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Thread: Battlemap Commission - Traditional Fantasy Setting

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  1. #1

    Post Battlemap Commission - Traditional Fantasy Setting

    I have been a regular visitor but infrequent contributor to this site since I joined. The reason being, short of following a detailed step by step tutorial to create relatively decent looking world maps, (Using Ascensions most excellent tutorial for example), I am not very good at creating the more detailed maps. So with that, I decided to offer up what I can afford in the hopes that one of the far more talented cartographers on this forum would be gracious enough to create some maps that I need for an ongoing table top role playing campaign that I am running.

    Project Scope:
    Two battle maps for personal use in a Middle Earth RP setting. I am assuming the creation of these maps falls under artistic interpretation and if not reproduced for commercial gain do not fall under any copyright infringement to the Tolkien Estate. As I am not very clear on such laws if the request does infringe on any copyright laws then please let me know and I will withdraw the request post haste.

    Description of Maps:

    Setting 1 –

    A small keep/donjon built atop a hill in the open lands between the kingdoms of Arthedain and Rhudaur similar in style that would be commonly found in Medieval England, Ireland, or Scotland. The original keep would have been constructed at a time of peace with a connecting crenelated wall and towers added to the property over the centuries. The inner yard would contain additional structures commiserate with such a setting. A water source is present such as a well or retention area to capture seasonal rains. There is no source of running water, natural pond or lake in the region. A roadway winds and snakes up the hillside to a gatehouse built into the outer wall.

    At the bottom of the hill the roadway dissects a small settlement. This settlement arose due to the protection afforded by the castle as well as providing shelter for persons carving out a livelihood in service to said castle. It should be rustic in nature and contain no more than a half dozen buildings including homes. One building serves as an inn for people traveling to and fro between the more populous cities and settlements scattered throughout the realms of Arthedain, Cardolan, and Rhudaur.

    Setting 2 –

    The Tower and Fortress of Amul Sul. A detailed description of the layout and features can be found in the attached supporting material.


    Final Print Size – 3’ by 4’ – the maps can be designed at half size 18” by 24” and I will enlarge by 200% upon imaging.

    Scale: 1” = 5’ at 3’ by 4’ and ½” = 10’ at 18” by 24” – after reading the attached layout of Amon Sul you will note that the entire area of the fortress will not fit on an 18” by 24” page. I recommended 18” by 24” thinking it would help to keep the file sizes more manageable and honestly I am not sure what the largest available canvass size is in the various design programs. Now that I think of it the remote castle and small settlement may not fit on in a single 18” by 24” area. My initial thought was that the layouts would need to be split over two 18” by 24” sheets. As you can see, I will need guidance on how to tackle this problem should a person take on this commission.

    Resolution: 300 dpi at 18” by 24”

    Format: Jpeg, Tiff, or EPS. I leave it to your expertise on which format to use. Basically, whichever one retains the highest image quality upon saving.

    Transfer of files: Via an FTP upload to a server that I will provide

    Number of Maps and Style:

    Setting 1 – Frontier Castle

    I envision this map as needing to be nothing more than grayscale. I am looking for a generic style so to speak with elevation lines and fairly realistic features, though I do not need it cluttered with a lot of objects beyond the walls, buildings, road, well etc… I would like for it to be an everyday map that can be used in multiple settings as needed depending on who I am gaming with and where events are transpiring.

    Two versions needed - One grayscale version with gridlines and one without.

    Setting 2 – Amon Sul

    This one is far more challenging as I would like this map to be in color and contain a greater level of detail.

    4 versions

    One color version without slate roofs and with gridlines and without – see attached descriptive material
    One color version with slate roofs and with and without gridlines – see attached descriptive material

    Remains with cartographer
    These maps will not be published or reproduced for commercial gain by me. Thusly they will be for my personal use only. However, I do require written permission to reproduce the maps as needed for my personal use. Also, I would like permission to add in a name and building key as needed.


    Setting 1 – by Thursday March 1st or by Wednesday March 21st

    Setting 2 – By Monday April 30th

    Design Process:

    Stage 1 – initial concept sketch – once approved
    Stage 2 – A 50% design development submittal for review – once approved
    Stage 3 – A 90% design development submittal for review – once approved
    Stage 4 – Final Maps

    $400.00, payable via Paypal upon delivery and acceptance of the final files. A $100.00 earnest payment will be made via Paypal to start if needed with the balance paid upon delivery and acceptance of the final files.

    For now via this thread and the Cartographer’s Guild messenger
    Additional contact information will be provided should the project move forward
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fortress Description.pdf   Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Raic; 02-04-2012 at 07:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Guild Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Arizona, USA



    You may take a look at my site here or my area at the Cartographers Guild to see if my style is what you looking for. I have done commissions of large scale maps.


  3. #3



    Thank you for your interest in this project. I browsed some of the other threads in this section and noticed a common theme – what style do you like?

    I am not sure if I provided enough detail above to really answer that question.

    Regarding the Setting 1 - Frontier Castle and Settlement, I have attached an image that does not speak to the setting that I am requesting; it does however show a feature that I do like and that is contour lines/elevation lines. I think a final map that incorporates something like what is in the image is on par for what I am looking for. Of course the map I am requesting will have completely different features.

    Now, regarding your style for Setting 1, after perusing your web page a few images really stood out to me. In your cartography section those would be – Image 4 and Image 13 and Image 14.

