DD3 Battlemat Tutorials - By Shessar

On multiple occasions I've been asked to explain the techniques I used to make battlemaps. Here are some of the ways that I add details to my maps. Most of these methods are fast and easy to implement because - what DM has hours to spend creating just one map? Simple but effective is my mapping mantra.

The tutorials are in PDF format and the links will take you to the download on my google drive.

The Stream tutorial can be downloaded from this link: Streams Tutorial
The Cliffs tutorial can be downloaded from this link: Cliffs Tutorial
The Contours tutorial can be downloaded from this link: Contours Tutorial

I hope that you find this useful.


  • Rest assured I will be download crazy CO.e Monday, when I get back on the internet with my laptop!!!!!
  • Wow...Awesome...As someone once said..."You Rock". Thank you very much for putting the time into doing this. It is greatly appreciated.
  • thank you thank you. Have I said thank you enough ? Thanks !
  • Yes, Shessar, thank you very very much for these!
  • DogtagDogtag Moderator, Betatester Traveler
    Thank you for taking the time to put this tutorial together and for sharing it. This is nicely written in a clear and understandable manner, and your screen shots are on the money.

    You do rock, indeed!
  • Jay_NOLAJay_NOLA Traveler
    Thank you, always great to have more tutorials.
  • You are all quite welcome! Thanks to LadieStorm for pushing me to do this. I was past due to explain some of how I do it.

    It is not the most professional looking document and I'm sure there are typos because typing is not one of my better skills...but if it is useful then I'm happy :)

    I'll be doing "Part 2:Cliffs" this week, so if you're interested, stay tuned.
  • *eyes are glued to the monitor*

    hey, I just voiced what we were all thinking! lol
  • Fantastic tutorial. Amazing work as always!
  • Thank you Shessar, this is wonderful! Great work!
  • Hey Shessar, are you, by chance, a member of the cartographers guild? I know quite a few members here are... And I bet they would LOVE this tutorial series for their cc3 users. I just recently joined, and I'm putting g my maps up there as well. I figure the more people I have critiquing my work, the .ore quickly I learn!

    If I post the map in using these tutorials for, do I have your permission to link back to your thread for the tutorials? I would, of course, give you full credit for the techniques you use.

    Oh, and I should probably ask the owners/moderators for this forum... Is that allowed?
  • I think I may still have a login there? If so I haven't used it in years. They take mapping far too seriously for my tastes. ;)

    I'm a gamer, not a mapper. I only post mapping stuff here, and on the rare occasion, on the Dundjinni forums. I learned long ago to not spread my interests between too many forums. There are only so many hours in the day. You are free to link back to this thread if you want, but I would prefer that you not share the direct link to the PDF since I don't really have the time to answer any questions or respond to any comments that might arise on other sites.

    I really appreciate your asking LS. Thanks!
  • I was planning to link back to this thread. I've already starting wondering g how I could adapt some these techniques to other things.

    Oh, and I have already started working on this, and I did notice something. I started with a bigger map size than you did, because the riverbed I'm making is for a town for my campaign. I did just fine, until I set up the transparency sheet. If I understand the tutorial correctly, I'm supposed to give the copied stream the transparency, set to 85%. I did that, but nothing happened. No transparency. I shifted the transparency all the way up to 100% and all the way down to 0... No change at all.

    I'm wondering g if it's because my map is larger? I notice something similar on my inner edge fades when I'm using larger map sizes. I sometimes have to go up much higher to get the fades I want. Could it be the same for the transparency effect? Can I even add an opaqueness higher than 100%?
  • DkarrDkarr Traveler
    If you are applying a transparency to a sheet and the objects are not turning transparent they are probably not located on that sheet. Do a MOVE to SHEET and select the objects you want to be transparent, then select the sheet you want to move them to.
  • well, at this point... I only have 4 sheets... common, back ground, stream and stream bed... but I will take a second look, thanks :)
  • edited March 2016
    Make sure the effects are on the correct sheet. Note that there is an option for selecting the Active Sheet via the check mark. There is also the option for setting the Active Effect Sheet via the grey bar that shows when clicking the sheet name. They can be set differently as shown below. If the effects is actually set on the correct sheet, that is the STREAM sheet, then ....

    Note that while the effect is called transparency, the setting is actually opaqueness. So, 100% opaque is solid. 0% opaque is completely transparent, that is not able to be seen. Have you tried splitting the difference at 50%? And no you can't have something be more than 100% opaque..unless maybe in quantum Mechanics?...Heh!

    Have you zoomed in far enough to see the effect? This is a battlemap meant to be printed to scale, so it will be much larger when printed and the effects will be more apparent. which is the reason for subtlety in the settings.

    As for the edge fade, yes, a larger map will need a wider edge if you are using Map Units to determine the settings . See the last page of the tutorial for how I determine how many units the edge should be.
  • yes, I did zoom in, and saw no difference. I went back and resized it, with a smaller size. I will go back and doublecheck my sheets.
  • 6 days later
  • That was the problem... I had the checkmark on the stream sheet, but the grey bar was on the streambed sheet, so my transparency and inner edge fade was actually happening to the streambed below my stream. I will remember to double check that from now on! and oh... Shessar... when you actually see my work in progress, I have a surprise for you :D
  • Just giving everyone a heads up that part two of the tutorial for cliffs has been added to the first post of this thread.

    I may do a part three that will contain hints and tips on roads and vegetation, but it will be a while before I'll be able to complete it.
  • Fantastic!!!!! Keeping my eyes peeled!
  • Alas, for me it seems that both links go to the stream instructions and not the cliff.
  • Posted By: warhoundAlas, for me it seems that both links go to the stream instructions and not the cliff.
    Oops! Thanks for the heads up. It is now fixed. :)
  • Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Whooo Hooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, Thanks taking the time to create this tutorial as well. I'm looking forward to using it shortly as I need to make a map with cliffs.
  • 3 months later
  • RobPappinRobPappin Traveler
    I saw these amazing tutorials mentioned in another post and I have to say Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with us new mappers! I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and give these two techniques a try on my next map. Simply Amazing!
  • 3 years later
  • I don't mean to bump an old thread, but I did want to say thank you for this. I was looking for a way to create cliffs and LadieStorm directed me to this thread. Thank you so much for making these tutorials and sharing your techniques.
  • Glad they are helpful!

    Feel free to ask if you have any questions and happy mapping. :D
  • 4 months later
  • I know this is an old topic but thanks a bunch! This is a really cool idea!
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