Suggestions for a Map and Vintyri

Hi All,

The other day the wife and I had our 4 year old grandson come for a 2 night sleepover. To entertain him on the Friday (picked him up Thursday evening) we took him to 'his' zoo. A new Zoo opened in Western Sydney a year or so ago and we bought him a membership for Christmas last year. So he thinks of it as his zoo now. Due to COVID our membership has been extended.

Anyway, when the son, his wife and our other, 1 year old grandson came to pick him up, Mason wanted to play Zoo keeper. I go along with whatever he comes up with a) because it's generally a load of fun and b) I want him to have fun with Nan & Pop and encourage his imagination. So our house became the zoo. Different animals were placed throughout the various rooms and in the imaginary pens in the backyard. As neither of us could keep the rooms to animals match up straight, I of course drew a map of the zoo; a rough sketch of our floorplan with the various animal names pencilled in.

I wouldn't be much of a cartographer if I didn't create a 'proper' map of the zoo, so I'm wondering what style do you folk think would be best?

I'm in the process of installing all the Vintyri stuff (bloody hell that's a big job, particularly the Dundjinni Archive Vol2!) so I should have more than enough animal symbols to add in.

Also, I'm kind of disappointed but not surprised by the EULA. I was hoping I'd be able to distribute some of the symbols as symbols/tokens with a product I'm working on for sale via DTRPG which is designed to be VTT compatible. My Atlas competition map will be the first. I mainly just want the trap symbols as tokens so GMs can place then on the appropriate layer in Roll20 or whatever. Does anyone know of free symbols that can be redistributed as symbols commercially?


  • edited January 13

    It's not likely you'll find many free symbols for commercial use. You might want to reach out to some artists directly, but most artists don't give their work freely so others can make a profit off of it at least without giving permission directly and certainly wanting credit for their efforts. I've used other artists symbols "within" my maps, but have gotten written permission from them, but distributing their symbols for use on a VTT platform? I don't think that's going to be easy to find. Maybe offer a commission to an artist? Since you will be making money on your product, you might offer a small percentage to an artist for each one sold? Check out DeviantArt or post in some FB groups?

    As for a map suggestion.....maybe use DD3 and add in some symbols from Here Be Monsters? or the Myrklund style? Or if you're into a more photorealistic style, then stick with the CSUAC2, Bogie's and the DA symbols, they are excellent

  • Thanks for the reply @Lorelei.

    I knew I'd be pushing you-know-what uphill regarding free symbols and fully expected that I would either a) have to draw the traps and other such symbols myself or b) commission someone to draw them for me. It was more of a forlorn hope really, a bit like winning the lottery, as I'm not that artistic. I'll have a crack at making them myself and if I'm not happy with the result, post a request on Fiver...

    My little project is something of a trial and for Mythras, an off-shoot of Runequest, so sales volume is not going to be anywhere near what it would be for say D&D or Pathfinder, hence why I'm happy to spend my time but not my $$$... Depending on sales and feedback from this first one, things may change.

    Re the Zoo map, I was always going to use DD3 due to scale, essentially it's just a big battle map but was after suggestions for the style to start with. Here is the map of the actual zoo. As it's for a 4 year old I want to it to be relatively simple and similar to this... I may even download photos of the animals and make them into 'tokens'...

  • WyvernWyvern Surveyor

    For the zoo map, how closely are you wanting it to match the "real" zoo map? A modern mapping style might work better than "straight" DD3 to match the simple block-colours scheme, for instance. Also, you might be able to find a free font with suitable animal silhouettes you could rework as symbols (or just use the font as-is, if it'll be a one-off map). Those would match these quite well from some free animal fonts I've come across.

  • That actually sounds like a plan @Wyvern, thanks.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy

    It would be worth checking with copyright owners where possible, for some 'free' things are not as free as they give the impression they are. Most are free to use, but not necessarily commercially as (for example) VTT tokens for redistribution.

    I'm not trying to put a damper on your project. Only concerned that you shouldn't accidentally fall foul of people who can turn out to be unexpectedly nasty. I've had experience of that kind of thing. A completely innocent mistake on my part was loudly and very publicly declared to be blatant theft and I was compared with a very real and rather infamous map thief! Fortunately for me the accusation was transparently a laughable exaggeration, but others have not been as fortunate.

    My accusers have continued to make my life pretty uncomfortable on other forums ever since, so please don't do this to yourself - not by mistake at any rate. I've been persecuted for so long that sometimes I almost wish it HAD been deliberate, because then at least I would deserve it.

  • edited January 14

    All good @Loopysue, I'm going to make my own if I can. Basically, it's only the trap symbols I need to make.

    Sorry to hear about your bad experiences in this area. Check my posts on that D&D Map Group that ran the competition a few months ago, I left it due to the attitude. So I'm not going to do the same thing.😉

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy

    We live and we learn.... :)

  • edited January 14

    Or we don't live long. (At least, according to Robert Heinlein).

  • 6 days later
  • Here's the map of Nan & Pop's Zoo.

    Certainly not one of my better efforts but I'm sure my 4 year old grandson won't mind. I kind of ran out of time and rushed it a bit this evening to get it done. I want to give it to him over the weekend but don't have a colour printer at home.

  • Deleted the previous comment. I 'fixed' it in Ps, took me about 1.5 hours where in CC3 it would be less than 5 minutes most of which would be spent getting the effect "just so"... In this case, raster image editing software is certainly not 'better' and definitely not faster!

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy

    What was the problem?

  • Could you please rotate the map so the labels are easier to read?
  • I didn't have any sheet effects, bevels and shadows, applied to the buildings or 'fences' so the drawing looked flat and it was hard to see the smaller enclosures. I also added a very rough outline to the paths.

    Normally, I would just wait till I got home and add the effects needed but we have an A3 multi-function colour laser printer at work and I wanted to give it to Mason on Sunday (it's Friday AM here ATM) and I live too far from work to make it worthwhile coming into the office tomorrow or Sunday morning just to print a drawing...

  • edited January 22

    @DaltonSpence your wish is my command...

    When I get home, I'll scan the sketch with labels for our actual rooms.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 15 images Mapmaker ProFantasy

    Oh dear! Well, you did well enough in the end. It looks good :)

    Sorry I didn't see it in time.

  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 43 images Mapmaker Administrator

    So, now I guess we know how you spend your time at work.... :)

  • It is so awesome to see other grandparents get so involved in their grand children's lives and happiness. And the fact fact that you incorporate this medium is amazing.😁

  • edited January 23

    @Loopysue thanks! Doing the outlines and highlights manually was a pain but it turned out ok.

    @Monsen indeed... just as well I’m using CC3+ commercially and can only have it on one machine...

    @SchadowKnyght thanks! Mason loves the zoo and it’s map, and both my wife and I enjoy playing with him. We think it’s important to encourage kids imaginations. My wife works in childcare & I was a Cub Scout leader for a number of years.

    Its funny, our son is really sporty and could’ve played first grade cricket but continually being overlooked for representative cricket at junior level because we weren’t involved in the committee and so on, despite his talent, kind of ruined his enthusiasm. Mason, is completely the opposite and is more like his Pop, completely unco-ordinated and I think he would find Scouting right up his alley, where we think our other Grandson, Cooper (he’s 1) will be more like his Dad.

    I might not give him this one, I’d like to getter better pictures of the animals (perhaps making them into tokens) and use basic colour fills like the “proper” zoo map.

  • You can always pick up a copy of Planet Zoo and play it with him.

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