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    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2018 edited
    Hello everybody,

    at the moment I am working on a map of the southern countries of the world where we are playing. I am doing this map to get on overview about what happened in these countries and what is the current political & religious situation. This effort is necessary, because in this independent RPG from 90's which we play these informations are distributed over several books in all kind of places. E.G. the sourcebook of the world is not done in a way we know it from D&D and others with structured information, it is rather written as a letter collection from different NPC of the world like high-priests, merchants, travellers etc which leads to a great atmosphere, but very incomplete information...

    As the purpose of the map is to be a situation-map for me, it contains some text. I finished about 2/3 of the map and now I struggle a bit with a desert storm. When you look to the left bottom of the map, you can see a moon-elf (handpainted by my mother in law :-)) blowing into the desert and pushing a sand-storm. I found a storm in the CC3 symbols which is quite fine, but I would like to try additional methods.
    So does anybody has an idea, how to do a sandstorm?

    Thanks and kind regards, Jensen

    A better resolution pdf you can get here!Ak-JjeRFvmSPq36T3RCAVWjGvx7E
      Nahor Umgebung 64.JPG
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2018 edited
    You've not yet been tempted to produce another Middle Earth map for the newly-released annotated novel The Fall of Gondolin just yet then? ;D

    This is another very fine map, regardless, and worth examining in more detail in its enlarged version than I've had time for so far.

    However, to your sandstorm question. My initial thought would be to make the storm more blurred, and perhaps even transparent (at least in places). A quick search using "orbital view sandstorm" brought up a number of images that might help. This is a small version of an event over The Gulf in May 2007 from this NASA webpage, for instance (there's another image available from that linked page as well):


    It helps of course if there's something beneath the storm that can be seen still, to judge its relative transparency (hence my choice of this image).

    And just out of idle curiosity, which RPG are you using?

    [EDIT: Forgot to say, maybe make the storm more like the natural catastrophe illustration towards the upper left of your map, by Harfleur and the Crystal Coast.]
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2018
    What a beautiful amazing map. Very envious.
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2018 edited
    Wyvern, we play ‚Call of the warlock‘ (Ruf des Warlock), a RPG based on Tanith Lees ‚flat earth‘ novels. We played this game in the 90th and after a more than 10 years break we started again in 2010. The great thing with this game is, that it is fantastic fantasy, not ‚realistic‘ fantasy. When you know Tanith Lee, you know what I mean.
    Indeed my plan was to make the storm in the style i‘ve made the asteroid, but I was not satisfied with the result. So i make a rest now and study the fotos you recommended, thank you!

    Edit: The Gondolin map is on my to-do-list, as my daughter asks me regularly to make her a map of Beleriand. She knows the places and stories of the Hobbit and the LoTR, now I should read and map her the Silmarillion. :-)
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2018
    Thanks Jensen. I did some hunting online to find out more about Ruf des Warlock, not a game I'd discovered before, presumably as it seems to be available only in German, and despite the main rules no longer being in print or available as a PDF download (as far as I can tell, anyway - one Forum seems to suggest the owners have allowed their rights to the name to lapse as of 1st September), it seems to still retain an intermittently-active following online. Long time since I read any Tanith Lee; must see if I can track down her Flat Earth novels though. My vague recollection (from back in the late 1970s and early 1980s) is they had a flavour somewhat reminiscent of Jack Vance's Dying Earth series (something a few online notes also seem to indicate). Irritatingly, the English-language pages dealing with Lee's works seem to have ignored RdW entirely; the only place I found it mentioned as inspired by these books was on - of course - one of the German-language Wikipedia pages! Maybe the recent interest in the English version of Das Schwarze Auge will persuade someone to try to revamp RdW as well. Maybe even an English version ;D

    I hope you'll make some progress with your sandstorm development. I liked the impact illustration, as it fits perfectly with the map style, yet still stands out as something unusual.

    Be great to see your map of Beleriand in the fullness of time, certainly :D
    • CommentAuthorJimP
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2018
    You can very likely find good sandstorm photos by looking as photos of Mars from Mars' orbit or the Hubble telescope.
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2018 edited
    Wyvern, thank you very much for your recommendations and your interest. I attentively read your suggestions regarding the storm and in the next days I will look at the photos you and JimP proposed. And I will do the most important thing - sleep some nights to get new inspirations :-). In the meantime I elaborated on my long to-do list for this map including lots of minor things like estuaries, waterfalls, text-colours etc. Anyway I am a slow mapper (job and family...), I started this map in May and I hope to finish it during Autumn.

    Regarding RdW I can only give you a typical German answer: It's complicated. ;) The second edition of RdW is ready for print since more than 10 years but it never happened. I had conversations with the publisher (a one-man company...) and with the author (a great guy!) and tried to help somehow, but the situation was and is too confused. A critical topic was the situation of the rights - but maybe this applies only for Germany, I don't think that there is something like trademarks etc. on RdW for the US. Maybe that could open a new door...

