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Thread: Stern's Bridge

  1. #1
    Guild Journeyer Feralspirit's Avatar
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    Map Stern's Bridge

    Ah, yes. Greetings, and many apologies for the delay. I've been haunting this site now for a couple of weeks, checking out maps for styles. I was looking at purchasing some mapping software in preperation for starting a new campaign and found this site. I would have introduced myself sooner, but I hate showing up to a party empty-handed. It looks like you guys are all drinking brandy, and I've shown up with beer...

    I cannot say enough about what I've seen here so far. Amazing work! I hope I can pick up on a little of what you guys are doing.

    I didn't want to go digging through storage to find an old and tattered map, and I did have a few things on the drawing boards. It was just a matter of bringing one to completion.

    One more short note of explanation, I'm going to attach the same map three times. It was drawn on paper with pencil. The first (I hope, being completely new at this kind of thing, I can't honestly be sure where my attachments will end up) is straight from the scanner, this morning.

    Stern's Bridge-sterns-bridge-1-scanner.jpg

    It obviously needed some touching up. Some lines needed to be darker or closed, some spots removed, some smudges sharpened. There are probably much easier ways to go about doing what I spent about 6 hours on, but the second map is the first computer aided map I've ever made.

    Stern's Bridge-sterns-bridge-1st-edit.jpg

    The third map I must include because credit is due to this site. It took me days to figure out how to get the map to sit on the paper, rather than under or over it, but that's the first kind of real manipulation I've made. I am very pleased with it, though I'm sure my audience will be under-whelmed.

    Stern's Bridge-sterns-bridge-player-map.jpg

    While it's obvious that the map could use more work (which it will likely get in time), I consider it finished and playable. That doesn't mean you've seen the last of it. I will likely use it to try some of these cool new things.

    Feedback is welcome, , though I am aware of many errors (I consider small) already (the buildings aren't square, walls and other lines are uneven, etc.). I am hoping everyone can discern the buildings from the animal enclosures and the graveyard, but I hope to solve that by mastering layer masks or using some other tool/utility. I did away with the dotted lines.

    Thank you all. Special thanks goes out to the Steel General (for pointing me towards The GIMP), Sagenlicht (for the torn old paper script and script and plug-ins overview), and jfrazierjr (for the tutorial regarding layer masks, I didn't use it with the map posted in this thread, but I intend to).

    BTW; There are a couple of introductory narratives to the city and region, if anyone is remotely interested.

  2. #2
      ravells is offline
    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Guild, Feralspirit - I don't know about bringing beer to the party, that map is more of a very fine wine! I'm glad that you are using the tutorials to bring out the best in your mapping.

    Don't be too critical about the map - slightly wiggly lines and not quite right-angled corners are to my mind an advantage rather than a drawback in fantasy city maps. They give the map a more hand drawn feel and indicate a society which is not technically advanced. What stands out in your map for me is the very credible layout of the city and the relationship between the roads and the buildings. One of my private niggles about city building is that many mappers lay them out like lego and the city simply doesn't look convincing. Definitely not the case here. Of all the scales of mapping in my experience, city maps are the most time consuming and difficult to draw, so congrats on starting on the black piste!

    If anything I would love to see more irregularly shaped buildings to give the map even more character. I would love to hear a bit of background to the city if you have a mind to post it! Have some rep for a great contribution!

    Also feel free to start a new thread in the WIP forum taking this further so the evolution of your map doesn't lost in the introductions sub forum.

  3. #3
      Hoel is offline
    Guild Artisan Hoel's Avatar
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    Looks good. Nice planning!

  4. #4
      Gandwarf is offline
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    Nice map FeralSpirit. I just love city maps and I agree with Hoel, the planning is great. And I think we are always interested in some background information. It sets the stage for each map
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

    Gandwarf has fallen into shadow...

  5. #5
      Ascension is offline
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    You can bring beer to my brandy party anytime. That's a great city layout and well drawn to boot.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  6. #6
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    I like this very much, the layout of the city seems very natural (not planned). Looking forward to seeing more of this one as well as any other work you post.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



  7. #7
      Redrobes is offline
    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    Yes very nice city layout. You have a good eye for it and an attention to detail. More more...


