I love maps.  If I had a lot of free time, I would invest in some good image editing software and play with creating some fantasy maps.  Because I enjoy maps, I feel like Lost Worlds, as a campaign setting with it’s own set of unique races, deserves to have a beautiful map – something I could hang on the wall if I wanted.

Part of me wants all of this Lost Worlds stuff to be a labor of love completely created by our play group, but another part of me wants it to be really well done.  I’ve found that my tolerance for things that aren’t well-built and/or well-designed has decreased with time.

So, the dilemma is whether I spend some money and commission things like artwork or maps for Lost Worlds.  Here’s an example:

Selvarin finalsmall

With the limited amount of free time I’ve had in the past, I’ve played with creating some maps and done a decent job of it, but I certainly don’t have the skill and talent to pull something off like Max has done with this map.

I’ve played with working on maps before, and given a couple of weekends, I was once able to produce a workable map or two, like these:

Western Tyr


The Carcadian Empire


Anyway, just thinking about maps.  By the way, the Cartographer’s Guild is a great place to see some incredible mapmakers.


2 thoughts on “Maps

  1. BJ

    As another Map enthusiast I have invested way too much money in different mapping tools over the years. Currently I have Campaign Cartographer (CAD based Mapping) as well as many addons for it. Nothing that I have wanted to do with it has been totally impossible, but like CAD, its not really intuitve or fast. I usually map a month or 2 each year, and every time I have to re-learn and watch some guide videos. Judging if the effort in time is worth it versus focusing on more player appreciated areas is always difficult. For a setting though it seems totally worth it.

    That being said you are certainly welcome to use my copy of Campaign Cartographer, just let me know. It’s all downloaded from their site. The other option is to use GIMP of course and make the map like an artist, more control, but requires more fine tuning/”art skills” for those finishing touches, however much simpler to use.

    It’s all really deciding where the effort is best spent. Getting a basic map like the ones you have already, can certainly be a starting point and at least a way to get things moving, but if you are going all out, why not have a second version done up as proper artwork (if the price is not too absurd). Looking at most campaign settings, there is usually a couple versions of each map, but having at least one “root” version that all future versions can look to as a measuring stick or guide, should really help tie them all together.

    I think for a base settting in a Core rulebook that Clarity in the map is most important, and looking good is nice, but an afterthought. As a player and DM though when I look at a map, it has to be easily understood, borders clearly defined, locations laid out in a reasonable manner. Some overly artsy maps are not much help as an actual roleplaying tool, and provide no room to right on.

  2. Andy

    I’m not really a map person so I’ll abstain from this discussion. Clearly the map above is ridiculously badass looking and looks like it belongs in published game systems, but I have no idea how much it would cost to commission something like that. As a group we definitely have more money than time though so I think its probably worth considering depending on cost.

    I’m still contemplating whether to get all the kickstarter mini’s commission painted (they are supposed to come anytime now). I will probably end up doing it because the thought of painting all those miniatures sounds overwhelming. And I don’t like painting. Really the choice is between having them unpainted and having them commission painted, if I’m being at all honest with myself.


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