    RdW was never a big game, it remained in the shadows of D&D and Das schwarze Auge, but it's great because it's different. We came back to RdW because (at least I) was bored about all these RPG where you read great character class descriptions and when you look what that means in-game you find yourself with a bonus +1 on defense and an additional five foot step (as an example). Character classes at RdW are not balanced and some of them have extreme powers, like the 'Herr über den träumenden Geist' (Master over the dreaming spirit), a blind (and therefore extreme vulnerable) character class with powers I've never seen before in an RPG. And that's great, that's fantasy. Of course not everybody likes that, maybe one reason, why RdW never became big.
    By the way in the forum you've mentioned (the last one that still exists) you can download the original RdW world map from 1991, but you need to register:

    I can strongly recommend reading Tanith Lee, anytime I read her books I become a bit drunk without drinking. Her fantasy is different, strange and typical 80's style. A real contrast to contemporary fantasy. Give it a try!
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2018
    That's a really beautiful map, Jensen :)
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2018
    Thanks again Jensen. To be honest, it was the "different" feel I seemed to get from online comments about RdW that strengthened its appeal for me. When I first discovered D&D, more than 40 years ago, essentially I wanted to play Gandalf, and have spent the intervening years hunting for a fantasy RPG that would let me do that. The closest I've come was Ars Magica, because it encourages real role-playing of powerful magic-using characters (providing you have a good gaming group of like-minded players, anyway).

    Thanks too for that map link. However, I think I already found a copy of the same map, but split into four parts, among the Galerie pages of that same Forum, under Landschaften here. Annoyingly, my initial searches online kept coming back only with World of Warcraft images for their version of Tanaris...
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2018
    I played a bit around with the sandstorm. It's going into a good direction, but I am not yet satified. Ideas, comments and suggestions are very welcome.
    I also added some places (islands at the top left), the light from the 'Eternal Flame' in the north of the map (a strange place in the north of Porginor) and minor stuff.

    A high res version you can find here!Ak-JjeRFvmSPrAL3k0RJsjqH2oLB
      Nahor Umgebung 68f.JPG
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2018
    This is just such a delight to view in detail!

    The sandstorm's looking better. Maybe make it a little more transparent, so you can still see more of the terrain demarcation line that runs across southern Gandram, west of the Beorn River/Seaway.

    Speaking of which latter, that river's northern mouth (or inlet, hence my "seaway" note above) maybe needs some further tweaking, as it seems quite disjointed from the ocean just now. Or is that deliberate (some magical effect, perhaps)? The southern mouth looks good as a waterfall, so I'm guessing the general flow must be north to south.

    Love that central plateau, with its wonderfully-executed edge escarpments and internal gorges. Not CC3+ though, I imagine.

    There's an oddly linear terrain colour change near the eastern edge, cutting west to east across Ringar which seems unconnected to the scarp line drawn there as well, which might need some adjustment?
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2018 edited
    Thanks Wyvern for your comments!

    The river-mouthes are something I have on my to-do list, they all need to be made better. As I usually hate doing these mouthes, so I do them at the end :-). The (non-existing) waterfall from the Torgas plateau is in the same categorie...

    About the strange river-flows I will say something when the map is done, then I will give an overview about the stories happening on the map, explain the religios symbols etc.. At the moment I still find additional places while reading the source books.

    Everything in the map is CC3+, except the moon-elv blowing into the storm. The plateau-symbols and canyons are from the Jon Roberts or Midgard annual (I cutted them a bit).

    Erendor and Ringar are still in progress. Erendor gets further places, farmland etc. Ringar has a huge crater/crevasse and some wood over it. And I need to write something about the temple there.

    I much appreciate your sharp eyes, you pointed the big points I have on my list. It motivates to elaborate on them.

    Edit: And the star in the 'Ashrarn' Symbol (half-moon and star) is also not from CC3+
    • CommentAuthorLorelei
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2018
    Oh how nice to see this map in detail. Very well done! I love the softness to it. This is one of my favorite overland styles. Amazing work, Jensen
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2018
    Lorelei, thank you. If it ever comes to the point that we play in this region and I may be the DM, it would be the land of Camor, somewhere nearby the river, where I would like to place 'the curse of the lich king'. :-)
    • CommentAuthorWyvern
    • CommentTimeSep 8th 2018
    River mouths can be a problem for CC3+. I've spent ages fitting little masks to the ends of them on some of my earlier maps to better disguise the join, but often now, I draw the rivers and seas on the same sheet, above the land one(s), so they blend themselves properly. Look forward to all the tales to come!

    I actually assumed the Torgas plateau river simply passed underground (which could happen if the underlying terrain were of limestone, for instance), which is why I didn't comment on it.

    Thanks for the comments about the Jon Roberts and Midgard symbols being what you'd used to create the plateau effects. The canyons there are especially brilliantly done, I think. They're like images of the Grand Canyon in the USA taken from space, to me.

    Of course, I like the Moon Elf illustration too, which feature I also noticed was on the original RdW game maps available via the Forum we mentioned, though presumably by a different artist. Still thinking those of us without access are missing out by not having RdW more widely available, by the way!
    • CommentAuthorJensen
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2018 edited
    yep, the moon-elv on my map is from my mother in law. I wanted to have him on the map but didn‘t want to copy/paste from the original map. so I ask her to paint me one :-)

    The canyons and cliffs from Jon Roberts I cut into small pieces which allowed me to re-assemble them to large canyons. The 2 Jon Roberts annual-issues are brilliant, I use them so often. I would be very happy if we get a third one ;)

    Regarding RdW: It‘s indeed sad, that nothing new comes, I have heared that at least two source books are ready to print since 10 years. But you can still buy the great Tanaris sourcebook (Tanaris Quellenband 1), the monster compendium (Geschöpfe der Engel) and some campaigns. As the owner of this shop owns the rights on RdW, you can ask him about future plans :-)