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Thread: Two very different maps for ongoing D&D campaigns

  1. #1

    Default Two very different maps for ongoing D&D campaigns

    Hello again.

    I'm in need of two maps for a couple of Dungeons & Dragons campaigns i'm running. I'll describe each one in detail below.

    If necessary, i'm willing to pay for these. Just e-mail me (tree.chili at gmail dot com) and we'll work something out if you'd like to be paid. If not, thanks a ton for helping out for free. =)

    For both maps, i'm looking for a semi-professional style: something that looks awesome and has been made by a pro (read: not by me) while not necessarily being something enormous prints can be made of and exhibited in a fine-arts museum. Somewhere around 3000x3000 or 4000x4000 pixels would be great. Something along the lines of the following two maps would be awesome:

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    I'd love cities, ruins, etc to have different graphics, if possible. For instance, the cities of one nation should have one graphic while those of another nation should have a second graphic and any ruins or fortresses should have a third graphic (actually, one set of graphics which includes cities of different sizes). Since the maps are for D&D campaigns which are still far from over, i'd like to be able to add new cities and such to the maps as the campaign advances, so i'd be most grateful if you could provide all the individual city/ruin/etc graphics, as well as the font(s) used for the names, along with the maps when they're done. =)

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    The first map depicts the continent of Lleimilla, which has been ravaged by a nine-century war. The continent was home to two great empires which, as they expanded, clashed violently and began to destroy each other. Originally, Arkhosia spanned the southeast and Bael Turath covered the northwest, more or less. Now, there is no definite boundary between them; as lands were conquered and later reclaimed, fortresses built and cities destroyed, the lines on maps changed rapidly and eventually faded away. Now the architecture of each empire can be found almost all over the continent, and in many places an odd hybrid of both architectures is present; the predominance of each style varies depending on the region, but even a few elements of each empire's lifestyle can be found in even the deepest recesses of the other empire. The war ended not because one side won, but because decadence, corruption, inner conflicts, awfully powerful spells cast by both sides. and centuries of war exhausted both sides' populations, resources and power. Everything is now rather destroyed and impoverished, but life goes on.

    I'll provide a sketch i made below. If it helps, Lleimilla is far from being the only, or even the largest, continent in the world; there is a large continent to the west and at least one large sontinent somewhere else, but the people of Lleimilla have not explored these (or vice-versa) and they're actually in for a surprise concerning this later in the campaign. Lleimilla is entirely situated in the southern hemisphere; the equator shouldn't even be visible in this map, although it isn't very close to the south pole either. Its climate would be subtropical had it not been for terrible spells designed to convert large expanses of fertile land to barren deserts. I'll provide an indication of where forests, jungles, deserts and so on are on the map, though.

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    The distance between Razortear and Vor Kragal should be roughly 80 or 100 kilometres. (I realise this means Arkhosia and Bael Turath weren't as large in my campaign than they are made out to be in the D&D-4e rulebooks, but it should work, considering Europe, a rather small continent, has historically been the site of violent and world-shattering conflicts in real life. Lleimilla's relatively small size also gives me all the freedom i could possibly want to get away from dragonkind, devilkind and their war simply by moving the player characters to other continents.)

    All arkhosian cities are carved into the sides of cliffs. A few fortresses aren't, as they were built hastily wherever needed while a powerful enemy exerted much pressure. Turathi cities, on the other hand, are usually vast metropolises with closely packed buildings. On the other hand, the new (mostly human) settlements are all rather small and medieval in architecture; they are all built of wood and stone.

    As i mentioned, Lleimilla was originally subtropical in climate. Although a large portion of the continent remains so, vast regions were transformed into desert by turathi dark magic. The entire southeastern region, covering the Heartlands of Arkhosia and much of the peninsula directly to the west (south of Vilesoul Manor and Razortear), are arid wastelands where only small and hardy shrubbery grows. Razortear and Pass lie at the edge of this desert, and Vor Kragal sits on a rather comfortable grassland region. A very small forest with an even smaller (but important to the campaign) lake sits slightly north of the point directly between Pass and Vor Kragal. Vilesoul Manor also enjoys grasslands, and the northern expanses of Lleimilla are a mixture of forest and grassland. The lands to the northeast of the continent, north of the Heartlands and east of Vor Rukoth and Harrack Unarth, are plains. To the southwest, cold (though not tundra-like) and stormy climate dominates the jagged coast and the entirety of the Perilous Islands. Stormweather is simply the largest of these islands, but i'd actually prefer its name not to appear on the map just yet.

