Saturday, March 17, 2012

More scrapbook map goodness

I've managed to transfer, edit, and expand some of my Dunlyle maps to the 12" square scrapbook paper format.  Not bad for amateur freehand, though I've yet to settle on techniques for lettering, shading, and how to draw more or less squared-off dungeons without using graph paper.  I noticed that, if I didn't rotate the paper or adjust my position, my rectangles started looking more like parallelograms.

A low-level complex, with multiple side-caves sprouting from a large central cavern

One dungeon level, along with exterior and overland mini-maps.

What I'm proudest of, though, is the use of my .1 mm sepia ink pen to key the maps on the maps themselves, for ease of use in running the dungeons.  This kind of shorthand is obviously great for DMs running their own material; many DMs coming to such a product cold will likely want a traditional written key.  Since I'm doing this for my own use and pleasure, however, it's more than acceptable for my own purposes.

Thanks to Zak for the idea (and stunning visual execution) of using the map/key combination, though in his case, he uses his own art, flair, and clip-art images to convey a lot of the information to himself, whereas I'm writing supersmall text on the map.


  1. Hmm... between this and Tavis' post on cartography, I'm becoming more and more convinced that key-on-map is the way to go (and possibly ditching graph paper, too).

  2. Key-on-map works as a shorthand for he that draws it; I think a true artist could make it really work for a broader audience. For some really detailed areas or events, some sort of key is probably needed. Of course, having a bigger area on 12" square paper gives you room to expand the descriptions as you wish.

    For dungeons and caves, I find the graph paper (for my personal use, anyway) is more limiting than helpful. I can see where it would still be useful in highly-ordered, engineered locations (modern buildings, starships, etc.). Once you ditch, or at least diminish, the need for a battlemat, the need for laser-like precision on measurements also diminishes. I'll check out Tavis' post.