Fantasy Map-Making for my Dungeons & Dragons Campaign

in art •  4 months ago

Here's something I've never spoken about on this old blog o' mine: Dungeons & Dragons. I've been playing D&D for almost as long as I've been on Steemit.

My History with D&D

It's something I had wanted to do for as long as I've known about the game, but I never had a group of friends who were interested or experienced, and I didn't have the initiative to do all of the research myself. But I'm glad I started when I did. If I got into the game just a little bit earlier, I would have been playing 4th Edition, which I don't think I would have liked. 4e seems like a videogame, where instead of letting the computer do all the hard work and math, I have to do it.

I started by playing 5th Edition with a group of friends from work. Since then, I decided to try my hand at running my own campaign. For the uninitiated, the game master in D&D is called the Dungeon Master or DM. 

I recently finished running my first adventure with my wife and a few friends (an adventure that I'm sure I'll publish on Steemit one day.) I intended this adventure to be a short standalone (though it took us 3 sessions to play through), but I've now decided to expand it into a huge campaign. The adventure took place in a village. The campaign takes place on a continent.

The first thing I had to do to prepare for this was create a map. And that's what I'm here to share today!

Map-Making for D&D

I started with a sketch. I developed this at work over a couple of lunches. I first worked out the shapes of the landmass then the major landmarks, geography and political borders.

Then I translated the drawing to a larger sheet of sketching paper. I did everything in pencil first, then wrote over it with permanent pen. And I'm just realizing now that I missed a couple of labels as well as a scale marker on the finished map... I can fix that. Finally I washed over the map with tea  and added some wrinkles to make it look old. After it dried, I painted the land masses with tea to make them slightly darker than the water.

I tried to draw in the style of a Tolkien map. I hope I was successful.

I wish I had taken a few step-by-step photos. All I can show you now is the final product. I hope you like it!

After I finished the map, a friend pointed out to me that Winterfell is a location in Game of Thrones. Having never seen or read Game of Thrones, I was unaware of this. Now I'm full of regret because I want my locations to be free of associations and I did this in pen. Oh well, what's done is done!

~Seth


Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  trending

That map is good work of art! I started back with version 1. It is great seeing folks still getting into it. I'll migrate to 5 soon. You are right 4 was like a video game or Munchkins. But those comments could also stay a religious war. LOL

·

Yea, after writing that I was worried I might face the wrath of the 4th Edition faithful lol.

From what I understand, 5e embracing the spirit of 1st and 2nd edition D&D by focusing more on creative roleplay and freeing up the DM and players to improvise, rather than chaining them down with too many rules.

I might have played D&D once as a teen but I could never get into it because at the time video games required less effort. I didn't have to worry about having a dedicated time and group to spend a few hours developing a world. I'm glad to see the interest in tabletop RPGs coming back.

·

It definitely is a much bigger committment than video gaming. But I find it to be more rewarding. As a DM, I love creating worlds. As a player, I love participating in stories in a way that makes a real difference.

That's a beautifully illustrated map. I wish I could letter with such a steady hand!

There do seem to be some similarities to George Martin's continent of Westeros. Winterfell in the North, a dragon island in the east (Dragonstone in Game of Thrones) and rivers stretching in from the west (your Twin Seas versus "The Twins" keeps of Walder Frey and his Red Wedding).

Not that that should have any impact on gameplay or fun! It's hard to create anything new in this world without having it look a little like something that has come before.

·

All coincidence, I assure you! I have no familiarity whatsoever with George R.R. Martin's world.

But it's true that it's impossible to create something wholly original. Everything is at least a little bit derivative.

Definitely worth an upvote and a resteem :)

·

Thank you so much :)

fantastic old look. If you remember the game packages for computers in the past. Often you got such gimmicks like a world map in paper. I think one of the last was Morrorwind (The Elder Scrolls III) but today there are special editions with such things. Great work, it's hard to believe how many steps are necessary to get this finished look!

·

The last hardcopy game I got was The Elder Scrolls box set with all 5 games. It came with one of those maps! I've liked maps since I was really little and I love fantasy maps even more.

amazing art brilliant history :)

·
·
·

i saw you upvoted than unvoted ? :D hahaha why so :)

·
·
·

Because I saw that you didn't upvote my post. I generally will upvote every reply to my posts, however I'll withhold if I see that the user isn't willing upvote as well. What goes around comes around friend.

·
·
·
·

hahahaha buddy the problem is i just have 18 SP my upvote wont count so that why i didnt :)

·
·
·
·
·

upvoted buddy :)

Nice work on the map.
Congrats on coming out of the RPG closet, too. LOL!
dd-hit-him-with-your-crossbow-steve.jpg

·

Can't stop the memes
dexac.jpg