As the title says, hey!

I'm Abraxus, first of all, it's a pleasure to be here, I've been a fan for a while, checking in on some of the truly top notch stuff here and I finally figured I'd sign up.

I've played tabletops since I was literally 8 years old, starting off with my Dad and his copy of Runequest. I'm a massive gamer, I love pretty much everything fantasy or sci-fi based. I'm working on a tabletop RPG myself these days and I'm in the process of fleshing out the world. As a result, I've started on map creation. I've never tried it before, but I'm pretty decent when it comes to photoshop, so I'm hoping I'll be able to pick some brains around here for some input and hopefully at some point show you what I'm working on.

I know it's probably a bit cheeky to ask in an intro thread, however, the search button never beats local knowledge on a forum like this, so I'm gonna ask if I can get a little help off the cuff, as I've got several questions that are gonna influence how I do the work that I'm planning.

I'm aiming to have a combination of older worn artistic maps through to more realistic looking ones like Viking's outstanding world map of Skenth. I hope to have a world map in these formats, then a regional map of the 'starting zone' followed up by a town plan for the major locations in the region. I've looked at stuff like the Campaign Cartographer and I've got to admit, I do love it, but the level of detail I need isn't there, so I'm having to go old school on this.

What I'm interested in learning is,

  • Is it better to hand draw basic alphas and scan them in for areas you specifically have in mind or would you suggest creating them in PS?

    Where do you think the best place I can go for hand drawn brushes, like trees, mountains, etc and if so, what are your favourites?

    What tutorials, hints or tips do you have that you think may come in handy? Like I said, level of experience in PS isn't an issue, I'm happy with basics through to bad-ass

    How do you like layering up the maps?

I promise that if I do use any of the stuff that's suggested, the author'll get a big mention in any thread or finished work. (oh and I understand, everyone has secrets and they'll not want them getting out, but just general advice is welcomed).