“To me, every hour of the Day and Night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.” I wonder if Walt Whitman ever thought of battle maps when he was speaking of how perfect both night and day are? Day or Night, what better way to be prepared for battle in your game than with the Day and Night issue of the 2015 Annual?

[Download the FCW files: Day Version and Night Version]

You know, as a DM your players can just go off the rails far, far off the tracks of your diligent, carefully thought out prep material … left turns to right, good turns to bad, up to down, and sometimes day turns to night. No problem! You can easily alter any existing map of yours to accommodate the shifting shadows of night creeping in on your planned daytime encounter.

Now, I won’t even go into explaining how to do this….as I, who has been using this program for YEARS, Master Mapper me, could not figure it out at first. After reaching out to our beloved community, Sue and Remy got back to me right away … kindly pointing out my mistake, and Voila! Day became night on my map and I got set to placing light sources. For more detailed information on how to set up the lighting, I suggest the 2008 Annual with Lighted Dungeons or my go to The Tome of Ultimate Mapping, of which I simply cannot give more praise in helping with some really great beginner, intermediate and expert tips and techniques. Truly, it’s worth the purchase, in my opinion.

So, I used Mike Schley’s Dungeon style and also a few Forlorn Cottage and free monthly content symbols for this map. It’s a generic, simple end street in any village town or city that I like to keep at hand for the unexpected stops in a village or town I hadn’t fully fleshed out yet. Getting caught off guard and by surprise as a DM is not uncommon or unexpected, but having that ability to change the time of day this easily is a great tool for all game masters.

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.

So, here you are, having just prepared the main location for tonight’s adventure. But then it dawns on you, you have no idea when players will actually visit this location. They may even drop by multiple times.

Well, today we’ll be having a look into how to set up effects to it is easy to switch between day and night views of the same map. In the day scene, we will be using regular wall shadow effects to have the buildings and symbols cast shadows, while the night seen will use the point light system in CC3+ to have light sources in the scene that causes the symbols to cast shadows. We will be using this to show how symbols around a fire casts shadows away from the fire, and how we can have lights coming from the windows.

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Day and Night VillageIt’s easy to overlook the small things, with the big release of CC3+ last week, but we should not forget it’s a new month and a new Annual issue is available: The Tutorial Pack – Day and Night. If you are a subscriber, you can download it from your registration page.

This tutorial takes an in-depth look at creating differently lighted environments, for example if you want to show a combat encounter area in both daytime and nighttime conditions.

If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2015 yet, you can do so here.

Note on CC3+: For now this Annual issue is done for CC3, as the CD3 and DD3 add-ons are not updated for use in CC3+ yet. Starting next month, we’ll make the Annual issues available in both CC3 and CC3+ versions.