When using CC3+, you may have encountered symbols with behavior, like houses that aligns to and offsets from the wall and doors that align to, resizes themselves to match and cut holes in dungeon walls. These are what CC3+ calls smart symbols. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these symbols and we’ll have a look at how to make our own smart symbols. I’ll be using DD3 here, but this functionality is not restricted to DD3, and can be used in any kind of map CC3+ can produce.

Try it out

Before making our own smart symbols, to see the existing ones in use, try out how dungeon door reacts to differently sized walls. Start with a new small DD3 dungeon, draw a wall using the wall drawing tool (I recommend you right-click Default Wall and pick a nice looking one) at any angle. Then, make sure Snap (bottom right corner) is turned off and then pick any door from the Wall features catalog and hover the cursor over the wall. The door symbol should rotate to match the angle of the wall, and once you click, you’ll notice that it actually cuts the wall where it places the door. These are two of the features of smart symbols, aligning to existing entities and cutting lines.

This article is also available in a video version.

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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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Welcome to part 4 of the Shore and Ocean Effects for Overland Maps series.

The example map for this part may already be familiar to you, since it is Arumnia, which was used in Part 3 to demonstrate Rhumb lines.

This time I will use the same map to show you a fast and easy way to add beaches, and a couple of alternative ways of using a drop shadow effect.  The FCW file for this version of the map will be available at the end of the article. Continue reading »

Welcome to the third part in the Shore and Ocean Effects for Overland Maps series.

In this part we well be focussing on adding rhumb lines to beautify a relatively smooth ocean texture.

Arumnia, the example map used in this tutorial, was drawn in the John Roberts overland style, which was recently included with the core CC3 app as part of Update 25.  If your software is up to date you do not need to own any of the annuals or add-ons to make use of the FCW file included in this blog. Continue reading »

Welcome to the second part of the Shore and Ocean Effects for Overland Maps series.

The example map for this tutorial is Arokan and Demorak, and was created using the Herwin Wielink overland style.

Creating ocean contours will take you a little longer than applying the edge striping sheet effects described in the first part of this series, but I hope you will agree with me by the time you have completed your first contoured ocean that the process is still very much worth the time spent creating them. Continue reading »

The Shore and Ocean Effects for Overland Maps article series covers a range of techniques that can be used to modify the appearance of the open water in an overland map to make it work in greater harmony with the rest of the map.

The example map, the Allaluna-Meloa Isles, was created using the Mike Schley overland style that comes with CC3.  Links to the different versions of this map have been included in this article for you to examine at your leisure.

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Recently – with Update 25 – we included a few new styles with basic Campaign Cartographer 3 Plus. As these were styles in the Cartographer’s Annual before, they all come with a mapping guide and example maps, and we want to highlight these to get you started using the styles as comfortably as possible. Let’s take a look at each of the in turn.

Jon Roberts Overland

CA51 The Bay of Ormal and SurroundingsThis overland style created by was created by fantasy cartographer Jonathan Roberts (famed for his Song of Ice and Fire atlas) specifically for Campaign Cartographer. Jonathan’s evocative style comes alive for CC3+ users with a full selection of overland symbols and background textures, organized in an easy-to-use drawing style.

The included mapping guide walks you through the whole process, from setting up the map in the new map wizard through outlining the continent, adding rivers, mountains and settlements, all the way to labeling the map with text. You can download this mapping guide here.

The included example map show the the Bay of Ormal and surrounding lands. Download it as a pdf file or in native CC3+ format.

CA54 Jon Roberts Dread DungeonJon Roberts Dungeons

Seeing the popularity of his overland style, it was only natural to follow up with a dungeon style and Jon was happy to oblige us. It includes a set of almost 150 symbols from rocks and stones of a cave floor to furniture to populate the rooms, as well 40 textures to depict walls, floors and terrain.

The mapping guide, which you can download here, teaches you to use the style by going through the process of creating a tavern and inn layout.

The style comes with two beautiful example maps, one showing the Dread Dungeon (pdf) and the other the Crossroads Inn (pdf) featured in the mapping guide. Download them in native CC3+ format here and here.

CA63 St AureliusJon Roberts Cities

Having an overland and a dungeon style, we of course needed to complete the classic trinity by adding a city style. Jon was able to produce that for us in 2012, and it remains one of the most beautiful city styles in Campaign Cartographer 3+. 37 textures and more than 70 symbols combine to make up a great resource for city mapping.

The mapping guide, which you can download here, takes you through the process of creating a city, and as such complements the City Designer 3 Essentials Guide very nicely. The St Aurelius example map is also available as a pdf and in CC3+’s format.

CA113 Owen's FarmNaomi Van Doren’s Floorplans

The fourth style included in Update 25 is another floorplan and dungeon style, created by map maker and graphic artist Naomi VanDoren. Her clear style lends itself excellently to illustrations and battle maps, and is featured in the 13th Age battle map products by Pelgrane Press. More than 200 symbols and 20 bitmap textures are included, and the mapping guide that teaches you how to use them is available here.

Two example maps are included: The Broken Shovel Tavern (png) and Owen’s farm (png), of course also available in CC3+ format here and here.

Update 25In light of the recent world-wide developments, were many people are stuck at home, we’ve decided to extend the content in basic CC3+ to include more material for dungeons and cities, so you can use CC3+ alone to make everything from world maps via cities down to floorplans and dungeon maps. You can download this latest update from your registration page to get the additional tools and drawing styles, and the full CC3+ setup will also include them from now on.

What do you get specifically? We’ve included a selection of Annual issues, some of which were already available for free and other which weren’t so far:


Here are the release notes for version 3.94:

CC3+ Version 3.94
=================
– added new drawing styles to CC3+ install: Jon Roberts Overland, Jon Roberts Cities, Jon Roberts Dungeon, Namoi VanDoren Floorplans
– added city and dungeon menus to base setup
– added basic city and dungeon tools to base setup

New StylesAs a result of the outbreak, until further notice, our flagship map-making software CC3+ is half price.

There’s never been a better time to map out the worlds of your imagination. ProFantasy’s software has always been good value, but not affordable for everyone. We’ve decided to include new, free dungeon and city design capabilities with our core software CC3+, and offer it at half-price – just $22.45 for a permanent commercial license. This is everything you need to start making great maps.

And making maps at your PC doesn’t mean you miss out on a sense of connection. Our users have formed great online communities (check the Forum and the Facebook group) which offer support and feedback to each other – get inspired, help others and have fun.

In addition, we’ve also discounted our introductory bundles further, and we’ll donate 10% of all bundle sales to The Cochrane Collection COVID-19 resources.

Virtual tabletops (VTTs) are a great way of playing role-playing games together when you can’t meet physically. They make it easier to play with people from all over the world, and are a nice substitute when it becomes impossible to bring the old gang together in the same location any more.

One of the main attractions for these programs when compared to general-purpose meeting/teleconference software is their focus on displaying maps to the the players, enabling you to fight your miniature battles digitally. And maps are always an important aspect in most role playing games. I myself actually use VTT software to display the battle maps, even if my group always meet physically at my place and roll physical dice, because I can more easily do things like display the map on a projector, and only display what the players see (automatic fog-of-war/lighting/sight ranges).

So, today we will look at how to take those dungeon maps you’ve lovingly crafted in DD3 and make them available for use in the a VTT environment. Now, there are lots of different VTT software to choose from out there, and I can’t really cover them all, but I’ve tried to cover some of the more popular ones, such as MapTool, Fantasy Grounds, Roll20 and D20Pro. And many things, especially all the various concerns when exporting the map from DD3 will be the same for most software solutions, so this article should help you out no matter the system.

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