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Thread: Battlemaps from MSA!

  1. #1
    Guild Journeyer msa's Avatar
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    Wip Battlemaps from MSA!

    I'm working on some battlemaps for a 4e game I've got coming up, and I thought I'd share them and get some feedback. I'm returning to an old style because I think it looks pretty good, but its easy to produce quickly. I also think its scriptable, so I'll be working on some script-fu methods for speeding up my process. Here are some examples:

    http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=5442
    http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=5525

    Here is the first map, which is designed for a 17"x22" sheet of paper with a 1" grid. It is supposed to cover a section of road where an ambush could occur, although I am thinking I might reuse it for other encounters--it should be generic enough. There are 3 meaningful terrain features: steep embankments, difficult scrub, and impassible scrub/trees. It takes place in an egypt-like desert world so much of the growth is that sort of snarl of scraggly desert plants.

    Any feedback is appreciated!
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    Last edited by msa; 08-26-2009 at 04:24 PM.

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    Community Leader Gandwarf's Avatar
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    Hmm, I am not sure about the green contours. The dark green suggests a forest to me, but it's shrubbery? Also, for a desert world, this part looks kinda green (which might be the point).
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  3. #3
    Guild Journeyer msa's Avatar
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    For this area, I imagine the kind of trees you would see in north africa or the western US. The difficult terrain scrub is like low brush, cactus, succulents, and other hardy desert plants. This is light green on the map, and is passable but difficult. The dark green terrain is a mix of sqat desert trees, larger cactus, and such. This is impassible. In general, even something like an oak, and certainly plants like the manzanita, are low to the ground and have very tangled branches, but are still over 5' tall and very difficult to move through.

    Here is an example of the sort of terrain I've got in mind:

    http://www.apezooimages.com/Blog/tab...-n-Quills.aspx

  4. #4
    Guild Journeyer msa's Avatar
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    Here is a new version of the battlemap. I made the colors of the vegetation a little more subdued and arid, lightening the shade of the impassible vegetation and opting for a more greenish blue color found in succulents and herbal growth. I also added a little more texture and deviation to the growth outlines.
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    I think it looks great except for the path. Not my realm of specialty there so I have no ideas but Torstan could probably give you some ideas. Maybe if the path was just a lighter color with a few rocks in it? I dunno, depends on how used the path is...it might have no form at all. At any rate, aside from that I think it looks pretty darn good.
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    Guild Apprentice geoff_nunn's Avatar
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    I like the simplicity of this style. I have been struggling lately to find a method for creating battle maps for my 3.5 campaign that is quick, but also creates a look that balances simplicity with enough distinction between terrain types so that my players know what they are looking at.

    I recently tried using some modified versions of the swamp maps found at Dungeons Unlimited. These were okay, but my players kept trying to sprint through the squares occupied with bog water. I guess flat olive-green coloring doesn't translate as a distinct terrain feature.

    My point is that I feel like you are on to something with what you have going here.

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Very nice indeed, I like the simplicity of the style a lot. I'd perhaps put a bit more clumping in the tress regions rather than having lines that flow around the outline, that would suggest a group of distinct objects a bit more.

    As for the path - I think it's pretty clear. However if you want to modify it a little then I'd go for a desaturated grey/brown perhaps a little darker than the land colour. This would suggest the stones that are showing through.

    All in all a very nice map.
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  8. #8
    Guild Journeyer msa's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I'll post updates to this battlemap and a new battlemap soon hopefully!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascension View Post
    I like the simplicity of this style. I have been struggling lately to find a method for creating battle maps for my 3.5 campaign that is quick, but also creates a look that balances simplicity with enough distinction between terrain types so that my players know what they are looking at.
    I'm glad you like it for these reasons, because this is exactly what I am going for. I want this style to be pretty enough, but their looks are a tertiary concern. Its most important that they be very clear and quick to produce. What I'd really like to be able to do is produce reasonably attractive, functional maps at a rate fast enough to fill 2 maps per game.

    Very nice indeed, I like the simplicity of the style a lot. I'd perhaps put a bit more clumping in the tress regions rather than having lines that flow around the outline, that would suggest a group of distinct objects a bit more.
    When you say "clumping" you are suggesting that I have more distinct objects than a blob of vegetation? I can work on that. Right now my style relies almost entirely on clouds applied to a very rough outline. Again, I do it because its fast. I was hoping that would give it the look of some distinct trees, but it just doesn't seem to be doing that. Maybe another noise function can give me what I want.

  9. #9
    Guild Journeyer msa's Avatar
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    Well, I touched up the original map, and then created a new one in a hurry. I definitely feel like I need to standardize these a little better--scripts will be a part of that, but I just haven't had the energy to dedicate to them. In any case, here are the touch-ups and a new map in the same style to share.
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ID:	16894   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	hill-path.jpg 
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ID:	16895  

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