In yesterday’s Live Mapping session I combined tools from Dioramas 3 with assets from Cosmographer 3 to design the paper model of a simple communications tower. You can watch the video here:

As I was quite happy with the results and am currently building some science fiction terrain anyway, I sat down to actually build the model, straight from the print out of the session’s work. Here you see me messing around with paper cutter and glue to build the model:

And finally, here is a picture of the finished model, next to some of my other terrain. Click the image to download the FCW file.
Comms Tower

This was a fun little map. With this month’s annual I decided I would do a section of the ruined city Shan Drag’Oth in my homebrew campaign. It is a cursed city of ruins in a valley of evil and desecration, so a dark, gloomy theme was a must. This annual fits in with the CD3 Bitmap B symbol set, so I stuck with those fills for this map.
ProFantasy 2018 City Ruins
(Download the FCW file)

I am not personally particularly fond of the fills for this set, and they are not as gloomy as I needed for the look I wanted, so I found myself using the RGB Matrix on multiple sheets, including the sheet with my trees on it…..surprisingly the RGB Matrix worked beautifully on the tree symbols (not the bushes for some reason, so I just shrunk down the trees and used them for bushes on a separate sheet). I used a setting Sue had provided for her Isometric Town annual and tweaked it a little for the exact look I wanted. Once I had the coloring down, I then added the Texturize effect, which I am a fan of, to multiple sheets to give the map a gritty look.

Along with changing the color of the trees for this map, as usual, I used the varicolored symbols so I can change their color at any time, which can dramatically change the look of a map very simply. The ruins symbols that our friend, the talented Pär Lindström created for this annual are a wonderful addition to the city set.

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

So ProFantasy has provided yet ANOTHER overland style to work with. No matter what style map you prefer, I feel there is something for everyone here, and this Myrklund style has done just that. Now, I may have mentioned how I am not a fan of overland mapping outside of my personal campaign – since I can explain any geological aberration I install in the map as “it’s a magical, fantasy world”, so with this map, I just decided to see what I could come up with without any concern. No pressure, no cares, just started plopping down things wherever I felt like it. 😊
ProFantasy 2018 Myrklund Annual sm
(Download the FCW file)

I decided to keep this map as simple and minimal as possible…..so placed some mountains, then rivers, cities, forests and any other exploration areas I thought might be interesting and easy to incorporate into a homebrew one-shot. I also lightened up some of the fills for a more wintery look.

As someone who recently got a puppy, that takes up an immense amount of attention leaving little time for mapping, this was a simple, easy, delightful annual to work with.

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

This is a quick and easy annual that can add just the right flair to your campaign. Having those “extras” is what makes my homebrew campaign special to my players. At least that what they tell me, lol. This set, especially was useful to me, as I coordinated my pantheon to the constellations in my personal homebrew map – and my players love it.


(Download the FCW file)

So, for this map, I pretty much just followed the guide… which is basically place stars, connect stars to create constellations, name constellations. Done. I mean, how easy is that? I, of course, made a few changes to the color theme as the guide, but otherwise stuck with the easy steps and got this done in less than an hour. All the extra special fluff to your world building in LESS THAN ONE HOUR!!!

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


(Download the FCW File)

So, what to do with an annual such as this? Well, I’ll tell you. First off, this is my annual 😊 I was asked to do this annual last year and it was a lot of fun putting this together for an adventure. But…what if you don’t have a Lich King in your adventure? What if the big bad in your campaign is an evil wizard? Here’s how you can easily change up an existing .fcw for your own needs. It’s pretty simple.


(Download the FCW File)

So, first off, I want to get rid of the dark feel to the regional map. This is a big reason I often us the varicolored symbols in a CC3 map. This way, you can select the symbols you want and change the color of those symbols, which will completely change the feel of your map. I’ve done this with the mountains, trees and hills. I’ve also changed the Hue/Sat of my fills to lighten them up some.


(Download the FCW File)

You can also replace symbols. In the case of the regional map, I’ve replaced the dead trees with regular varicolored trees, again to give the map a lighter feel. A name change here, a font color change there and viola! A whole new looking map for a completely different kind of campaign.

For the tower I changed the fills and decided for a “cold” feel to the Blue Wizard. So all the dirt fills were changed to greys and snowy fills. Again, the varicolored symbol’s color were changed to reflect the blue theme I was going for. Again, a few easy changes, and a whole new looking map.

For the Maze I had to put a little effort in. Aside from the fill changes, I wanted to fill this maze with mushrooms, so they all had to be placed. I made a couple of symbol changes and there you have the Mushroom Maze.


