Map Building: Initial Ideas

I am starting work on a new campaign we have decided to start ustilizing the Whitebox rules (Swords & Wizardry‘s little brother). As the game is a harkening back to many of our roots in role-playing as the system is what they call “Old School” or what many are calling “old-school renaissance”, I am really wanting to go that direction in style for the maps too. Silly I guess, but I think it will make it feel right to those of us gaming. Additionally, this is a completely different direction for me in style, and well, I like I challenge when I am doing graphic arts. I thought abtout it a little and decided to start with the city map, and will worry about the campaign world later.


I wandered around the web for a few hours studying some of the old maps I could find online, and some newer ones that I felt gave “the right feeling” and would work into the overall scope and feel I am looking for in the map. What I came up with is a small sample to the left. I am still playing with it, so this may not be a final style or look, but I thought I would throw this out there and see if anyone had some feedback on it/general thoughts, etc. This is completely hand drawn in Fireworks using my Wacom tablet with coloring and many many layers and effects. I can boil most of it down in a quick 4 or 5 step process for the houses, which I can reproduce at a fairly quick pace. The terrain is again hand drawn with some filter and touches here and there applied at random. Again a fairly quick process.

The best part is most of this is done in vectors, minus the thatched roofing..which I probably could do in vector, but it seems needless and a waste of time really. So if I want to go back later and tweak it, I can easily do it. OR tweak on an individual basis, allowing for minute changes all over the map to give it a real, individual and wide variety across the board.

So, what do you think?


2 thoughts on “Map Building: Initial Ideas

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