The land of Tjalf

a screen shot of the Lands of Tjalf (formerly known as Geoff). This area is very interesting and has a lot of documentation. It is from my perspective as a mapmaker highly interesting. It is simply by its surroundings a place full of features, which is the reason I have both dreamt of and dreaded to map it.

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That is the reason i have avoided the Sheldomar Valley and all its land for a very long time. But now I feel very confident in my abilities and I’m starting to be really pleased with the result. It is far from done, and I’m in the second stage where I have done one big revision and a few smaller to the terrain. I have started to place known objects and names to see if things hold up to further scrutiny.

 

I’m very pleased that WotC in the Dragon article by Clausio Pozas gave Hochoch a city heraldic sign. It is interesting since it is a thre part just like the old Idee shield. It also shares both the bottom water/waves part, though the ships are gone. But also the Darmen green found in so many of the Aerdy symbols. Then its a golden Griffon on black. I wonder what is behind the design?

Rel Deven Campaign map, again…

 

It takes time to get things right when you do a lot of things, and fantasy maps are no exception. This map for the Greyhawk campaign I run are where I try and work out the style and layout I want my Flanaess mapping project will have when its finished. Besides all that my goal with the campaign map is to add a bit of a “fog of war” feeling emphasizing the area explored by the players, and still give them inspiration and basic orientation of the world around them, names, big features and other things the characters have heard or read about.

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Missing on this map are a mini-map showing what part of the Flanaess this map covers. A proper logo showing that I’m the person that made the map and more details of when it was made and what version of my map-data was used and some other trivia like where you can find the legend do help you interpret the map.

Speaking of logos, on this map I have included the official Greyhawk and Pathfinder logos, which I normally don’t. This is as stated a map of my homebrew campaign set in the world of Greyhawk using the Pathfinder RPG rules. I’m not a lawyer but I assume that I can do that on a map that I have created to be used by me and my players to make better use of all the books and modules we have bought from Wizards of the coast and Paizo. I write this not to start a debate but  only to humbly explain my intent.

Next week I will hopefully publish a first version of my legend so you can interpret my new maps better.

 

 

Another perspective on the Flanaess

 

I often get asked if I’m really working in 3D which is understandable to ask since all I ever show are the top down maps. So I thought it was time to show off my work in a different way, this time from a vantage point many miles above the central Flanaess looking in various directions across the sub-continent. The quality isn’t much to brag about and Bryce shows its limitations and age in these renderings but it shows the topography I have created and is working with to do my maps.

Here comes a first picture showing Bissel and Veluna leading up to the gap of Thornward with the Yatils and Ket in the background. The misfit pieces of mountains and other wierd bits of terrain in the background are various experiments I have saved for reference to try out algorithms to see what they result in.
3D render3

 

Here is the central Sheldomar Valley seen from the east with Rushmoors, Grand March, Bissel in the foreground. Geoff are seen against the Barrier Peaks and far off to the right are Ekbir and Tusmit. I have to exaggerate the height of the mountains to make them stand out in top down renders. You can see why when you fly at a high altitude, all mountains look almost flat. So they are a bit off scale.

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Wholly Bay and the Wild Coast seen from north east with Welkwood, Fuss forest framing the low Southern Lortmils. In the foreground you have the Bright Desert Coast
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The southern shores of the Nyr Dyv and in the background Relmor Bay and sea of Gearnat. The Urnst countries and the mighty Celadon and the Abbor-Alz making up the center.

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Eastern part of the Empire of Iuz with Bandit Kingdoms in the foreground with Rift Canyon  leading off to the Rakers and Griff mountains with the Pale lands just in front. Way off in the distance you see Teeth of Vatun.

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The lands of Iuz and northern Whystil Lake in fron of the large expanses of cold flat lands of the Barren plains. Fellreev Forest lay as a divide between the open expanes of the north and the bandit lands south of it.

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Vesve and the Clatspurs and to the left the Yatils frame the Kershane Pass leading off to Lake Quag and Perrenland. In the distance the nomad steppes and the bitterly cold Burneal Forest. The Black Ice behind it was a bit too much for Bryce to make black so I had to resort to magic afterwards for make that come true.

