Saturday, June 4, 2016

Fantasy Maps

Back in a January post, I wrote about a couple of cool books that Brother Dave gave me for Christmas, one of which was on drawing fantasy maps. I showed a poor quality, badly lit picture or two of a map in process (something from our D&D campaign). I never showed the finished product(s).

The first is a map of a portion of the world; the portion that our campaign has taken place in thus far (a small portion of this map, actually). This is not a fine piece of art by any means, but was nice to be able to give to our players and say "this is your map of the world." It has enough of an old-ish style feel to it to seem like something that a band of adventurers could have in hand.
Our campaign area - larger scale (~400 x 300 miles)

The second is a smaller scale map of the immediate area that has been the base of operations for our group during pretty much all of the campaign to date. Again, simple but hopefully evocative.
The Shearingvale (~30 x 25 miles)

Lastly, here is a picture of a map of the largest city within easy traveling distance of the Shearingvale, Turil, about 50 miles west of Linden. The city center (the walled section) is a photocopy of the first version of the city that I sketched out while half watching a Flyer's hockey game on TV. Realizing that this area wouldn't be large enough to be a city of 5-6,000 people, I added the other two sheets of map on which the citadel has been placed (probably during another hockey game or two). These are simple black ink line drawings with some colored pencil shading on streets, marketplaces, corrals and stockyards. Even less of an attempt at "art" was made here, but the overall effect is pretty cool, I think. In a geeky sort of way...
The Free City of Turil

I must say that there are limits to my insanity, so no, I don't have a key that details each of these hundreds of buildings. But yes, I do have a simple key that names 4 or 5 locations in each of the 8 or 9 areas of the city. No detail to speak of, but some inns, taverns, and special locations. The players have been to the city once, interacted with maybe a half dozen of the locations, and the simple storyline prep for these was adequate.

I have always had a fascination with maps of any and all kinds, and I find it therapeutic to sketch out things like this. Whether we ever have use of them in a game is almost irrelevant. Almost.

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