  8. #8
    Publisher Gamerprinter's Avatar
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    Praise I have little patience for cities!

    Of all the maps to work on, I have the least patience for cities - way too much work to do it well, and you did a fantastic job! Have some REP!

    Maybe you could add a touch of color, not lots, and definitely not most of it, but a couple color highlights on especially important buildings, might enhance it.

    An unlabeled map makes it great for the community that needs a map to label themselves, but I think your map, needs at least a title graphic for the name of the city.

    Great job, though! Don't knock your talent, which have plenty of.

    GP
    Gamer Printshop - We print RPG Maps for Game Masters!
    http://www.gamer-printshop.com

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  9. #9
    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    Nice. Very nice. Like GP, I have very little patience for working on city maps and often run out of eraser before I'm even remotely happy with them. As for bringing beer . . . Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.

    Welcome and look forward to seeing more work from ya!

    GW
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

  10. #10
    Guild Journeyer Feralspirit's Avatar
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    Post Thanks, and an Introductory Narrative to the Region called The Gnomish Provinces

    Thank you all for your generous words. I have started trying to make some quick adjustments which I will post in a bit, hopefully later tonight. This post, however, is devoted to Gandwarf, who did, in fact, express the remotest interest in background info. (The fact is I have not yet started my game, but I'm excited for it, so I need very little encouragement.)

    "The Gnomish Provinces, formerly known as The Gnomish Lands, is a region that is today as culturally diverse as any you will find in the lands of Dyreem. In spite of The Impossible Adventures of Finneas Flik and His Amazing Airship, children's tales told and retold for countless generations in various forms throughout the known world, the provinces were thought to be remote and isolated, though the stories may be responsible for the fondness many cultures share of the region's diminutive native inhabitants. It is interesting, in this sage's opinion, that gnomes do not distinguish halflings as a race seperate from themselves, while halflings are quick to point out differences if questioned about the issue. Both races originated here.

    Up until the invasion of The Black Lord some 200 years ago, the communities in this land were isolated, even from each other. Novice students of history sometimes ask why The Black Lord would begin his conquests here, rather than one of the human kingdoms neighboring his own land. Answers to this question are pure conjecture, but when one considers the ease with which each individual city-state of the region fell before his armies, the decision seems sound. When one factors in the resources he acquired here (the siege engines and other devices designed and built with gnomish ingenuity, and the gems he used to bribe key individuals in other lands), it is questionable whether he would have been more than an historical footnote had he started anywhere else.

    Accounts indicate that there was, in fact, very little blood spilt in the campaign to conquer the lands The Black Lord would later dub "The Gnomish Provinces", which they have been called ever since. According to the few long-lived gnomes who survive from that era, those willing to speak say it was neither fear of The Black Lord (who had not yet established his reputation as the savage tyrant he would become) nor the might of his armies that led to his success here, so much as it was the indifference of the population to who was called "The King". It wasn't until the instituion of his cruel policies that any resistance was mounted at all, and by then his hold was so strong that it was too late. There are few who openly discuss those dark days, as it is whispered that the shade of The Black Lord still walks in the lands where he once held sway.

    During the ensuing occupation which, it is well known, lasted over 80 years, many humans and dwarves (both free and slaves) were brought to the region. While it is true that many dwarves left following the defeat and demise of The Black Lord, many remained as well, and the vast majority of humans living in the provinces at that time had actually been born there, and knew of no other place to call home..."

    Sorry for no map to go along with that. I do have a couple of land masses generated using ProFantasy's Fractal Terrains Demo, but at this point they will probably be discarded in favor of something I have more creative control over. I will give them credit for inspiration though.

    As I mentioned above I will be posting again soon, following some hasty adjustments to the town of Stern's Bridge. I hope to tackle everyone else's comments then, as well as add another (much shorter) narrative as introductory to the town itself.

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