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  1. #1

    Help WIP - Prime

    G'day All,

    I've been lurking here on the boards for a while now, picking up some useful tips along the way. I've been making myself a world map for a little idea I have, and am now a bit stuck.

    The world size is roughly Earth sized, same rotation period and direction. I initially sketched it out on an A4 sheet of paper and scanned it into the pc to work on it.

    So far I've got my continents, my major mountain ranges, and my plate tectonics (not shown) set up. What I'm now trying to do is to work out what sort of climate each landmass should have based on the Climate Cookbook at

    I'm hoping to get some help in working out which climates I should be geting, as I'm having trouble with that linked to page (I need to mentally flip references to Summer and Winter, how do they go from the first picture to the second ??)

    I've attached a scaled down version of my map (it's been reduced to 30% of it's original size in gimp). As is plainly obvious, I lack artistic talent so try not to laugh to hard at it

    If you need anything else from me, please let me know, and thank you in advance for your help.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2


    G'day All,

    Yes it's bad form to double post. Sorry. I wanted to expand a bit more on my map, and what I'm trying to do.

    I'm designing what will eventually be my own homebrew DND campaign setting. My idea was to create the world of Prime. Prime is actually 4 worlds that are the same, but different. Each has the exact same geography, rotational period, etc, but there is some small difference that makes each unique. The idea is that the 4 worlds are separated by planes, and in some places the barrier between the planes has weakened enough to allow you to pass through.

    The worlds I have tentatively named are Prime, Fey Prime, Shadow Prime, and Dark Prime. While my ideas for Shadow Prime and Dark Primed aren't yet fully formed, I have a clear idea on Prime and Fey Prime.

    The map I'm looking for help on is Prime. That rotates clockwise. Fey Prime is identical except it rotates counter-clockwise - so on Fey Prime on the left side large continent, I think I'll probably get some sort of desert behind the mountain range.

    For those of you interested, I've attached a picture of the tectonic plates of Prime (30% of full size).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Community Leader NeonKnight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Surrey, Canada, EH!


    Good work so far. Keep it up!
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

    Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice!

    Any questions on CC3? Post them with CC3 in the Subject Line!
    MY 'FAMOUS' CC3 MAPS: Thunderspire; Pyramid of Shadows; King of the Trollhaunt Warrens; Demon Queen's Enclave

  4. #4


    Thank you. I don't think I'm going to win any map making contests with it. I'll try again in a few days to try and calculate the climate.

  5. #5


    Well. it's been about a week now. I've now mapped out the pressure belts for Summer, Winter, and Spring/Autumn. Now that's done, I should be able to work out where the wind blows, and from there get my deserts, grasslands and other climates.

    I've attached the 3 maps, at 30% size. Comments Welcome.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Prime-Pressure-Belts-NH-Summer.png 
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Name:	Prime-Pressure-Belts-NH-Winter.png 
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Name:	Prime-Pressure-Belts-Spring-Autumn.png 
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  6. #6
    Guild Journeyer
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Interesting to see somebody going into this level of depth with the 'science' of the map rather than mainly focussing on the art.

  7. #7


    While I'd love to actually be more in depth, I'm afraid I'm really simplifying the science behind the climate and terrain. It's a fair bit more complicated than what I've done, but this is still a good abstract, even if my drawing skills are really awful.

    I'm currently plotting out where the high and low pressure areas are. I understand the wind goes from high pressure areas to low pressure areas, and that the rotation of the planet deflects the wind direction.

    The wind coming in from over the oceans should contain moisture that will be lost as it travels further inland, and/or hits a mountain. This should tell me where my rivers and lakes will form, and where my deserts will be.

    I can then mark them on the map, and hope that someone with better drawing skills than I, takes pity on the map and helps me paint in the terrain.

    That's where things get fun, as I need to work out what races are where, and how did they spread. Most likely up and down the river systems first.

    The general plan is that if the map is more or less scientifically plausible, I can make a plausible world (or rather 4 worlds) for adventuring in.

  8. #8


    G'day All.

    I'm still plugging away on my map. My original pressure belts were to simplified for me to accurately model the climate. I have only redone the Northern Hemisphere summer at this time.

    This time the map is full size, and you can actually see the scale. (yes that is 87 pixels left to right = 1000 kilometres)

    When I next get some free time, I'll redo the Northern Hemisphere winter.

    I've put a link in my signature to the world I'll be using it in, although that too is very much a work in progress.

    Comments, suggestions , and flames all welcome.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9


    G'day All,

    Been a while since I could work on my map, and post it up here.

    I've now mapped out all the climate zones on Prime, and they are reasonably accurate with regards to temperature, ocean currents, precipitation, and air pressure systems.

    Full Size pic attached. Sorry no key yet, but the colours should give a fair indication.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Prime_Climate_Zones.png 
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  10. #10


    /me performs the foul rights of thread necromancy - arise! arise and live once again!

    I've recently had some free time again to get back to work on Prime, and ended up retracing the continental landmasses in inkscape, as simply scaling up and down in gimp wasn't going to be practical.

    So far I have a nice little fractal coastline, and I've got the climate zones mapped in, and placeholders for my mountain ranges. Future work will involve calculating land area so I can guestimate a semi-realistic number of settlements, plant rivers, mountains, trade routes, country borders etc.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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