Khalkaeareon - a first attempt at CC3(+)

Hi all,

Well, I'm not sure whether to thank the designers for making such an excellent product, or curse them for losing me my weekend! Seriously, I downloaded CC3+ (having never done ANY CAD of any sort before let alone fantasy map making!) at the end of last week with the intention of "dabbling" to see if I could visualise a map from scratch for my forthcoming RPG campaign... and now here I sit, two full days of obsessive twiddling later, having just had a huge amount of fun making my first ever map... and also utterly exhausted :)

Before I go to bed, I thought after playing around with it so much I'd throw myself to the cartographical wolves and put my first efforts up for comment. A little bit of context might help: the land is called "Khalkaereon" and is dominated by 3 presences and split down the middle by an ancient chasm known only as "The Rift". To the west of the Rift is a mediaeval-European style kingdom called "Jansswerd", and to the east of the Rift an oriental Shogunate known as "Fentaria". These nations are constantly at odds, but do not dare enter into war with each other as the greatest threat to both comes from the "Source Wastes" to the north, a land teeming with evil magicks and demons, the "source" of all magic (hence the name) being a vile volcano spewing forth evil sorcery in the form of a wicked, corrosive green toxin.

Jansswerd itself has a typical middle-european climate, slightly colder to the northwest, and is itself split in to - the southern plains being almost completely civilised (except the enchanted, impassable forest to the far south west), and the northern plateau more wild and uninhabited (certainly since the last Source incursion destroyed Jansswerd's northeastern towns and defences) apart from the ancient stronghold of Drakenhold. The northern and southern reaches are separated by the Great Cliffs, and passage north-south is only possible across the Western Bridge or, most commonly, by passing through Jansswerd's greatest city, its capital Verdithian, and its intricate and wondrous "water stair".

To the east, the land of Fentaria is warmer and wetter due to the prevailing southwest-northeast winds across the continent driving the warm air rising from the depths of the Rift across its lands and numerous mountain ranges, resulting in unique climatic conditions whereby Fentaria gets warmer the further NE you travel, while travelling NW in Jansswerd leads you to more Scandinavian conditions (and, eventually, through a pass to the Norse-like land of Asgramor). Although its civilised lands are smaller than Jansswerd's, Fentaria has experienced fewer Source incursions due to much better natural defences (it is separated from the Source Wastes by a combination of high mountain ranges, scorching desert and dense jungles).

Trade between Jansswerd and Fentaria is only possible by sea (each having its own bustling port city), or across the Rift in the two places where engineering feats have spanned its treacherous depths. To the north, a vast bridge stretches across the deadly Rift, with watchful townships and garrisoned towers on either side. By far the greatest proportion of trade, however, takes place in the miraculous city of Riftspan. Independent of both Jansswerd and Fentaria, Riftspan is a hub of trade, science and technology, having been built across the deadly cavern itself.

There... I hope that helps to explain my thoughts behind the map design. I am aware that I've probably made some schoolboy errors (it was my first attempt after all!), but I always welcome constructive criticism of every kind so please don't spare my feelings when offering any comments or critiques.

Thanks in advance - both for thoughts on my design and for creating the source (no pun intended) of my brand new hobby :)


  • Oh, and here is the CC3 file itself in case too much detail has been lost in the JPG file. Ta :)
  • Have you thought of using png instead ?
  • edited February 2015
    Thanks, good idea (told you I was new to this stuff!)

    I've hosted it on photobucket as otherwise the PNG would have been too big for board guidelines to post.

  • RalfRalf Administrator, ProFantasy 🖼️ 18 images Mapmaker
    edited February 2015
    Wonderful to read about your first experience with map-making in Campaign Cartographer, thanks for sharing. Reminds me of my first encounters with it.... long ago.

    Ah, and nice map, too! :)
  • Simon RogersSimon Rogers Administrator, ProFantasy Traveler
    This is excellent.
    My suggestions:

    Add an Edge Fade, Inner to the WORKED LANF sheet (8, 100, 0. high quality map units)

    Consider changing the dark blue and dark red colours of the text, and adding a white glow - which acts to "blot out" features below a little.

    Reposition point labels (eg citiies) according to the following rule:
    In decreasing order of preference, add point labels to the NE, SE, NW, SW E then W, taking account that you don't want to overwrite other features.
  • Just curious Simon, where did you get the "decreasing order of preference" from - it makes sense; I'm just curious if this is a Best Practice you've picked up from experience or if it is something of a "standard" in the cartography community.
  • Simon RogersSimon Rogers Administrator, ProFantasy Traveler
    Posted By: R A JacobsJust curious Simon, where did you get the "decreasing order of preference" from - it makes sense; I'm just curious if this is a Best Practice you've picked up from experience or if it is something of a "standard" in the cartography community.
    I don't have the Tome to hand, but it"s from the article in there on text placement.
  • edited February 2015
    Thanks to everyone for your comments and helpful suggestions - I've improved the original (I think!) by adding more readable labels and by making the mountain ranges more "realistic"... as well as adding a few more "ooh that looks interesting"-type locations to visit :)

    The full-sized original of the PNG file (it's big, be warned!) can be accessed from my One Drive by clicking on the image.


    As before, I'd love to get whatever feedback people are kind enough to give - good or bad, I don't mind, as long as it's constructive.
  • Posted By: R A JacobsHey Kalthorine. I'm presently learning CC3+. I've created a site (Funny-Shaped Dice) where I'm documenting my journey learning this tool. I'd like to use your map in an article I'm presently writing on Basic Select Techniques in CC3+. Would you mind?

    Of course, attribution will be given and if you'd like me to link the credit back to a site of your own, I can certainly do that.

    Thanks, and keep up the great work. If this is your first attempt, I can't wait to see later attempts.

    R A Jacobs
    Funny-Shaped Dice
    Hi, you are more than welcome to use my map for your article, and thanks for your generous comments :)
  • edited February 2015
    I've included various iterations of the map directly into a Player Guide I've made for the campaign, so in case people are interested in what I've done in that regard clicking the image below will allow you to view the guide in PDF format:


    Thanks again for the advice and support guys n gals :)
  • 2 months later
  • Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but just wanted to chime in with my praise....this map is brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

    I also really like some of the world concepts in it - particularly the city spanning the rift.

  • I already liked the map, but your player's guide is great work, too.
  • 5 years later
  • Wot Fred Sed. Seriously, this is really good. I've spent about the equivalent amount of time on a map and in comparison mine is fairly ordinary nowhere near complete, so I tip my hat to you sir! Your players are extremely lucky!
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