CA153 Castle SamplesteinFor September we are happy to present a new contributor to the Cartographer’s Annual: Hans Anders Bergström. His maps caught our eye in the ProFantasy community with their unique watercolour look, which is very different from that is normally created with Campaign Cartographer 3 Plus. We approached Anders, and he agreed to let us create an Annual issue from his innovative work, even supplying a wonderful walkthrough of his process, which comprises the majority of the mapping guide.

At first glance it’s hard to believe Anders’ maps were actually created with Campaign Cartographer 3+, but his innovative work with sheets and sheet effects is really not that difficult once you know what he’s doing. And that’s exactly what this Annual issue does: it teaches you how to recreate Anders’ Techniques for your own beautiful watercolour-style maps.

If you haven’t done so already, you can subscribe to the Annual 2019 here. If you are already subscribed, the September issue is available for download on your registration page now.

Many gamers use some kind of digital solution such as virtual table-top software to display maps on a projector or computer screen even when running a local game (as opposed to running a game over the internet, where such software is pretty much required). All of these software solutions have their advantages and disadvantages, but  CC3+ itself may actually be a very good solution, depending on your needs. Now, just to start with the limitations, CC3+ don’t have any kind of remote viewing/projecting options, so this do require that you share the screen you are actually working on (This can be a secondary screen/projector that is set up to mirror yours, or it can be done through screen sharing software, which allow others to see your screen even over the internet).

So, why would you use CC3+ for this? What advantages does it have over other VTT software? Well, the main reason CC3+ is good for this is that this is where you made your map in the first place. This means that the map is fully interactive, and you have all your regular CC3+ tools available to you to manipulate the map during play. If you export the map from CC3+ to an image file for use in a VTT program, then everything becomes static. In CC3+ you can hide or show sheets and layers, you can move symbols and edit whatever you need to do.

Of course, CC3+ isn’t optimized for use during play, while a VTT program is made just for that purpose, so some things are probably a bit more complicated to do in CC3+, so it is up to you if the flexibility CC3+ offer with regards to what you can do with your map during game play is worth it. For this article, I’ll showcase a few features of CC3+ that helps you during play.

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by Christina Trani

High in the peaks beyond the Hills of the Seven Sisters is the luminous, dark tower said to be the home of an evil Lich King, named Drech Za’Uul. A dark, cursed land beyond the shores of the Brimspire River, few dare cross to stop the wizard and his evil doings and none have survived and returned to tell tales. Ghosts, ghouls, and wights feed on souls who get lost among the Forest of the Dead. Hordes of zombies and skeletons wander the Hills of the Seven Sisters. Who dares seek the hidden Phylactery of the Lich King and destroy it, so once and for all the evil Drech Za’Uul can be killed and free the land from this curse of evil and darkness?

When I was first approached by Ralf to do an issue for the ProFantasy Annual, I realized quickly that I had no talent in drawing, so I set out to create a series of maps for an adventure featuring a Lich King.

The maps, I knew first off, should be created with just the core products, CC3+, DD3 and CD3. Considering I am known for being one of the faster mappers among the ProFantasy Forum users, I am also known for my use of the photorealistic symbols provided by the free CSUAC, Bogie’s, Dundjinni Archives downloads, and other purchased artwork, so going back to basics and using only the core products would most certainly be outside my comfort zone of mapping.

Overland MapAlways up for a challenge I set out to create a regional map first. As some of the forum members may recall, I often mention overland and regional mapping is “not my bag” and quickly found myself frustrated and deleting a lot of maps. Then, while perusing the forums, as I do daily, a fellow member made a map using the 2011 Overland Perspectives Annual and posted it. Well, his map inspired me to try that perspective using the Mike Schley and Herwin Wielink styles and came up with The Realm of the Lich King. In this map, I muted the color palette using the Adjust Hue/Saturation effect to get the look I was hoping for with this perspective style.
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Farm BattleAre you looking for some house-to-house fighting with orcs or undead? Yearning to kick in that door or burn down a barn that hides an evil cult? Look no further, the November issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2017 has you covered. It contains three highly detailed battle maps that combine building floorplans with outdoor locations.

The maps were produced for Pelgrane Press’ upcoming third installment in the Battle Scenes series and highlight the options you get when combining different map types and styles into a larger whole.

The November issue is now available for CC3+ from the registration page for all subscribers. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2017 yet, you can do so here.

CA117 Example 1A busy marketplace full of people shouting and haggling. A nimble, but over-confident cutpurse scrambling to escape the clumsy city guard. A dark alley at night with a party of assassins lying in wait for the heroes.

Do you need a map for this kind of scenario? Then the City Streets style created by Alyssa Faden is for you. As the September issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2016 it provides everything you need to map out a vivid street scene, either as a reference map or a full battlemap to put on the table. And the included mapping guide tells you how to go about drawing it!

The issue is now available for CC3+ from the registration page for all subscribers. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2016 yet, you can do so here.

Orc Lord Epic Tier MapOver at Pelgrane Press and Fire Opal Media, they’ve been working hard on a new supplement for 13th Age code-named Battle Scenes. It is a collection of icon-themed encounters for all levels of play, packed with dangerous hand-picked foes on terrifying terrain, and I’ve been one of the people to help bring this “terrifying terrain” to life, not least because I’ve been using the playtest version of the book for my own games, as seen here.

For me these battle maps required a lot of special terrain effects, for which I had to import new bitmap fills, create lots of new sheets with specialized effects, and generally had to think outside the box of a specific drawing style. Naturally we’d like to make these ideas and tools available to more CC3+ users, so we created the December Annual issue to make that happen.