    The Heartlands are the richest arkhosian lands. The Seven Pearls of the South, the seven largest and mightiest cities of Arkhosia, form a string which runs horizontally (slightly curved). All of these cities are carved into the sides of cliffs, so there should be an east-west-running mountain/cliff range where the cities are; they all face northwards so the sun's light will reach them during most of the year (except for a few weeks during summer). Io'vanthor, the central city, is the capital of Arkhosia and also its largest city. Vestiges of its greatness should be visible, as on the other six cities of the "string of pearls". Their architecture is almost entirely arkhosian (buildings, spires and defensive walls all carved out of the cliffs). All seven cities are built in layers or levels, each separated by defensive walls and united by small ramps or stairways. Io'vanthor has a small cascade which emerges at a cavern in its topmost level and dies just outside the city; since the cascade is of "magical" origin, it dies without creating a pond or a river. The coast south of these cities is called the Golden Coast.

    Vilesoul Manor is not a city, but rather an estate of a recently murdered eladrin who was wildly rich and owned a few slaves. It only appears on the map because it's important to the campaign, not because it's large enough or politically important enough.

    The same goes for Pass, which is a very poor human settlement with only four houses and a small, rotting tavern. Its importance to the story is the only reason for its inclusion onto the map.

    Razortear is an arkhosian fortress which wasn't carved into the side of anything. There are no mountains there, and the region's strategic importance in the war is the only reason the fortress was built there; its only purpose was a military one. It resembles actual medieval fortresses or castles.

    Vor Kragal is the enormous capital of Bael Turath. About a third of it has crumbled and fallen into the Underdark, the underground world which extends throughout the world. What remains of the black city is covered in a permanent dark cloud, whatever the weather outside. The lands in the immediate vicinity of it and the other two main turathi cities, Harrack Unarth and Vor Rukoth, should look slightly corrupted. Vor Kragal's architecture is entirely turathi, but the other two cities, while also large, did come under arkhosian rule for some time, so a few arkhosian elements should be present (even though no mountainsides are immediately available to carve stuff out of them).

    Teldorthan is a new human town of moderate size. It is mainly built of stone and fully resembles a medieval town.

    Newport is a fishing village with very few houses and a port.

    Arututolgsvih (draconic for "Sun Archipelago") is the name of the small archipelago north of Newport. The main island is called Sikstolgalen (draconic for "Sun Island"), and on it sits the rather new arkhosian slave-village of Sikstardah (draconic for "Sun Villa"). Its architecture contrasts greatly with that of everything else on Lleimilla; it should look slightly like a renaissance version of a seaside resort.

    On a very small island northeast of Sikstardah sits a little temple. Xilos is draconic for 'oracle' (on second thought, please don't put "(Oracle)" in there, just Xilos). The temple is carved out of the stone the island is made of, and only the entrance should be visible from the surface, as it's an underground temple.

    Obviously, all rivers are born on mountains, so there should be a large mountain range running diagonally (from northwest to southeast) and extending from the lands just northwest of Vor Rukoth to about the centre of the plains region east of the enormous river-thing which almost splits the continent in two. A secondary mountain range should split southwards from the northwestern tip of the aformentioned range and go all the way to the latitude of Vilesoul Manor, accounting for the other small rivers which join the main one. A small group of mountains should form a crescent south of Razortear; said crescent should surround the river there. If you want to throw in a few other mountains in other parts of the continent, feel free to do so, just not too close to any of the remaining cities, please. =)

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    The other map is for a completely different D&D campaign. Humans inhabit the entire world in this campaign, and dragons, far from being a civilised species, merely have an intelligence akin to that of a large dog. The map i drew for this campaign is more detailed than the rough sketch of Lleimilla i posted above, so it should need less description.

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    Since my handwriting is hardly the most legible of all, i'll include lists of names; if you have any trouble matching the names on the list to those on the map (because my handwriting is particularly illegible in some parts), please let me know. Ignore the pencil signs saying "Saami" and "D. Fawkins"; they're notes for me to remember in the next session of the campain.

    For scale, the distance between Akkram and Zeher is roughly 180 kilometres.

