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.

Annual 2008 Overland B&W Style


Continue reading »

[Ed: Bill Roach is best known in the CC3 community for creating the free Terraformer enhancement to Fractal Terrains 3. Here he turns his attention to water courses; a features which is often added to maps without much thought.]

A PDF of this article is available

(Images in this article not created by the author are either courtesy of the EPA, FEMA, USGS, or NOAA, or are licensed as Public Domain, or under the GNU Open Document License by their respective authors.)

The rivers on your overland maps will be the life blood of your simulated world. Most of the plant and animal life on your maps will cluster next to them, near them, and around them. Settlements, towns, and cities will grow alongside them, and fishermen, hunters, trappers, farmers, and merchants will depend upon them for their livelihoods. They will act as major arteries of commerce, major zones of cooperation, and points of contentious, sometimes vicious geopolitical dispute. In peace they will be places of celebration – and in war, they will be places of intrigue. They will be signposts for travelers, and form the borders of nations. They may even be the focus of religious pilgrimage. They will be some of the most important and essential key elements of your maps.

When you design your overland maps, also remember that your riverways, lakes, and seas will influence weather.Agriculture depends upon rain – and farms are typically found in water rich places. Rivers and lakes mean farms, farms lead to hamlets, villages, and towns, towns give rise to cities, and cities give rise to nations.

Continue reading »