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kalos72
Seeker

USA
40 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2016 :  13:54:44  Show Profile Send kalos72 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks all! Love your works! Please keep us updated! :)
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kalos72
Seeker

USA
40 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2016 :  16:39:34  Show Profile Send kalos72 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quick question, what software do you guys use for maps and the like now? I want to start making some detailed maps of Neverwinter and the region to fit my campaign. I had Campaign Cartographer a LONG time ago...
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14132 Posts

Posted - 03 Nov 2016 :  19:34:49  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use GIMP. I used to use Photoshop, until I had a house fire and lost everything. You can accomplish the same things in GIMP (which is Freeware) that you can with PS, BUT it doesn't have a lot of 'automated processes' like PS does. Thus, to do wrap-around text, or put glow on text, I have to do several steps, rather than it being 'one click'. On the other hand, because GIMP forces me to actually understand all the 'guts' of the program, I've become a better artist for it. "That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

And by learning the inner-workings of the program, in the long run I've actually managed to stream-line my working process. For example, I used to have to hand-draw that darkened 'glow' around the coast, or the 'shallows' part of the water. Now I can automate all of that, because I know how everything works (its all layers and layer masks - I never made extensive use of those in PS, and didn't even know what the layer masks were). So while text has become a bit harder (but looks better for it), most other things have become easier, just by knowing what the program is capable of. Two to three extra steps at the beginning of a map can save me hours near the end.

I've been told by others at the Cartographer's Guild that I should be making the map itself in GIMP, and then use Inkscape for the text, which is a 'richer' program for that sort of thing. However, I find I need to constantly tweak the geography because of the text, so for now, I just use GIMP for everything. I am (slowly) working on another map as a side (learning) project, using three different programs to accomplish the effects I want. I've always been jealous of those maps with the buildings and other neat 'picture' icons on them, so I am trying to us Campaign Cartographer just for the icons. We'll see how that goes. That's non-FR, though (someone's sandbox). Most of the guys over at the Cartographer's Guild use several programs for their maps. I highly recommend that site - its worth the trip just for all the free maps they produce.

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

One of my side projects is to get every sourcebook into word and then collate everything into documents based on region. that way if i want to know about a place it is all there in one document. It allows for finding of many more links between the lore.
Its a slow process and i had to start again recently to make sure i note down sources, but when its done i hope it will help me work faster on realms projects.
My eventual intention for this new series is to produce them as layered PDF's, so that a DM can turn layers 'on' & 'off' before printing, to hide certain things from players (like dungeons!)

Thats the easy part. The hard part is that I want to index every single location on each map, with precise locations on where to find further information. Thats going to be a biotch. I am tired of someone asking me about a locale on a map I did 5 years ago, and me having no idea where it was from (and it driving me crazy). I may ask for help with that part. Since the first map is Cormyr, I will probably nudge the 3-5 Cormyr experts around here.

I may even take it a step further, and have an additional 'homebrew' layer, with notes of my own, but we'll see. I suppose what I am thinking about is turning the maps themselves into mini-regional sourcebooks. Since I am going be tapping several FR designers for this project, and anything they (except for Ed) say is technically 'apocryphal', that would also have to go into a 'homebrew' layer.

Maybe even a little bit of fanfic... we'll see where this takes me.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 03 Nov 2016 19:36:48
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4905 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2016 :  00:10:44  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

"The 'Dwarves of Old' built a very involved system of channels on the eastern face of the Earthfasts, capturing most of the water run-off from spring rains and thaw. This system funneled the liquid through filtering sand and on into massive subterranean cisterns, which provided both drinking water for the Earthfast Dwarves, and also water to cool their forges. As with all such sprawling Dwarven settlements, chimneys were also cut into the mountains to vent both smoke and steam, providing their own misty camouflage from prying eyes and would-be interlopers. It is believed that at least two major rivers were caused to disappear because of this, and the evidence of their dried-up beds can still be discerned in the Impulturran countryside."

--- 'Old Man Tay', in his dissertation to the scholars of Candlekeep, Ancient Dwarven Engineering Marvels, in D.R. 1373





I like this. I like it a lot. Part of my Impiltur for evermore.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5939 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2016 :  00:27:32  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

In the meantime, something I've been working on.



Oh, gods bless you. Thank you for the idea where you say you'll be posting them to DMs Guild. I bought Campaign Cartographer 3+ and have been making my own maps for Katashaka, the Lopango part of Maztica, the Fort Flame and City of Gold areas in Anchorome, and finally Chessenta/Shaar. Its fun, but a lot of work.... and it looks nowhere near as good as yours and Handsome Rob's stuff. I was planning on letting people have the actual map files though, so on the off chance if they have CC3+ they could edit them.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14132 Posts

Posted - 04 Nov 2016 :  01:31:04  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had to 'tweak' all the rivers that trail-off the left-hand side of that map. I did an 'extended version' out to the Sword Coast, and things weren't quite lining-up to the Fonstad Atlas maps the way I'd like, so I had to re-size the Lands of intrigue map I was using for that, once again (and now it meets the Turmish/Vilhon Reach one much better).

