Worlds of WonderBelated welcome to the Cartographer’s Annual 2019! Why belated you say? Well, the January issue has been available since a few days before the New Year and subscribers have already created maps with the new style!

If you haven’t done so yet, head over to your registration page and download the January issue to try the new “Worlds of Wonder” overland style. It makes use of a great new set of bitmap fills and over 100 symbols to create beautiful worlds, continents and countries. Previews for the February and March issues are also available.

You can subscribe to the Annual 2019 here. If you are already subscribed, the January issue is available for download on your registration page.

Part I: Foundations of the map

‘Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there as an age undreamed of. And unto this, Conan, destined to wear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!’
Robert E. Howard, “Conan the Barbarian”

It was back in the 90’s: We were young, we played RPGs and we listened all evening to one album – the Soundtrack of ‘Conan, the Barbarian’. We played Das Schwarze Auge (The Dark Eye) and Ruf des Warlock (Call of the Warlock – RdW).

RdW was released in 1991 and is heavily influenced by the novels of Tanith Lee, especially by the Tales of the Flat Earth series. You can breathe the spirit of the 80’s and their special way of high fantasy, which was a ‘fantastic’ fantasy and not a ‘realistic’ fantasy, like a lot of contemporary fantasy literature tends to be, with a focus on character development instead of creating fantastic places and persons.
While Das Schwarze Auge became the big German rpg success, RdW is a niche game. As far as I know there are only a few people left playing RdW and sooner or later it will probably be forgotten. Maybe with my maps I play the role of a bard, singing the tales of a lost world. If it is so, I do my best that this song will be dignified. For this sake it is on me to be the chronicler and so I want to invite you to follow me and to let me tell you of the days of high adventure.

The map I make is a regional map of the northwestern part of the world of Tanaris, the world of RdW. When I make a new map, I usually start in the Jon Roberts Overland style, as it is my favorite one. But from the start I use the immense freedom CC3+ gives its users.

For some time I wanted to try the mountains by TJ Vandel (Annual issues 81, 84, 106, 107, 119 & 120), so I added these catalogs to the mountain symbols button to make the mapping process easier.
The next step is to choose a background. I delete the default frame and choose a parchment background. My resulting starting point is this:
WIP1

It is always a great moment to see the blank parchment in front of me: The world is empty, the story unwritten, and it is on me to create. So let’s go! Continue reading »

The LandmassThis is the second part of my series about making an overland map in Campaign Cartographer, you can find the first part here.

Next step is to start drawing the land. At the moment we only have a water background and a SHEET with the sketch map. Select default landmass by clicking on the icon in the top left corner of the program. Fill in the land as it is in the sketch map, once you are done you will see the land texture as its SHEET is on top of the sketch. Now is also the time to fill in all the islands if you have any. Also remember that the sketch map is a sketch, if you feel like you want to change anything just do that, I for example added in some more small islands that I thought made the map look better.

When you are done you wont see the sketch map so you have to hide the SHEET with the land texture. To do this click on the SHEET and EFFECTS icon and mark the Land SHEET with an H in its right box, as in the picture. You will now be able to see the sketch map again.

When I start adding symbols to a map I always start in the upper left corner and work my way down while going from left to right. In this way I will always get the symbols in the right order, which will make it much quicker to finish the map. In this first step I’m only adding all the big strokes that means mountains, forests and rivers, just so that I’ll get a grip of the map. I also try to not make the terrain too square because that will make the map look stiff and boring. You want to have a map that feels organic, it will make it look much more alive. This is especially true when it comes to the rivers. Straight rivers don’t look god, try to make them curved so you will get a sense of that they are flowing. Also remember that rivers always branch out upwards. That means that you will have many starting points but only one end point. The only exception to this is if you have a river delta at the end where the river will meet the ocean.

Details addedAt this point the map looks rather empty so it is time to add in some more details. A good thing to do is also to hide the sketch maps SHEET so you can see all textures for your map. When I say details I mainly mean to add in some extra trees where the forest ends, adding some hills at the mountains edge and creating some deltas at the rivers. Don’t do too much at this stage since we will add in more details in the next step when it is time to actually start shaping our kingdoms. In my map I also added a volcano and some mountains on the right side map, mainly to get a better balance in the map. At this stage the main goal is to have a good base map that you can continue working on in the next step, that is when we will turn the map into a finished product.

Current Map

Italy CoastlinePär Lindström is a Swedish fantasy cartographer and map-maker and long time contributor to the Cartographer’s Annual. His maps appear in a wide-variety of Swedish and international role-playing publications. Here is his take on creating an overland map in CC3+.

I’ve used Campaign cartographer for a long time and have made more maps then I can remember, both for personal use and for commissions. This will be part one in a series where I will describe the process I use while making maps.

First of all you have to have an idea of what you are going to map. I usually find inspiration in many different places, it might be that I’m playing an RPG with my family and we need a map for the next session or it might just be an idea that I want to put on paper, or in this case digital paper.

Paper SketchFor this tutorial I’m going to make a map of an area that I’m calling the Three River Kingdoms. It’s an idea I’ve had for a while of an area where you have some kingdoms all separated by three large rivers.

