Map (Click to enlarge)
Created in: Photoshop
This time our featured map is brought to us by a fairly new member of the Cartographers Guild. This being the first map he posted here, it has garnered a good deal of respect. Another map done in Photoshop without using any strictly-for-mapping software, Pollexia shows a nice blend between the digital and traditional aspects of mapping.
Pollexia, one of six medieval countries comprising the greater continent of Westaven, is an aggressive nation currently attempting to recreate the ancient, imperial greatness of its heritage. As such she is constantly at war with her neighbors, and hence she is divided into a number of strongholds, each with a lord to muster troop and coin. Will Pollexia succeed? Is she right to even try? Can any one man impact her future?...
I first designed Pollexia a few years ago when on a whim I downloaded Autorealm just to "play around." I had not RPG'd in over fifteen years and was fiddling with the idea of a return, using the Internet to reconnect with both the hobby and with my best friend since 3rd grade who now lives clear across the country. It was a huge success for us. We met some new, wonderful people, had roaring times, found that GURPS is just as much fun at 35 as at 15, and we've barely missed a Thursday night in almost two years of play. (Here is our game's wiki, if you're interested.)
Well, it soon became clear my quick-made maps were insufficient. Not only were they fairly unattractive, but I had used whimsical, nonsensical names for cities and such. The new map shown above--created in Photoshop, an amazing program at which I'm a complete beginner--fixes the first problem. Name editing fixed most of the second problem, although some places have become deeply ingrained in our campaign so I could not change their names. For example, "pollex" is another name for a thumb; plus Hadrian and Falstaff have, of course, well-known origins. Oh well. Oddity is the pepper of life.
The look I attempted to create is a cross between an authentic medieval map and more modern, artistic cartography. I like the feel of the ink over watercolor, and I even attempted to purposefully insert a few errors, smudges, and humanity on the map. The entire drawing was created using the mouse, and it is completely original except for the parchment (downloaded from WotC's "Map A Week") and the dragon's basic outline (which I saved from some web site's logo years ago, then edited.) When I have time I would like to replace each castle and town symbol with a unique drawing, as well as anything else that pops into this mush-ball I call a brain!
Click here to view the original thread by the author.