Welcome to the debut of a new column, Map of the Month. Here is where I get to share my passion for fantasy cartography, which I’ve been hooked on since I was a kid being read the Narnia and Middle-Earth stories by my Dad.
I’ll be presenting my own mapping efforts and on-going projects, but also looking to share/highlight other work from around the Internet if I find them.
Unfortunately, I have little artistic ability, so I’m dependent on the growing number of technology tools out there to help me in my passion. If I’ve learnt something useful about one of those tools, I share these mapping tips and techniques here also.
For this first column, I’d like to share a couple of encounter maps from a recent adventure:
I drew these maps using my main mapping tool of choice, Campaign Cartographer 3, from Profantasy Software, and using the Jonathan Roberts Dungeon Style from the June 2011 Issue of the Cartographers Annual (A subscription-based monthly package of CC3 goodies which I’ve mentioned several times on this blog).
Something I’ve mentioned here also is my admiration for Jonathan Roberts work (here), and these maps represent my first chance to use this style. I’m really happy with the results. Huge thanks to both Robert and Profantasy for bringing this into the toolset of mappers like myself!!
What I really like about the style is that as I said, I’m no artist, but the style allows me to achieve, with it’s beautifully drawn symbols and fills, an almost ‘hand-painted’ effect. What’s more, CC3, once you’re used to it (and I appreciate the fact that there is quite a learning curve, but I believe the effort has definitely paid back!), is pretty efficient, and you can produce this type of map in a relatively short time, plus easily print it out at table-top battle-map scale!
Hope you enjoy the maps! I’ve very interested in any feedback you have on them specifically, or on the column in general.
Yours in Cartography,