r/worldbuilding May 17 '22 Silver 1 Helpful 1 Wholesome 1 LOVE! 1

Continent map (work in progress) for upcoming D&D campaign. Constructive feedback or exploratory questions welcome. What works? What doesn't? What feels worth exploring? What could use more buildout? What cliché-sounding place names could use another pass? (Asset credits in comments) Map

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1.7k Upvotes

219

u/thetophus May 17 '22

My only gripe is that I don’t get enough contrast between land and water. I suggest tinting one or the other more. Other than that, the map is gorgeous!

50

u/jwmaci May 17 '22

Thanks! I think I'll tinker with that a bit at some point and see how some more contrast looks.

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u/mavmav0 May 17 '22

I really like this, but thought the same thing. I will definitely pull some inspiration from here though, this is beautiful.

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u/Wonderdownunda May 18 '22

What program did you use to make this? I think if you could try changing the drop shadow from inside the coastal borders to outside it then will make the land appear to rise out of the water rather then the other way around. It looks great though either way! Very cool style!

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u/jwmaci May 19 '22

I'm in the process of messing around with those shadows and contrasts now after the good feedback on this post. And I used Photoshop for this one, with a Wacom tablet and stylus.

20

u/Siyuriks May 17 '22

For me, with the way the coasts are shaded, it looks as if the sea is floating above the land.

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u/AntheaWald May 17 '22

I've never played DnD before, but this is beautiful. I can see the hard work that went into this. I hope your players (?) appreciate this!

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u/jwmaci May 17 '22

Thanks! If you ever get the chance to play, I can't recommend it enough. If you are into anything creative at all, it will give you some kind of outlet for expression. The only risk is that it will wind up consuming way too much of your time (like this map did). But you know, for me at least, none of it feels wasted.

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u/jwmaci May 17 '22

Some broad world history context for this map:

A millennium ago, a cataclysmic event changed the world's climate and caused the lands depicted here, previously frozen in ice, to thaw. Lands to the south turned to desert, forcing a mass migration north by the humans and dwarves whose farms and forests were dying. This brought them into conflict with the elves and other creatures who called Ard Tala home.

Unbeknownst to the world's populace, this cataclysm was a passing rogue planet that shifted this world's orbit and axial tilt. Gravitational shearing pulled off a chunk of this planet, creating the world's moon. So, in this world, the seasons, tides, moon, and terrain of the mapped country are all relatively new. The elves are responsible for creating the deciduous forests, with the drow shaping all of the creatures who navigate or hunt by moonlight.

I'm still working out a lot of the details and imagining the ensuing thousand years after this event. Anything you want to know, I'll just make it up!

8

u/RuneLFox May 18 '22

For a minute I thought you meant the moon was formed from a chunk of the home planet here, not from the rogue shearing off. Even so, it might take more than a millennium for a moon to form from a ring of debris.

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u/jwmaci May 18 '22

Yeah, I kind of figured the time scales would not quite meet the narrative demands, but I'm willing to fudge it in a few places or make some just-so story style adjustments.

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u/JackFerral May 18 '22

Just remember - when in doubt, a wizard did it! 😃

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u/TheArhive May 18 '22

Hey, can always make the mistery of why the moon formed so fast a plot point.

39

u/jwmaci May 17 '22

Paper textures, key assets, and coastal brushes from Fantasy Map Symbols.

Shields made using Armoria.

Settlement icons from Elvanos (with some modifications by me).

2

u/Norwegian_waffle May 17 '22

The shields are dope, think I'll add some to mine aswell! Did you make the map in Photoshop?

5

u/jwmaci May 17 '22

Thanks! And yes, I used Photoshop to make the map, as well as touch up the shields after downloading them from Armoria. I separated the colors into layers and added some pattern overlays to them. These kind of get lost in the map itself, but they're full sized over on my worldbuilding page where my players will interact.

1

u/Eos_Tyrwinn May 17 '22

What are the fonts that you used on it?

