Cartography, Process, Visuals

Terrain Building 2

Meanwhile, in the second campaign…

Mat's Terrain


The Merkinsaw Province (updated)

I’ve agreed to DM a second campaign because I am not mad. At all.

Regardless my mental state, I’ve been working on a detail from the world I’ve created, as the players want to begin their campaign in Aberland in the province of Merkinsaw, where evil magic is afoot and barriers between our plane of existence, the Feywild, and the Underdark are collapsing.

Anyway, here’s a map in progress, now version 4:

Merkinsaw Color Map 4
The eastern seaboard of Lochnochbogland, the Emerald Sea, the Merkinsaw Province (with city and town names), and the western border of Aberland’s Cambryshire Province by nonsailor on Adventures in Aberland
Cartography, Process, Visuals

Episode 13: Dungeon & Cavern Maps

Team Tealight descended a long, dark, and winding tunnel of roughly hewn rock, following a trail of red candles along the floor. They crouched and stumbled across loose stones, rock fragments, and scree before finding the path crossing onto the flagstones of a hallway. They cautiously approached the first door.

The first door is on the far left of the map. Below is where they explored in Episode 13: “What Lies Beneath Honorbow Keep.” Descriptions can be found in the episode recap and in The Story.

Insert diffident apology for my sloppy drawing skills here. Still new to mapmaking and dungeon design.


Map of the Known World (in progress)

One of many reasons why D&D is amazing: How often do you have a chance to create your own world? I’d begun thinking that we’d run a module (Lost Mine of Phandelver), but quickly realized that I had too many of my own ideas. The map began as a doodle, a loose recombination of England, Ireland, and New England in “Kingdom scale,” where a single square represents six miles.

I should upload a smaller version, shouldn't I?
Worldbuilding, one square at a time. The island nation called Aberland. Graph paper, graphite, color pencil, ink, and Photoshop layers. (April 2018)

The map centers the fictional island kingdom of Aberland where the adventure is set. Much of it is left blank, as the adventurers have yet to discover the area (and, in some cases, I have yet to populate it). I wanted to use a simple name for the main setting. The prefix “aber” is a place name that means “a confluence of rivers.” As it so happened, I’d already placed a large river bisecting the island and that was all the justification I needed.

I also wanted to include a lot of different features in the world: coastal ports, mountains, rivers, lakes, bogs, dense forests, islands and frozen reaches. The ‘realism’ of having so many options built into one place might stretch credulity, but each offers different challenges to the player and creatures to encounter. When one player decided to build a ‘viking’ cleric, I added the island chain to the north and made an allusion his character’s deity, Valkur, into the name “Ynysvalks.”

I’ll post new versions as I update them. The challenge I’m having now is generating smaller maps of settlements and roads within the country. In future posts, I’ll talk a bit about that process and some tools available for map making.