Hi everyone,

I've been lurking for a while and finally decided to introduce myself and pose a few questions. My first question really revolves around a time issue. I'm new to the hobby and I really just want to create some decent looking maps for my D&D encounters and maybe a world map also. I know that there must be a time:quality correlation somewhere so how do you manage that aspect of the hobby. The second question I have really relates to a software issue (which in a way relates to my first question). I know that there's no "wrong" software to use and I don't want to start a this vs. that flaming thread So with that being said I've tried GIMP, the Fractal Mapper 8 tutorial (plus the 255 page Vintyri tutorial), and AutoREALM. I found GIMP kind of hard to use and maybe that's because I don't have a degree in the Graphic Arts. AutoREALM is a nice idea but I have a heck of a time working with it. So I've narrowed my choices down to FM8 and CC3 with the Dungeon and City Builder but I'm having trouble deciding. Given that money is tight, Is CC3 with the add ons REALLY worth $140? I mean I can get FM8 for $40 and it seems like an alright program through the tutorials. All I want to do is make some decent looking battle mats and maybe a world map. I won't be making posters or other professional type stuff. So with that long winded introduction which do you think think that be better suited to my needs and budget?

If you could just provide a little direction I would be more than grateful.

Thanks in advance for your assistance