# Thread: WIP - Battlemaps for Curse of the Emperor's Stone...

1. I might darken up the trees a tad so that they don't blend in with the grass but otherwise this is quite good.

2. Thanks, Ascension. I'll give that a try to see how it looks.

So, my local critics suggest that everything looks "too square" and I can sort of see that point. Looking at satellite images of buildings, even old ones, I see that (apart from photographic noise) you just don't see much in the way of imperfections in building. I was thinking of extending the diagonal cap tiles beyond the roof edges and maybe docking a pixel here and there from the bottom row of tiles. Maybe also hint at a missing brick or two from the wall...though not many, because this is supposed to be a well-maintained monastery.

Anybody have any other ideas for dealing with this?

Also, anybody have suggestions for details that might make this come alive?
M

3. A path! A path! Nih! A lil koi pond, shrine, gardens, gazebo, ornamentation on the corners of the roofs (from above you might just see a rectangle but the shadow would show something curly).

4. What sad times these are that passing ruffians may say "Ni" to old cartographers.

5. Wait, so did you say you can create a formula in PS to make the shadows? I've not seen anything like that in Gimp as far as I know but that would be nice. I've taken to doing mine by hand quite a bit :/

6. Heya. Nope, no formula in PS. I've created an Excel file that takes in the PS lighting angles and height of the object and tells you how long the shadow should be for that height. Then there's a bit that converts the length into pixels for a given scale and tells x and y displacement. It's not done yet...and you still have to do everything by hand in PS. Yeah, and automated thing sure would be cool. I dunno, maybe PS Extended has some 3D thingies that would help? Or CS 5?
M

7. Well, here's a couple of the things Ascension suggested. I think it's an improvement. I'm saving the koi ponds for the Nihon Shogunates though.
M

8. I'm going to call this one finished...five more maps to go. Here's the posting in the Finished Maps thread (link). Thanks to all who commented.

Next up is a fairly simple battlemap. Hopefully have a post on it tomorrow night.
M

9. Okay, here's the next map in the series. It's a closeup of the eastern shore of Haibianr. The PCs are on their way to the House of the Four Winds (up the hill to the east, you can see the first pavillion on the right) but the Lushou have a lot of feet on the street. They know the heroes are likely making their way to the Sifeng monks to help them deal with their Macguffin so they've set up an ambush before they can get to the safety of that monastery. It'll be a tough fight but at least the PCs have an ally in the battle - one of the Sifeng monks on his way back from the market.

This is a rough start, just taking a clip of my original city map and then zooming in to get to the correct scale and adding a grid. I dropped in the same overlay items, same styles as my House of the Four Winds map. These may or may not be what I print but I like them so far and might standardize on them. Since north is up I *could* use my lovely dragon compass rose but, on reflection, I think I'm going to make that one a Haibianr city map-only thing. Give it a little bit of exclusivity. If I get crazy I might design a new rose for every "special" map. That'd be cool...but painful.

Nothing to C&C right now but feel free to jump in with any suggestions.
M

10. Well, it would work for a battlemap I guess but it's so blurry I think it would bother me....maybe this is just a reduced version?

edit: re-reading, you said it's just the rough draft so I'm guessing you do mean to clear it up a bit.

On the matter of the compass rose, perhaps the rose you design could hold a hint of what the map is about? Nothing obvious until you have been through it?

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