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Drawing a Map 
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
So is the shadowrift just a big.... "hole" in the map that sinks some hundreds/thousands of feet downwards into the mist and just so there's enough mist between them and the sun for protection? o.O' Glad I've yet to leave Barovia yet in this very strange land of yours.... :P

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:28 pm
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Jester of the Dark Comedy
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
Gonzoron of the FoS wrote:
Finally got them up. Sorry for the delay:
Jester's Map Gallery

Jester, you want the Blackburn's Crossing one up now? You said you're "working on it" so maybe you're not done yet.

Not nearly done yet.

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:44 pm
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Jester of the Dark Comedy
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
alhoon wrote:
However, I think it would be very nice if you could add the domains one by one in the Map section of the site, at your leisure.
We're plagued by a lack of nice maps. The ones in the Gaz's are just enlarged versions of the one in the coverpage of the Domains of Dread book, lacking detail. :(
So, if you could add your far more detailed close-ups it would help a lot of people.

That's certainly doable.
I can do fun things like cutting names from adjacent lands and greying them out.

HuManBing wrote:
Yes, the official map of the Shadow Rift is also severely lacking.

Hrm, that's a bit more long term but certainly possible. We really do need a better map, but that's a bit tricky.

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:49 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
As I recall, the one in The Shadow Rift wasn't too terrible. It would make a good starting point at least.

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:53 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
Zilfer wrote:
So is the shadowrift just a big.... "hole" in the map that sinks some hundreds/thousands of feet downwards into the mist and just so there's enough mist between them and the sun for protection?
Yeah, that's pretty much the gist of it. Welcome to our weird and wonderful campaign world. :)

Here's a photo-manip I made for my campaign to give them the feel:
Image

(yeah, the mist effect is kinda lame... I should go back and re-do it. But you get the idea. The real pic is from National Geographic. I think it might be the Blue Mountains in Australia, but I don't recall for sure.)

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:55 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
Not to be off topic, but here's a my original hand-drawn map used as the base map for the City of Kasai, Empire of Minkai, for Paizo's Jade Regent Adventure Path (cross the top of the world and journey to the Golarian Japan analog). I finally got the part 6 of the Adventure Path free from Paizo, because not only did I create the map, but parts of the gazetteer for Minkai are specific locations I placed in the map, and helped write the final version of the gazetteer - I got cover name credits for this not the map, but the map is my real contribution. Paizo even offers a Jade Regent Map Folio, that includes a fold out 22" x 34" full color version of this map.

Paizo's own inhouse cartographer did the final color version, as they wanted it to be consistent with the other maps in the AP, however, with the printed adventure in my hands, I can see that no detail has been altered between my original hand-drawn work, and the final published map - that's something to be proud of, I think.

The JPG file is only 100 ppi, so not as crisp is it really is, but close enough to appreciate. This took me 12 hours to draw with pen onto tracing paper, 8 hours one Sunday, and 4 a week later, when I got the final version of the fortress by the adventure author so I could match my details with his. I am very fast at what I do. :twisted:

I'd post a thumbnail, but this is a hand-drawn 36" x 60" map shrunk down to thumbnail becomes a blur of pixels, so here's a link to the final hand-drawn version of this map - City of Kasai map.


Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:24 pm
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Invisible Menace
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
Dude that's some seriously big map...
what is the scale? :)

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:53 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
alhoon wrote:
Dude that's some seriously big map...
what is the scale? :)


When I was 'guestimating' the scale. There is a rectangle district between canals at the center of the map. Next to the Emperor's District, between the large and small rivers. The distance 'east to west' on that rectangle, plus the width of one canal is 1000 feet. The smaller buildings are 30' x 40' - which is what I used for approximate scale. Thus many of the roads are approximately 50' wide, as major avenues.

In the orient, large cities are known to have extensive canal systems that sectionalize the city by canals. However, Paizo didn't like the idea of long straight avenues and 90 degree canals. I argued to it's authenticity, however, offered that the city existed before the canal system, and therefore, the canals were a second thought. Thus noticeably along canal cuts, some buildings are skewed and not lining up with the avenue at the edge of the canal. This is to show where the older city was demolished and canals were dug in. Paizo wanted all kinds of twisty nooks and crannies where urban encounters might occur.

The part of the city on the bank of the large river to the south (which goes to the sea on the left side of the map) is the old town. This is where the canals do the most damage to the continuity of the eartler street plan which followed terrain, not canal alignment. The entire part north of the smaller northern river that feeds the canal system is controlled by the Yakuza from the entertainment district closest to the river, to the shanty districts of urban poor along the seaside and northern fringe.

I was initially asked to create a city about 35,000, and used the figure that each house holds 10 individuals, large and extended families, I would need to create at least 3,500 homes. Well that's a lot of homes, so I began to draw at a furious pace the streetside shops (some have living space on second floors) and the homes interior to the main surrounding streets. I wasn't counting as I was drawing because I was trying to get at what I thought was 1000-ish - it turned out I under estimated. Once I did start counting, I guessed that the population was jumping from 35,000 to 85,000+. I let Paizo know, and they were pleased.