(Download the FCW File)

Lastly, the Vault. I used the Symbol Manager to replace all the symbols on the walls – this map uses the Dungeon Walls annual technique and you can easily swap out one style for one of the other 3 provided with the annual using Replace in the Symbol Manager as I did on previous maps. Once more, sticking with a blue, cold theme I made a few simple changes to change the feel of this map, too.
And there you have it….Four entirely sort of new maps 😊

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

In CC3+, each template is designed for a single style, which comes with it’s own symbols, fills and tools, while the resources belonging to other styles are not directly visible in the GUI.

This is intended behavior, because it puts the chosen style in focus. You know that all the elements you are being offered are designed to work with that style and fit with the visual design of the style. This behavior is both a blessing and a curse. Keeping the focus on the style is good. If you own everything, you’ll have about 40.000 different raster symbols (and a lot of vector symbols too, but I don’t have the count), you really don’t want to filter through all of these all the time when working on your map to find the ones matching your current map style, that’s just hugely impractical. But every now and then you want to be able to mix map styles, and you know of a couple of styles that work very well together. How can you easily access all the symbols from these styles?

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Hot dog! Here is a map I love to make, Dungeons. This map was a quick and easy map I whipped up using the Dungeon Walls Annual in the SS2 style, one of my favorites. I’ve used this style before so I didn’t need the mapping guide, but if you’ve never used it, follow the guide along once and you’ll be all set on how to use Symbols Along and get your walls done.

(Download the FCW File)

As usual, I’ve made some Hue/Sat adjustments to some sheets. And the only other thing I’ve done different is added a wall shadow sheet. Depending on how a set up a map, I sometimes do an inner glow on the floor sheet, but with multiple rooms it gets a bit tedious doing a separate sheet for each floor so each room gets a glow. Or, you can put an outer glow on a wall sheet, rather than the wall shadow. For this map, however, I left the wall shadow set on the wall sheet and then created smaller shadows on the other walls on their own separate sheet.

The map is set up to be printed up in poster size 36×24 – map size of 180’x120’ – and in order to do that you really need to emphasize the grid, or it doesn’t print up well in poster size. For this, I just add a nice strong outer glow on it in the same color as the grid itself. That is just enough to be seen printed out and not have to change the line width of the grid. Or you can hide the grid, for VTT play, like I have been doing during quarantine when we were playing online by using the grid in your VTT platform of choice. Just set up your map size to match this one and it will line up perfectly.

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

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 www.LoreleiCartography.com

The December 2019 Annual, last official one of the year, brought us back to Worlds of Wonder – expanding the first of the year’s Worlds of Wonder style. On this map I really didn’t do much other than alter a few of the Effects settings and adding an Edge Fade here and Color Key there. I used both options for land masses to depict the colder, sparser element in the southern region. Then, I added a few sheets for use on the southernmost landmass for LAND SNOW and a LAND FOREST SNOW sheet to top off some of the forests with snow closer to the Realm of the Frost Giants, where it is obviously, blustery cold.

Worlds of Wonder 2
Download the FCW source file of the map

I really enjoyed, despite some trepidation on the annuals featuring tools I’ve never used before such as the Perspectives styles or most recently using FT3 and Wilbur, taking me far from my comforts of my very own personal style of hacking DD3 to do almost anything I usually map, doing this project immensely. I think, that’s what is perfect about these annuals, trying out styles you’ve never considered before and discovering you will use them again and again in the future. Now go try one of those styles you’ve never used before….who knows, maybe the SciFi Base will inspire a space themed campaign for your gaming groups next adventure, or a Watercolour map to use as the background for your upcoming novel cover….the possibilities are endless with a 12 annuals to inspire you every year 😊

Well, I’ve completed a year’s worth of annual maps and I can tell you all, I feel pretty accomplished. I’ve always wanted to make a map with all the annuals, but never seemed to find the time or a reason when there was always a map I could be making for my long running homebrew campaign or contribute to the Community Atlas in a style I have mastered using. This year’s annual gave me the opportunity to really challenge myself and overcome many long standing, mapping anxieties I’ve had. I’ve found styles I really, really loved using and never though I would ever use, let alone love the end result so much I’d use it again on personal maps.
I challenge all of you to do the same! Map along with me, if you please 😊 I’ll be continuing along and mapping my way back to the year 2018 and would love to see what you all make along with my weekly maps.

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

One of the features for CC3+ symbol catalogs is the ability to arrange these into groups, and then set this group to place random symbols from the group, or apply random transformations to them, like rotations or minor scaling to give variety to otherwise identical symbols.

But, what if you are making a particular map, and you need some other kind of grouping? For example, when placing trees you want to randomly place Decid, Pine and Jungle trees among each other? There are no predefined group like this in most symbol catalogs. Well, for that you can quite easily set up your own personal random collection just for the current map (or you can save it into a symbol catalog if you want it available later).

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