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Thread: Need World-map Region for Dark Fantasy, Military RPG

  1. #1

    Default Need World-map Region for Dark Fantasy, Military RPG

    About four centuries before the first chronicle, the Black Company began, twelve Companies surged out from the mythical land of Khatovar, birthed in blood and fire. Little remains to lend insight into the purpose and identities of these early warriors, and all but one company returned to the Plain of Glittering Stone. The one that remained behind was The Black Company..

    Project Scope:
    Serious roleplaying campaign seeking professional cartography services. The commission is for one high-quality campaign map for a military-based dark fantasy RPG campaign, to be distributed online to a small gaming group for gameplay purposes. The setting is based on the d20 ruleset with custom rules by publisher Green Ronin which give authenticity to the setting in accordance with the novels by Glen Cook.

    Although the world is much larger, we only need to focus on a portion of it for now. The majority of the campaign will take place within the nation of Hsien (called "Shadowmaster Territory" on the Green Ronin map). The specific setting has four basic themes: it is military-based adventure, ancient oriental or asian in style, features low-magic (rare and powerful), and is woven with elements of horror throughout the campaign (wizards brought back from the dead, spirit-walking, shadow magic, time travel, etc.). There is little information about this realm as only a small part of the novels take place here. I am fleshing out this realm for our campaign and need a compelling map that conveys the mood of the content very well.

    Oriental-themed nation within a dark, military fantasy world.

    The Black Company novels take place in one or more of sixteen geographically identical worlds, each connected via a realm known as the Glittering Plain. Each of the worlds is sealed off by a magical gate, called Shadowgates, which were designed to keep the killer Shadows from roaming freely (to facilitate commerce between worlds). Most of the Shadowgates are broken, and only a handful remain useable. The novels, by Glen Cook, begin in one of the worlds, although this is not the original world the Black Company emerged from. Nor is it the world they finally end up in at the end of the series, which is where our campaign picks up at! The world we're interested in is called The Land of the Unknown Shadows because it is the origin of thousands of shadows created by powerful wizards during an ancient war. In modern times, the nation of Hsien has been long established as the military power closest to the (southern) Shadowgate. Its political structure is a three-fold balance between the (tibetan-style) monastaries at Khang Phi, the (legislative) Court of All Seasons, and the File of Nine - nine of the most powerful warlords of Hsien whose identities are kept secret behind animal masks. The nation favors the File of Nine over a more singular dynasty-style empire as the warlords tend to keep each other in check.

    There is no good and no evil in this world, which is more about shades of grey than black and white. The game is about survival in a dark, horror-filled fantasy world. There are no elves and no orcs, only humans. And although there are very rare instances of dragons, but no colorful or chromatic varieties (dull-colored only).

    Design Concept:
    Geographical world map showing terrain types and features (forests, bodies of water), primary roads, as well as simple markers for cities, towns, fortresses, and ruins. The map should be designed and labelled in such a way that detail is conveyed with simplicity and without clutter. The map can be started by overlaying directly over Green Ronin's section of map entitled "Shadowmaster Territory" (see lower right corner insert on map of "The World"). Keep in mind that this "territory" and Hsien share same geography, but are located in two entirely different worlds. So the city names and locations are going to be different! I have a sketch map with more detail that I can email to the artist upon commission.

    Base Map-

    Stylistic Examples-
    Love this one minus the paper texture.

    Decent colors used here.

    Thieves' World-style graphics with a more oriental flavor would fit the bill. I like their use of greyscale / value.

    Number of maps:
    One regional overland map showing nation of "Hsien".

    300 dpi for small poster-sized print in PNG or other lossless format.
    Prefer full color, but greyscale is OK if compelling

    Remains with cartographer.

    Flexible. The campaign is kicking off its third adventure now, so two months or less is ideal.

    This is for non-commercial,home use and there is not much detail on the base map. I was prepared to offer $50 or so depending on detail, resolution, and time spent (negotiable if you are the right artist). Payment by mailed check or money order only.

    TBC GM
    Last edited by GM Night; 01-19-2012 at 09:35 PM.

  2. #2


    Successful commissions will likely result in future work. I may need an overall zoomed-out map of the entire world, zoomed-in regional maps, specifically designed city maps, dungeon setting maps, and/or battlemap icons to represent various armies.

  3. #3


    I could do $75+ if new geographic detail was designed in to where I could zoom in to create custom area maps for adventures (dirt roads, villages, unique locations). Thanks.

  4. #4


    Hey, this interests me. I'm trying to build my rep in the Cartographer's guild, otherwise the low pay wouldn't interest me. Here is a couple examples of my work in maps. I'm an artist and have only recently gotten into cartography. Most of the pics are of works in progress, but are good examples of my skill range.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5


    Those maps look nice, especially the city. I already have a cartographer working on this assignment, but there may be more later. Have you done any dungeon design?

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