    The climate of Draaklanden ("Dragonlands") resembles that of northern Europe, with forests and glaciers being predominant wherever there aren't sharp peaks. As their names suggest, the Frozen Wastes are a large glacier covering the entire northern coast of the continent and the Icy Sea is littered by icebergs and ice plates much like the Arctic Ocean north of Canada is. Large forests are indicated on the map, and so are mountains; the rest should consist of little forests patching cold grasslands, although snow extends as far south as the Long River in winter (and mountainpeaks all over the continent remain white the year round). The land around the Narrow Pass (where Iskar is) and southwards from there is rather fertile grassland with a tiny bit of swamplands near the forest. The Lake District (northwest from Iskar) is made to resemble southwestern Finland or England's own Lake District. To the south of it all, the map is meant to fade away, meaning the Quiet Forest probably extends farther south than is shown but those latitudes are as of yet unexplored. The world is young, and, while metalworking is somewhat advanced, firearms haven't yet been invented and gunpowder is used very sparsely and only in artillery (which is usually present only on large ships).

    Mountain ranges:
    • Dragonreach mountains (here there be dragons)
    • The Dividing Peaks (nigh-impassable barrier dividing the continent in two)
    • Icy Peaks (westernmost group of mountains on Draaklanden)
    • Northrend Mountains (group of mountains along the northern border of Nevarrah)

    Large forests:
    • Mossdeep Forest (tightly packed forest between the Dragonreach Mountains and the Dividing Peaks)
    • Quiet Forest (forest in southern Ildenor; total extent unknown)

    Islands:
    • Near Isles (largely populated islands claimed by Calder)
    • Lone Island (uninhabited island west of the Far Isles)
    • Far Isles (mountainous islands dividing the Sea of Serpents from the Green Sea)
    • The Barrier (long, forest-covered island off the coast of southern Ildenor)

    Seas:
    • Icy Sea (iceberg-littered sea at the tip of the world)
    • Pacific Sea (deep-blue, peaceful sea west of Draaklanden)
    • Sea of Serpents (here there be sea serpents)
    • Green Sea (slightly greenish sea east of the Barrier)
    • The Division (narrow strait between the Quiet Forest and the Barrier)

    Rivers:
    • Long River (longest river on Draaklanden)
    • Scarborough River (river with its origin on the Dragonreach Mountains and its delta in central-eastern Calder)

    Regions:
    • Frozen Wastes (uninhabitable glacier forming the northernmost part of Draaklanden)
    • Eastern Grasslands (extremely fertile grasslands in central-eastern Draaklanden)
    • Western Plains (fertile grasslands in central-western Draaklanden)
    • Lake District (flat region littered with lakes of all sizes, most of which are interconnected by small rivers)
    • The Narrow Pass (small strip of land uniting Ildenor with the rest of the continent to the north)

    Calder is a very european kingdom. Its culture resembles that of medieval Europe, although religion is less strict. Its cities are made of stone and often fortified, and castles are rather common throughout the northern half of the kingdom. Seafaring, fishing and farming are all important activities within the kingdom.

    Cities of the Kingdom of Calder:
    • Northpass (small castle-town just north of Draaklanden's northernmost river)
    • Starfire (small castle-town on the banks of Draaklanden's northernmost river)
    • Ironfist (medium fort on the slopes of the eastern Dragonreach Mountains)
    • Nightkeep (large fort on the banks of the river north of Scarborough River)
    • Shard (medium castle-town on the coast east of the Dragonreach Mountains)
    • Hammerfield (large castle-city on the delta of a northern river)
    • Stoneroot (medium castle-town on the delta of the river north of Scarborough River)
    • Scarborough (large castle-city on the Scarborough River delta; capital of Calder)
    • Moonspire (medium castle-town on the slopes of the mountains south of the Dragonreach Mountains)
    • Greyhawk (small fort on the banks of the Long River)
    • Queensfort (medium fort on the coast east of the Long River)
    • Rivertown (medium town on the banks of the Long River)
    • Tuma (small town in the northern part of the Eastern Grasslands)
    • Havenfield (small farming town in the central-eastern part of the Eastern Grasslands)
    • Dawnport (large port-city in the easternmost part of the Eastern Grasslands)
    • Irydia (medium town in the easternmost part of the Eastern Grasslands)
    • Endoria (medium port-town in the easternmost part of the Eastern Grasslands)
    • Urel (small port-town on the northwesternmost of the Near Isles)
    • Vania (small port-town on the southernmost of the populated Near Isles)
    • Immer (medium port-town on the central island of the Near Isles)
    • Pirates' Cove (small port-town just east of Immer)
    • Eastport (small port-town on the easternmost of the Near Isles)

    Nevarrah has a little more middle-eastern influence; this is especially noticeable in the names of its cities. Fishing is the empire's main economic activity, although trade with nearby Ildenor, especially by sea, is also important. Its architecture is somewhat similar to turkish architecture.

