- If you are a Fractal Terrains 3 user, an update is already available. Log in to get it.
- The Fractal Terrains 3 upgrade price of $9.95 / £7.50 will be increased on 1st November – log in and get it while you can!
- We’ve announced a new recipient of the Master Mapper award.
- We’ve launched Fractal Terrains 3
- Here is an update on Symbol Set 3 Modern Symbols for version CC3
Symbol Set 3: Modern includes 50 templates and 1100 symbols for overland floorplans. For the CC3 version, we wanted to make sure an upgrade is worthwhile, so we are adding three new floorplan styles and another overland style.
CC3 allows us to use raster (paint style art), so two of those new styles will be raster-based; the third will be traditional modern-looking vector CAD symbols, to create blueprint style artwork.
Jonathan Roberts is putting the finishing touches on his style which is detailed and grimy but not photorealistic. Michael Tumey’s is clean, bright and more suburban.
In 1998 we instituted the coveted Master Mapper award for excellence in cartography. You can see the hall of fame here. One Master Mapper is a full time freelancer and ProFantasy mainstay – Ralf Schemmann; L Lee Saunders creates amazing add-ons, and other Master Mappers still contribute to the community.
We are reinstating the Master Mapper award. There is a backlog of worthy candidates, so expect to see us making up for lost time with a few select awards. This brings me to our Master Mapper, best known to the ProFantasy community as Joachim de Ravenbel, a name Jean-Michel Bravo took on a whim for RPG-related posts.
Jean-Michel is unusual even amongst Master Mappers for the breadth of his talent. He creates maps, writes macros, develops map-making techniques, supports the forum community, and has even programmed an XP – the CC3 name for add-ons.
There is a podcast interview with Ralf here with GMS Magazine – 14:00 in. They discuss using CC3 to create the Dragon Rage boardgame map (articles here), Dioramas, Fractal Terrains 3 and the Annuals. He also mentions the Tome – and Remy Monsen is working on a new version of that for our updated software.
Old Guy Gaming (Mike Summers) has a review of Fractal Terrains 3.
Fractal Terrains is so easy to use that you can literally install it and have an amazing map in a matter of minutes.
This is a follow-up to Creating a Fractal Terrains world with Terraformer Part 1.
You can download the whole tutorial as a PDF - Steps to doing a barren world in Fractal Terrains.
Moving the drawing to Campaign Cartographer 3 / Cosmographer 3
Step 10 – From here on out, I will be using CC3. This is a great program that I have come to rely on to create all of my maps. I should note that the steps outlined here are taken directly from the “Terraformer for Fractal Terrains Pro Users Manual” created by Bill Roach. It’s an excellent guide, and I would recommend that anyone using Fractal Terrains pick this up as a reference source. The guide is available from the Registered User’s Area.
I’ve used CC3 and its add-ons a lot in my time; creating the Jaw Peninsular map, cities, villages, dungeons and 3D areas for my campaign world.
But a campaign world is a big place, and there isn’t always time to put something together in advance of session. We’ve released large collections of detailed maps mostly based on real-world examples, ready to print in 2D and 3D views called the Source Maps series. They even include images and information, as well as suggested adventure material.
So, for me, the Source Maps series have been the most important resource for my gaming in recent years.
Let’s take a recent game. The PCs were King’s Marshalls, supposedly escorting some peace-loving priests to a six-way ecumenical council to resolve some issues surrounding a magnificent temple on an ancient holy site – the Temple of the Five Gods. I need a massive, detailed temple with an underground area for my ritual. We’ve released large collections of detailed maps mostly based on real-world examples, called the So, I turned to the the 140 page PDF which comes with Temples, Tombs and Catacombs and scoured it for something suitable. I settled on one based on Christchurch Cathedral:
I made a few changes in CC3, and printed them out. Ralf had even kindly added a secret section with golems and traps I incorporated.
A few weeks ago I did a full weekend of gaming playing high-level AD&D, and had no doubt this would be a world-spanning adventure, and they’d go to places I didn’t expect, so I printed out a selection of cities from Source Maps: Cities, the complete set of Temples, Tombs and Catacombs (the most useful to me) and four castles from Source Maps: Castles. When it came the time, I was able to reveal beautifully crafted, detailed and realistic maps, and now they are part of my campaign world.
However, I do have a bone to pick with Ralf over the Mad Wizard’s Dungeon. You’ll notice the rather conveniently placed well on the image below. So did my players. When they asked me if it was trapped or occupied, not thinking, I said it wasn’t. I hadn’t noticed that the well takes them all the way down to the bottom, avoiding some unpleasantness on the way down.
In fairness to Ralf, though, the wizard was mad!
I’ll leave you with this question:
What would you like to see in version 3 updates to Source Maps? The current maps updated to the new style, or leave them as they are and spend the same resources adding new maps in a newer style
This beautiful world has been created in Fractal Terrains and Wilbur and then been tranformed into a true map artifact in Photoshop by Brian Stoll.
Not only has he painstakingly crafted this amazing work, but he also provides an extensive step-by-step explanation how he used Fractal Terrains to make the world as detailed and realistic as possible.
Read up here, how he created the basic world, added rivers and erosion, exported world and regional maps and finally added different styles in Photoshop.
And check out the new release of Fractal Terrains 3 here.
Fractal Terrains 3, the latest version of our world-building software is out now. It is even more robust, features an improved interface, increased speed and more export features.
FT3 is designed to create entire worlds from scratch, starting with a flat sphere or real world data, but it’s with its random world creation that FT3 comes into its own. You can change colour, lighting and random settings, and choose physical parameters such as the size of your world, then just scan through the effectively infinite possibilities until you get one you like.
My main use for Fractal Terrains, aside from creating entire worlds for Ashen Stars, is to pick out islands, with rivers, to import into my own campaign world. It really does feel like your are exploring when you seek out the perfect world or landmass, though of course you can use the editing tools to shave off continents, flatten mountains and fill in depressions. The most megalomaniac-friendly command though, is Planetary Bombartment – the ability to crater your world with asteroids.