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

Old Style Map
Well, I managed to pull this one off. The One Day Worldbuilder Annual for use of Fractal Terrains 3, Wilbur and of course Campaign Cartographer 3 is designed, for the most part, with people like me in mind. Believable geography of a map, fantasy or not, has often given me headaches. Those of us that remember the great “River Debates” in other mapping forums remember how, as a mapper with little to no knowledge of what a believable map should look like, the fear was real. This isn’t really much of an issue for me, since I usually stick to dungeon and village mapping, though I do have overland map of my own homebrew fantasy – it has some of the MOST unbelievable geographical locations!

(Download the whole set of files and exports for this map.)

So, starting out with this I was a bit unsure of my skills in Fractal Terrains 3, Master Mapper or not, and decided to grab one of the ready-made worlds provided with the annual. I made some minor changes here and there, but for the most part, kept it near to the original. I was early on following along in the guide, of which I HIGHLY recommend you do, that I ran into some trouble saving as an mdr file. I ended up doing a repair on my FT3 and reinstalling Wilbur and all was well again. Also, I made sure to always open a file as administrator as recommended by Sue Daniel. Speaking of……I managed to follow along and get myself a pretty neat little world I was pretty happy with. I was even surprised with how easy I was able to use Wilbur for my intended purposes through Sue’s simple step by step instructions.

I decided to do a CC3+ map using both a vector map exported from FT3 and also an imported bitmap image background map. I did run into a bit of trouble that Sue helped sort out for me, but otherwise, I managed to complete this project on my own with the Mapping Guide. I thought it would be nice to show beginner users that by following along, step by step, anyone can create a fantastic world so I’ve included all the style maps within my one CC3+ fcw file. Just hide the style sheets and text style (I’ve done two) you don’t want. My favorites in the bunch are the Old Style and the Volcanic Style. Oh, and the dark parchment. Which are yours?

So, for this map I followed along with the Mapping Guide, for the most part; though, I did find that I had to change some settings in Effects to suit my aesthetic. That is the great thing about this program, by simply changing one or two settings can change the whole look of a map.

Mythic Maps
Download the FCW file of the map.

As usual, my go to for names of the unusual kind is the internet and the many name generators out there. I simply searched for Mayan and Aztec names and went from there. Though, if you notice… I used mostly the Aztec symbols on the map (I just liked them better). I thought, hey, why not mix it up and create some hybrid Mayan/Aztec civilization map?

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 »

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