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This ends the virtual tour of the Flanaess for this time. But sometime in the future with better tools I’ll be able to achieve a much better result.

Rel Deven Campaign map, new style

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I’m running a campaign set in Rel Deven and its surroundings in CY598. Here is the latest version of our campaign map. It has some features added that are not canon. I’ve added some towns, villages and other settlements, and also added more heraldry. The colored area are the parts the characters have explored, and the colored heraldry are the ones encountered or known to the party.

We use the Pathfinder rules with a few Greyhawk adaptations, like deities.

Bissel map

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Time for the second of my series of preview maps. This time its Bissel with all its Baronies as it stood after the repelling of the Ketite invasion and everything else that happened during the Greyhawk wars.

My preview maps are both a teaser for the final Flanaess map and a way for all you Greyhawk fans to help me find as many errors as possible before anything is printed.

I’m moving south and west now to work on Gran March and what is left of Geoff and then the Valley of the Mage.

Veluna map

As a first in a series of Realm  maps that I release, mainly to try and weed out as many errors as possible on the final map.

First out is Veluna with corrected hills and mountains.

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Realm Works Kickstarter

I’m trying to keep this site free from annoying banners and ads, but here is something I want to promote and urge you to consider.  A tool like Realm Works is something I have wished to have since I started to run games. My intention is to make Greyhawk maps for the Realm Works public repository.

Realm Works Kickstarter 

Realm Works Home Page

Preview map download problems

The link to the preview map didn’t always work. I think it was an issue with the huge size of the JPG and certain browsers, sometimes it showed a white image. So I made a ziped version you can download here: Preview map

I’m sorry for the hassle and hope that this works. If not just send me a note or a comment.

Full Map Preview

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After some really hard work I’m done with converting all my area maps into one Illustrator file. In reality that means redraw every road and border, retype all text and place all the herladry again. I haven’t counted how many items there are on the map but it took me two weeks of grueling work at the computer.

Here is a low resolution (150 pixel per inch) preview. I’m sorry for the low quality but its the best way to just let you have a first look at it. I hope you can read the names, at least most of them are possible to read even at this low resolution. The original are 600 ppi or vector, and I have added a close up of Highfolk area in 300 ppi to give you a sense of the quality of the finished map.

I’ve worked for years to come this far and I must say that I am proud of what I have achieved  Even after starring at it for countless hours even I notice new interesting things here and there like the small rounded hills across the Tuflik  River from the city of Ceshra. They have appeared from a combination of algorithms and filters or as artifacts from the Photoshop editing.

After this I will take a few days away from Photoshop and Illustrator work to get back into research phase again, Bissel and the Sheldomar Valley are waiting to have its secrets uncovered. I have also upgraded my symbols and borders and other features on the map so I have to make a comprehensive Legend. It will be a pdf guide to my maps with a presentation and extensive notes on various small things that you might not see right away. For example that settlements symbols that spans a river indicates that there are a bridge, and if not then you have to get a boat or swim (or use one of your characters fancy magical means).

Now I’m babbling so please take a look at the map and see if you notice something amiss. I have my private campaign layers visible on this preview, so there are a few things non canon, especially in the Rel Deven area. In the future I will have them removed on my public maps.

Here is a link to the preview: Flanaess Preview 130208

Working on the full map.

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Here comes a status report on my work on converting all my area maps into one map in Illustrator. So far I’ve done about one third area wise in a bout two days of work. It took me several more days to work out styles symbols text styles and lots of other pre-conversion tasks that had to be done before the actual work of remaking the maps using Illustrator. Now I have found what I can import from CorelDraw and what needs to be made from scratch again, so now the work is progressing nicely.

I’ve changed a bit of the look of things as well, both symbols and the graphic style of text and borders and roads. My ambition has been to try and make some text less intrusive, like names of small areas a Barony inside a Kingdom for instance. You have to zoom in a lot to see that as well as the small swamp that are found inside it. Most of this are set using global styles so I can tweak it afterwards across the whole map without too much hassle.

Progress2

But the look of the map when it comes to fonts, symbols and elements are getting close to what I want tin the final product. There are a few more tweaks I want to do but nothing major, so now there are about a week of hard labor at the desk and a map covering the whole of the Flaness in close detail are a lot closer to being a reality!