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

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?

In this series, Christina Trani will explore all the different drawing styles available in the Cartographer’s Annuals, starting with Volume 13 (2019).

SUB2019 Worlds of Wonder
Download the CC3+ file here. Note that you need the Annual 2019 installed to view it properly.

Mapping with The Worlds of Wonder Annual

As a digital cartographer, I am not overly fond of overland mapping. I prefer the confines of a floorplan, a dungeon, or I’ll expand my horizons to lovely, little villages. But, occasionally, I am encouraged to map in an overland style. My latest was done in the Worlds of Wonder Annual style. I love it.
Now, since overland mapping gives me anxiety….all the details that geologically accurate minded cartographers have apoplexy over when not done correctly can give me hives, so most often I just “wing it” and to heck with geology – it IS a fantasy world, so why not?

This time ‘round I decided to grab a continent from Fractal Terrains, since my coastlines, in my opinion, are the pits. After generating a landmass I was happy with I exported it to CC3, deleted all the fluff and left myself with a landmass that I copy and pasted into a new map started in the WoW (not Worlds of Warcraft, lol) style. I then began mapping out where my mountains would go….this I did by referring to my original FT map, which shows all the wonderful elevations that I normally have NO idea where to place. I did the same for rivers, to avoid the stress I’d normally have trying to figure out “where they looked best” or “where they should go”. If you don’t have Fractal Terrains, and ARE stressing about your map being geologically accurate, there are a multitude of references out there…but I really recommend just making this fantastical world your own and do what pleases you.

Once my mountains are placed, along with a mountain fill behind them and lakes and rivers, I begin placing my forests. Now, this map has more forests then I normally would place, but that has everything to do with the name… Larothell, The Republic of Songs. So I got the name from one the many online generators I have bookmarked. I use them often as a DM of a homebrew campaign having to constantly come up with original names to people and places, often on the fly. So, the name came up, and I immediately though of elves, glorious elves with a magical world of melody, perhaps that fuels their magic? I don’t know, but I just went with it…and with elves, come forests. I also enjoy mixing shades of greens in my forests, so for this map I mixed the two green trees that came with the annual, but I certainly recommend playing around with the colors and creating your own custom palette.

Of course, naming my cities and towns was easy once I had a theme to my fantasy realm. When labelling cities, towns, key locations, etc. I like to play with different fonts. I have an assortment of hundreds upon hundreds of fonts. Searching some of the free font sites is a great resource – just be sure to note any restrictions on commercial uses as noted by the creators. Along with fonts I am a fan of playing with color of the font and outlines – preferring to having a contrast, usually the map title and the cite labels.

Always remember, stepping out of your comfort zone can produce some amazing work that might even surprise yourself! Go experiment and have fun!

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

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.

Continue reading »

The October Annual of 2019 is available now and we are glad to present a new contributor to our series of mapping styles. Gary Warburton – Dungeon Master Gaz on the ProFantasy forum – caught our eye with his wonderful “Legend” series of maps, depicting mythological Greece, and we were thrilled when he agreed to publish a similar one as an Annual issue.

He produced a neat new set of symbols for a Mesoamerican setting, a wonderful example map and here is the drawing style we created from that.

If you haven’t done so already, you can subscribe to the Annual 2019 here. If you are already subscribed, the October issue is available for download on your registration page now.

Caliphate of Al-GoranadaThe October issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2018 is now available and treads new paths for us. For the first time we’ve produced an hour-long tutorial ourselves to show you how to create an overland map from start to finish, using the Mike Schley Overland style. Also included is the detailed tutorial made we created in the video.

As this is a first for us we are very much interested in your feedback. Is the presentation at 1080px (make sure to use full-screen) okay? Do you need more detail for the commands used? Would rather see long tutorials like this, or shorter pieces explaining individual commands?

You can subscribe to the Annual 2018 here. If you are already subscribed, the October issue is now available for download on your registration page.

The Claws example mapWhile we are working to setup our booth at GenCon in Indianapolis and the Best Four Days in Gaming, we won’t forget the Annual’s August issue is due. We are presenting the “Dark Fantasy” symbol pack, and if the name sounds familiar, that might be because you’ve seen it before as a symbol set for CC2 Pro and CC3. Now updated for CC3+ it has also been expanded to be a full drawing style with its own template and drawing tools.

Visit the demon-scorched, orc-infested and undead-haunted lands of darkest fantasy. Probe the forbidding cities of alien insectoids, clamber through the ruined ice-fortresses of a forgotten race and brave thorn-choked bramble forests of the most dangerous lands.

You can subscribe to the Annual 2018 here. Once you have subscribed, the August issue will immediately become available for download on your registration page.

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