I will admit, this annual had me intimidated a bit. Unlike some actual artists employed by ProFantasy, I am mediocre, at best, with my drawing skills. That being said, I decided to follow Hans Anders’ guide that accompanies this month’s Annual. It was a life saver! His simple instructions on how to use his incredibly unique technique help set the mapper up to easily navigate this style and create lovely watercolor maps.

Following the mapping guide, after deciding the layout of my map, this map took me just a few hours. It likely would have taken a bit less time for me, but I inadvertently turned off the Autosave last week and my rapidly firing mouse trigger finger caused a crash. Let my flub be a reminder to you all to KEEP Autosave ON. If it bothers you too often, you can change the time between saves, but KEEP IT ON 😊

SUB2019 Watercolor Maps sm
(Download the FCW version of the map)

There really isn’t much for me to say about this one, as I didn’t deviate from the guide. All in all, I am so happy with this little map and this style. Hans Anders has done something so unique and just so darn pretty. This one is getting printed up and hung on the wall for sure.

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

SUB2019 Ancient Tombs IsometricFor this map, I took my Ancient Tombs map of the Tomb of Nefertari and followed the mapping guide provided with this annual. I’m not very proficient with Perspectives, and like the Beaumaris Castle Annual map, I decided to follow the Mapping Guide for this map, and boy am I glad I did!

[Download the FCW file]

Getting my top down floorplan/dungeon map of the tomb into an isometric map style was very easy with the Mapping Guide reminding me of the 3D Projection button and it’s ability to take a 2D layout and projecting the result in perspective. I used the wall symbols for this map, as I really liked the design options – and knowing what the interior of the real tomb looks like (there is that amazing site Osirisnet.net) I was able to make this map as close to the real tomb as I could – with some of my own embellishments, of course.

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 of “Ancient Rome” example map.]

Cities. Not being a fan of mapping cities, I will admit I wasn’t looking forward to another one. Laying out a city is mostly my issue, so for this map I decided to use a cheat – I decided to loosely trace over an existing map – one where I wouldn’t be infringing upon copyrights. Enter a lovely map of ancient Rome I came across is my many hours of just searching through the internet for old maps. Come on, you know you other cartographers out there do it, too! I had come across this map I had found and it really reminded me of the style of Pär Lindström’s Renaissance City Annual, so I decided I would trace it.

After importing the .png into my map using Draw>Insert File and placing it on a new sheet, then applying a transparency to it, I began tracing out my roads first. Once I had my roads placed, I set about placing buildings, rather haphazardly, as I wanted it to look unfinished in some areas, unkempt or sparse than a regularly crowded Renaissance city.

On this map, once again, I applied some of my favorite effects such as Texturize, RGB Matrix and Hue/Sat Adjustment to give it a more antiqued look and my own personal choice of palettes tend to be more muted hues. Once I was satisfied with my placement of buildings, vegetation, etc. I set about adding any little “extras”, etc. On more than one occasion I had to use the SYMSORT command, which sorts out the symbols you choose on a sheet, setting them in proper back to front order if they are layered over each other within the same sheet, as my ADD gets the best of me when mapping anything isometric in nature.

All in all, this was a relatively easy set to work with. I like the clean lines and style of this Annual and I could actually see myself using it again for my own campaign.

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

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 »

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 »

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

Isometric Town
Download the CC3+ file here. Note that you need the Annual 2019 installed to view it properly.

Mapping with the Isometric Town Annual

Now THIS was a challenge as I find city/town maps a personal struggle. Here is where the Mapping Guide comes in handy. Often, with an Annual, I am guilty of just diving in and figuring things out on my own as I go, occasionally referring to the mapping guide, but not usually. This time, since I do struggle in this area of mapping, I stuck with the Mapping Guide provided, as far as the steps in creating this little town and followed them along.

Also, quite useful when mapping with a style you aren’t very comfortable with is deconstructing the multitude of maps that are often provided along with each Annual. In this instance I was able to copy a few of Sue’s Effects from her Corvallen map and Ralf’s Menzberg map, in particular Sue’s brilliant use of the RGB Matrix. This effect is worth a dive into as it can produce some great color results on your sheet effects.

