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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Useful Resources: More Mapping Stuff

Creating maps is a lot of fun, at least I enjoy the process.  It helps to really bring a campaign or a setting to life in a way that a few cryptic passages just don't.  Even Robert E. Howard sketched-out a rough map of Hyboria to go along with his seminal essay on that land and time that never existed but will ever persist in the imaginations of all whom his work has touched or influenced.  Maps are powerful tools and can be inspiring works of art, often both at once.

But not everyone wants to draw fiddly little details for hours on end with colored pencils, smelly markers or borrowed crayons.  Some folks like to go all digital on such projects.  There's freeware/trialware graphics software like Gimp, Inkscape,  Artweaver, Twisted Brush, or even more dedicated mapping software such as AutorealmHexographer, Dundjinni, Profantasy's line of RPG Cartography software, and the Greenfish Random Relief Map Generator which I discovered via this article at Welsh Piper's awesome site, the freeware Hexmapper, and of course you can find out about more resources via RPGmapshare or The Cartographer's Guild.

The Random Relief Map Generator from Greenfish just might be a nice complement to the Dizzy Dragon Random Adventure Generator.  Running a completely random campaign might be fun, at least for a while...

You can also find a range of options for simply making your own graph, grid or hex paper for free at incompetech's site, or the Print free graph paper site, though the Incompetech site is much better overall.  We're currently building our own hex-grid from scratch so we can number or letter it as we see fit on a project-by-project basis.

The Roleplay-Geek blog has a post on How to make your own Fantasy Googlemap with MapLib without needing to be a code monkey which walks you through the process of using Google Maps and Maplib to make realistic and versatile maps for your campaign.  It is a different approach, and one that seems rather interesting, personally, as it could very well solve a few of the problems we've been wrestling with for Riskail in particular.

4 comments:

  1. Nice collection of links. Thanks!

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  2. I'll second that!

    Maps seem to be the subject everywhere I look at the minute; I've just put up a post on them for essentially this reason. The noosphere does have strange tides...

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  3. Glad you found my MapLib experiment useful, even though the demo graphics were uninspiring fare. I'm piecing my own campaign world map together at: The Lands of Dual:Atlas to see how far I can push a "Gazeteer" concept using MapLib to host multiple maps with links to location descriptions in Googlesites.

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