Hi from Reddog

Hi, I've had a bundle of stuff from ProFantasy for a while now but only just got around to reinstalling it on a new machine to begin to actually use it. Gosh, it's a fairly daunting prospect isn't it!

My initial use is going to be to design some floorplans/ battlemats (I think that's what they're called amongst people who know?) to use for a 3 Musketeers miniature game I'm writing for my group. It's not even clear to me what software I'm better using for this, essentially I want a top down gridded view where a grid square is around the size of a UK penny ~21mm (my mini's are based on these) and that objects are scaled appropriately. Am I looking at Dungeon designer (which I have also) or floorplans? Are there any more recent tutorials than those from 10years ago?

I realise I have a lot to learn over the next few weeks. Hopefully this community is a welcoming and helpful one!


  • Hi Reddog! Welcome.

    I'm pretty new here myself — though I’ve owned the software for many years, it’s only been about six months since I realized I couldn’t learn it simply by experimenting. The tutorials really, really helped me.

    I’ll let others with more experience guide you, but my two cents: it sounds like Dungeon Designer will best achieve what you want. The name implies old-school D&D dungeons and caverns, but it's really great for any type of inside or outside floorplan (a house, a temple, some crypts, a section of a forest road where bandits are lurking to attack). If you want something that you can use figures on, whether to print out to use with miniatures or to use on screen with a virtual table top, Dungeon Designer will probably suit you best.

    As for tutorials, which is how I learned: the new ones are great but I would start with some of the older ones to get the basics down. On the Video Tutorials page, you'll find a really well organized list. I started with Joe Sweeney's, which did a great job starting with the basics. They are old, and some tips have been superseded by software advancements. (For example, Joe made a point in the older videos of talking about placing symbols from the back and moving forward, but now there's a "Sort Symbols on Map" function that makes that advice no longer necessary.) But they really helped me get the concepts down.

    The Learning CC3+ videos will give you a good grounding in the basic tools. I would then proceed to the Quickies section. With the Campaign Cartographer Concepts and Blog Videos, I would recommend going to specific ones once you've got the basics down and have a specific question about a technique or tool.

    The Live videos are really great, but each one covers lots of different techniques, and many of the newer ones assume some basic knowledge, so I wouldn't start with them. Once you've gotten the basics down, you might want to look at the names to see if there are some tackling stuff similar to what you're doing. For example, if you're designing a dungeon, "Creating dungeon with the Jon Roberts style" and "Livemapping: Dungeon & Cave" would be useful. I've gone through almost the entire archives of Live videos and I learn something from every single one, but you'll want to have the basics down first.

    LoopysueRicko HascheReddogroflo1
  • I have been using the software for a long time. Have only really decided to take a deeper dive into it. I use any method I can for learning it. Reading the basic manuals and the Tome of Ultimate mapping, as well as the videos. First and foremost is the forums. Sometimes you just don't understand the way they go about it in the manuals. There are so many helpful people here, who don't lord their knowledge above you. Most want to grow the community.

    Goo0d luck on you trails.

    Top things.

    Learn difference bewtween layers and sheets.

    Learn how to hide stuff and freeze stuff. So you can work on just the things you want without messing other things up

    Get familliar with the interface and the right click menu's on buttons.

    Use the edit button to do a ton of things.

    And just "Do It"

    Royal ScribeReddog
  • ReddogReddog Traveler

    Thanks both. I was a bit wary of the tutorials I first came across, 15 years old is quite a while considering software usually moves forward quite a bit during that time, and didn't want to spend my time banging my head against "why doesn't my screen look like his" or similar thoughts when the answer was simply "it's an old tutorial and been superceded by x".

    I do have a tendency to want to just learn the bits I want/need to accomplish the thing I'm doing, rather than systematically learn from a-z. This can be great, but it can also as I suspect in this case, mean I end up more frustrated than need be. I'll try and discipline myself to doing as you say Royal Scribe

    Royal Scriberoflo1
  • Welcome aboard Reddog!

    Yep, following the tutorials and working through the manual's exercises is definitely the only useful way to start. Critical comments about the program you'll find scattered over the Internet elsewhere are all about people NOT doing this, and blithely assuming the program's going to be identical to the basic graphic manipulation programs they've "always" used before. IT ISN'T!!! This is actual CAD mapping and draughting software, and if you're not familiar with how that operates, you will struggle. I did, certainly, until I watched some of Joe Sweeney's videos (there weren't any others at that stage, as this was some years ago, back when it was still CC3, not the current CC3+).

    As far as map scaling's concerned, forget ALL about what size you need this or that bit of the map to be once you have it printed out, as this is IRRELEVANT to the creation of maps in CC3+. What you MUST do is create a map to the actual size the map's supposed to be using the relevant real-world map units - which for floorplan/Dungeon Designer style maps are either in feet or metres (you can decide which during set-up for that map). Make sure everything fits in your map to that scaling only. If the grid squares are meant to represent 5 feet, for example, make them 5 feet square in your CC3+ map.

    When you've finished the map and want to print it out, that's the first time you need concern yourself as to what size things will be in the physical, printed-out world. If you need advice on that, or anything else connected with map scaling, see this excellently thorough blog post by resident expert and Forum mod Remy Monsen, which tells you all you'll need to know and more on the matter!

    LoopysueRoyal ScribeDon Anderson Jr.roflo1
  • ReddogReddog Traveler
    edited June 3

    Funnily enough, I've just finished reading that article in the World Builders Compendium PDF that I've downloaded! While it's not a floorplan, or indeed what I am wanting to create at all, I have been watching the tutorials and have built something of an overland map as I go through the tutorials that doesn't look awful so I feel like I'm progressing. However it's VERY clear that CC3+ is not a "pick up and run" type of software. Right now I'm struggling with basic functions like just selecting objects I've placed (and not anything near them as well!) so that I can delete them, and/or identifying what is and isn't in a style and what I actually have access to. (some sort of global search for "village" across all the installed addons and symbol sets so I can see what is available doesn't seem like something unreasonable to expect?)

    Royal Scribe
  • Selecting can be problematic, especially when you have two things that directly overlap one another. Fortunately, there are a number of different options you can select by using CC3+ to identify which of the objects you've selected you actually want to do something with. This post, the accompanying short linked video, and the linked additional post, again all by Remy Monsen, will help with this, whatever issues you're having with selection.

    There isn't a global search mechanic across all the add-ons you may have installed, mostly because it's advisable to choose a style to map in, and stick with that, since those items will usually work well with one another in terms of the overall map appearance. That doesn't stop you from bringing in symbols or bitmap fills from other mapping styles, but you'll need to identify what those are when doing so first of all. If you want to see what symbols and bitmap fills you have on your system, the easiest way is to use Windows' File Explorer, and navigate to wherever you have your CC3+ system installed (the standard default is in ProgramData under Profantasy, for instance).

    LoopysueRoyal Scribe
Sign In or Register to comment.