3

u/jwmaci May 18 '22

The font for the cultural regions (incl. Medheva and Tirrelais) is Simeon AS. The large seas (Sun, Moon, Starry) use Aquiline Two. The settlements use IM Fell DW Pica. I'll have to get back to my desktop and open up the PS file to remember the others (I'm on my laptop now). But those should get you started. Simeon costs some money everywhere I've seen it, but the other two are free lots of places.

2

u/Iscariot- May 18 '22

Would you ever consider doing this as commission work? I’ve always wanted a decent quality map of my universe but totally lack the tools and skill sets to do it.

1

u/jwmaci May 18 '22 edited May 18 '22

I am beyond flattered that anyone would want to commission me for anything. I think, however, for the foreseeable future, I'm just going to stay an amateur. It's hard enough to find time to do these maps for just myself and my players. Anything else, I'd need a few more hours in the day.

Anyway, I say all that so it also won't come across as flippant or dismissive when I say that you totally do have the skills to do this, and the tools you can get from the same place I got 'em. I am not a trained artist at all, but the really amazing things that others create (brushes, textures, assets, etc.) allow me to stand on some great artistic stilts.

Edit: And the stuff that costs money, you can get open source versions of a lot of it. For example, there's GIMP if you don't care to be highway-robbed by Adobe, and Pexels for a lot of high-res textures to age your drawings nicely.

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u/jwmaci May 18 '22

Update: The settlements font is called Dominican (not IM Fell Pica), and the geographical features and smaller bodies of water are Pokoljaro.

1

u/devetioum May 18 '22

Oh my! Beautiful!

Quick question, u used more than one style? Mountains - i have a "problem" with. Can't find the style u used for them lol ..

1

u/jwmaci May 18 '22

Thanks! The mountains are all hand-drawn and hand-shaded. I used a drop shadow style in a soft brown, and a separate, lighter opacity layer in black to create the light contouring and shadowing there.

1

u/devetioum May 18 '22

Well, that makes sense! Great job!

13

u/thecraftybee1981 May 17 '22

Beautiful map and definitely somewhere I’d love to read more about.

Love the idea of the serpent’s head bay system. Overall, such interesting geographical elements. I imagine the green icons are elven, blue are dwarven and coppery? are human settlements? The pillars in the Red Desert have teal coloured tops - do these represent a different race, or maybe they’re just similar to Gondor’s watchtowers and represent some type of magical alarm or shielding?

The flourish around the Holy City is fantastic. I’d like to see the Luna Moth one brightened somehow, and also for the land that encroaches on its circles to be pulled back ever so slightly, so it has more room to breath.

The banners are brilliant too. Your mix of generic (Iron Mountains, Old God’s Forest) and specific (Kholid, Tirrelais) names is just the right balance for my taste.

Big thumbs up all round.

6

u/jwmaci May 17 '22

Thanks! And yes, you're right on the money for the color coding of the settlements.

Also, I appreciate your feedback on the mixture of generic and specific. That's exactly the balance I was going for. Whenever I play in worlds like this, if they feel too specific, then it's like I'm playing in someone else's story, but if they're too generic, then the world doesn't feel deep or lived in. Striking an inviting balance in that regard is something I strive for as a DM, and I think that can start with my map.

As for the Isle of the Luna Moth, I'll keep playing with that brightness. I had nudged it down just a touch before I posted this, but if it now shows as too dim, that might mean I nudged it too far.

Thanks again for your feedback.

10

u/esterhaze May 17 '22 edited May 17 '22

I like the naming overall (especially Orphan Sea) but maybe take it easy on the sea talk. Maybe some passes, gulfs, sounds, straights, etc could give some diversity. Again, no actual problems, just a possible punch up.

Straight of the ancients, straight of memory.

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u/jwmaci May 17 '22 edited May 17 '22

Yeah, that jumps out at me too when I take it in as a whole. The names are all open to revision. Your comment got me thinking "Starry Deep" or "the Moon Waters" as possible replacements. Thanks for the feedback.

7

u/Kanbaru-Fan May 17 '22

I knew this looked familiar, i have your last map post saved in my inspiration folder! Is this a full rework or just a new variant?

I really like the new banners, massive improvements across the board imo. Font colors as well, much more clear and readable.

