Kingdom of Blackwing

Hello again everyone.

This is a map of the Kingdom of Blackwing that I made for my D&D Next gaming group. It is just a starter area for the characters to have a home base. I tried to upload this as a bigger picture but every time I tried it would not let me do it so this is my third or fourth attempt at getting it up on this site. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the Kingdom of Blackwing.


  • DogtagDogtag Moderator, Betatester Traveler
    edited March 2015
    That just screams, "fantasy role-playing." What a great-looking map. More importantly, it makes me want to play there. Beautiful.

    So much to like. In particular, I like the mix of trees in Black Drake Forest and I really like the layout of Gothwood Forest. Nice touch, that giant tree toward the south. Terrain transitions are, I think, very well-done. I also think you did a nice, understated job with the decorative symbols, such as the sailing ships near the cities. Also, great names. They not only seem realistic and generally thematically consistent, but they also seem to share similarities within regions of the map. Nicely done!

    One thing I can't help but notice, though, is the lack of roads. Is there any particular reason you didn't include them?

    All in all, just... wow, what a beautiful map. I'm a little jealous.

    Thanks for sharing!
  • Thank you for noticing all of that Dogtag.

    I mixed the Black Drake Forest tree types because I wanted it to transition from evergreens to deciduous trees the more south it went. I'm glad to see you enjoy it.

    When making the Gothwood Forest, I was trying to envision the refugees from the ancient Elf kingdom to the north (where the Goblin Marches and the Sulfur Plain are now) migrating south to the Gothwood, finding the human population there living a Druidic lifestyle, and integrating themselves into the Gothwood as allies to the Humans. So to do that, I thought I should split the forest and have the different cultures occupy different parts of it. The large tree was planted by both cultures together to signify unity.

    I am very glad you noticed the transition of the terrain as I took the time to study how it happens in nature for real. I wanted my map to reflect that if it was possible.

    Origionally I wanted docks coming from my coastal cities but I think the ships near them does a much better job of making them seem like living cities.

    Thank you again for noticing the names. Naming things is one of my passions when mapping. I like things to seem as real as they can be without getting into what I like to call "real world names". It has to have a fantasy flair, and it has to evoke a feeling of where the town or city or site of interest is located. They also have to be similar enough to each other in an area that they sort of flow together.

    Actually, yes, there is a reason there are no roads. The map was created to show the players the land and make it visually appealing, yet I didn't really want their characters to know how to get anywhere initially. This lets them explore the map without the roads initially being in specific spots. So as they explore, the road will appear on the map. They won't be anchored in one place just yet.

    And thank you for the wonderful review and great comments.
  • Very nice map: visually attractive and it succeeds in doing what every fantasy map should do -- make me want to wander there. :)

    That's an interesting observation about roads. I'd be tempted to put each one on its own hidden sheet, revealing it only as the players encounter it.
  • Thanks Barliman.

    I'm glad you like it.

    Yeah, that was my thought on the roads. But I still have to draw them and organize them on the sheets.

    The village of Kynesvard has a great view when I zoom in. It looks up into the mountains and the tower and trail near it just looks great from that angle. Makes me wish it were real too. :)
  • I was noticing that little lake up in the hills to the north of Kynesvard: the trees and the river flowing from it look quite natural to me. Not sure why it jumped out at me, but it did. Did you draw the lake over existing mountain symbols, or place the mountains around the lake?
  • edited March 2015
    I drew the mountains first, then drew the lake around the mountain, hit the re-draw button and liked what I saw. Then I drew a river coming out of the lake and finally filled in the front of the lake with trees. I love the way it turned out and will probably do it the same way when I use this style again for the other maps in this world.

    I liked the way the glacier was melting off of the mountain so I decided that the glacier was the cause of the lake. The finished effect is quite beautiful I think.
  • The passion and care put into your is obvious. Great work tonnichiwa.

    If i might suggest, change fonts a bit when naming different locale types. Look for something that is subtle or slightly different.
  • @SlaveOne

    Can you explain a little more of what you mean? I would be interested to see what kind of changes you are thinking.
  • From what i can tell you used the same Font style for all your text... and don't get me wrong, it looks good.

    However im suggesting to change the fonts.

    As an example... for lets say, the rivers. Use the same font for all three but be sure its a little different from the rest of the text on the map. Not so much, as subtly is key here i think. This way, when the feature's names are close together, the viewer can easily distinguish the what the name represents. Right now its seems you are using the font size to delineate between features. (Again totally fine). But a map as beautiful and detailed as this should be more focused on the features than the text. Large font sizes and/or too much text can take away from this.

    With that in mind. Another advantage to using a slightly different font is you don't have to "fully" name your features. So as an example, instead of calling it "The Tyr River" you can simple call it the "The Tyr". This again will open up the map more and adds a dimension of "sentience" to the what would otherwise be a simple terrain feature.

    Perhaps you could experiment with color too but that can be a very fine line between perfection and too much.

    All that being said you could simply keep the fonts but reduce the size of everything and/or un-name tertiary features. Ultimately it really comes down to your own personal artistic sense. Hence im just suggesting.

    Anyways, i hope im not coming off as too esoteric here, as like i said, its a wonderful map as it is. Again Great Work!
  • I like the idea of different fonts. Guess I better start looking around for some similar ones. Thanks for that.

    So this is what the map looks like with no words at all. I think the whole feeling of the map sort of changes a bit without them.
  • So this is the map with the roads showing.

    I tried something different with the roads and used Rivers instead for the roads. I just changed the color of the rivers to a brown so they look like dirt. I like the end result.
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