In this series, Christina Trani will explore all the different drawing styles available in the Cartographer’s Annuals, starting with Volume 13 (2019).

SUB2019 Worlds of Wonder
Download the CC3+ file here. Note that you need the Annual 2019 installed to view it properly.

Mapping with The Worlds of Wonder Annual

As a digital cartographer, I am not overly fond of overland mapping. I prefer the confines of a floorplan, a dungeon, or I’ll expand my horizons to lovely, little villages. But, occasionally, I am encouraged to map in an overland style. My latest was done in the Worlds of Wonder Annual style. I love it.
Now, since overland mapping gives me anxiety….all the details that geologically accurate minded cartographers have apoplexy over when not done correctly can give me hives, so most often I just “wing it” and to heck with geology – it IS a fantasy world, so why not?

This time ‘round I decided to grab a continent from Fractal Terrains, since my coastlines, in my opinion, are the pits. After generating a landmass I was happy with I exported it to CC3, deleted all the fluff and left myself with a landmass that I copy and pasted into a new map started in the WoW (not Worlds of Warcraft, lol) style. I then began mapping out where my mountains would go….this I did by referring to my original FT map, which shows all the wonderful elevations that I normally have NO idea where to place. I did the same for rivers, to avoid the stress I’d normally have trying to figure out “where they looked best” or “where they should go”. If you don’t have Fractal Terrains, and ARE stressing about your map being geologically accurate, there are a multitude of references out there…but I really recommend just making this fantastical world your own and do what pleases you.

Once my mountains are placed, along with a mountain fill behind them and lakes and rivers, I begin placing my forests. Now, this map has more forests then I normally would place, but that has everything to do with the name… Larothell, The Republic of Songs. So I got the name from one the many online generators I have bookmarked. I use them often as a DM of a homebrew campaign having to constantly come up with original names to people and places, often on the fly. So, the name came up, and I immediately though of elves, glorious elves with a magical world of melody, perhaps that fuels their magic? I don’t know, but I just went with it…and with elves, come forests. I also enjoy mixing shades of greens in my forests, so for this map I mixed the two green trees that came with the annual, but I certainly recommend playing around with the colors and creating your own custom palette.

Of course, naming my cities and towns was easy once I had a theme to my fantasy realm. When labelling cities, towns, key locations, etc. I like to play with different fonts. I have an assortment of hundreds upon hundreds of fonts. Searching some of the free font sites is a great resource – just be sure to note any restrictions on commercial uses as noted by the creators. Along with fonts I am a fan of playing with color of the font and outlines – preferring to having a contrast, usually the map title and the cite labels.

Always remember, stepping out of your comfort zone can produce some amazing work that might even surprise yourself! Go experiment and have fun!

About the author: Lorelei was my very first D&D character I created more years back than i’d like to remember. When I decided to venture into creating maps for my and others rpgs, I thought I owed it to her to name myself Lorelei Cartography, since it was her that led me to the wonderful world of tabletop gaming in the first place. Since then I have been honored to have worked with companies such as WizKids, Pelgrane Press, and ProFantasy. You can view some of my work at www.LoreleiCartography.com

Welcome to part 4 of the Shore and Ocean Effects for Overland Maps series.

The example map for this part may already be familiar to you, since it is Arumnia, which was used in Part 3 to demonstrate Rhumb lines.

This time I will use the same map to show you a fast and easy way to add beaches, and a couple of alternative ways of using a drop shadow effect.  The FCW file for this version of the map will be available at the end of the article. Continue reading »

Welcome to the third part in the Shore and Ocean Effects for Overland Maps series.

In this part we well be focussing on adding rhumb lines to beautify a relatively smooth ocean texture.

Arumnia, the example map used in this tutorial, was drawn in the John Roberts overland style, which was recently included with the core CC3 app as part of Update 25.  If your software is up to date you do not need to own any of the annuals or add-ons to make use of the FCW file included in this blog. Continue reading »

Welcome to the second part of the Shore and Ocean Effects for Overland Maps series.

The example map for this tutorial is Arokan and Demorak, and was created using the Herwin Wielink overland style.

Creating ocean contours will take you a little longer than applying the edge striping sheet effects described in the first part of this series, but I hope you will agree with me by the time you have completed your first contoured ocean that the process is still very much worth the time spent creating them. Continue reading »

The Shore and Ocean Effects for Overland Maps article series covers a range of techniques that can be used to modify the appearance of the open water in an overland map to make it work in greater harmony with the rest of the map.

The example map, the Allaluna-Meloa Isles, was created using the Mike Schley overland style that comes with CC3.  Links to the different versions of this map have been included in this article for you to examine at your leisure.