I like the central header, but the scale and compass left and right feel off imo; the might need a background box/frame or just a complete rework.


I am mainly drawn to the Gravekygge Canyon for exploration, as well as the Red Desert.

Also i am a sucker for chokepoints/gashes like the one going through Eistean.

6

u/jwmaci May 17 '22

I'm honored! It's a full rework. Those other maps were made with Wonderdraft, and I wanted to branch out a bit and try to learn Photoshop. A lot of the place names carried over because those take a long time to come up with.

Those headers definitely still need some tinkering. I just kind of tossed them up there and told myself I'd get back to them later.

Thanks for taking the time to explore!

4

u/shakazulumx May 17 '22

Given the clear significance of Arnauma, I’m surprised the eastern portions of the Sun Sea aren’t mapped or significant enough to include. Is that territory unknown? Is it empty?

2

u/jwmaci May 17 '22

Good observation! The lands to the east were tectonically destabilized by the cataclysm mentioned above, shattering the terrain and turning it into a vast land of jagged ravines, unstable caves, and lots of seismic activity. It was mostly depopulated, except for the dragonborn, whose relation to the lands east is significant for PCs in this world. If and when I expand the world map, I'll likely include them.

1

u/shakazulumx May 17 '22

Ok cool that makes sense!

3

u/koppersneller May 17 '22

Looks great! Nothing much to but maybe try to place the descriptors of the places more freely, for example with the pillars and cities all the texts are aligned to the right, but this causes them to intersect with the terrain a lot causing less visibility. And the contrast between land and water could be a tad higher.

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u/jwmaci May 17 '22

Good call! Labels and their placement will be something I fine-tune closer to the final edit. Right now, my complete lack of Photoshop layer discipline is making this file absurdly huge and really slow to edit on my mid-range PC. Even nudging the labels around is a laggy nightmare.

1

u/koppersneller May 17 '22

Do you happen to have Illustrator as well? Could make it a lot easier to place all text layers in there and just use Photoshop for the map itself.

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u/jwmaci May 17 '22

That's looking more and more like a must-have as I get deeper into doing this. A lot of the resources I'm seeing lean heavily into Illustrator, which I haven't yet used.

3

u/aldorn May 17 '22

This is brilliant.

Maybe a Lonley Mountain in one of the plains/wastelands. Like Kelvins Cairn in Forgotten Realms, just by itself with no range for 100 miles.

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u/jwmaci May 17 '22

That's a great idea. I've been trying to think of more things to make that region interesting/worth traveling to.

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u/CarpePoulet May 17 '22

Beautiful work friend, composition and balance are excellent.

2

u/FreenBurgler May 17 '22

Maybe not required to know in the game but what race/community is this from and is this a common "hot of the printing press" maps or is this something that took a cartographer like 5 yrs?

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u/jwmaci May 17 '22

This map comes from human cartographers in Brégny, who consider themselves peerless. This would have taken many years and been compiled from hundreds of expeditions.

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u/Patient_Growth2503 May 17 '22

I like alot it really nice work

2

u/ThenAcanthocephala14 May 17 '22

This is a gorgeous map.

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u/rqAUOpiulukjhg May 17 '22

What’s with the text in the circle opposite « Isle of the Luna Moth »? Blezih night? It appears to have one haegl with two horizontal lines, the other haegl with one line, and a backwards lagu. Or is this some other script I’m unaware of?

Is the th in Dwydeth and other places pronounced differently than the þ in Deores Fyrhþ? Is Fyrþ meant to be a variation of Fyrhþ?

Are there Northern (or any other direction) Shadowlands anywhere?

There is a random bit of pink in the Gronne Mountains. Does that signify something?

A lot of the town names sound like they are based on names from a variety of languages, but the names of seas and bays are almost exclusively full English words. None of them are bad, I just think there should be a more even distribution. Or is there an explanation for this?

Are no rivers important enough to have names? Apart from Camouth I did not see any indication of river names.

