All the Annuals: Mike Schley Overland Hex (January 2018)

Well, here we are back in 2018. January, to be exact. We start the year off with an overland style map. I rather like a smaller map, so I started with a 200×200 map and decided to do a valley to keep it simple and letting me get a lot of cool adventure areas within.

(Download the FCW file)

As usual for me, I’ve adjusted many of the fills by playing around with the Adjust Hue/Saturation effect. Something else that I almost always do is to mix up the color of my varicolor mountains, hills and vegetation – I find this is more realistic, as no real forest has every tree the exact same hue as the next.

For the rivers on this map I decided to use the Color Key on the Land Sheet and bring the ocean background out as my water source. I prefer the look of a river with a Glow (outer) on that sheet than drawing on a river on a separate sheet with a Glow applied. It’s just a personal preference and using the drawing tools as is will produce excellent maps as this 😉

I always struggle a bit with labelling, specifically with color of text. Mostly that is because what I call my “Too Much Gene” kicks in and I want to use a myriad of colors and a variety of my hundreds of hundreds of fonts I’ve acquired over the years. When this happens, it’s best to stick with the standard font that comes with the annual.

I added a frame to this by creating four polygons, one on each side of the map and then added two sheets above, one for shading and one for the lines effect and copied those polygons to each sheet. I made the frame a solid color, the overlay I used the Horizontal and Vertical Brush Patterns bitmap fill with a transparency effect and the shading solid fill 10, 20, 30, & 40.. I was trying to get the look of wood grain without having to hand draw in the lines. The frame is currently hidden for those who aren’t into the aesthetics and just want and good old map.

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

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