This month’s annual, by fellow mapper Jon C. Munson II, was meant to be used alone or in conjunction with Symbol Set 4. I decided to map out a small abandoned mine using only the symbols provided in the annual, since I realize not everyone has Symbol Set 4 available to them.

Munsons Mines
(Download the FCW file)

This map is pretty basic, with no special bells or whistles. Though I can be known for using some original, creative techniques with this program, I wanted to showcase some maps with those tricks and others with nothing but the basics, I’ve done this for the average mapper, to show that you can still produce quality maps for your gaming needs and not need the skill that some of the Master Mappers and longtime, proficient users out there.

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

While most CC3+ styles have a good selection of symbols, including multiple variations of the same symbols, such as multiple different trees, mountains, tables or statues, you can get into an issue of repetition if you need lots of these symbols.

One of the ways to alleviate this is to apply different scaling, rotation and mirroring to these symbols. Just a subtle change of scale or orientation helps reduce the monotony of a lot of the same symbols. This can of course be done manually, but CC3+ symbol catalogs contain a cool feature for helping with this, namely random transformations. Random transformations are a configurable way to automate this process on a symbol by symbol basis, ensuring that it makes sense for each symbol it is applied to. For example, it doesn’t make much sense to have a random rotation of a mountain in an overland map, that would probably look weird given the isometric view of these symbols in most styles, while a table in a tavern may benefit from free rotation. The same mountain may find use in random scaling to vary it that way instead.

You’ll find that many of the official symbol catalog already use this technique by default, but it is easy to set up yourself, either to apply it to your own custom symbols, or to existing symbols when using them.

Continue reading »

In our weekly live mapping series on YouTube I’ve recently begun to revisit the first styles that I created for the Cartographer’s Annual back in 2007. Sue Daniel was inspired to use these herself for some example maps, and as you’d expect the resulting maps are gorgeous pieces of art. See for yourself!

Mercator Historical

The very first Annual issue took the maps of perhaps the most famous cartographer of history as inspiration for some large-scale overland mapping. You can see me using it here.

Here is the map Sue came up with using the default Mercator style.

(Download the FCW file)

Not satisfied with the looks, she expanded on the style with colours and effects to produce this beautiful variant.

(Download the FCW file)

If you want to recreate Sue’s version, you can take a look at her sheets to see the effects she implemented, and you’ll need this little symbol catalog for the decorations on the map border.

John Speed City

The second Annual style was inspired by another historical cartographer: John Speed. The live video showing its use is here.

Sue used the John Speed City style to create a map of the early modern town of Dorchester.

(Download the FCW file)

Again, there is a symbol catalog with the extra material that Sue created for the map.

This was a fun map that I put together in a couple of hours, and honestly most of my time was spent on names thanks to the Mapping Guide [HighSpace Galaxy].
2017 ProFantasy High Space Galaxy
(Download the FCW file)

I basically followed along Ralf’s guide and made a few personal touches here and there with some color changes. But otherwise I’ve done nothing special and this map came out pretty good, I think. This month’s edition couldn’t be any more user friendly for anyone looking to put together a map for sci-fi based game.

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

Grids are a necessity when you are making your battle maps and it is easy to add a grid in CC3+ through the Draw Menu (Hex or Square Overlay). And this is quite OK for many maps, but with just a little bit more work, one can make it much prettier. For example, a common desire is to only have the grid visible over the floors in the rooms, where the characters can actually walk. And maybe you have a tiled floor and want the grid aligned to that? In this article, I am going to discuss some of the things you can do with your grid.

 

Continue reading »

For the Wild West Annual I decided to try something a little different and include a horizon within the map. I’ve done this before on a map I contributed to the Community Atlas, and I loved how it looked that I thought I’d do it again. Once I saw the lovely blue faded bitmap fill used for the water, it reminded me of the tinges of orange you can see in a sunsetting sky and knew I had to use it for this purpose. After some trial and error with glow effects on my Sky sheet and adding another sheet for the sun’s own glow, I got the look of the horizon and of the setting sun I was hoping to achieve and then just began mapping from there.
2017 ProFantasy Wild West Annual
(Download the FCW file)

The cliff symbols inspired me to create a large river akin to the Colorado River in the U.S., so I just placed them to layout the path of my river and finished the opposite banks off with some hill symbols on a polygon fill on it’s own sheet over the river sheet.

After adding a few of my favorite effects on the Whole Drawing option in the Drawing Sheets and Effects tab, such as adding a Blend Mode (Multiply) and Texturize (I’ve used the Concrete fill in the Filters folder) I added a map key to the side and used a favorite addition I picked up from our very own Shessar on the forums, is to add a symbol within the Map Key for a little extra flair. I’ve added a 50% transparency to Key symbol’s sheet to give the symbol a bit of subtlety.

This is a great style and really inspires me to play a Deadwood themed one-shot. Anyone else?

