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.


Narsaria in Mercator styleThis month we go back to the very first drawing style every created for the Cartographer’s Annual: The Mercator Historical overland style, originally published in January 2007. Yikes! Has it really been that long?

Why are we doing that? Since the 2017 Annual has recently been updated, the Mercator style is already available for CC3+ after all? Well, it gives us the opportunity to do two major things: First, we can significantly expand the range of symbols available for the style. Second, we can update the documentation (i.e. the mapping guide) to take more of the CC3+ features into account. And we make this beautiful style available for everyone who doesn’t own the Annual Volume 1 yet.

For those who don’t know the style yet, it is based on the works of 16th and 17th century cartographers, and captures the flair of early exploration and the wonders of Terra Incognita – the Unknown Land.

The 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.

CA123 Black HillsSaddle up, pardner, we riding out into the wild, wild west. Venture into the deserts, mesas and plains of the American West with Pär Lindström’s new overland mapping style “Wild West”. Whether you’re running a historical campaign or a fantasy-version of the old west (for example using something like Owl Hoot Trail) this style allows you to create local and regional maps in the appropriate style.

The March issue “Wild West” contains a beautiful new overland drawing style for by Pär Lindström drawing Old West-themed maps. Dozens of symbols, bitmap fills and drawing tools, combined with a 5-page mapping guide, make creating this type of map a quick and easy endeavor.

The 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.


Sewers battle map

The December Annual 2016 brings you another overland style – also created by TJ Vandel. While working perfectly as a standalone style, it also can be used in conjunction with this year’s previous overland style Scorching Sun and Realms of Legend to vastly expand your symbol and texture options.

To facilitate combining these drawing styles this Annual issue also contains a tutorial on the topic. It discusses how to combine symbol catalogs, set up new catalog settings, merge bitmap fill styles as well using drawing tools from one style in another.

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.

 

Eastern DornmarkSweeping mountain ranges, trackless deserts, endless oceans and deep forests, that’s the stuff the Realms of Legend are made of. Fearless cartographers brave these mythic landscapes to chart the paths heroes must take to defeat ancient evils, soulless necromancers and barbarian plunderers.

TJ Vandel’s latest overland drawing style lets you create beautiful maps of the lands we have always loved in our games, where dragons roam, courageous princesses save their loved ones and the next treasure-filled dungeon is just around the corner. They are the Realms of Legend and your adventurers are just waiting for the right map to lead them there.

The November issue is designed to mesh well with August’s Scorching Sun and the upcoming Dark Realms style to give you a huge selection of symbols and textures to choose for your maps.

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.

CA116 River of LifeScorching desert, scouring dust storms and bleak landscapes are the daily lot of your adventuring party? Cruel magic has stripped most life from the surface of your world? This month’s Scorching Sun drawing style by TJ Vandel will let you map this kind of landscape in beautiful detail. Click the image on the right to see a high-detail version of the included example map.

In addition to the style, the included mapping guide gives you two tutorials on topics that come up in CC3+ mapping occasionally: How to add islands and lakes on top similar features without them getting obscured, and how to import fill styles from one drawing style into another.

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.

CA115 Southern MarapiaNeed a nicely illustrated map for your campaign? Perhaps as a hand-out for your players? Or a clear-printing map for your book project? This month’s “Woodcut Maps” style might just be the thing for you. Created by TJ Vandel it takes its inspiration from early-modern woodcut prints. More than 230 new symbols let you create a wide variety of landscapes. Click the image on the right to see a high-detail version of the included example map.

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.

Previous Entries