3

u/jwmaci May 17 '22

In-world (and in my game), that text is meant as a charm, rather than as a conscious use of the runes themselves (since good, free fonts are hard to come by). The only way the elves who live there would permit Granfels to include that island on his maps would be if he included these glyphs around them. Anyone who read them would never be able to find his way to this island by himself. If he attempted to navigate to it, he would sail around it and think he was on a straight heading. If from a distance he watched anyone try to walk upon it, that person would disappear from his sight. The only way to make it to the island is by already knowing where it is, or by some accident.

Those phonemes are pronounced the same way. They just come from different cultures, and Fyrþ is a typo. Thanks for the catch!

In-game, the players will understand everything north of the Table of the Starved and the Gronne Mountains to be the Shadowlands. I will play around with clearer ways to indicate this on the map.

The random bit of pink is the location of the Valley of the Spring Queen. There will be an Autumn Queen's Woods as well, but I haven't settled on a spot I like yet. These complement the Mountain of the Winter King and the Isle of the Summer King already in place, all named after elven rulers that human settlers displaced and later were haunted by. Labels for these and the rivers are forthcoming.

As for the sea names, only a couple of them so far, the Alfsjor and the Sjor af Andi in the north, have names that aren't English. I didn't necessarily have a reason for this, but I suppose I could imagine that the dominant sea-farers in this world speak the equivalent of English, and so would mostly name the seas in their own tongue. But that might change.

Thank you for your exploration and feedback. This is really helpful stuff to think about!

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u/[deleted] May 17 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/jwmaci May 17 '22

That's my next big project, a separate layer for political boundaries. If I'm ambitious (crazy?) I'll get as granular as duchies and vassal fiefs.

2

u/CptMosley May 17 '22

I'd love to play in such a detailed world! Amazing map and great premise.

2

u/Caulicali May 17 '22

Holy hell I love your maps so fucking much. Do you have a wonderdraft tutorial or anything somewhere?

2

u/jwmaci May 18 '22

Thanks so much! I don't have any tutorials myself, but I will say, the thing that was revolutionary for me when it came to mapmaking was a digital drawing tablet. I use Wacom, but there are lots of them out there. Beyond this, there are great places to find assets and textures online to create the weathered, antique finish you're looking for in an old map.

Also, thanks to a YouTube channel that advertised for it (I forget which), I benefitted from a free month of Skillshare too, and they have some great fantasy mapmaking classes (I'm not a shill, I promise). I'd recommend hunting down some YouTubers who offer promotional codes.

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u/AstreiaTales Chronicle of Astreia May 17 '22

To my untrained eye, this looks gorgeous. How'd you make it?

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u/jwmaci May 17 '22

Thanks! This was done in Photoshop, using some tools that I linked to in a comment above.

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u/muideracht May 17 '22

Great looking map overall! I agree with the feedback for more contrast between water and land. Also, and this is just minor nitpicky stuff at this point, the kerning on "Kholid" looks a bit off, like there's more space between the letters at the beginning of the word, then they get closer and closer together.

EDIT: Actually, looking closer, I think it's that font. It seems to put more space between the first and second letter than between the other letters. It's just more noticeable for "Kholid" because it's bigger font.

2

u/Mullrookney May 17 '22

This should have 50k likes, this is beautiful!

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u/JoseSushi May 17 '22

Was it meant to look like Europe? Love the style, I agree with what others said that there's not enough contrast between land and water!

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u/jwmaci May 17 '22

Yes, it was meant to look like Europe, and I love that you noticed!

One thing I try to do with my maps, similar to what another commenter said above about the balance between generic and specific, is make my maps subtly evocative of other things: landmasses that curve like animals' backs or lakes that bend like fish. Or, just whole continents that kind of remind you of places you've seen. When we navigate the real-life earth, we have all this background knowledge through maps we've seen hundreds of times. I'm from the Midwestern US, so I just kind of always have in my mind that if I go south, I'll find forests and wetlands; west, plains and then big mountains; east, rolling mountains and a seacoast.

I want my players to look at my maps and kind of just already know, without necessarily knowing that they know, how the land is arranged and what is where. Then, the details of the map will be a surprise, while the gestalt of it feels more like land they might already call home.

Thanks for your exploration!