In addition to a tutorial with chapters on combining assets from different styles, custom artwork, working with water effects, showing elevation and cliff faces, creating multiple layers in one map, and lighting effects, the December Annual also contains 4 highly detailed example maps (2 of them straight out of Battle Scenes). Here is anther scaled-down example out of
High Magic & Low Cunning: Battles Scenes for Five Icons.
Prince of Shadows Champion 1

River CanyonWe are happy to announce the next compatibility update: Symbol Set 2 – Fantasy Floorplans is now available for CC3+. SS2 provides four new drawing styles for dungeon and floorplan maps, made up from over 2,500 new symbols, bitmap fills and drawing tools.

Click on the example map on the right created by Ralf Schemmann. It uses one of the new bitmap floorplan styles included in SS2 in conjunction with a few symbols from Dungeon Designer 3 to create a large-scale battle map of a river canyon. The style, created by graphic artist and designer Peter Gifford, uses highly-detailed almost photo-realistic bitmap artwork for high quality maps. Download a large-scale pdf version here.

Check out the two more pdf examples of maps drawn with the styles included in SS2:

TempleSmuggler’s Shack (using Peter Gifford’s style exclusively)
Temple of the Fire Demon (using the second bitmap style from SS2, created by Michael Tumey).

If you already own SS2, you can simply download the setup for CC3+ from your registration page. If you do not own SS2 yet, you can get a copy here.


Map - Poster PrintedFor my current 13th Age rpg campaign (a short break from our Ashen Stars game) I recently created several battle maps, because while the game does not use a grid movement, it profits from a good visualization of the combatant’s positions relative to each other. Looking back I realize that I used a variety of different ways to actually bring the maps to the table, as time and resources dictated. I thought it might be useful to look at the different methods.

For the first session, I had a generous time frame and needed to have some professional posters done anyway, so I went for the most luxurious way: I had the two battle maps for the game printed at a poster printing service (Posterjack.com). Click on the image on the right, to see a close up view. The paper quality is great, the colors brilliant and of course everything is in one piece. The scale can be a bit off, if you go for the cheapest poster size/format option, but this map was not meant to be printed at exact miniature scale anyway. The downside: it’s a bit more expensive of course (€10 per 80cm by 60cm poster) and takes time get printed and sent back.

Home-printed MapFor the second session I was much more pressed for time, and I also didn’t want to spend that kind of money again. So I went to my trusty home inkjet printer (a Canon Pixma iP4800) and printed the next battle map on nine pages of A4, trimmed and glued them together. You can see the result on the left.

The colors are more muted, and you can see where the pages have been glued together, but it still looks very nice. Of course it uses up a good bit of ink and still requires some time to assemble (I can do these in 10 minutes now though). Generally, this is my go to method, which I have used over the whole Deadlands Reloaded campaign that I finished last year.

Map on TVStill, I had a couple more encounters planned for the evening and didn’t want to print even more stuff. So I came up with a new way to use the map at the table. I would display it on the TV screen for all the players to see and have a Noteboard on the table with a quick sketch of the same map. The TV display would provide the flavor and atmosphere for the map, while the Noteboard would allow for the tactical positioning. Click on the image on the right to see the set up.

I used Chromecast and my Android phone to quickly cast images to the screen. This turned out quite well, better than expected on my rather modestly-sized TV set, and I used it for the final two encounters of the adventure. I’m sure I’ll revisit this method in upcoming sessions. While it’s not quite as nice as having the minis on the color map, it definitely saves on money and time.

Note that the Noteboard area is a bit smaller than your A1 poster map, but with 13th Age you don’t mind really. There is no counting of squares or hexes nor any measuring of distance that would need an accurate and consistent scale.

To battle!I’ve recently started a new fantasy campaign, using the 13th Age rules and setting. Due to some (unsurprising) insider connections, I was able to acquire a playtest copy of the upcoming “Battle Scenes” collection for the game. It contains a host of fighting encounters for different levels and surroundings. It’s a great resource, especially if you are stuck for inspiration or just need to pull a battle out of your hat.

What it doesn’t have yet, due to its stage of production, are detailed battle maps. The encounters are only sketched out in draft form. But I do have the right tool at hand for this job, don’t I? So I sat down and created a couple of battle maps for a set of connected encounters (a rafting expedition through orc-infested wilderness, isn’t that great?). I used Dungeon Designer 3 and Symbol Set 2, and it looks like the maps may end up as part of the published Battles Scenes in the end.
Orc Rafting 1
Orc Rafting 2

A neat idea crossed my mind as I was starting the second map: Why not make it combine with the first for one huge battle map? While it wouldn’t be used like that in Battle Scenes, it might come in handy for other occasions. You surely wouldn’t want to use a gorgeous prop like this once and then throw it away?
Orc Rafting combined

I printed the maps at an online poster printing service, and while doing it at a “correct” 1″ to 5′ scale would have been a little too expensive, the scaled down, very affordable version at 80cm by 60cm per map was big enough to easily accommodate 13th’s Age loose movement and positioning system. The map certainly gave the game session some great visual “oomph” as the PCs were floating down the whitewater river, fending off orcs on all sides.

You can download print-ready versions of the maps by clicking the images above.

CA90 Abandoned MineThe June Annual has been designed by Pär Lindström – by now one of our most prolific contributors to the Annual. He came up with the idea of this extremely quick to use black and white style, which lets you whip up a battlemap for the next game in no time at all.

Pre-drawn rooms, buildings and mine parts take care of all of the complicated detail work for you. Be it a stretch of forest, an abandoned mine, a farm, or even a town or section of city, all of this can be created with this style in just a few minutes.

As a subscriber you can download the June Annual issue from your registration page. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2014, you can do so here.

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