Redo of an RPG city
I'm currently planning a campaign but unfortunately the map provided by the sourcebook is less than terrific. It is just too small- how would you squeeze 5000 people into 80 houses and call that a major city? (Due to copyright I cannot show you the original map, I'm sorry, but trust me- it looks like a deserted little village and not like a city)
So I decided to come up with my own map of the town. I tried to change some of the most important things:
-make it bigger
-give it a scale
-make the Roman-like culture that founded the city more visible (e.g. grid-like street layout)
-lighten the whole thing up so players can write on it (original was pretty much grey over a greyer grey)
So here's what I've come up with so far. I think I'll make a coloured version just for the sake of pretty pictures, but I'd really like to know what you think should be added to enhance usefulness for players (apart from the scale on which I'm working! for a measure: the forum in the middle is about 100 metres long and 50-60m wide) I consider changing the water but I don't know whether to make it dark and the land white, or vice versa, or something completely different. What do you think?
This looks really good! What software did you use?
I think it looks great in grayscale as you have it now, with the water dark and the land white.
Photoshop, as usual. I considered drawing it by hand but then I would've had to know the exact shape of the street layout and stuff...
Would you make the water darker? Atm I don't like the contrast. I have also added shadows to the roofs but I'm not sure whether to include them or not- might become difficult to write on it when half the house is grey.
Wow it was so crisp it looked like it was drawn in vector, hats off to you!
You could darken the water....maybe add a bit of monochrome noise to it to give it some texture?
No, I've never settled my differences with Illustrator. It just never does what I want it to do. Photoshop is the only tool I can handle, but I'm glad it doesn't look to bad either.
Noise sounds like a good idea, I'll try that one once I'm done with going colour-crazy on the other version of it ;)
I only add that you really made it looked as a roman city. Words from a Ancient History Teacher =). Congrats!
Really like the map - and the vector-like style you've gone with - I think that will make it really useful as a player aid that they can scribble on or colour code to mean things. My only thought is actually dependent on the setting a bit - I'm making an assumption from the RPG in the heading and the walled town with keep, etc. that its a fantasy setting. For me the grid structure that dominates the town just looks odd for a fantasy setting. I would have expected more of it to be disorganised, having likely gone through a more organic growth process rather than being a laid out town. Maybe the setting is a bit more organised than I'm thinking, or maybe it's not even a fantasy setting, so it may be entirely invalid, but thought I'd mention it.
Actually it's a mixture of Medieval fantasy and Roman times. The original map was far too fantasy-ish for my taste, so I changed as much as I could, but I couldn't just remove landmarks, e.g. the fortress. The setting is not 100% historically acurate, so the map is stuck between the two extremes. Can't help that :( But thanks for mentioning it so I could point that out.
@Mateus: Thanks :) I watched the Yale lectures on Roman architecture a while ago (they can be found somewhere in the resource section of the forum). They really helped a lot!
The only thing I think you could do is add the ole "important places" markers with a legend/key. I like the water as is if you intend for people to write stuff on it. You could do some light shading to enhance elevation but not real important. I'm with Goblyn there, it looks very rigid and not very organic. It looks planned out instead of natural growth of a city. To fix that all you need is a few more angular streets and some curvy streets.
The streets have to be planned, the Romans (aka their ingame equivalent) just plan their cities this way. I already added some curvy streets in the bottom right corner, but they main impression should stay that of a Roman city.