We are very happy to have another beautiful style by Pär Lindström in this year’s Cartographer’s Annual, with this month’s Parchment City style. Based on Pär’s work on a 19th century map of Stockholm, the style is very easy and quick to use thanks to to whole city blocks and symbols. You can hen dive in and add special landmarks and individual pieces at your leisure. Of course the accompanying mapping guide tells you how to do all that.

The April issue is now available for all subscribers from their registration page. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2024 yet, you can do so here.

The February issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2023 is now available for download. We have a new, beautiful town style by Pär Lindström for you, venturing out into the heat of the desert this time. The “Desert Oasis” style contains hand-drawn buildings, ruins, palm trees and gigantic monuments, alongside bitmap textures to build an oasis settlement, an ancient ruin, or similar locations in a desert setting.

The February issue is now available for all subscribers from their registration page.

CA182 Golden IslandWe are heading into February with the Cartographer’s Annual and a new style by Pär Lindström, inspired by one of his latest commission works in the Swedish rpg industry. He created a style that looks and feels like a page in a vintage modern atlas.

In addition to the fine example of a contour-based modern map style, we were intrigued by the book-and-pages frame of the map. So he set out to separate all the Photoshop assets he created to be made into a CC3+ style. And here we are with the style ready for you to use, and you could even go ahead, take the book frame only and apply it to other map styles.

The February issue is now available for all subscribers from their registration page. If you haven’t subscribed to the Annual 2022 yet, you can do so here.

For the Wild West Annual I decided to try something a little different and include a horizon within the map. I’ve done this before on a map I contributed to the Community Atlas, and I loved how it looked that I thought I’d do it again. Once I saw the lovely blue faded bitmap fill used for the water, it reminded me of the tinges of orange you can see in a sunsetting sky and knew I had to use it for this purpose. After some trial and error with glow effects on my Sky sheet and adding another sheet for the sun’s own glow, I got the look of the horizon and of the setting sun I was hoping to achieve and then just began mapping from there.
2017 ProFantasy Wild West Annual
(Download the FCW file)

The cliff symbols inspired me to create a large river akin to the Colorado River in the U.S., so I just placed them to layout the path of my river and finished the opposite banks off with some hill symbols on a polygon fill on it’s own sheet over the river sheet.

After adding a few of my favorite effects on the Whole Drawing option in the Drawing Sheets and Effects tab, such as adding a Blend Mode (Multiply) and Texturize (I’ve used the Concrete fill in the Filters folder) I added a map key to the side and used a favorite addition I picked up from our very own Shessar on the forums, is to add a symbol within the Map Key for a little extra flair. I’ve added a 50% transparency to Key symbol’s sheet to give the symbol a bit of subtlety.

This is a great style and really inspires me to play a Deadwood themed one-shot. Anyone else?

[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.

CA151 CrownportThe July Annual is now ready for download and installation from the registration page, if you have subscribed to it.

This month Pär Lindström gives us a new style – “Renaissance City” – based on a renaissance-era city map of Paris. Creating the example map for the style was very easy and straightforward and we think you’ll find it equally satisfying to use. Thanks Pär, for another great style!

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

CA148 deVille Mansion Ground FloorThe April issue of the Cartographer’s Annual 2019 is available now. Between dusky bookshelves, rickety doors and moldy armchairs, Pär Lindström’s new style “Moody Mansions” is perfect for creating building floorplans for horror- or mystery-themed adventures and stories.

Whether your players are investigating that haunted house on the hill, or your story revolves around that last lonely occupant of a deteriorating home, the “Moody Mansions” style will create a matching map.

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

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.

Picture 01This is the third part of my series about making an overland map in Campaign Cartographer, you can find the first two parts in earlier posts.

It is now the fun part of making maps start. Up until now we have just created the base for the map, now it is time to populate it and give it life. The first thing I do at this stage is to try to find spots in the map where there supposedly would have been cities or towns if this was the real world. Since it is a fantasy map we’re making we have to remember that the fastest way to travel before modern times is usually by water, so a lot of the cities will be situated along rivers or coasts. In the first picture you can see red circles where I want to place the first cities/towns in the map.

I’ve also marked out some red squares where the map is rather empty, those places we have to work on to make them more interesting, probably adding in something that will trigger the viewer’s imagination and make the map interesting to look at. An empty green field wont draw any attention to it, and with too many places like that in the map the end result wont trigger the imagination of the viewer.
When I’ve placed the first towns I start drawing roads between them. When the roads are in place it is easier to find new spots for more towns or villages. For example if you get a place where two roads cross each other that would be a perfect spot for a new settlement. Other good spots for settlements are next to rivers that the road will cross or next to a mountain, places where it will be natural for people to settle. Places where they can find work or trade.

Usually I divide the map into maybe three or four parts that I work on one at a time. In this way I can see the progress of the map, and it is also more fun when you can see parts of the end result early, makes it easier to keep up the work.

After you are done with the settlements it is time to take a look at those empty areas. Start by adding in some hills, or smaller mountains, add trees and other natural objects like cliffs, caves and farmland. The important thing here is to get more details in the map. At this stage I also add in things like maybe a wizard’s tower, a nomad’s camp or barbarian village. Places for adventures, places where your players would want to go.

Picture 02A good thing here is also to add new SHEET’s if needed. I for example added a SHEET for the fields because I wanted to adjust the effect on the fields texture that was different from the default one.

Whenever I make a map I always try to have a story in my head. Where is the border between the two kingdoms, are they friendly, if not maybe there should be some fortress at the border? Why is that city so far from all the others, maybe that is a free city where people go for trade, maybe they run a big slave market. Keep asking yourself all these questions when you make the map and fill in all the details and hopefully in the end you will have a great looking map with interesting details that your viewers will love to look at, and that will make them want to go places and having an adventure.

Next step would be to draw the borders between the kingdoms (I actually did this in Photoshop because I wanted a more hand drawn feeling to them) and adding text to cities, towns, kingdoms, rivers etc.

And remember keep up the mapping and good luck.

CA138 The Old CityFor the June issue and the half-way point of the year we have a new set of symbols by Pär Lindström. Not a full drawing style, but a fantastic addition to existing city maps – a set of ruined buildings. Need to depict some of the ancient ruins your thriving trade city is built on? A village was just recently burned to the ground and your looting adventurers are sifting through the rubble? Those mossy stones on the hill beckon a party of treasure hunters? Don’t worry, the City Ruins symbol pack has you covered.

More than a hundred new symbols allow you to map those old town ruins, or that big rubble city quarter in detail and style. The accompanying mapping guide discusses how best set up the included symbols with sheets and effects.

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

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