I’m an amateur GM for a pathfinder campaign (I’ve worked on it for about a year now) and over the last year I started using Roll20 as my primary tool for hosting my game. This gives me an online tool for hosting a game and, combined with Skype, my players meet for a weekly fantasy setting campaign.
Roll20, for those unfamiliar, is an online meeting system similar to Adobe Connect only oriented towards Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and other tabletop games. The system has three “layers”, a map layer, an object layer (for player tokens and moving objects) and a GM layer where hidden objects and notes can be held. Unfortunately, Roll20’s interface gets really slow when you make your map layer from dozens of cobbled together images, so to counter this I started making my own maps that included everything but furniture, doors, and NPCs/Enemies. While I experimented in importing some of the Roll20 bits of furniture to my maps (such as the Castle Charm one), they typically prove to me more restrictive than helpful as I cannot change their position or other effects if they are part of the background jpeg.
I make world maps:
and encounter maps:
Most of what I have made are found in the below spoiler (to save on loading time):
Grandmill 3d Maps
's world map (commission)
My goal is to learn and improve, and to post the maps I make as I move forward here for anyone who wants to use them for their own campaigns. Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll leave some comments!
If you want a map made, PM me!
Have you ever used maptools? Used that for years and ran most of my games off that.
My question to you would be what's the scale on these maps? It is of course, mechanically dependent on the game itself but I don't get a good read of it. You might want to go through the prefabs and adjust them all so they're the same scale, I'd suggest creating transitional tiles for the carpet/wood and such.
Are they used for combat? From a gameplay perspective you have a lot of chokepoints/narrow corridors.
Lastly, did you mean Versity or Varsity?
They vary, Roll 20 allows you to set up your squares or hexes in game and you can adjust as you need. In game, for example, Castle Charm looks a bit like this:
But I can make that bridge one square across, or twenty, depending on the needs of the map. Most of my maps have a convention where hallways are approximately 2-3 squares wide (10-15 feet) unless things are supposed to be very tight. My campaign has a semi-common Large sized race which would need a 10foot wide hallway to walk normally (Lady Clont in that screenshot is one of these large folk).
Most of our maps are single map campaigns to run the entire night, ranging about 30-150 squares (at five foot squares). The maps are used for both exploration and combat, with where I place encounters being more specifically targeted by the area. As above, the bridge might have only one enemy that can't easily be surrounded, while a large chamber would be used for multiple target encounters. I have a few "arena" locations (such as with the Merrydale Map) where the throne room and dining room (the large carpeted rooms at the top of the map) have about a dozen or more targets to potentially fight.
Versity (like University with the Uni chopped off). The entire map/setting naming convention is a fairly terrible hodgepodge of NE Orlando locations with terribly rebuilt names for inside joke reasons (they all have house names associated with them).
Which one are you referring to as first? Versity or Charm?
I'll try this on my next map, thanks for the tip! I've heard a comment rooted in this in game where players say "I climb the tree" referring to the carpet texture you see in the Castle Charm map because it stood out so much from the rest of the room players thought it must have been important.
Yeah, I was referring to Versity. Might not be relevant advice since that's your old map.
I'm working on a few new encounter maps right now using the above comments. I recently got the world map refreshed a bit, and tips or crits? I'd like to get this nice and polished up before a print job I'm going to do for some of my layers next month.
Update: I'm considering adding hills/swams/foliage areas to the map somehow as well, but I'm torn between using some sort of premade brush or hand rendering.
This text is curved and placed to stay in the shape of the area its labeling. This give the borders themselves a little more fidelity, and is more pleasing to the eye. Opacity is also varied, not just size, to give a little hierarchy to the information you are receiving.
Even on maps where the text is rigid, angle and size are used to some effect:
Super strait text is more common now in maps, but they are also mostly digital. You can navigate by zooming, making some of the older tricks unnecessary on modern maps.
Im going to assume that hand lettering is outside of your interest. If you have illustrator, its tools for manipulating text are a lot more robust than photoshop.
Anyway, I would save off a separate version of your map before you start rasterizing everything,
New version. I decided not to add trees and such since it made the map unreadably busy.
Map for next session. Glass panes for the windows, furniture, and doors will be added in the game layers. I tried to increase the contrast (especially as it is a night-time urban map). Any thoughts on how to improve it?
Here's what part of that map looks in game. The windows and doors are objects players can break, while most of the tables and such are on a lower layer. You can also see the GM layer text in green for things that I put notes on. Figured it would be a bit easier to see what I'm working towards in the basic maps by seeing the end set.
This is the second to last map in my current story arc in this city environment. On this map players visited a local guild hall to find it overrun with necromancers and worse from a rival guild. My players made a lot of use of shattering windows to travel, almost entirely ignoring doors and secret passages for climbing through windows, because "Well a window can't be trapped, right?"
This week's game: introducing trapped windows.
Been working with 3d shapes for this map. It takes forever! But I think it's coming along well.
I have no idea how to do windows or doors so far, but still!
~rest Moved to OP~
~rest Moved to OP~
The party will be infiltrating a steampunk city to stop an airship fleet from departing (if it gets away it will bomb their hometown).
Updated map with the new expansion we are starting in the Fall. I'm not really happy with the road lines though. Any suggestions?
Five down, three pages to go >.<
A commission request from DaMoonRulz!
Another pass at my game map.
Here is the campaign map for this arc (as of this afternoon). Rather than a massive, nation-wide struggle this one is going to be much more intimate and every player character will be part of the community (one of my players is a miner, another works at the shrine, etc.).
These totally remind me of Baldur's Gate maps, which are my favorite (I'm sure the font choice is helping that as well haha). Really cool work.
My Portfolio Site
I'll work on the font a bit tonight. I agree it's way to hard to read on the small, but at the same time if I grow the size any more I wont have room for map detail. Maybe I can increase the soft glow opacity and drop the stroke.