    Cities of the Empire of Nevarrah:
    • Semmat-Ur (small port-town on the northern coast of Nevarrah)
    • Eyf-Ur (small town in northern Nevarrah)
    • Shokar (small town near the Icy Peaks)
    • Evhirr (medium town near the central coast of Nevarrah)
    • Akkram (large city in central Nevarrah)
    • Zeher (medium town near the central slopes of the Dividing Peaks)
    • Az-Dakarra (large city in central Nevarrah; capital of Nevarrah)
    • An-Mir (small town near the southern slopes of the Dividing Peaks)
    • Ybyl (large port city on the central coast of Nevarrah)
    • Nissia (large port city on the southern coast of Nevarrah)
    • Akkorazad (medium fort near the southern slopes of the Dividing Peaks)

    Ildenor is a southern kingdom which survives mostly on trading with Nevarrah (and, to a much lesser extent, with Calder) and hunting. Fishing is also important in the nation's island towns, and its fertile land produces fruits and vegetables coveted in the regions farther to the north. It is also european-like, although less like England and more like Italy.

    Cities of the kingdom of Ildenor:
    • Farpoint (medium port-town on the largest island of the southern Pacific Sea)
    • Newfoundland (medium port-town on the largest island of the southern Pacific Sea)
    • York (large port-city on the central one of three small islands south of Newfoundland)
    • Finsford (medium port-town in the southern part of Lake District)
    • Riga (medium port-town in the southern part of Lake District)
    • Havenport (large port-city just west of Iskar)
    • Iskar (large city in the middle of the Narrow Pass; capital of Ildenor)
    • Black Marshes (medium town on the outskirts of the Quiet Forest)
    • Sunder (medium port-town on the southern coast of Ildenor)
    • Portshire (small port-town on the southern coast of Ildenor)
    • Landine (small port-town on the southern coast of Ildenor)

    I don't think there's enough space to include the names of the nations, so it doesn't matter if you don't, as long as the names of the cities are there. =)

    ------------------

    Infinite thanks to the person(s) who undertake(s) this massive request. The same person doesn't have to make both maps; i'm open to variety. =)

  2. #2
    Guild Novice MarkoDarko's Avatar
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    It was very cool reading all of your background information sir. I hope you found someone to help you with your RPG maps. I've been considering getting some city maps and battle maps done on this site for my custom mini game (realizeinc.com rapid prototypes makes gaming figures) and my D & D campaign I'm about to run. I'd love to hear about your experiences, and how your "semi-realistic" maps came out. That's what I'm really interested in.
    Last edited by MarkoDarko; 06-27-2011 at 08:20 PM.
    I love custom mini's and gum... And I'm all out of gum.
    I cheat at facebook statuses, so sue me.

  3. #3

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    Hi, MarkoDarko.

    Thank you for the kind comments. I did receive a very kind and attractive offer, but unfortunately the price was a little too high for my gaming group to afford at the moment, so any future offers are most welcome.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magrathean View Post
    Hi, MarkoDarko.

    Thank you for the kind comments. I did receive a very kind and attractive offer, but unfortunately the price was a little too high for my gaming group to afford at the moment, so any future offers are most welcome.
    If you don't mind me asking, what was the price? I'm debating making a request here as well, but have NO idea what maps normally go for.

  5. #5

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    I have no idea what maps normally go for either, but the price for the offer i received was 300 usd.

    Even if you decide not to make an offer, thanks a ton for the intention anyway. =)

  6. #6
    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    Interesting... if it was 300usd for 2 maps at the level of professional output required (i.e. 150 per map), it sounds like a pretty good deal to me in terms of value for money, but of course it doesn't matter how good a deal it is if the price is too high.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the response.

    Well I know maps are certainly out of the league of my troupe then!

    Time to start back at Photoshop and CC3 then. :\

  8. #8
    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    It's much more fun making your own anyway!!! Don't give up hope though. People on the guild often make maps for free for people who want to use them in their games (ie not for commercial purposes).

  9. #9

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    ravells: As i said, it was an attractive offer. I agree that the price is probably quite right and said so to the person who made the offer, but currently my gaming group and i can't afford it. Hopefully we'll either receive more-affordable offers or be able to pay 150 usd for a map sometime soon. Thanks for the kind comments, though.

    ZDPhoenix: Unfortunately, i know nearly nothing of PhotoShop. Perhaps i can make some time to learn it in the holidays...

  10. #10

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    I use a great set of tutorials off Youtube from Zombie Nirvana games.

    It's been helpful. I can't do too thorough of a job on maps due to nerve damage in my wrists and hands. My maps don't look terrible, but they never look how I want them to be.

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