And thanks, George. That means a lot.

EDIT: Update
I'm still plugging away at this. I had to do a LOT of tweaking to get the map I am working on cohesive with the newer western one, plus I found/added MANY more maps for overlays. In fact, I found so much stuff that I think even at my new resolution, I am going to have a lot of trouble mapping Cormyr, especially the eastern edge where it meets Sembia. There is NO busier (locale-wise) spot in all the Realms! I literally have stuff right on top of each other.

And I was missing several rivers, one of which only appeared on one map. The index for this Cormyr map is going to be insane. Also had to shift the 'visible' map over about half an inch (like 20 miles). I didn't want to do that, because now I've lost the eastern coast of the Easting Reach (on the second map), but I had to for the sake of future maps: the 3rd one (which will now be the piece to the left/west of the Cormyr one) extends all the way to the coast, and I was missing a tiny corner of that coast, so rather than create another entire 8½ x 11 map-piece just for that little bit, I shifted the map-plan slightly west (so I will loose some of the far east eventually... maybe).

Plus I've gone back even further than the Fonstad maps, which used to be the closest I could get to Ed's originals. Of course, now I HAVE those originals...

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 12 Nov 2016 21:18:41
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4905 Posts

Posted - 04 Dec 2016 :  03:23:08  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mark, I was just trawling through my cornucopia of Impiltur stuff and came across this, written in 2005:

Harandil I, “the Strong” 512/537 469/537
Son-in-law of the last king of the Mirandor dynasty, Sharaun, he was a stern, uncompromising leader who never asked of others what he would not do himself. After defeating the orc horde and hunting down the fleeing survivors of the battle, Harandil returned to Lyrabar where he was crowned along with his queen, the sole surviving child of Sharaun, Tayissa. He then undertook a yearlong tour and inspection of the kingdom, travelling with a retinue of knights and heralds to meet the populace and let them recognize their new ruler. Determined that the devastation wrought by the orcs would not be repeated, Harandil commenced the construction of Tower Ithfell in the far northwestern reaches of the kingdom to provide a bulwark against any further orc invasions over the Earthspurs. This great stone fortress was built with the assistance of the dwarven Steelhammer clan of stonemasons, once members of the great dwarven realm of Sarphil who now resided in the Earthspur Mountains. For the remaining years of his rule, Harandil concentrated on great feats of engineering such as the King’s Way (the road from present-day Sarshel – then the town of Oloth – to Tower Ithfell along the foothills of the Earthspurs) and the start of works to drain the Gloom Fens, thereby creating much rich agricultural land and encouraging further settlement of the uplands.He also oversaw the construction of two large stone dams in the Earthfasts, positioned so as to catch many of the mountain streams and creeks, and aqueducts leading from them into farming districts. His reign was distinguished for the internal improvement and stability his rule created in Impiltur.

So the issue of no rivers has been bugging me for some 10 years now!

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3496 Posts

Posted - 04 Dec 2016 :  07:24:50  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
the glacier of the white worm could be an answer.

if it exists too far south to be naturally occuring (ie magically or for my idea monstrously maintained) then perhaps it does not melt like normal glaciers. so not enough run off to produce a river.

the other alternative is the dwarves of the vast directed all the water underground to their holdings

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14132 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2016 :  04:53:24  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Glacier has nothing to do with it - all mountains have run-off just from rains (except maybe desert mountains, and even then, it does rain in the desert once in awhile). A lot of fantasy maps (The Realms included) like to show rivers only running off one side of a mountain chain, when rivers need to be on both sides.

I also REALLY hate rivers that just 'appear' in the middle of nowhere... I've been sneaking-in hills all over the place for years (or extending rivers to the nearest 'rough' region). I'm not saying it doesn't happen (lowlands areas where waters 'collect'), but it doesn't happen nearly as often RW as it does on fantasy maps.

I don't just place geography - I have to know why it exists (or in some cases, why something doesn't exist).

And I just got done tweaking the hell out of the Erlkazar region today for my re-working of my Western Heartlands map (Director's Cut!). I have to say, I've never been happier with the region - people might want to run a campaign there now. I even used two different RAS (novel) maps to get everything just right (you'll note the novel maps ALWAYS lined-up with 1e/2e, and NEVER 3e... even in 3e). Plus I tacked-on a nice chunk of my now abandoned Eastern heartlands map - no sense wasting that stuff. I just extended the other map (so it will be a true 8½ x 11 for printing... although if you printed it that small, good luck reading it).

