Creating an Annual issue (by Pär Lindström)

Ruins SketchI’ve made quite some styles for the annuals over the years. I actually don’t remember exactly how many but I think it is around 15 styles so far. Whenever I make my maps I always wonder if the map I make can be made into a style for CD3. Most of my styles have been made this way. Two examples are the maps I made for the Trail of Cthulhu RPG campaigns Mythos Expedition (September ’14) and Cthulhu city (December ’17). Both those mapping styles where later turned into styles for the monthly annuals. Most of the time I have to flesh out the styles with more symbols then the ones I’ve used in my maps, so that the style will work on its own.

Ruins InkingOther times I’ve made some styles when I’ve felt that I’m missing something in Campaign cartographer 3 or any of its add-ons. One example is my latest style, City ruins for City Designer 3. One of the things I really like is to just make different versions of villages and cities. It’s actually something I can sit and play with just for fun, dreaming up different places and try to make them as good looking as possible. But sometimes I feel that the styles in the program miss some bits and pieces, for example I had an idea of a map that I originally got from an old map of Firenze in Italy where people lived among the ruins from the Roman times. After the fall of the Western part of the Roman Empire the population in many towns shrank and a lot of the old buildings started to fall apart or where used as quarries. But in the middle of those fallen cities life continued and people built new houses among the ruins. This was the kind of city I wanted to draw. But I needed more ruins.

Ruivs colouredSo I started making my own ruins to be able to make the map I wanted. After a while I thought that this might be something others miss too so I decided to ask Profantasy if they might be interested in making a style out of the symbols, which they were.

So how do I make the actual style? Well first of all I have to decide on what kind of symbols I need to draw. This is usually a process that continues during the whole time I’m making the style, since I seldom come up with all ideas at once. Another way of coming up with ideas for a style is actually to ask you, the users of the program, which is possible now since I found the Campaign Cartographer 3+ Facebook User Group on Facebook. This is the perfect place to find out if there is anything the community would like to see in the style.

CA138 The Old CityWhen I have come up with enough ideas for symbols I start to sketch them out in Photoshop. Usually I have a square grid as a bottom layer which makes it easier to make straight lines and to get the right scale on all the different symbols. After having finished the sketches it is time to ink the symbols. This I will do on a separate layer. Usually all steps will be made on different layers, which will make it much easier to change things later if necessary. After inking the symbols I add a layer for colours, sometimes I also add a layer for shadows, if needed.

When I have all my different layers done, the symbols are finished and I cut them up in different files, one per symbol, and send them over to Ralf who will do the magic of turning them into a style for all of you to use.

I hope you will like all the ruins, I sure will, and now I just have to make that map of the ruined city.

One Response to “Creating an Annual issue (by Pär Lindström)”

  1. Great stuff, Par. Thank you for writing it 🙂