Ancient Tombs
(Download the FCW file.)

This was a fun project. Knowing I have an Isometric version of this tomb in an upcoming annual to map out, led me to do a little research on just exactly how or what I was going to map. I wanted to find something simple, as I am not very familiar with the isometric/perspectives maps ProFantasy offers, although I do own them, I just haven’t found myself using them, which makes this project even better! Anyway, I found my way to a fantastic site, https://www.osirisnet.net/3d-tours/e_3d-tours.htm which led me to tomb QV66, otherwise known as the tomb of Queen Nefertari, one of the most beautiful tombs found to date. Continue reading »

The Savage CoastThe July issue of the Cartographer’s Annual is now available for all subscribers. Create wonderful sprawling and detailed overland maps with Sue Daniel’s new style “Spectrum Overland”.

More than 150 highly detailed symbols of mountains, hills, trees and towns make each map a little masterpiece to explore. We will expanding the style with another set of gorgeous symbols in a second issue later this year to give you even more options.

If you want to see a Spectrum Overland being created, check out this Live Mapping session from last Thursday, where Ralf goes through the whole map creation process, just as if following the pdf mapping guide.

If you have already subscribed to the Annual 2020, you can download the July issue from your registration page. If not, you can subscribe here.

Hello again mappers! Welcome back to this series on weaving the cartography and tale of a city or town using CC3+ and City Designer 3. I hope you’ve read the back issues (part1, part2, part3a, part3b, part4). Last time we delved deep into the Random Street tool, an essential part of large city mapping. There’s still more to say about the particulars of that tool – we’ll cover that later.

Today I’d like to continue the discussion from Part 4 about district style. I’ll of course continue using my example map of New Cassia to demonstrate. We talked last time about what makes a district unique from its neighbor, and we explored using building style to differentiate. Today we’ll cover other flourishes that can be sprinkled strategically throughout a map.

One thing to note: for all of these suggestions of unique or common elements, don’t feel limited only to my suggestions here! Find things that are applicable to the particular characteristics of your city.

Common Elements Checklist

Before we cover that which makes districts different, let’s talk about what makes them similar. Take some time and think about what buildings you want to be present in all/most districts. What kinds of things do all walks of life tend to have? Maybe your city has some unique elements based on its government (maybe a major magistrate’s office per district and smaller satellite branches throughout), its geography (perhaps regular watering stations for pack animals in a desert trade city) or its religious history (statues of Orcus throughout a city of necromancers). Think carefully back to your notes about why the city exists and what its primary function is to guide you.

Once you come up with this list (some of this may be trial and error in your first few districts), you’ll actually have a checklist for every district to make sure you’ve appropriately placed these elements (or not – perhaps no taverns allowed in the religious district). Decide if each district needs one or multiple of these elements, and in what concentration. Doing this will bring a beautiful unifying theme across your map, emphasizing that it is one city. I use color to highlight these elements, but they can be done with other methods (certain buildings, effects or spacing).

Here are some examples of common elements I’ve used in New Cassia:

Inns & Taverns
Taverns
Most cities will be full of houses of lodging, food, recreation and of course drinking. You can easily consider those to be some of the buildings laid down by the Random Street tool, but I wanted to specially call out these buildings by having a unique brown-colored roof (a rarity in the city) as helpful waypoints wherever adventurers may be – they always know they can stop nearby. I tried to ensure that at any given point, there is a tavern close by, except for some of the poorer districts, or the religious district. Continue reading »

Well THIS was a challenge. As usual, mapping outside of dungeon mapping gives me a little anxiety, but I dug in a think the end result wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I rather like it. I opted to do the 3d perspective of a castle, as this, I think is the most challenging map to create in this series. We are all pretty used to mapping top-down, so that didn’t seem like it would be useful to as many people as another 3d map in this style would.

Castle Map
(Download the FCW file of the castle.) (See the more info on the Annual “Beaumaris Castle” here.) Continue reading »

This is a great Annual! One of my favorites in the bunch for obvious reasons….it is I, Lorelei, mapper of dungeons and floor plans. For some inspiration for this set of maps, and for many of my floor plans, I searched through my vast files of references online and found one of my favorites…old copies of The Architechural Review. Scanning through the pages of a volume from 1916 I found several floorplans of boarding houses and used them as the basis for Edgar and Shirley Pembroke’s Boarding House….a Cthulhu inspired floor plan.

Pembroke's Boarding House Level 1
(Download the FCW file of Level 1)
Continue reading »

Last time, we discussed how to do ruined walls in Perspectives 3. In this article, we’ll continue on the ruined perspectives track, and this time I will be looking at how to make battlements.