I wanted that done by today (Sunday), but RW stuff came-up, and I am going away for three days, so hopefully by next Friday. Trust me, its gonna be worth the wait. With a little effort I was able to take my best-looking older map and apply some new techniques to it, so now it really 'pops' (and the new (dual!)scale is super-accurate - you can go all the way down to 5-mile increments). And as I've said elsewhere, thats really just a hold-me-over until the REAL new maps come out.

'Old School aesthetics meets new-school PS techniques'.

@G. Krashos - 'great minds' and all that, eh?

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 05 Dec 2016 04:56:16
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Bravesteel
Seeker

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2016 :  18:40:02  Show Profile Send Bravesteel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Markustay, these maps are amazing. When it is done, I would love to have the whole deal printed out on vinyl for my group to reference.

I loved to read and to write, but then something happened. As I made my way through school, I kept getting handed books to read that didn't excite me and didn't even remotely connect to the realities of my life.- R. A. Salvatore

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Arioch
Learned Scribe

Italy
222 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2017 :  14:44:15  Show Profile  Visit Arioch's Homepage Send Arioch a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi!

Is the the link to the faerun zoomable map from perlmugp broken or it is just me?
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5939 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2017 :  13:54:41  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Glacier has nothing to do with it - all mountains have run-off just from rains (except maybe desert mountains, and even then, it does rain in the desert once in awhile). A lot of fantasy maps (The Realms included) like to show rivers only running off one side of a mountain chain, when rivers need to be on both sides.

I also REALLY hate rivers that just 'appear' in the middle of nowhere... I've been sneaking-in hills all over the place for years (or extending rivers to the nearest 'rough' region). I'm not saying it doesn't happen (lowlands areas where waters 'collect'), but it doesn't happen nearly as often RW as it does on fantasy maps.

I don't just place geography - I have to know why it exists (or in some cases, why something doesn't exist).

And I just got done tweaking the hell out of the Erlkazar region today for my re-working of my Western Heartlands map (Director's Cut!). I have to say, I've never been happier with the region - people might want to run a campaign there now. I even used two different RAS (novel) maps to get everything just right (you'll note the novel maps ALWAYS lined-up with 1e/2e, and NEVER 3e... even in 3e). Plus I tacked-on a nice chunk of my now abandoned Eastern heartlands map - no sense wasting that stuff. I just extended the other map (so it will be a true 8½ x 11 for printing... although if you printed it that small, good luck reading it).

I wanted that done by today (Sunday), but RW stuff came-up, and I am going away for three days, so hopefully by next Friday. Trust me, its gonna be worth the wait. With a little effort I was able to take my best-looking older map and apply some new techniques to it, so now it really 'pops' (and the new (dual!)scale is super-accurate - you can go all the way down to 5-mile increments). And as I've said elsewhere, thats really just a hold-me-over until the REAL new maps come out.

'Old School aesthetics meets new-school PS techniques'.

@G. Krashos - 'great minds' and all that, eh?



Hmmm, I never really thought about the part of mountains usually having rivers just down one side. I too hate the "river that comes from nowhere" that we see periodically. Thank you Markustay, yet again, you've given me food for thought regarding geography.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Duneth Despana
Learned Scribe

Belgium
256 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2017 :  00:46:43  Show Profile Send Duneth Despana a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

For Nordahaeril, THIS is about as official as it gets.

I am sad to say none of those map projects have seen the light of day, except for some parts that were used in Mike Schley's maps. Hopefully, someday...

And YES, that is part of a MUCH bigger map - one that is finished (I think).


Any news on Eric's High Forest sourcebook and adventure path (and the map to go along with it you made)? Since you posted the 'under Illefarn anew' one (Daggerford Environs) I was wondering if you were allowed to post the High Forest one too)

« There is no overriding « epic » in the Realms, but rather a large number of stories, adventures, and encounters going on all the time. [...]. Each creative mind adds to the base, creating, defining, and making their contribution to the rich diversity of the Realms. [...]. But Ed built the stage upon which all the plays are presented. Thanks Ed. » -FR Comic no.1
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14132 Posts

Posted - 23 Aug 2017 :  17:08:39  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nope, haven't heard from Eric in quite awhile. I'd nudge him, but I know he got insanely busy like a year ago with 'real life' stuff, so I'm hoping he eventually gets back to me on his own, when things settled-down a bit on his end.

Cheers

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1408 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2017 :  11:47:41  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey fellow sages, have you seen this?

Lore Maps of Faerūn

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5939 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2017 :  13:11:17  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Barastir

Hey fellow sages, have you seen this?

Lore Maps of Faerūn



Hmmm, that's very interesting. If they were to throw in links to the FR Wiki, it would be moreso.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3064 Posts

Posted - 05 Sep 2017 :  14:52:28  Show Profile Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Barastir

Hey fellow sages, have you seen this?

Lore Maps of Faerūn



I remember seeing this awhile back. Pretty neat.

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Be my friend on Goodreads.com: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6751111-brian
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