One particular location of note in the gazetteer of my creation to slip in some Japanese horror is called Setting Sun Cemetery. Looking at the map, center along the bank of the main river. The main canal exit into the river bisects the old town area. On the west side is a narrow piece of neighborhood, tucked between the river, the canal exit channel, and a canal. You'll notice a triangular shape cut out along the south side of that canal. Before the canals were placed a holy shrine in the shape of a great square occupied this location aligned to the bank of the river. The southeast corner of that shrine complex was the cemetery. When the canal system was placed, the temple grounds was bisected cutting off the cemetery from the main shrine area. Today, a newly established temple grounds has been placed aligned with the canal system, and occupying the site of the old shrine. A small altar remains dedicated to that kami spirit, however the main temple area pursues the state religion. The cemetery has been cursed in it's separation and thus unhallowed. Ghosts, haunts and murders are said to go on here, as a result.

As I was drawing this in, the ideas of the cemetery came to mind, and the seed of that plot hook in the gazetteer came to be. So I see most of my entries in the gazatteer are still there. Some of the gazatteer was cut, due to the extra length the final adventure page count came to be. At least I got name credits as one of the gazatteer authors for Kasai.

I made sure each neighborhood district got it's own shrine and temple, market area, and a cemetery, so I didn't have to build some massive necropolis where all dead go, which is not really authentic to Asian cemetery rites. So there was a lot of thought going on, besides trying to achieve some 'impossible' (I thought) number of structures to meet my quota.

One thing of note, once I had the lower half of the city created and posted to Paizo development, they added $100 to my paycheck due to quality and detail. I was happy with that! :lol:


Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:34 pm
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Invisible Menace
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
10 persons/building? :? Does this includes the small 30'x40' houses you mentioned?
If yes, I would reckon that such a city would actually hold 4/10 of the population you estimated... or 35k people, since there would be also people living alone or not with their extended families, some buildings would be empty or used for religious purposes, etc. :)

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:09 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
alhoon wrote:
10 persons/building? :? Does this includes the small 30'x40' houses you mentioned?
If yes, I would reckon that such a city would actually hold 4/10 of the population you estimated... or 35k people, since there would be also people living alone or not with their extended families, some buildings would be empty or used for religious purposes, etc. :)


There are brothels in the entertainment district, larger buildings that contain hundreds of girls. And the shanty area in the far north are densely populated, so some areas of greater concentrations. While I agree assuming 10 people per household was some arbitrary number - I was leaving the specific population detail to Paizo's decisions, I only provided range estimates. I also needed many inns, that could hold temporary populations that raise during specific market seasons and festivals. So the actual population fluctuates. I just wanted to give the appearance of a big city with a huge potential.


Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:20 pm
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Invisible Menace
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
Understood. I think you hit your target. It is a huge city with a huge potentional.

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Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:08 pm
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Jester of the Dark Comedy
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
Jester of the FoS wrote:
alhoon wrote:
However, I think it would be very nice if you could add the domains one by one in the Map section of the site, at your leisure.
We're plagued by a lack of nice maps. The ones in the Gaz's are just enlarged versions of the one in the coverpage of the Domains of Dread book, lacking detail. :(
So, if you could add your far more detailed close-ups it would help a lot of people.

That's certainly doable.
I can do fun things like cutting names from adjacent lands and greying them out.


How does this look:
Image

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Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:40 am
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Agent of the Fraternity
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
There is still a bit of green in upper left corner, the border between the greyscale and colour part may be more sharper, the black outlines are far too bold and the whole map is a bit too bright for Ravenloft :azalin: I don't want to say it su*cks - it is very usefull and clear, and this in the best map of Core I've ever seen - I like it very much as a DM's tool - but for my players I'll draw more "weathered" one;)
BTW which program u use to do this one..?

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Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:58 am
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Jester of the Dark Comedy
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
Goose Bone wrote:
There is still a bit of green in upper left corner, the border between the greyscale and colour part may be more sharper,

It's a test image really.
I wanted to see what people thought of the greyscale versus the coloured domain, or if it was better to go for blurred or muted colours.

Goose Bone wrote:
the black outlines are far too bold

You mean around the text? Hrm, that might be true and trickier to fix. I'll have to think about how to handle that, if I even want to.
I'll probably make the final domain ones a tad smaller anyway

Goose Bone wrote:
and the whole map is a bit too bright for Ravenloft :azalin: I don't want to say it su*cks - it is very usefull and clear, and this in the best map of Core I've ever seen - I like it very much as a DM's tool - but for my players I'll draw more "weathered" one;)
Well, that's an easy fix with most photo-manipulation programs, just play with contrast and brightness. I opted for bright to more easily differentiate plains from forests.

Goose Bone wrote:
BTW which program u use to do this one..?

Photoshop CS3

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Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:42 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Drawing a Map
Jester of the FoS wrote:
You mean around the text? Hrm, that might be true and trickier to fix. I'll have to think about how to handle that, if I even want to.
On your text layer, go to layer -> Layer style. Click on outer glow, choose black as your color, Technique: precise. Blend Mode: "Darken" fiddle with the size and other parameters. It's actually surprisingly easy to make it look nice.

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Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:34 pm
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