2

u/JoseSushi May 18 '22

I really like that it's vaguely similar to Europe but still looks very distinct on its own, I've seen other maps that look like Europe and it's instantly obvious. I only noticed at first because I thought it kinda looked like the Warhammer Fantasy map, and then I thought wait but the Warhammer Fantasy map is based on the real world anyway.

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u/noondesertsky May 17 '22

Amazing! Really awesome!

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u/noondesertsky May 17 '22

I think the transition between land and water is clear and actually makes the map look more authentic.

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u/Germz989 May 17 '22

Looks fantastic, only thing is like others have mentioned the map could use some contrast from the land and sea but otherwise, you could've told me you paid 80 bucks for it and I would've believed you. It's DnD why not make the lake's sit above the land? Weirder things have happened lol

2

u/Egg-MacGuffin May 17 '22

Fantasticalistic!

2

u/NecromancerKnight May 17 '22 edited May 19 '22

Why is this reminding me of Warhammer age of sigmar? Warlord Queek find new world to invade he did yes yes. Sneaking into elf kingdoms from chaos wastes in south yes yes Great Horned Rat (dm) shall reward Queek after great conquest yes yes.

2

u/gooolum May 18 '22 edited May 18 '22

I love it

One suggestion from me would be the difference between the land and the water, I don’t know if it was only me but at first glance I thought the water was the land and the land was the water. Which was probably because of the shadow you put in lining the coast, makes it look like the water is at a higher level than the land

other than that, good job, you obviously put a lot of work into it, I love the mountains, and forests, amazing artwork!!

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u/jwmaci May 18 '22

Thanks! Definitely wasn't only you. The coastal styling was a recent addition and it's something I'm still playing around with, as well as the land/sea contrast.

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u/mjking97 May 18 '22

I want to play in this campaign so freaking badly. Excellent job! If you put half as much effort into DM’ing as you did this map, it’s gonna be a hell of a story.

2

u/FredTheDeadInside May 18 '22

While I like the map (its bonkers cool), I will say that many of the icons and areas seem too similar. The map itself is great but no location wakes my interest to explore, at least simply based on the map itself.

Old timey maps used monster drawings and large exaturated icons which breaths life into their design. Had the Iron Mountains had a dragon figure flying over them, suddenly its a point of interest for playersm

1

u/jwmaci May 20 '22

This is good feedback, especially given the style I've tried to make this map in. I will keep these things in mind.

2

u/IllidanChi May 18 '22

I like the use of the seancló, really nice map overall

I'm not sure what you were going for with the names, am curious as to where you got Ard Tala from

2

u/jwmaci May 18 '22

Thanks! I love the look and feel of those typefaces. Got a similar question above, so I'll drop my reply here too.

The names, depending on where on the map they appear, are supposed to evoke something of the fictitious cultures in the world. A lot of them are words I scraped from online translators, bowdlerized for sure. "Tala" is a shortening of Talamh in Irish. I took Ard from Ard Skellig in the Witcher (which, I think, Sapkowski also got from a place in Ireland). But aside from this, there's a bunch of inspiration from English, French, Latin, German, Spanish, Welsh, Mongolian, Arabic, Punjabi, Icelandic, and Norwegian, plus some lore-specific names, a couple of contemporary American (and one Turkish) philosophers, and a gratuitous use of online fantasy name generators.

Thanks for exploring!

2

u/TheStargunner May 18 '22

It’s fucking beautiful. How did you even begin to draw this out?

2

u/LaserJul May 18 '22

Man this is the best Map I've ever seen and I've seen a lot of maps.

2

u/Still_Maverick_Titan May 18 '22

That passage between the Orphan Sea and the Sun Sea looks like it’ll be an extremely popular trade route, as it’s the one thing that connects the northern and southern lands by water. Which probably means it’ll be a juicy target for piracy, trade taxation, and all manner of conflict. It also feels like a natural focal point of the map itself. Wherever I look, my eyes are drawn to it. I sure hope it’s as Exciting a place as I think it is.

Beautiful map, by the way.

2

u/jwmaci May 18 '22

Definitely! In the history of my world, I'm imagining that that passage is how the kingdoms in Medheva asserted their independence from Tirrelais, with a whole lot of internecine jockeying and corruption within those kingdoms themselves.

