First continent sized map

edited September 9 in Show and Tell

Here is my attempt at a continent sized map. Once again, I've been dithering with this map for months. I've probably started it 5 or 6 times only to delete the work as I was not happy with it. The other day though I started again and liked the look so finally completed it.

It is my game world's version of feudal Japan. I have run adventures here, but have always wanted to run a full Dragonlance campaign using the 1st edition modules from the 80's in Takiwa and in the large continent below Takiwa, called Jian, which is based upon Asia.

Any comments of pointers for improvement would be very much appreciated.



  • Fine-looking map!

    It's a little difficult to advise much with it, without knowing how like Japan it's intended to be though, beyond what you've already created here. For instance, is it at a similar latitude, as that might affect features such as vegetation? The frozen (?) islands towards the north suggest it may be further north than Japan now, for instance. Hokkaido is cold, but not glacial, by contrast.

    Similarly, the sea to Japan's west is relatively shallow and very enclosed (obviously not the case here), while to the east in places, it drops away very rapidly, such as into the Japan Trench. That may only be of significance if you intend to make use of the seabed, however, though it could also have weather-pattern/climate implications for the land areas.

  • Hi Wyvern,

    When I say something like "My version of ...", It is only in a cultural/technological way like the thing I'm talking about.

    When I say this is my campaign world version of Japan; it is a land with samurai and ninja, yakuza and bushi. Katanas, yari, and nunchaku. It has an emperor and a shogun and a bakufu. The culture of the land mirrors Japan (in so far as much as I know about Japan's feudal age culture, which is limited), but with all my imagination and experience as a D.M. to change the land to give it (hopefully) a unique feel or twist to things.

    In terms of geography/geology; I use the same physics and dynamic systems as the Earth but this is my version of an "M class planet". It is not supposed to mirror Japan in terms of the physical land, only in so far as most of the land is temperate with colder northern islands. Although, I should have put some volcanoes along the mountain's spine as it is on a subduction zone.

    The frozen islands to the north were the inspiration for completing the map. I saw an excellent map that Calibre had drawn and he had frozen lands on his map, and this inspired me to have a go at duplicating what he had onto this map. I liked the effect so much that I actually finished my map even though I had tried to start it numerous times before.

    The map though started off the other way round (north is now south) and the smaller islands have changed position.

    It also has features that are trying to mimic (or account for) certain mechanics or rules system from the games I use in this world, eg The Korigi area on the map is a perfect circle where the land and vegetation have been warped and twisted and is now a barren wasteland, and the life forms that emanate from that area are grotesque mutated monsters. This is to mirror the Taint rule from the 3rd edition D+D Oriental Adventures, even though it is really an AD+D 1st edition game with elements of 2nd edition.

    Lastly, I do intend to use the seabed. One of the games I am trying to set up on roll20 is a 5th edition version of an aquatic campaign called "the Cities under the Sea", where players play races such as aquatic elves, tritons, and aventi, where the spear and trident dominate the armoury, and where the great sunken continent of Shalmaris has its ancient domed cities. "Between the time when the oceans drank Shalmaris and the rise of the sons of Man, there was an age undreamed of".

    Many years ago I drew a map of the ocean floor with my world's version of our mid-atlantic ridge inspired by the Marie Thorp ocean floor map, and if I should ever finish a map of my entire game world, I will then do a map of the ocean floor (but as the saying goes, "Don't hold your breath").

  • Right, I understand. A lot of Japan's culture derives from its location, of course, but I appreciate what you're trying to do in a fantasy setting where things of that sort can be explained by other mechanisms!

    Great to know you'll be working on the seabed, since as you'll appreciate, it's a particular area of interest for me too! And Sue's new Marine Dungeon mapping style in the Annual greatly increases the options for lit-ocean settings especially.

  • The ocean currents and weather patterns around these islands must be very complicated and this would affect the travel plans of anyone adventuring around them. A maritime version of this map showing trade routes and ports-of-call could be useful.
  • edited September 12



    I have only 1 suggestion: the 'shallow water' contours around the landmasses needs to follow the shores more closely. For example, at the lowest islands, the light blue water cuts off squarely. Either edit it to a point or redraw so it follows the shore, so it is not so squared off, then, apply at least 2 levels of extraction (3 if you feel necessary). Then, I would experiment with edge fade on the shallow water polygons until the edges are less clear-cut.

  • Hi Cal,

    Thanks for the advice, and I agree it looks kinda weird straight edged, but I don't know what you mean by "2 levels of extraction".

    Although I may leave this as it is for now, and when I complete the world map and see all the islands and continents in relation to each other, re-draw the ocean shallows/continental shelf when I can fully appreciate the relationship between the land masses, and where the aquatic races would have their realms, and where the sunken continent would be.

    I've only just started experimenting with edge fading, and this map is the first map where I have changed some of the edge fading, so I'll have a go at experimenting some more with the shallows as per your suggestion.

  • Good idea!

    You'll love the edge fade 😁


  • 8 days later
  • Hi Calibre,

    I just used edge fade on this, and turned on the Korigi circle to clearly demonstrate the area of the magical effect.

  • Excellent! You have mastered it 😁


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