e-mailing the files to each other. Fast forward 10 or so years. We're out of college. He moved to the other side of the country. I stayed home. He's waaayy into creating digital music; I'm more into performing. But a few months ago, we were both in a nostalgic mood--talking about the folders we each have of our old artwork and the many MP3s of music we created--when he showed me this website called The Cartographer's Guild. It was great seeing the professionalism and how MANY people were posting some amazing work! It was almost like a glimpse of an alternate reality: "I wonder if I'd be making stuff like this if I kept drawing maps as a kid..."
Anyway, not too long ago, I convinced some friends of mine to start a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with me. None of us had ever played. But I have always wanted to try it. And, of course, I wanted to be the Dungeon Master. We've been playing for over a month now (just 4-5 sessions), and it's been AWESOME. I think we were all taken by surprise as to how much we're enjoying the game.
The first dungeon we did was one I downloaded from the D&D website. So I created the map based on the map in the PDF, which uses dungeon tiles from a specific set (I guess--I'm not sure). The dungeon was called, "Coppernight's Salvation." Takes place in a mine. It was really fun. Here's the map:
They liked the map, and it was a blast playing through it. At the end of the map, the players decided to descend down the waterfall going into this big pit. Feeling pretty confident after running the first dungeon, I decided to create one. And I didn't want to just make another map, I wanted it to be something really cool. Going down a pit? This calls from some 3-D action! Taking inspiration from some of the stuff the guys at Penny-Arcade do in their games, I went through this process:
(Just go to the right for the next image.)
ANYWAY! We had a blast going down The Pit. Now I'm making a new map, which is part of an underground Minotaur prison. I'm looking forward to it and learning a lot by reading posts in here!
So that's me. Hello!
My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.
Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Actually, you don't need to have been doing this since you were a kid. Most of us here have only been at it a few years at most and with the tutorials and brushes and patterns and other resources you can make something like any of us in a relatively short period of time. If you go deep and hard you can have a great map in a month or two of practice. Glad to have ya here and enjoy.
If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
-J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)
My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps
I have to agree with the Ascendant One, with the map you have already shown us I KNOW that it will not take you long to be creating great maps. I love the ground hatching
Here is some Rep for posting a quality map in your first post
Art Critic = Someone with the Eye of an Artist, Words of a Bard, and the Talent of a Rock.
Please take my critiques as someone who Wishes he had the Talent
So much of the magic done here is a reflection of experience using the tool. I find the best way to get experience is through doing it. Following a few tutorials can net you years of experience in your tool of choice because they won't teach you how to remove red-eye from a photo or how to create a fairy in a forest, leaving you to apply your own context. Welcome to the guild my friend and my your journey of discovery be as fascinating as mine has been.
The map you're building is insanely cool. Now I want to DM just to do something massively fun like that.
PS: I'm more like you... I fell in love with maps in 1977 after reading The Hobbit. My life changed that summer. Between Tolkein and Star Wars, it was just more than a 14-year-old could process.
My Deviant Art Map Gallery
Hi ytse, welcome to the guild. Looking good so far ... didn't see your flickr thing (except the first one)- guess you have to sign up to see more... but nice idea
Hey, thanks for the kind words, everybody!
I will definitely check out some tutorials when I have some time. Thanks for the advice!
Here are two pics of "The Pit":
I just finished drawing most of the next map last night. I'll post the finished product soon, as well as some drafts and the inspiration. It'll be fun! Yeah!
thanks for posting those - nice to see it in action