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Thread: Plateau Country(WIP) 1st map

  1. #1

    Wip Plateau Country(WIP) 1st map

    Hello Guild!
    1st map posting here, so I would appreciate some feedback. Basically the map depicts a lightly populated steppe plateau realm that in its southern reaches is dry and gets more lush (true grasslands) the more north and west you go. To the south lies a major river valley that is densely populated, and made very habitable by irrigation farming, but is dry around it (Colorado river valley?) and is marked by a serious elevation change. It has two major Ridge Lines (Think Rift Valley) separating it from the Plateau Realm above. Does that ridge line make sense?

    Really a WIP. I have not colored it yet, as i am constantly changing things. The big gray globs are Forest/Tree Clusters. And I know my Mts suck, for now, but I have much better ones on a different section. Take a good look at that massive seasonal lake/Swamp and the rivers entering and exiting it. I need a good river police analyzing(eh...that does not sound right ) . The River marked outlet #2, that looks like a wadi, is seasonal and only flows when the seasonal lake overflows. What ya think? Is that possible?

    Couple rivers disappear into the desert in the east and are really wadis too.

    I have not put any man made stuff on the map, and will not until I get the geography just right.

    I am imagining a warrior steppe people living above on the Plateau, with a civilized advanced farming people in the Southern River Valley. The Ridgeline is suppose to be a serious hindrance between the two realms, we are talking an elevation change in some cases of 2000'. Several key choke points are/will be utilized by the civilized valley dwellers to keep the Steppe Barbarians out. Well, I hope you get the idea of things.

    Last edited by Galendae; 08-27-2012 at 02:09 AM. Reason: learned how to spell steppe

  2. #2
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor arsheesh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    Hey not to shabby for a first map! I like the clean lines of the canyons, ridges and rivers. However, that said, the slightly blurry hills clash with the overall "cleanness" of the presentation. I would get rid of them and create some new hills appropriately suited to the map. Otherwise, nice job.


  3. #3
    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Michigan, USA


    That actually looks pretty cool! Can't find any glaring river violations; the big seasonal lake area looks strange at first glance, but after really studying it I think it at least looks plausible. And I love the elevation handling. Why didn't you just continue that hachure style for the mountainous spots?

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by arsheesh View Post
    Hey not to shabby for a first map! I like the clean lines of the canyons, ridges and rivers. However, that said, the slightly blurry hills clash with the overall "cleanness" of the presentation. I would get rid of them and create some new hills appropriately suited to the map. Otherwise, nice job.

    Ya, I am not worried about cleaning up Mts/Hills yet, most of that will come in the coloring phase. I am constantly experimenting, adding , subtracting, etc...
    Not meant to be a "Clean" map yet. Trying to see if the geography makes sense. Rivers, Plateau, Ridge Line etc...

  5. #5
    Guild Journeyer
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Southern France, near Toulouse


    Nice start! Eager to see advancing the piece.

  6. #6


    I really like the way you represented terrain. Very good start, I'm looking forward to seeing more.

  7. #7


    Little Map Key to help explain things:

    1 Sunken Valley- Lowest point on the map and set in the middle of a desert. Adventure location, subterranean dungeon.
    2 Wadi- Intermittent or seasonal river.
    3 Small Ridge/Slope- Depicts moderate rises in elevation 200-300 ft.
    4 1st Major Ridge line- Depicts a steep ridge 700-1000 ft tall. Almost wall like.
    5 2nd Major Ridge Line- Depicts another steep ridge 1000+ ft tall, major terrain barrier.
    6 Tallest section of Ridge line, nearly 2000' ft tall. Ridges 4 & 5 meld here.
    7 Tallest Plateau point in the ridge lines- 3000' tall
    8 Semi-arid Plateau- Low rainfall, not true grassland and not true desert. Sparsely populated by steppe herders.
    9 Grassland- Well watered section of plateau, approx 3000' elevation above lower River valley. Populated by steppe herders. Very Warlike.
    10 Seasonal Lake- In the wet season the whole area is a lake. Most of the rain originates in Mts to the North and West. Seasonal Lake has swift evaporation rate in summer.
    11 Swamp- Large swamp, home to an empire of man-hating semi-intelligent Lizard men. Area feared by the steppe dwellers.
    12 North River valley- Fairly numerous pop area. Very fertile. Most pop is on North Bank.
    13 Southern River Valley- Very numerous pop. Area dry, Colorado like, heavy irrigation by the populace. The larger pop is on the South Bank.
    14 Fertile Plateau- Densely populated Plateau extending into the Western Mountains.
    15 Mountains- Currently poorly drawn. The Eastern slopes are the wet side and very forested.
    16 Desert- Not a sand Dune desert, more of a rocky, occasional cactus desert.
    17 Dry Region- Colorado like region, the valley dwellers have the area heavily irrigated.
    18 Sunken/Hidden Valley- Adventure Area, Lost city with ancient secret people that are deadly xenophobic.
    19 Ruined City on Plateau- Ruins of Ancient city, inhabited now by evil creatures, major adventure area.
    20 Claw Canyons- Major adventure area, inhabited by evil creatures. Canyons are pock marked with caves.
    21 River Tunnel- River carved a tunnel leading to lower river valley from upper plateau.
    22 Waterfall- Poorly drawn and needs lots of work to accurately depict a major waterfall.

    Hope this clarifies things on the Map.

    Last edited by Galendae; 06-13-2012 at 02:04 PM. Reason: spelling

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