[Ed's Note: Let us know if you like this style, and with Flavio's permission, we'll create an Annual from it]

My fiancée recently asked me if it would be OK to make a Viking character for my Al-Qadim campaign.  I thought about the role playing possibilities for a moment: Viking gets lost at sea en route to pillage and plunder; Viking gets shipwrecked in hostile desert environment; Viking PC makes for a very interest game indeed.  I then thought about where such a Viking would come from in my world and set about creating a map of his home.

 

Myrr Dominion

 

Myrr is a semi-arctic region largely inspired by Scandinavia, Iceland, and Alaska.  I spent a great deal of time looking over maps of their fjords and river systems in the hope that I could create something similar and believable in my own map.   After an hour or two tinkering around with the fractal line tool (adding a river here, indenting land mass there, etc), I finally had a landmass and set of islands I could be happy with.

The next step was to create the mountain range.  I first drew the main ridge of the mountain and all the little ridges that branch off of it with the smooth poly tool. This is what the looked like without effects on.

mountain1

I gave it a rather long and dark wall shadow, a deep edge fade inner (with 75% inner opacity), and a large lighted bevel effect (so that the two sides of the bevel met in the center of the polygon).  I then added a Mountain Hills sheet that encircled the range with a smaller edge fade inner and lighted bevel effect.  Next, I added a Mountain Base sheet that encircled the Mountain Hills (also with a smaller edge fade inner and lighted bevel effect.)  Because I wasn’t thoroughly happy with the colors that were coming out, I finalized it with a Mountain Cover sheet.  This shows the details of the effects:

mountain2

And this is the final mountain range:

mountain3

 

As you can see, I also used the Mountain Base sheet to layout my hills.  I further added a Hills Base sheet that encircle these hills and had a deep edge fade inner to give the illusion of height.  From there I added some forests (very subtle), rivers, text, (about a dozen assorted sheets to get the ocean, landmass and desert looking right) and called it a day.  All of the textures came from Herwin Wielink annual and CGtextures.com.

This map was a great deal of fun to make and I learned a new technique for mountains in the process.   Of course, the best part is now crafting a history about this region to help fill in the gaps of my fiancée’s character’s back-story.  Although I’m far from done, you can check what I have so far (along with a full resolution version of the map) at my blog.

 

Forum member Nicholas Hopkins created an atmospheric floorplan for a Call of Cthulhu game.  Download the PDF.

He says:

I saw a couple of floorplans in some older mission sourcebooks for Call of Cthulhu and wanted to emulate it as much as possible. I am doing a 1920′s campaign so I wanted it to look a little old fashioned, hence the black and white. It is based on the lighted dungeon template so that the shadows fall the right direction and it gives the rooms a little more texture as there are small, subtle shadows towards the corners of the rooms.

I used the Sepia setting under the RGB Matrix effect and it worked very nicely. Because I didn’t want a background of solid black (never seems to print well) I put in a couple of light sources outside the walls to light things slightly and cast some shadows off the corners of the building. There was some odd effects with the light sources associated with doors and windows so I just made a new sheet called Window Block, made sure that things on it blocked the light sources and was below the Wall sheet so it would disappear, and drew a simple line across the openings. Took care of things nicely. The symbols are a mixture of DD3 symbols and SS3 Modern symbols. They all came out nice looking with the effects turned on.