CA151 CrownportThe July Annual is now ready for download and installation from the registration page, if you have subscribed to it.

This month Pär Lindström gives us a new style – “Renaissance City” – based on a renaissance-era city map of Paris. Creating the example map for the style was very easy and straightforward and we think you’ll find it equally satisfying to use. Thanks Pär, for another great style!

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

CA148 deVille Mansion Ground FloorThe April issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2019 is available now. Between dusky bookshelves, rickety doors and moldy armchairs, Pär Lindström’s new style “Moody Mansions” is perfect for creating building floorplans for horror- or mystery-themed adventures and stories.

Whether your players are investigating that haunted house on the hill, or your story revolves around that last lonely occupant of a deteriorating home, the “Moody Mansions” style will create a matching map.

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

Ruins SketchI’ve made quite some styles for the annuals over the years. I actually don’t remember exactly how many but I think it is around 15 styles so far. Whenever I make my maps I always wonder if the map I make can be made into a style for CD3. Most of my styles have been made this way. Two examples are the maps I made for the Trail of Cthulhu RPG campaigns Mythos Expedition (September ’14) and Cthulhu city (December ’17). Both those mapping styles where later turned into styles for the monthly annuals. Most of the time I have to flesh out the styles with more symbols then the ones I’ve used in my maps, so that the style will work on its own.

Ruins InkingOther times I’ve made some styles when I’ve felt that I’m missing something in Campaign cartographer 3 or any of its add-ons. One example is my latest style, City ruins for City Designer 3. One of the things I really like is to just make different versions of villages and cities. It’s actually something I can sit and play with just for fun, dreaming up different places and try to make them as good looking as possible. But sometimes I feel that the styles in the program miss some bits and pieces, for example I had an idea of a map that I originally got from an old map of Firenze in Italy where people lived among the ruins from the Roman times. After the fall of the Western part of the Roman Empire the population in many towns shrank and a lot of the old buildings started to fall apart or where used as quarries. But in the middle of those fallen cities life continued and people built new houses among the ruins. This was the kind of city I wanted to draw. But I needed more ruins.

Ruivs colouredSo I started making my own ruins to be able to make the map I wanted. After a while I thought that this might be something others miss too so I decided to ask Profantasy if they might be interested in making a style out of the symbols, which they were.

So how do I make the actual style? Well first of all I have to decide on what kind of symbols I need to draw. This is usually a process that continues during the whole time I’m making the style, since I seldom come up with all ideas at once. Another way of coming up with ideas for a style is actually to ask you, the users of the program, which is possible now since I found the Campaign Cartographer 3+ Facebook User Group on Facebook. This is the perfect place to find out if there is anything the community would like to see in the style.

CA138 The Old CityWhen I have come up with enough ideas for symbols I start to sketch them out in Photoshop. Usually I have a square grid as a bottom layer which makes it easier to make straight lines and to get the right scale on all the different symbols. After having finished the sketches it is time to ink the symbols. This I will do on a separate layer. Usually all steps will be made on different layers, which will make it much easier to change things later if necessary. After inking the symbols I add a layer for colours, sometimes I also add a layer for shadows, if needed.

When I have all my different layers done, the symbols are finished and I cut them up in different files, one per symbol, and send them over to Ralf who will do the magic of turning them into a style for all of you to use.

I hope you will like all the ruins, I sure will, and now I just have to make that map of the ruined city.

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.

CA138 The Old CityFor the June issue and the half-way point of the year we have a new set of symbols by Pär Lindström. Not a full drawing style, but a fantastic addition to existing city maps – a set of ruined buildings. Need to depict some of the ancient ruins your thriving trade city is built on? A village was just recently burned to the ground and your looting adventurers are sifting through the rubble? Those mossy stones on the hill beckon a party of treasure hunters? Don’t worry, the City Ruins symbol pack has you covered.

More than a hundred new symbols allow you to map those old town ruins, or that big rubble city quarter in detail and style. The accompanying mapping guide discusses how best set up the included symbols with sheets and effects.

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

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/

CA132 Sarnath CityWe close off the 2017 Annual (except perhaps for a little bonus issue) with another style by Pär Lindström. He created this wonderful new city style for the weird and ominous metropolis of Cthulhu City, a setting for Pelgrane Press’ Trail of Cthulhu role-playing game.

Of course we took the opportunity to create a city style for CC3+ from it. Since the style doesn’t use the City Designer way of drawing individual houses and random streets, you can even use it fully without having CD3 available.

The December 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.


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.


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