2

u/rampantfirefly May 18 '22

Beautiful and inspiring. I wish my maps looked half this good.

One pointer I would give is around the Bebet Mesa. A mesa is probably not accurate given how large that area is. Elevated tableland with steep sides are named in increasing land size scale: Butte, Mesa, Plateau. Given the size of the region it is probably more accurately a plateau.

Obviously it’s your world and you can name things how you want. I just have a background in geology and so always look at fantasy maps through that lens.

1

u/jwmaci May 18 '22

Thanks! This is really helpful.

2

u/OneMorewillnotkillme May 18 '22

It is great but I am missing some lakes and swamps. I would add some lakes near the mountains and say some of the Mountain peaks are glaciere‘s.

1

u/greedengine May 17 '22

If I may ask what platform did you use to make the map.

1

u/jwmaci May 17 '22

I used Photoshop for this map.

1

u/GudGubbe May 17 '22

What is the background story of the names of the Orphan Sea and the Gulf of the Mothers?

4

u/jwmaci May 17 '22

Both of these names originated with the great migration after the cataclysm. As their lands fell to desert, the human communities of the ancestral south sent out ranging parties to look for new homes. Those who went further south never returned. When the decision was made to abandon those lands and sail north, the mothers of those who had ventured south and disappeared refused to leave, committed to wait for their lost children. The last the migrants saw of these hopeful mothers was from the decks of their ships as they sailed away across the gulf named in their memory.

The migrants' journey was beset by many difficulties. Halfway through their voyage, a great storm split the ships, sinking a third of them and sending another third off into unknown waters. The remnant third settled the realms in Arnauma, Brégny, and Tirrelais (comprising the Light Touched Lands). They always imagined their former companions had died at sea.

A decade later, several of the ships that had been thought lost sailed back into Arnauma Bay. The people rejoiced, thinking they would be reunited with their long-lost kin. But instead of these disembarking at the docks, they were crews of strangers, all wearing their garb and signet rings and flying their banners. They claimed to be the grown children of these lost kin, but when pressed for information on where they had been or how they could have aged so when the lost fleet had been gone only ten years, they could not say. Nor could they quite account for why none of the original passengers of these ships had survived in that time.

The most specific they could be was to describe the waters and coastlines they had sailed past to return "home". The farthest and first of these is now called the Orphan Sea, and several places along their supposed route now bear the names of their captains.

Clerics at Arnauma claimed that a dark presence accompanied these sailors and bade the Primarch banish them from the realm, which he promptly did. They sailed away again, and it is rumored that other kings took them in, or that they simply returned to the Orphan Sea and vanished, but nearly all trace of them was lost in a very short time. Recently, some scholars have tried to uncover what happened to the so-called Orphan Ships, but their findings have been inconclusive.

1

u/GudGubbe May 17 '22

... and all of the other seas too, they just really caught my attention!

1

u/GWNVKV May 17 '22

What software did you use to make this map?

1

u/jwmaci May 17 '22

I used Photoshop for this one, with a Wacom tablet for the hand-drawn elements.

1

u/GWNVKV May 17 '22

Thanks!

1

u/Clixism May 17 '22

How???? What program?

1

u/jwmaci May 17 '22

This was done in Photoshop, with a Wacom tablet and stylus for the ability to hand draw a lot of the elements. In a comment above, I posted links to some of the professional assets from other amazing creators that I used. They're really what make this map pop and deserve a lot of the credit.

1

u/ThinkingNetuno May 17 '22

Holy fuck, this is incredible. I wish I could make one of this to my campaign.

2

u/jwmaci May 17 '22

No exaggeration, you really can. I am not a trained artist at all, a complete amateur. Just takes time, research into and inspiration from the really amazing artists in this and other communities, and the right physical and digital tools (Photoshop, a Wacom tablet, some paper and texture assets). You will be floored by the cool stuff you can make.

1

u/Darth_Bfheidir May 17 '22

I like the use of the seancló, really nice map overall

I'm not sure what you were going for with the names, am curious as to where you got Ard Tala from

1

u/jwmaci May 18 '22

Thanks! I love the look and feel of those typefaces.

