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Thread: Madness at Gardmore Abbey Encounter Maps

  1. #1
    Guild Artisan Jacktannery's Avatar
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    Default Madness at Gardmore Abbey Encounter Maps

    EDIT: Note all of the finished maps are here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...Encounter-Maps


    I am planning on drawing maps for all of the Madness at Gardmore Abbey encounters. I have a group of players starting on this WotC 4th Ed. D&D module on RPOL, and I will be using my maps in MapTool.

    Maps are created using free textures and mapping elements from the interweb including this site.

    This is a WIP thread - I am looking for advice.

    First I will do the outdoor Feywild encounters, in the hope that my PCs go here first. The is encounter 9, the Outer Garden. I am not at all happy with the lake, but I can't work out what colour to make it. Advice needed!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Jacktannery; 09-13-2013 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Community Leader Gracious Donor Bogie's Avatar
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    Great start. Overall I like this map a lot, but there are a few things that can make it better.

    1: Stop calling a 10ft x 7ft pool of water a "lake". OK, that was a cheap shot, but I couldn't resist. The 2 problems are that it is to bright a blue color, and a pool that size would only have whitecaps if there were an earthquake. Try a water texture with ripples in a darker color.

    Here is a nice little pond and some water pieces that might work better
    Click image for larger version. 

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    2: The trees look great, but you can create more illusion of height by using a bit more shadow under them.

    3: The flowers are probably to big. At the current scale each flower is about 14-16 inches across.

    Now that is all just my opinion, but a few changes could make a good map into a great map.
    Last edited by Bogie; 03-03-2012 at 07:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Guild Artisan Jacktannery's Avatar
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    Great advice Bogie - thanks a million. I'll change the POND and I'll reduce the flowers a little. Not sure about the tree shadows - I reduced them a lot because I didn't like the contrast, but I'll keep experimenting.

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    Community Leader Gracious Donor Bogie's Avatar
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    Yeah, I like shadows, but not everyone does.
    I really like those Boabob trees that Kepli made (the 2 bigger ones in your map), but I find the leaves very bright. I often darken them a bit when I use them.

  5. #5
    Guild Artisan Jacktannery's Avatar
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    Second attempt with smaller flowers, more shadowy trees and different water. I think the water this time is even worse than last time! I think I need to walk away and come back to it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    EDIT - just noticed your ponds Bogie! thanks; I'll try and use those instead.

  6. #6
    Community Leader Gracious Donor Bogie's Avatar
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    I like the stone edge on the second one. Try your stone bottom with the first transparent overlay I posted.

  7. #7
    Guild Adept Gracious Donor lostatsea's Avatar
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    Looking much better in the second one. The "pond" surface is too busy(ripply)for a Still body of water. Similar effect with less density and lower opacity perhaps or even just blur that layer might work. IMHO I like where it is going !
    "Aye The skies be clear , the seas be calm and the winds be with us .....

    ARGH!! but the damn compass be broken!! "

    Capt. Noah Swalter Last voyage of the " Silver Crest"

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    Guild Artisan Jacktannery's Avatar
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    Okay - I tried LOTs of different things and was not happy with any of them. I also tried using a sky texture over the surface of the pond to look like a reflection, but it just looked silly. Bogie's pond textures were great but it still felt too dull.

    So I tried a highly-reflective glass texture, and I like it. I'm finally happy with the pond now.

    Although the map does look better with the smaller flowers, I actually preferred my big oversized sunflowers, but I forgot to save them so I can't revert. But the darker tree shadows is definitely an improvement.

    Now the issue is the spiderwebs - they look like they are floating. I have a light dropshadow under them (on overlay). I want the strands to look like they are attached to something, but can't work out how.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Fixed the Webs - now I think the map is finished.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Jacktannery; 03-04-2012 at 07:19 AM.

  9. #9
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    I think the pond is still to busy. There is no inflow, so it should be very very still... Personally, I would suggest putting in a solid blue color of your choice and then using a layer mask with a blur to progressively "hide" the stones(ie, to indicate the water getting deeper.
    My Finished Maps
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  10. #10
    Guild Artisan Jacktannery's Avatar
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    Thanks jfrazier - I'll try that next. Here's my WIP for Encounter 10: the whispering grove. This has the same over-busy water as Encounter 9 so will need some fiddling with too. I don't really like this map, but I can't put my finger on the problem.

    Click image for larger version. 

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