Continue reading »

The October Annual of 2019 is available now and we are glad to present a new contributor to our series of mapping styles. Gary Warburton – Dungeon Master Gaz on the ProFantasy forum – caught our eye with his wonderful “Legend” series of maps, depicting mythological Greece, and we were thrilled when he agreed to publish a similar one as an Annual issue.

He produced a neat new set of symbols for a Mesoamerican setting, a wonderful example map and here is the drawing style we created from that.

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

Caliphate of Al-GoranadaThe October issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2018 is now available and treads new paths for us. For the first time we’ve produced an hour-long tutorial ourselves to show you how to create an overland map from start to finish, using the Mike Schley Overland style. Also included is the detailed tutorial made we created in the video.

As this is a first for us we are very much interested in your feedback. Is the presentation at 1080px (make sure to use full-screen) okay? Do you need more detail for the commands used? Would rather see long tutorials like this, or shorter pieces explaining individual commands?

You can subscribe to the Annual 2018 here. If you are already subscribed, the October issue is now available for download on your registration page.

The Claws example mapWhile we are working to setup our booth at GenCon in Indianapolis and the Best Four Days in Gaming, we won’t forget the Annual’s August issue is due. We are presenting the “Dark Fantasy” symbol pack, and if the name sounds familiar, that might be because you’ve seen it before as a symbol set for CC2 Pro and CC3. Now updated for CC3+ it has also been expanded to be a full drawing style with its own template and drawing tools.

Visit the demon-scorched, orc-infested and undead-haunted lands of darkest fantasy. Probe the forbidding cities of alien insectoids, clamber through the ruined ice-fortresses of a forgotten race and brave thorn-choked bramble forests of the most dangerous lands.

You can subscribe to the Annual 2018 here. Once you have subscribed, the August issue will immediately become available for download on your registration page.

Picture 01This is the third part of my series about making an overland map in Campaign Cartographer, you can find the first two parts in earlier posts.

It is now the fun part of making maps start. Up until now we have just created the base for the map, now it is time to populate it and give it life. The first thing I do at this stage is to try to find spots in the map where there supposedly would have been cities or towns if this was the real world. Since it is a fantasy map we’re making we have to remember that the fastest way to travel before modern times is usually by water, so a lot of the cities will be situated along rivers or coasts. In the first picture you can see red circles where I want to place the first cities/towns in the map.

I’ve also marked out some red squares where the map is rather empty, those places we have to work on to make them more interesting, probably adding in something that will trigger the viewer’s imagination and make the map interesting to look at. An empty green field wont draw any attention to it, and with too many places like that in the map the end result wont trigger the imagination of the viewer.
When I’ve placed the first towns I start drawing roads between them. When the roads are in place it is easier to find new spots for more towns or villages. For example if you get a place where two roads cross each other that would be a perfect spot for a new settlement. Other good spots for settlements are next to rivers that the road will cross or next to a mountain, places where it will be natural for people to settle. Places where they can find work or trade.

Usually I divide the map into maybe three or four parts that I work on one at a time. In this way I can see the progress of the map, and it is also more fun when you can see parts of the end result early, makes it easier to keep up the work.

After you are done with the settlements it is time to take a look at those empty areas. Start by adding in some hills, or smaller mountains, add trees and other natural objects like cliffs, caves and farmland. The important thing here is to get more details in the map. At this stage I also add in things like maybe a wizard’s tower, a nomad’s camp or barbarian village. Places for adventures, places where your players would want to go.

Picture 02A good thing here is also to add new SHEET’s if needed. I for example added a SHEET for the fields because I wanted to adjust the effect on the fields texture that was different from the default one.

Whenever I make a map I always try to have a story in my head. Where is the border between the two kingdoms, are they friendly, if not maybe there should be some fortress at the border? Why is that city so far from all the others, maybe that is a free city where people go for trade, maybe they run a big slave market. Keep asking yourself all these questions when you make the map and fill in all the details and hopefully in the end you will have a great looking map with interesting details that your viewers will love to look at, and that will make them want to go places and having an adventure.

Next step would be to draw the borders between the kingdoms (I actually did this in Photoshop because I wanted a more hand drawn feeling to them) and adding text to cities, towns, kingdoms, rivers etc.

And remember keep up the mapping and good luck.

CA133 Moonrise BayWelcome to 2018 and a new year of the Cartographer’s Annual with lots of mapping goodness! We hope you are as excited as us about delving into the twelfth year of our monthly subscription.

This January we start with a hex-mapping variant of Mike Schley’s wonderful overland mapping style from CC3+. We provide new templates, new versions of the style’s drawing tools, a bunch of hex symbols and take a tour through the creation process of hex-based maps. Check out the January style details on the Cartographer’s Annual 2018 website.

You can now subscribe to the Annual 2018 here. Once you have subscribed, the January issue will immediately become available for download on your registration page.


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