I’m loving the resurgence of people scanning and posting their hand-drawn maps. Everyone should do this – it doesn’t matter if you have mad mapping skills like Heather Souliere or if you are making chicken-scratches on crappy paper. EVERY map is inspiration for someone. With the ubiquitous cell phone cameras out there, you are running out of excuses to post your maps – sure a scanner makes for a nicer presentation, but this is about inspiration, not presentation.
Go ahead and post your maps everywhere and anywhere. But let me know about them! Head on over to google+ and make sure to tag me when you post a map if you don’t think I’ve already circled you. You can find me here: https://plus.google.com/+DysonLogos – I’m not too hard to find, I appear to be the only Dyson Logos on the internet (except for the logos for vacuums).
Speaking of inspiration, here’s a few new(ish) map blogs that caught my eye and imagination lately:
I’ve linked to Adam’s work previously. I’ve gamed with him in the past and his blog is filling up with great maps and posts about Labyrinth Lord house rules. His maps are stunning and yet familiar. Like myself, he works a lot with depth which I feel is important to make a subterranean environment feel like more than a weird chess-board.
I tend not to use other people’s maps in my games unless I’m running a pre-written adventure (and even then, I modify the maps on the fly to suit the pacing of the session and what time it is), but there’s a bunch here I’d steal in a heartbeat (and probably get away with my players thinking I drew them!)
This newly-relaunched blog from Horacio Gonzalez only has three posts right now, but two of them are map posts after my own heart.
The post that got my attention is the one at right – the Tombs of Durog Gurog. A nice, clean map that feels like a “light” version of my Three Tombs of Acker.
And to be honest, I generally prefer “light” when it comes to the games I run. It also allows the theme of the dungeon to really stand out.
The post before the Tombs is a set of geomorphs drawn in the style of my classic Geomorphic Mapping Challenge. Drawn on post-it notes.
For the Win.
Like Adam, Heather’s been spotlighted here before. She rarely posts maps, but they are ALWAYS worth checking out. I’d like to say that my style has influenced her dungeon mapping style, but I can certainly state that her city mapping style has had a strong influence on my own.
But don’t stop at the map posts. Her maps inspire me to want to run adventures in caves and cities, but her art also makes me want to run adventures featuring octopi and elfmaids.
I cannot recall how I found her blog the first time except that it wasn’t through another gaming blog… I think it was a fortuitous google image search that turned up one of her maps.
Shane’s blog is far from a “new entry” in the mapping blogosphere. He keeps flip-flopping from digital to hand-drawn map styles and back again.
I’m sure you can guess which style I prefer.
What I really love about his maps is the negative space fill he uses. Instead of a solid fill or the now-ubiquitous cross-hatching, Shane uses a grid drawn in the negative space. This both clearly shows the negative space, and also provides the benefits of a grid without the grid being overlaid on the actual interior of the mapped space. Win-Win!