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Possible map for roll20 game

Hi everyone,

I'm going to be Dm'ing a game on roll20 soon, The Ghosts of Saltmarsh, but I can't decide which world to set it in. I don't really like Greyhawk or the Forgotten Realms so I was thinking of setting it in my own campaign world.

If I was to set it there this is the map I would use. This is a map of the larger area. The Saltmarsh area would be along the northern coast of the Naur sea and fills an area only 4% of this map. Please critique it.




  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer Administrator

    I find going with my own world so much more rewarding than those published worlds. It's more work on one side, but oh so much more flexibility on the other side, and the opportunities for a place the players can truly explore rather than read all about in a book.

    Map looks quite fine to me. If anything, I think it might need some more settlements, but that can be a thing for detail maps. Since it had land et every edge, you can bet that the players will soon enough want to travel there and see what is beyond, so I hope you are prepared for that.

  • edited January 11

    Thanks Monsen, I agree about running your own world. This map just shows the major cities and I thought it was getting clogged up with names as it so I left the towns and villages off it.

    This map is just a small section of Raelmor, this map covers an area of 88,000 square miles. It was taken from a larger map that I took a screen shot of and than traced this map in CC3+, so I have all of Raelmor mapped and the huge continent it is a part of mapped as well. I have yet to upload those maps here. If they want to explore further it won't be a problem other than when they get back home utter devastation will have occurred to Saltmarsh and the environs because they weren't there to stop it.

    In my game, ignoring the DM's adventures is OK but it will have dire far reaching consequences.

  • With my own world, I don't have to worry about missing reading something a player has read.

  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer Administrator

    Consequences are the fun part. I never force my players to do anything (although the incentives tends to influence them heavily), but I always try to make their actions or inaction change the world.

  • Technically each different game, even in Forgotten Realms or in Greyhawk, is one that is part of a sort of multiverse (Each is a mirror of the original but possibly with many differences). So, maybe YOUR Forgotten Realms world doesn't have things that a player would expect, or moves things around, or changes events of history or facts about major figures.

    I say this because it's one thing to mislead players and then punish them for trusting you and the information you've already given, but it's another for them to have read ahead at some point and get upset that things differ from that.

    I'm all-for custom worlds though. It's just a balancing of how much exactly you want to customize. Some people use Forgotten Realms maps but make up their own locations on it, some people make an entirely new continent but still call it FR and use it's general history and politics and events, some people create an entire new world but still use the themes and feeling that FR gives off.

    The most extreme is to create a new world and completely invent all the history and use a custom theme as well as invent all the different humanoids and monsters that live in it.

  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer Administrator

    @DoubleDouble typed:

    Technically each different game, even in Forgotten Realms or in Greyhawk, is one that is part of a sort of multiverse (Each is a mirror of the original but possibly with many differences). So, maybe YOUR Forgotten Realms world doesn't have things that a player would expect, or moves things around, or changes events of history or facts about major figures.

    I've always found that approach a bit jarring for my tastes. Part of the fun of playing in an established setting is that both the DM and players have a shared knowledge of that world, visiting places you know from books and other material and enjoy the familiarity. Of course, that is also the curse for the DM when he hasn't read everything.

    Of course, not everything in FR or any other published campaign is detailed down to the life of every NPC and location of every Flumph, so when I do DM these settings, I make sure to stay in places where both me and the players can carve out our own path, keeping the rest as background and occasional visits. And also staying ahead of the timeline of official material, allowing you to introduce changes without conflicting with the material. The last time I DM'ed FR, it didn't go so well for the place ;-P

  • FersusFersus Traveler

    Until recently I've always had GMs that created their own world. Sure, it's a lot more work than "just" reading about it, but reading about it and remembering everything is work too! So depending on the amount of details you are putting into your world up front, it might not be that much more work than reading and preparing from a source of someone else...

    And if you're gonna map anyways, you might as well map your own campaign world :)

  • I go with my own world, always. It always starts with a map. Once I have that settled, then I know the backstory/history, then on to current events and the adventures. I usually have a very large map showing what I feel would be known to players and that encompasses the entire continent. Then, I go for more regional maps for details and so on. Then, down to city maps, battlemaps, and a 'dungeon' or so (we tend not to run dungeon-crawl adventures in the style of RoleMaster).

    Using this method keeps me constantly drawing maps heh. Which can be a good and bad thing. 😁

    Dak, I absolutely love your maps and drawing style. Keep 'em coming!


  • Before I started Crestar, I noticed the store players in my area would argue with the DM on what was in a published world, and what wasn't. So I decided to use my own.

  • Another similar problem to using a published game world is running a published adventure, especially these days. You have to assume at least 1 person (if not everyone) has read the adventure or knows something about it.

    My advice, mix it up. Change names, add plots/sub-plots, max up some monsters, min down others. Add new elements in the adventure. I'll be running Saltmarsh, but I'm already working on making it a Lovecraftian Horror (or at least themes of this) so there will be foreshadowing from the start of evil fish-men and their ancient masters out of time, in their cyclopean city beneath the waves.

    I'm thinking Dagon if anyone is familiar with that story. If not I recommend reading it, it's a classic Lovecraft tale.

  • Using a 'published' setting is fine, particularly when the setting has plenty of room for the GM and players to add their own space.

    For example, my upcoming Elric of Melnibone campaign is set in the Young Kingdoms which is a well known setting. The various supplements for this setting, and indeed, Michael Moorcock's own works provide only general, not overly detailed descriptions of the primary locations, so there is plenty of room for us to move without worrying about 'canon'.

    I'll be using the MRQII rule set and setting books but adapting scenarios from various editions of Stormbringer, modifying them to suit whatever is happening with the group. One campaign I'd like to run is Stealer of Souls+The Black Sword which has the PCs helping a young woman exact vengeance against Elric, and the merchants who hired him, for killing her father. I'll be using the plot and locations but changing the names and so on as my campaign will be taking place prior to Elric sitting the Ruby Throne...

  • The map is great for a start off map.....but you will find yourself soon mapping more :) I use my own world i've been working on for years...adding more as I go along. BUT.....I will say, I "borrow" from the published campaigns often, sometimes incorporating the quests within the book into my own world and campaign. I'd like to think it's a nice blend. Though, I've not much time or ability for mapping lately (I've a debilitating shoulder problem that is causing my map hand/arm significant pain), I've so much content that I've been able to DM without interruption these last months. Also, I and my players enjoy the little touch of Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance easter eggs I've included :)

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