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WIP: Upper Nerath (first overland map)

I wanted to provide my players some more detail as to the world I've been using, which is mostly based on the Conquest of Nerath D&D 4E geography, specifically the northwestern continent. I've been experimenting a whole bunch and here's what I've got so far - I welcome comments. Text labels are still in progress, but wanted to get some feedback. This is my first real overland map (I've mostly been doing some dungeons with DD3).

Also curious - I had a difficult time with the wooded villages (Yirra and the ruins of Vorquellyn). I basically filled a contour with tree symbols then deleted a bunch and tried to make it look natural but it looks kinda eh. There's also a mountain city, Mithralfast, which I wasn't even sure how to tackle (since it's an underground city in the mountains). Anyone have advice on these cities-within-symbol-areas?




  • SkidAceSkidAce Traveler
    For the forest city, use individual tree symbols (trunks in the back and no trunks to front and side) to variate the edge of the forest around the city so it doesn't seem like a square/missing symbol block.

    For the dwarven city, just a symbol seems fine and a good solution.
  • jediusjedius Traveler
    Do you have any advice on how to do that easily without worrying about the whole top-to-bottom left-to-right symbol placement rules? I found that to be difficult; I used the BELOW and ABOVE commands a bunch but I was wondering if there's an easier way.
  • SkidAceSkidAce Traveler
    At that level of zoom I dont worry about it. The "square" of the forest clearing stands out more than a slightly misplaced symbol. Put a tree (with out a trunk) in the corner to round it off.
  • jediusjedius Traveler
    Here's my next attempt, with more labels added and trying to patch up more of the forest city.

    Nerath v2

    Any other comments?
  • RalfRalf 🖼️ 16 images Mapmaker Administrator, ProFantasy
    That's looking pretty good! I would perhaps use a little lighter green for the background and reserve this fertile looking texture to the river valley? Also sprinkle some more single trees around your forest edges to make them look more natural.
  • jediusjedius Traveler
    Thanks for the suggestions - new version forthcoming. Ralf, I tried adding some single trees around the edges but to me they look kind of painfully out of place. Can you offer some more specific placement advice for the single trees? Also, were there forests in particular you meant this for, or all of them?
  • RalfRalf 🖼️ 16 images Mapmaker Administrator, ProFantasy
    I can show you an example of what I mean. And I would apply this to all forests.
  • jediusjedius Traveler
    Ah, perfect, that is totally not at all what I was trying to do, so thanks for the example! BTW - great idea about using the riverlands as the more fertile ground. Will post an update in a couple days once I have time to update it with the trees.
  • jediusjedius Traveler
    Here's the next (and what I hope should be the final) version... I'm a little concerned I went overboard on the one-off trees, but I scaled it back from what it was. As I said though, the fertile riverlands seem to make a big difference.

    Nerath v4
  • That's a great looking map, especially for your first overland map attempt, congratulations :-)

    The only think I dislike a bit is that the the forests are a very similar colour to the grassland, so they don't stand out much. I think it would maybe be more effective to have more of a contrast between the two (see Ralf's example above). However, appreciate that's maybe just because of the symbol set you used, and just my opinion! Great work.

  • jediusjedius Traveler
    Thanks! Yeah I used the default overland CC3 symbol styles. Unfortunately even with varicolor I couldn't get the deeper forest green I wanted so I had to settle for that green. But you make a good point - thanks for the comment! :)
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