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  1. #1

    Default How best to achieve 3.5e map style?

    Hi all,

    I'm looking to achieve quite a simplistic battle-map/area-layout style, as exhibited by a lot of WotC's D&D 3.5e supplements. For example:

    As you can see, in many respects its quite plain, but it has - for me - this very "compelling" look to it. It makes me imagine what's inside the rooms of the tower.

    What I'm wondering is how best to go about replicating this style. Am I better off just hand-drawing it and scanning it? Or would there be some digital methods that might work?

  2. #2
    Guild Expert Azelor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    I got this but I never used it and I'm not sure if it can make dungeon maps, if for photoshop:
    It's version 4 but it's should be good since the problem with the version 4 is not the mapping part...

    'I Played D&D Before It Was Cool': 4e Map Template

    there are no preview but the link is working

  3. #3


    As cool as that template is, it's for 4e-style maps, which are quite a world away from the style in the example above unfortunately - being quite texture based, and so on. Thanks for the tip-off though nevertheless.

    Any further advice on how best to achieve the style in the original post would be greatly appreciated.

  4. #4
    Guild Expert Azelor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    The style is not limited by the edition, artists have different styles.

  5. #5


    Can you create circles and rectangles with the interiors cut-out? Create the walls, doorways, etc on one layer, create the floor with grid and parchment texture on a layer beneath that, then place the background layer beneath that - its a rather simple map, and creating it is pretty straight forward and easy. I'd do this in a vector app like Inkscape, Illustrator or Xara Designer Pro, but you could probably create this in an image editor such as Photoshop or GIMP less easily, still its no real challenge.

    This style of map doesn't do anything for me, but as you say, it helps you imagine what's in each room. My maps, you can tell without needing imagination as to what is in the room, because I put everything in the room that's supposed to be there... down to the tiniest detail.

    Attached is a couple of my maps - look at the interior detail for each room. Zoom in, its all there.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 07-23-2014 at 01:25 PM.
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