Welcome to the Guild!
I'm a long time rpg fan, who started gaming around 20 years ago. I figured it was finally time to look into improving my map making skills in the digital medium. I've always drawn all of my maps by hand, and while it has always been satisfying, particularly since I enjoy the tactile sensation of drawing and writing, I've always looked at digital maps, drawn by good artists and felt a pinch of jealousy. I'm now learning the basics of photoshop'ing, as well as looking into some mapping softwares like Campaign Cartographer, etc to try find a way to build my own maps this way, and see if I can figure out my own style for them.
For gaming, I've been a D&D player for most of my gaming career, though it has shifted between edition. I play together with a small group of friends, plus my girlfriend whom I got interested in the games back when we started dating. We all love fantasy and a good story, which is why I started writing my own setting for our games. That's the main focus of my map making; there is a lot to flesh out and should provide a good workload to start with. One part of me that wants to make good and cool looking maps also comes from wanting to be independent from the game publishers. WotC are awesome but I've sort of grown out of wanting to spend so much money, investing in their campaign books that re-iterate every few years. I've set my eyes on our currect, 4E of the game and won't be buying 5E (whenever it comes out). I haven't even bought a lot of accessories to this edition.
Whatever I need in the world itself, I write and I read as few works from others to keep my imagination and creativity "pure" from influences, and I primarily work with a couple of basic books, PH 1-3, MM 1, and DMG 1. If I need more material, monsters, paragon paths, themes, or whatever, I write them myself. Now I want to add maps to that collection, which is why I'm here. I've browsed the forums and just been inspired by all the amount of awesome works of art that I see around here. I want to join the club
Welcome to the Guild Dannyl, I can certainly identify with your desire to be free of the Wizbro treadmill of rules editions (I myself couldn't make the leap from 3.5e to 4e). There is also something to be said for wishing to create your own material, though this is a very time consuming venture. You've come to the right place to learn how to do digital mapping. I'd also recommend checking out the Obsidian Portal (if you haven't already), which is a free wiki based site that allows you to create your own campaign/campaign setting related site to store all of your information. At any rate, look forward to seeing your maps (check out the tutorials page, there are tons of Photoshop related walk-through's there).
Hi, Dannyl, I'm new here, too.
Seems we have a lot in common as far as RPGs go. I liked 4e, but I got to resenting HAVING to use miniatures. I eventually sold all my WotC stuff and now I'm sticking with inexpensive, easier systems without the bazillion supplemental books that I hardly ever look at. Like you, I'm just not interested in shelling out the money anymore. I've recently found Chimera (welshpiper.com), which at Free for the Basic and only $6 for the "Core," with its integration with The Keep GM Management system from NBOS software, is pretty nice. The rules are simple and flexible (and less than 50 pages!), and it's not too difficult to convert from other systems. I also play True20 rules from Green Ronin, and Call of Cthulhu.
Like you, until now, I've hand-drawn all my maps but am making the move to computer maps. Unlike you, I'm okay with stealing shamelessly from other sources for use in my games. I'm creating a brand-new world for Chimera and blogging as I develop it.
So, welcome from another newbie. ~October