Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mapping Software or Mappers

I have talked about my world in the past.  Basically it is a combination of Mystara/Urt(Urth) (from Basic D&D) and Greyhawk/Oerth (from AD&D 1st ed) that I have called Mystoerth.  This lets me have all sorts of fun and is basically the world I have been using since the late 80s.

Along the way I have added more to it.  Blackmoor, which was the common element of both worlds is here as sort of a Shangri-la sort of land beyond the North pole in a valley heated by geo-thermal vents.  I have a Hyborea as well to support my old-school street cred a bit.  I pulled down my 1st Ed Oriental Adventures to build up my Kara-Tur a bit and I have a spot for it.

Now I want to expand.  I want to add Ansalon as a southern continent and I want to add the Nentir Vale from the new D&D4 material.  Both are pretty small and will fit almost anywhere.

What I don't have are skills.

Does anyone know of or can suggest a map making tool?  Part of me thinks I can just trace everything.  After all that was good enough for the old days!  Another part of me wants to make high quality maps.

Any and all advice and tips are appreciated.


Joe said...

If you're looking for something that makes maps like those in the Gazetteer series check out my project Hexographer. However, switching icon sets and setting some different options allow you to change the style quite a bit.

There's a free web-based (Java) version that has all but a couple of features.

It is (I hope) a very simple interface and if you're not trying to trace coastlines you can make a complete continent map in an hour or two.

If you do want detailed coastlines that don't line up with hexes it may take an extra hour or so depending on the size. And if you've got feedback on it drop a note in the forum. I'm currently working on some changes to make it easier to make maps in the 1st edition Greyhawk style. (The box set with the big posters that came out around '86.)

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I'll certainly have to check that out.

Zanazaz said...

Check out out Campaign Cartographer Forums. Plenty of info there...

Labyrinthian said...

Photoshop, and programs like it, are really the ultimate map making tools. If you are willing to spend some time to learn the ins and outs of the program you will really be rewarded!

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Hexographer looks good, and so does Campaign Cartographer.

I am proficient in Photoshop so that is good.

I'll have to download these and give it a shot.