Need a quick city? Dislike (like myself) laying out a city grid and dotting it with houses? Well the Random Cities Annual is for you. This annual is available for anyone who has City Designer 3. The Random City command allows you some creative license with the houses you place, though in this example, I did not make any adjustments and just used the basic CD3 Bitmap B set.
2017 ProFantasy Random Cities Annual
(Download the FCW-File)

After starting a map in either the Bitmap A or B styles (I chose B) you choose Random City from the City menu or just enter on the command line CITY – this brings up the City Wizard and make any adjustments to the settings you’d like, hitting next at each option. For this map, the only changes I made, were to mute the colors by adding a RGB Matrix to several sheets with different settings (I got those settings by just playing around with the adjustments one .1 at a time till it was the right shade). A quick city name at the bottom and done. A map such as this can easily be done last minute before a gaming session – this one took me 15 minutes.

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.

One of the most powerful effects in CC3+ is also the least used one. And that is kind of understandable, because it is also one of the more complicated ones. So in this article, I’m going to give you a bit of an introduction to the Spatial Matrix Process (SMP) effect (Not to be confused with the RGB Matrix Effect).

SMP is a custom filter where you have a lot of control over what the effect will do, it doesn’t have a pre-defined purpose like the other effects, but can be used to create a variety of different effects. Note that some of the results you can accomplish using this effect is already implemented as separate effects, such as blur.

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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.

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.

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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. 

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.

 

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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.

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.

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