Battlements have been an important defensive feature of castles and keeps for hundreds of years. The crenelations gave archers on the wall a way to shoot at incoming enemies, while still having ample cover available to them. It would be a real miss if we couldn’t have these important features on our castles. We don’t want our fantasy castles to be too easily overrun, right?

I’ll start by making the actual battlements, and then I’ll turn them into ruins. For this, we will use a very different technique from last time, a technique that can also be applied to all manners of custom objects, not just ruins.

This article is also available as a video, if you prefer that format, or simply need to see me perform some of the steps from the article. Continue reading »

Dear fellow map-makers!

Summer is getting closer here in the northern hemisphere and we are all looking forward to easing out of the lockdowns. We hope you’re staying safe and healthy and still get some quality map-making time! We certainly have a lot of useful articles and resources for you to help with that.

News

    • The June Annual issue – “The Crossroads Inn”, a map pack by Christina Trani – has been released

Resources

    • The archived live mapping video of the last few weeks are available on YouTube.
    • Marvel at the selection of beautiful Maps of the Month created by our users in May.
    • Christian Trani has started a new series titled “All the Annuals“, where she creates a map for each of the Annual issues, starting with the Annual 2019. Check out the maps for January, February, and March of that year.

Articles

We’ve continued our weekly live mapping sessions to great fun and success. Here is a listed of the videos now available on YouTube:

An introduction to CC3+ and the Mike Schley Overland style

An introduction to creating battle-maps with CC3+ and Dungeon Designer 3

An introduction to creating city locations along with linked buiding floorplans.

Converting an existing temple floorplan into an isometric view of the inside and outside of the building.

Creating a dungeon map connected to a natural cave system.

Sci-Fi Base Exterior
Download the CC3+ file here. Note that you need the Annual 2019 installed to view it properly.
Sci-Fi Base - Interior
Download the CC3+ file here. Note that you need the Annual 2019 installed to view it properly.

Mapping with the Sci-Fi Base Annual

Mapping the floorplan of a Sci-Fi Base. Now, THIS was my jam. I finished the exterior map in less than 1.5 hours and then the interior in about 45 minutes or so. I flew through it. Why? Because THIS is what I LOVE about mapping….my mind was flying in 7000 different story arc directions as I was creating this pair of maps 😊

Now….I’d like to first start by saying I just started playing in a Starfinder campaign – although I REALLY wanted to play a Star Trek campaign, I got voted out – but space themed for sure since I can’t get anyone to jump on my Cthulhu bandwagon in my gaming group, but that’s a story for another time (Oooh I sure hope ProFantasy asks me to map the Annual with the Cthulhu city in it..now THAT’S a super fun city map pack). Anyway, I was pretty excited to map this base out.

I started with once again, following the Mapping Guide, since although I’ve had Cosmographer for years, I’ve hardly had a reason to use it, so I felt I needed some guidance with starting out here. Setting up this base was super easy following Ralf’s guide…along the way, as usual, tweaking a few things like adding an RGB Matrix effect to the Whole Drawing just to give everything a little greenish grey look….it IS an alien planet. I also added a sheet SYMBOLS IN DOME – for those symbols I wanted to show under each dome and a LIGHT sheet for the light effect I created for the spotlights.

Other than those simple modifications, and using some symbols in an unorthodox way, I pretty much stuck to the Mapping Guide. I decided to include the Hyperlinks in this map, since the Guide included it, although I usually do not use this for my own maps, though it IS a pretty useful too and quite easy to do.

I’ve said this once and I’ll probably say it like 9 more times before this year of Annuals is up, but read through the provided guides….it can take a bit more time than you planned on putting into a map, but reading through how the creator of the style or program put together their maps is hitting the jackpot of mapping knowledge in my book.

Have some fun experimenting with this Annual. I really had to refrain from using any of the other Cosmographer symbols I have (and for those that KNOW me, know that was VERY difficult, lol) because I really wanted to show this Annual as a standalone, as you do not need Cosmographer to get all these great assets. Now go… create your own Sci-Fi Base and share them on the ProFantasy forums!

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

A big thank you to all the amazing map-makers out there sharing their work with the community. Again, it’s been very hard to pick out just a few, and we can’t do justice to them all, but here is just a small selection of the beautiful maps we’ve seen last month.

Will Mason, or Arcwynd as he is known on the forum, was extremely prolific. His series of classic dungeon maps is just one of the Show and Tell threads he’s started. Check out his other stuff as well!
Classic Dungeon Continue reading »

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