    Would you be willing to work up a rough sketch of the basic layout of Keep and Settlement?

    Regarding Setting 2 – That is much more difficult to answer. To me, style is a much more difficult thing to pinpoint for this part of the project because I believe the map I am requesting to be very unique. One thing that struck me about the description and artist rendering is the dominating size of the Tower of Amon Sul itself as compared to the rest of the structures. It looms. I think this part of the project is more about sightlines, well placed shadows, depth perception, light source, orientation, etc… to capture the essence of the Tower without it looking so out of proportion as to seem farcical as compared to the rest of the Fortifications. I really do not know how this can be done nor do I have the talent to attempt. What I do know after going through work posted at your web page that you do seem to have the talent to take on such a project.

    I think a sketch is unnecessary for Setting 2 as it is pretty well laid out in the images and descriptions I attached. So, is it possible to for you to create a very small element of the Fortress based on said description? Or if not that, provide some feedback on your ideas of how you would approach what to me is a very difficult mapping challenge?

    Best Regards,

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Guild Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Arizona, USA



    Yes I can work up a sketch on 1 and a section final of 2. I could answer a lot of questions by doing this.


  5. #5
    Community Leader Lukc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Lausanne, CH


    Raic - I have to commend you on the very well written and conceived request. It makes it truly easy for the artist to determine how/what he or she can do for you.

  6. #6
    Guild Expert Ramah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Blog Entries


    Hehe. I agree with Lukc here - I've never seen such a well written map request.

    Good luck getting your cartographer - I'm sure you'll have quite a few interested artists.
    Royal: I'm very sorry for your loss, your mother was a terribly attractive woman.

    My Cartographer's Guild maps: Finished Maps

    More maps viewable at my DeviantArt page: Ramah-Palmer DeviantArt

  7. #7


    Rigg - That would be fantastic if you could do that. One thing that I totally failed to mention above, something that is important to the final look of the maps. It is winter time at each location.

    Lukc and Ramah – thanks so much for the positive feedback. As they say, the devil is in the details.

  8. #8
    Guild Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Arizona, USA



    Frontier Castle-

    There are about 6 buildings at the base of the castle with hints of more residents in case you decide to expand the town. I would have gone back to the drawing now seeing that you had added the winter setting. But thinning the trees, smokey chimneys and other effects would help get that point across in a gray scale map.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    -Amon Sul (section)

    This section contains the interior tower and part of the southeast inner wall. The challenge will be the large size no doubt but I have done some larger layouts in photoshop 36x48" without any problems. Bringing winter into this setting will be easier since there will be a color version of this one. With this style I can tile the sections together and the color overlay can be done in Photoshop.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Riggamorphus; 02-05-2012 at 09:11 PM. Reason: update

  9. #9



    Thanks for the quick turn around on the sketches. Regarding the Setting 1 sketch – Frontier Keep and Settlement – for some reason the attached image link is erring out on my end so that I cannot view what you posted. If you can repost it would be greatly appreciated.

    Needless to say I really like what you posted for Amon Sul and the commission is yours if you want it. Please shoot me off a private message with details as to submitting the initial $100.00 payment to you via Paypal so that we can move forward to Stage 2.

    Now regarding scale and final sheet size, I was doing some math based on the layout of Amon Sul that I posted and the 36 by 48 sheet size you speak about above.

    By my very rough calculations using the overhead view I included in my first post, the image is approximately 7” by 9” where 1” = 100 feet or a life size area of 700’ by 900’.

    Now to keep a battle map scale of 1” = 5 feet then the final print size with 1” by 1” gridlines would need to be 140” by 180” or 16 – 36 by 48 pages laid out 4 by 4. When all pieced together it would be 144” by 192”.

    Wow, that would be the battle map of all battle maps if completed at that scale. Given that Amon Sul/Weathertop is one of the most iconic locations in the history of High Fantasy, a part of me really wants to go for it. Now, I have the resources to print that sucker out and where I game enough table space to lay it all out in one piece, so honestly all the heavy lifting would be on your end as far as creating such a monster.

    Hehe, I bet there are forum members who read this thread secretly rubbing their hands together and urging us on to go for it. I know I get a bit giddy thinking about it myself. Hold on a minute, I just swooned – lol

    Anyway, it is doable if you think about it, especially if vector art was incorporated so that the images scaled smoothly and an 18 by 24 base sheet was used with each one of the 16 sheets printed at a 200% enlargement.

    Then again, using a more manageable scale might be a better option. For example, if it was done at 300 dpi – 36 by 48 at a 1” = 10 feet scale then we are down to just 4 pieces laid out 2 by 2. That would give us 720’ by 960’ of scaled area.

    And finally, we can go an even more conservative route and make the scale 1” = 20’ which would bring us down to 2 – 36 by 48 sheets at 720’ by 960’ of scaled area.

    Similar calculations and decisions will have to be made for the Frontier Keep and Settlement as well.

    Ok, so that is a lot to consider – your thoughts?

    Best regards,


  10. #10
    Guild Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Arizona, USA



    At this size you can charge for admission for those who want to play :0.

    I think I can push 18x36 to 600dpi in which you could double or triple the size without losing too much detail. With 3 or 4 layers my system can handle it. But to be on the safe side 300 dpi to start. The sketch of Amon Sul was done on 8" x 12" paper and scanned at 300 dpi so if that gives a good scale to work with.



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