The first thing I do before I start to map is to sketch the map on paper. You can do this both with pen and paper or you can do it digitally. The important thing is that you can have the finished sketch in digital form.

So why is this important? Well I find it so much easier to work in Campaign Cartographer 3+ (CC3+) when I already have a clear idea of what I want to complete. Especially since the order you put down symbols in are quite important. Of course you can change the order of the symbols via the commands “Bring to front” or “Send to back”, but putting things in the right order from the beginning makes your work go much smoother.

New Map WizardI usually start out by looking at some nice coastlines in Google maps, borrowing from mother earth usually gives you a much better looking map in the end. You can of course make up your own coastline if you want to but I prefer borrowing because it gives me a better end result. In this case I’ve used an area in Italy. Don’t be afraid to move things around a bit, I moved the large Island and rotated it a bit for example.

When I have the area I start drawing on top of it, sketching out some key areas like forests, mountains and rivers. Just so you will know where to add in symbols in a later step.

Next I create the file in CC3+. Since I’m making an A4 map and the pixels of an A4 map in 300 dpi is 3508×2480, that is also the size I’m making the map in CC3+. The reason for this is that when I import the sketch I know it will fit perfectly in the map.

When the map is created I’m adding a SHEET that I name SKETCH. This is where I want to place the sketch map I made earlier. Make sure that the SHEET is placed second to the top just below the SHEET BACKGROUND.

Sheet SetupCheck that the SKETCH SHEET is selected and Click Draw/Insert file from the menu and add in the file. To do this you need to first left click with the mouse in the top right corner on the map and then move the mouse curser to the bottom left corner and left click. You will now have a SHEET with your sketch map.

Now it is time to start drawing the actual map, which I will cover in my next post.

Pär lindström – CC3 user for ten years and creater of a handfull styles for the annuals. Follow his mapping days at www.instagram.com/imaginarymaps/

Hm, what to pick from the huge amount of beautiful maps posted over the last month!? This is really the toughest job, let’s see…

Gurnic: A Kingdom in Erdan’s World
by Medio is a gorgeous use of the DeRust overland style from the Annual Vol 7 with some custom symbols added.
Gurnic
Continue reading »

CA109 Northwestern MythicaAnother year has passed, another Annual subscription is complete and we are seamlessly moving into the next year. A Happy New Year to you all. 2016 here we come!

Pär Lindström starts the new year with his large-scale overland style Here Be Monsters. All manner of weird and amazing sea creatures are now ready to populate the edges and corners of your maps, and show the terror the uncharted open ocean would hold for early mariners. Here Be Monsters, indeed!

The January 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.

CA106 Dreaming BayWe are happy to present the October Annual issue, a wonderful new overland style by TJ Vandel. In fact the style is so pact with goodness, we had to split it over two installments. You get a fully working, highly detailed overland style this month, and with the next issue we’ll add a load of gorgeous little location vignette symbols.

This month’s mapping guide is also the first in the Annual series that is written based on it’s implementation in CC3+, and it highlights a number of the new features in this latest version of Campaign Cartographer.

The October issue is available both for CC3 and CC3+. You can download both setups from your registration page on the Subscriptions tab. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2015 yet, you can do so here.

CA104 Millers CrossingWe have a wonderful new overland style by Pär Lindström for our subscribers in the August issue. The style is supremely suited for local area maps and therefore works nicely to illustrate stories or small-scale rpg adventures.

The August issue is available both for CC3 and CC3+. You can download both setups from your registration page on the Subscriptions tab. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2015 yet, you can do so here.


We’ve started a new series of short video tutorials for Campaign Cartographer 3 and its add-ons. These are meant to be small tidbits of useful information we (or anyone else for that matter) can point to when asked about the tool or method in question. Check out the first two:

Drawing a semi-circular room in Dungeon Designer 3:

DD3 Semi-circular Room from ProFantasy Software on Vimeo.

Editing a landmass drawn with the default CC3 tool:

CC3 Editing Landmasses from ProFantasy Software on Vimeo.

As this is a new series for us, we’d like your feedback and your suggestions on what topics to cover. Post them here in the comments or over on the community forum.

You can subscribe to us on Vimeo or use our YouTube channel to follow these videos.

From Tolkien’s seminal Lord of the Rings, to Lord Foul’s Bane and Game of Thrones, blockbusting fantasy novels need maps you can flick back to when following the journeys of the protagonists. The Fantasy Reader blog provides an index with wide selection of examples.

Campaign Cartographer has been used to illustrate novels such as Shades of Gray by Lisanne Norman, Le Temple Des Eaux-Mortes by Eric Ferris, and Johannes Cabal the Detective by Jonathan L. Howard, and writer David Brown discusses his experience with CC3 here.

So, which are the best CC3 styles to use to sketch a world for your frontispiece? Most likely it’s black and white line are, though greyscale might work. Here are some suitable suggestions for overland maps.

This prosaically named Overland B&W style is a perfect example of a simple style with which you can create a first fantasy map, It’s very straightforward to use.

Annual 2008 Overland B&W Style


Continue reading »

Previous Entries