Some of my own favorite effects to use are the RGB Matrix, the Hue/Sat and a big favorite of mine, Texturize. The last one I often put on the entire map. On this one I used a common texture that everyone should have concrete. The textures I use can be found in the CC3+>Filters>Images file, though you can use just about any fill with some kind of texture. I love the look I can get on a map with just the right settings and the fill to texturize. Try it!!

I also was unable to recreate Sue’s lovely parchment….well, I probably could if I really sat for a while, but I wanted to map in a way that the average mapper would, not someone with some sort of artistic skills on the manual side, rather than digital, so instead I created a legend on the bottom of my map – I think it’s a fine substitute if one is unable to recreate, copy and paste the scroll or just doesn’t want the look of scrolled parchment on their map – either way it’s just another variation. I do, of course, use my dear friend’s lovely parchment fill she provided for this Annual. Text/Labels are pretty standard here, with no special flair, and naming wasn’t anything special either….with the exception that I DID get the name of the town from Sue’s beautiful willow trees provided with this Annual. I LOVE willow trees, on a personal note, and these are just so pretty, so Willow Field it became. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful for your own mapping 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

In this series, Christina Trani will explore all the different drawing styles available in the Cartographer’s Annuals, starting with Volume 13 (2019).

SUB2019 Worlds of Wonder
Download the CC3+ file here. Note that you need the Annual 2019 installed to view it properly.

Mapping with The Worlds of Wonder Annual

As a digital cartographer, I am not overly fond of overland mapping. I prefer the confines of a floorplan, a dungeon, or I’ll expand my horizons to lovely, little villages. But, occasionally, I am encouraged to map in an overland style. My latest was done in the Worlds of Wonder Annual style. I love it.
Now, since overland mapping gives me anxiety….all the details that geologically accurate minded cartographers have apoplexy over when not done correctly can give me hives, so most often I just “wing it” and to heck with geology – it IS a fantasy world, so why not?

This time ‘round I decided to grab a continent from Fractal Terrains, since my coastlines, in my opinion, are the pits. After generating a landmass I was happy with I exported it to CC3, deleted all the fluff and left myself with a landmass that I copy and pasted into a new map started in the WoW (not Worlds of Warcraft, lol) style. I then began mapping out where my mountains would go….this I did by referring to my original FT map, which shows all the wonderful elevations that I normally have NO idea where to place. I did the same for rivers, to avoid the stress I’d normally have trying to figure out “where they looked best” or “where they should go”. If you don’t have Fractal Terrains, and ARE stressing about your map being geologically accurate, there are a multitude of references out there…but I really recommend just making this fantastical world your own and do what pleases you.

Once my mountains are placed, along with a mountain fill behind them and lakes and rivers, I begin placing my forests. Now, this map has more forests then I normally would place, but that has everything to do with the name… Larothell, The Republic of Songs. So I got the name from one the many online generators I have bookmarked. I use them often as a DM of a homebrew campaign having to constantly come up with original names to people and places, often on the fly. So, the name came up, and I immediately though of elves, glorious elves with a magical world of melody, perhaps that fuels their magic? I don’t know, but I just went with it…and with elves, come forests. I also enjoy mixing shades of greens in my forests, so for this map I mixed the two green trees that came with the annual, but I certainly recommend playing around with the colors and creating your own custom palette.

Of course, naming my cities and towns was easy once I had a theme to my fantasy realm. When labelling cities, towns, key locations, etc. I like to play with different fonts. I have an assortment of hundreds upon hundreds of fonts. Searching some of the free font sites is a great resource – just be sure to note any restrictions on commercial uses as noted by the creators. Along with fonts I am a fan of playing with color of the font and outlines – preferring to having a contrast, usually the map title and the cite labels.

Always remember, stepping out of your comfort zone can produce some amazing work that might even surprise yourself! Go experiment and have fun!

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