A blog about games, gamers, and various and sundry geek culture-related ephemera and paraphernalia.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Keep on the Borderlands Players' Map

This isn't part of our current Module B2: The Keep on the Borderlands campaign, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

A couple of years ago, I had every intention of running this module for my fiancee and my boys. I never got around to it (Whoa! There's a big suprise!) but I made this map as a player handout. I wanted something that was a little more vague and full of character, and a little less late-1970's-production-quality than the maps in the module. This is what I came up with.

So, for your gaming pleasure, here's my B2: Keep on the Borderlands players' map:



I also created a DM's version of the map, complete with encounter areas and a hex grid. You can download it here, if you like.

. . . . .

20 comments:

  1. Wow, this looks very nice. Do you have a map-making tutorial (or a link to one) that would help other people produce similar looking maps?

    ReplyDelete
  2. @kensanata: Thanks!

    As far as a tutorial goes - eek! I've never really given such a thing any thought, but now that I am, it's scary. There's so much that goes into something like this - mostly a decade of working my way around Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. That's a lot of experience I just now realized I'd taken for granted, and aside from standing over someone's shoulder to show them what to do, I don't know if I could effectively pass it on.

    So, the short answer is: No, I don't have a tutorial.

    My suggestion, however, would be to get yourself a copy of Photoshop (or something similar) and play with it - a lot. That's how I learned, and I find that every time I create something, I learn more - and the next thing just comes out that much better.

    It's not an easy or quick way to do things, but it's rewarding, and you'll end up with some cool stuff you made all on your own. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was going to ask the same thing. It looks alot like, at first glance, a tiling app was used to make it, but then I realized that this was all done by hand. very nice. Would love to see a tutorial on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Jonathan: While I can't give you a blow-by-blow tutorial, I can tell you how I did the forests: I started with a single clipart tree (stylized with some filtering and layering to get the look I wanted); duplicated that layer about 50 times to get the edge of the forest; then merged that into one layer and duplicated it to fill in the rest. That's about it, and it's pretty much how I make the forests on all my maps.

    (Although, admittedly, I "cheaped out" on this one. I usually start with a variety of trees - for this one, as you noticed, I stuck with a single tree. Must have been feeling lazy at the time!)

    ReplyDelete
  5. There is Tutorial for Photoshop, which produce maps like this:
    http://www.zombienirvana.com/?cat=4

    ReplyDelete
  6. HIGHLY recommend the ZombieNirvana tutorials, although your method for trees gives me some ideas. Thanks for sharing! This is a fantastic map!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Absolutely beautiful map and perfect to show the players. I hope you don't mind me linking it for my players in my play-by-post game to look at and use.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Man in Black: Glad you like it - and by all means, link away. :D I hope your players find it useful.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Chris,

    I'm going to run KotB and have been looking at your maps.

    What's the scale on your hex map? I'm trying to figure out exactly how far the keep is from the caves via overland march.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Kiltedyaksman: It's been a while, but I believe I tried to keep the hexes close to the same scale as the squares on the original map - which would make it 1 hex = 100 yards (edge to edge, not vertex to vertex).

    Best of luck with your game! :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really enjoy the map, I will use it for a campaign in Hong Kong using DnD 3.75e (PathFinder) and the Karameikos game setting.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is very helpful for my current campaign. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks! This is very helpful for my current pass through B2.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You're welcome, Joe. It makes me happy to see fellow gamers putting this to good use! :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. That's a very cool map, thank you! Sadly I cannot seem to get the DM version since that game-werks site seems to be down and it has not been archived well by the WayBackMachine. Can you repost that?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Peter - glad you like it! As for the DM's map, I'm not sure why you're having trouble with it; game-werks.com appears to be resolving, and the map downloads fine for me. (It lives on the same host as the players' map, so that doubles the strangeness of this issue.) Please try again and if you still can't d/l it, let me know and I can shoot it to you in an email or something. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  17. A big storm giant's thumbs up! Gonna run some young teenagers through through this module after we finish up a couple very short adventures I found online. These maps will certainly catch their eye and aid in their entertainment value of the whole gaming experience. Great work and thanks for sharing it!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow - just found this now - amazing talent! Thank you very much for sharing this!
    The Keep on the Borderlands was my first DnD experience many years ago so there's a lot of sentimentality attached. It's so cool that you share that same experience with your own family now.

    Well done mate!

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is great work. I'm thinking about designing my own version of this module (just for fun) - thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete