We’ve started a new series of short video tutorials for Campaign Cartographer 3 and its add-ons. These are meant to be small tidbits of useful information we (or anyone else for that matter) can point to when asked about the tool or method in question. Check out the first two:
Drawing a semi-circular room in Dungeon Designer 3:
We’ve recently stumbled across this wonderful little video tutorial by Jason Hibdon (Eugee on the community forum). Jason creates a quick battle map for a virtual tabletop game, using the free “Jon Roberts Dungeon” style from the Cartographer’s Annual.
As many symbols as Character Artist 3 contains or how many we may add in the future, the incredible variety of role-playing games, settings and campaigns means there will always be need and room for more.
The obvious – but not always simple – solution to needed symbols is to create them yourselves, either by drawing them from scratch or adapting existing artwork to your own requirements. Because the Character Artist 3 catalogs and symbols have a pretty specific setup, we are offering this guide to their creation. It takes you through the steps of adjusting existing png artwork for use in CA3 and importing it as a symbol.
Master Mapper Jean-Michel Bravo (known as Joachim de Ravenbel on the ProFantasy forum) has created an amazing series of tutorials for the CC3 community. Step-by-step he goes through the creation of his floorplan of “The Chapel” highlighting lots of useful techniques and commands on the way. This is a must read for any serious user of Campaign Cartographer 3.
[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 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.
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:
And this is the final mountain range:
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.
[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.]
(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.