Lucky mappers! Another free wizard’s tower. As if there isn’t at least one wizard’s tower to be explored in a tabletop rpg campaign, am I right? So, since the February 2017 issue is a conversion of an older CC2 map to CC3+, I figured I’d go one step further and do a super fast conversion for another alternative to a wizard tower for your gaming needs.
2017 ProFantasy Wizards Tower Annual
(Download the FCW file)

This conversion took me less than 30 minutes. I took Ralf’s map and first added some rock symbols from DD3+ in a grey color off to the side, just to get them in the Symbol Manager (I deleted them afterward). Then I went into the Symbol Manager and replaced all the vegetation symbols with those newly placed various sized rocks. I also hid all sheets but the SYMBOLS, SYMBOLS FLAT and SYMBOLS RUNE sheets, then went to Change Properties and choose Change Color, and selected all symbols. If any were varicolored, it would change them all to whatever color I chose, which was a grey in this map.

I then went to the OUTSIDE sheet and changed the fill styles to more grey hues for each fill Ralf included in his map, as well as added some color changes using the RGB Matrix effect on the BACKGROUND sheet. Hiding all sheets but the WALLS sheet, I selected all polygons and changed the fills style to the grey wall cobblestone fill. I then repeated this process for the FLOORS sheets. For the attic walls and floors, I created their own sheets so I could apply a color effect using the RGB Matrix and the Hue/Sat effects on them to give them a grey color to match the cobbled walls I choose.

Lastly, I used the Tolkien font and replaced all the text by using the Edit Text function. After making a few adjustments with placement, and making a few name changes for the purpose of “recycling” a map and I was finished. I’ve recycled so many .fcw’s that I’ve gotten this technique down to a science. It’s the best way to get individualized maps fast and free for your home gaming needs.

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 2017! The 2017 ProFantasy Cartographer’s Annual, that is. Welcome to my journey through another year’s annual. I hope you all will enjoy the maps I’ll be making and hope to remind you all who “have all the annuals” and forgot some of the “gem” issues and styles, as we tend to stick to our favorite, or for some new mappers looking for some free examples of past Annuals to help you decide which year (or ALL of them, lol!) you may want to purchase.

2017 ProFantasy Black and White Annual
(Download the FCW file)

So, this is not my usual style, as I enjoy the flair of color in a map. But I have to say this simple style, the Black and White Fantasy style by Pär Lindström was a pleasant surprise. Following the mapping guide wasn’t necessary for this map for me, so I just mapped along and before I knew it, an hour passed by and I was done. Completely finished. No fuss, no muss.

Something this clean and simple is super easy to print out on your home printer, even if you want to save on ink. So, for the DM’s out there looking for a map that is quick, easy to put together and fast and inexpensive to print before a session, this first issue of the year is it. It’s going to be a great year, mappers, hope you stick around to see what I’ve got in store for you!

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

Color Key is one of those effects that can be a bit difficult to see an immediate use for. Effects like Glow, Edge Fade, Transparency and so on are very clear already from the name, and it is easy to think of scenarios where those effects would be useful. But what of the Color Key, what can we really use it for? When does it make sense to use it? It’s not quite as clear.

I didn’t really use this effect myself in the beginning, but I’ve been using it more and more over the years as I have found that it can really simplify the work process to get the look I need.

The main idea behind Color Key is that it can be used to remove parts of a sheet, allowing the sheet below to shine through. This can be done to punch hole in things, for example, you can use it to punch a hole in the landmass to see the sea fill below (creating a lake), you can punch a hole in the roof or wall of a building to see the interior, you can use it to remove the parts of the grid you don’t want and so on. But instead of actually deleting anything from the map, the Color Key is just an effect that can be later moved or removed, for example making it much easier to reshape that hole in the wall as opposed to if you had actually edited the wall entity itself.

Continue reading »

So, for my last map of the 2018 Annual, I decided to just create a small map highlighting the use of Sue Daniel’s bonus Domes addition to the 2018 Annual. I, personally, have used these domes in so many of my own maps, including our cooperative project Sanctuary, and I cannot say enough how much I love using them.
ProFantasy 2018 City Domes Bonus Map
(Download the FCW file)

Sue’s done a lovely job on these, giving the mapper a variety of domes to choose from, including transparent domes. For this map, I’ve created a small, walled school of magic by using the varicolored Gothic style houses in CD3 and adding a variety of the domes on the multi-leveled sheets. I started this map, however, in the Asian Town style that comes along with this year’s annual rather than CD3, as I love Sue’s textures and vegetation.

I’ve done nothing special for this map other than, I’ve added a new tool, the Wall Round, for my walls by using the 10’ Wall tool as a template, and then changing the Draw Method to Ellipse/Circle. In Options, in Draw Method, I changed the Eccentricity to 1.00. In Outline Properties I made the outline an Extra Entity, changed it’s Properties to a 2.5 Fixed Width and put the outline on the proper Layer and Sheets I wanted. I then just placed the Wall Round on the corners of my walls and there you have it.

And so, dear reader, another year’s mapping of All the Annuals series has come to a close. I hope you’ve enjoyed the variety of maps I’ve been privileged to create for you using the 2018 Annual. It has been, as usual, a welcome challenge stepping out of my dungeon mapping comfort zone, and I hope I’ve inspired some of you to do the same and try out this annual. Happy mapping, Cartographers!

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

Previous Entries