Dear Cartographers, welcome to the April newsletter!
To celebrate the release of The Dungeons of Schley, we’ve devised a competition. Create a small underground lair – a bandit hide out, a cave taken over by a dragon, a mine used as a cultist HQ. The whole area the map covers including map embelishments should be no more than about 100 m / 300 ft square. The best will win an unlimited patron license to all our cartography software forever; two runners up will receive vouchers.
- It can be in any style, past, modern or future.
- You have to create it with CC3, and any other ProFantasy map-making software you wish to use – annuals, symbols sets, whatever you like,
- It can include third-party art as symbols or fill styles long as that art is available for commercial use by anyone.
- You grant us permission to post the map online, though you retain all other rights.
- Only one entry per person
- The main prize is an unlimited patron license, and the two runners up will receive $100 vouchers.
- To submit, post your entry on this forum thread.
- Competition closes on 14th June 2014.
Author Nat Russo posted the following great article on “A Writer’s Journey” and graciously allowed us to repost it here. Enjoy his excellent advice and check out his book “Necromancer Awakening“.
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From Tolkien’s seminal Lord of the Rings, to Lord Foul’s Bane and Game of Thrones, blockbusting fantasy novels need maps you can flick back to when following the journeys of the protagonists. The Fantasy Reader blog provides an index with wide selection of examples.
Campaign Cartographer has been used to illustrate novels such as Shades of Gray by Lisanne Norman, Le Temple Des Eaux-Mortes by Eric Ferris, and Johannes Cabal the Detective by Jonathan L. Howard, and writer David Brown discusses his experience with CC3 here.
So, which are the best CC3 styles to use to sketch a world for your frontispiece? Most likely it’s black and white line are, though greyscale might work. Here are some suitable suggestions for overland maps.
This prosaically named Overland B&W style is a perfect example of a simple style with which you can create a first fantasy map, It’s very straightforward to use.
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Annual 2008 Overland B&W Style
ProFantasy Software offers a large, possibly even bewidering range of dungeon styles from which you can choose. All our add-ons, symbol sets and annual require Campaign Cartographer 3 to draw. Dungeon Designer 3 makes it easier to create dungeons, but isn’t required, except to use its own built-in styles. Here, then, is a selection of the some of the styles we offer and the software you need to use them.
Dungeon Designer 3 built-in style.
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Here’s the next collection of user maps from our forum. My, these guys have been busy again! Please note that I’m not including the competition entries in this this list, they are listed in a previous blog post.
Clercon posted one of his gorgeous city maps, a combination of work in City Designer 3 and Photoshop.
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A few days ago my gaming group’s Deadlands Reloaded campaign ended, after 18 months and 23 sessions of play. We had great fun, despite – or perhaps because – the game system (Savage Worlds) is more combat-focused than the typical games we play. One thing it does, and it does that really well, is make use of battle maps and miniatures without slowing down combats much. To take advantage of this I decided at the start of the campaign that I would create as many battle maps for the game as possible – of course using the Profantasy software at my disposal to maximum effect.
For my maps I used Dungeon Designer 3 a lot, but also City Designer 3, Symbol Set 2 – Fantasy Floorplans, the Annuals, the free art collection CSUAC, and at the very end the brand-new Symbol Set 4 – Dungeons of Schley. All of these I printed on my inkjet printer at home in A4 tiles, then glued them together for play at the table. I ended up with more than a dozen A1 battle maps, plus a few smaller pieces. I’ve collected them here for your enjoyment and use. Just click one of the images to download the full-size pdf*.
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Need hidden depths? Have some of ours.
From the fiendish imagination of award-winning cartographer Mike Schley comes a whole new style of dungeon for Campaign Cartographer 3, featuring devious traps, lurking horrors, breath-taking hoards ancient architecture – Symbol Set 4: The Dungeons of Schley.
All users who have not opted-out have been sent a special offer. If you have not received your offer email, please contact support.
SS4 works seamlessly with Dungeon Designer 3, but can also be used on its own in CC3. It includes two complete drawing styles based on Mike Schley’s artwork, with over a thousand symbols, more than 100 texture, 350+ drawing tools, three example maps and a mapping guide on how to go about a Dungeon of Schley.
Check out the SS4 product pages for more information.
Beneath the Old Castle Example Map
Warrow’s Hideout – Black and White Example Map
SS4 Symbol Detail
Following our map-making competition, we asked the winner Christian, whether he would allow us to transform his beautiful island map into a new style for the Annual. He happily obliged us, and the April issue is the result of that. Titled “Volcanic Islands” in honour of the competition, the style of course allows to draw all kinds of islands or regions and especially suited for small to mid-sized areas. Check out the example map on the right (click for an enlarged version).
The April Annual is now available from the registration page for current subscribers. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you’ll find more information on the Annual 2014 product page.
We’ve asked Christian, the winner of our map-making competition, to share a few words on his map and the competition and he was so kind to oblige. Here’s what he has to say.
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A few weeks ago I was searching online for fantasy map-making contests. I wanted an assigned theme and a real deadline—something that would challenge my skills and help me generate another piece of work I could be proud of. That’s when I came across ProFantasy.com. I’d been interested in their software before, but hadn’t had a chance to use it. Now I had a chance to win it in a competition.
Make an island, they said, about three miles across. Something like a medieval treasure map. The contest had been open for months, but was closing in just a few days. I took a look at the submissions that had been sent in thus far, decided I had a shot at winning, and threw myself into it.
I worked feverishly, right up to the deadline, and actually ran out of time to put absolutely everything I wanted into the map. That’s why there’s no border around it, and no compass rose… But what I did manage to produce followed my vision. As a novelist and dungeon master, I knew I could create some storytelling elements that would hook into the drawing. Some secrets and clues that would only be available to those who looked closely, and a narrative that would marry the image to the text. I had an aesthetic that I’d been developing for maps for my novels, inspired by some of the top fantasy cartographers online. I’m passionate about making beautiful illustrations, and I’m excited to be learning new techniques every day.
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As for the hands-on process itself, virtually all of this map was hand-drawn in ProCreate on an iPad 3 using an Adonit Touch stylus. There are a few “pattern brushes” in that app which help with things like the the jungle trees and the ocean waves, but everything else was the result of pushing pixels manually. The shape of the island and mountains isn’t based on anything other than doodling with the idea of a vaguely volcanic tropical island in mind.
The cloister overhead plan was laid out in Adobe Illustrator. It’s far larger, sharper, and more detailed in the original file, with many upper floors and basement dungeon levels. The “3D” isometric extrusion of the cloister is actually just faux-3D, a technique I use in Illustrator where I take the overhead plan and rotate, squash, duplicate and move by a certain amount, and then blend. I took a screen shot of that and traced over it in ProCreate.
The last step was to bring it all into Adobe Photoshop. I had created a “parchment background” from some rendered clouds and a bunch of filters, so I laid out the various pieces on that background and added the text elements. Then I did save-for-web and picked settings that looked good but kept the resulting file under 2 MB.
The cloister itself is about 300 feet on one axis, making the hypotenuse around 500 feet. Since you can line up 30 of the little cloister images end to end and have them stretch from one side of the island to the other, the island winds up being about 3 miles across.