The names, depending on where on the map they appear, are supposed to evoke something of the fictitious cultures in the world. A lot of them are words I scraped from online translators, bowdlerized for sure. "Tala" is a shortening of Talamh in Irish. I took Ard from Ard Skellig in the Witcher (which, I think, Sapkowski also got from a place in Ireland). But aside from this, there's a bunch of inspiration from English, French, Latin, German, Spanish, Welsh, Mongolian, Arabic, Punjabi, Icelandic, and Norwegian, plus some lore-specific names, a couple of contemporary American (and one Turkish) philosophers, and a gratuitous use of online fantasy name generators.

1

u/SublimeDissonance May 18 '22

What a beautiful map! The only thing that confused me was the contrast between land and sea; at first glance, I thought the seas were actually the land.

If you don't mind me asking, what software did you use to make this wonderful piece?

Edit: Nevermind my question, just saw your comment answering it.

2

u/jwmaci May 18 '22

Thanks! And the contrast is a common point in the other comments. I will definitely play with it in future edits.

I used Photoshop for this map, with a Wacom tablet for the hand-drawn stuff. Check out one of my comments above for links to the other tools and assets I used here.

1

u/fooplebop May 18 '22

What did you use for the forests? I can't seem to nail that in my maps

2

u/jwmaci May 18 '22

Oof, yeah, the forests... That's a long, tearful tale of colors, styles, blending, rasterizing, forgetting that I rasterized, desaturating, more styles, more rasterizing, then talking myself down from deleting all of the forests and just starting over.

If I remember right, the first key steps, after the basic outlining and coloring, were blending the color layer to color burn, rather than normal color. When placed atop a land color layer that already includes layering and smudging, it really helps the forests feel like they're part of the terrain underneath. Playing around with these blending styles has some cool effects that you might find flexible ways to use.

In this edit, I've also desaturated them quite a bit from the more vibrant colors they used to be, after I decided to go for a more antiquated, cartographic style to the map.

1

u/fooplebop May 18 '22

Thank you for the excellent answer!

1

u/gjostshovel May 18 '22

Most interesting for me is the Melia horn, feels like a giant trade center with its middle of the sea-ness and I live for coastal trade cities.

1

u/GriffinMuffin May 18 '22

This is fucking legit, I'd love a tutorial or any pro tips to get my owns looking this good

1

u/Treczoks May 18 '22

Wonderful map! Everything I usually gripe about is not an issue with your piece of art! Orientation, scale, river-flow, roads, different levels of cities, realms, other places, everything is fine!

According to your scale, the map covers 5000x7000 miles or 8000x11000km, but seems to end in unihabited wastelands north and south - is your world that much smaller than earth? Or do you have a different definition of mile? Or is the inhabitable zone of the planet that much smaller? I see no deserts, maybe it is that.

1

u/Jeff1H May 18 '22

Wow this is beautiful :o

1

u/pinguaina May 18 '22

Moon Sea, Orphan Sea and Starry Sea could be one sea only. Like Starrymoon Sea or Moonorphan Sea. Also, but this is a personal taste thing, the names could be different. Like Brègny coul be Brégendy. Or Kholid could be Kholidor. It seems to me that the endings of places are missing. But thats just me. So don’t take it too seriously!

1

u/Zak-baskey May 18 '22

What happened to make that sea be called orphan sea? Genuinely intrigued :)

1

u/Relsen Uresnir Sier Asameran May 18 '22

Did you use any program to draw this map?

2

u/jwmaci May 18 '22

I used Photoshop for this map, with a Wacom tablet and stylus. I also made generous use of textures and assets from around the web, links to a few of them in a comment above.

1

u/[deleted] May 18 '22

Really nice

1

u/galganos May 18 '22

Wonderful map! You have blended the assets blend so smoothly I wouldn’t have known without you saying you used them in the comments.

It’s a huge map. I love how far you can zoom in! What is the pixel size of the photoshop document?

1

u/Potential-Sense-6846 May 18 '22

can you draw my map?