Classic Recreations

Hi Everyone

I was inspired by a couple of other posts to recreate some classic RPG maps from my early days as a dungeon master. I love making maps, and don't use anything (no photoshopping or the like) other than CC3+ to create my maps, and thought it would be fun to challenge myself by recreating one a day for the next week. I don't know if I'll complete my challenge because of how long it takes to make some maps, and with work and regular life interfering - It certainly will be a challenge! But I'll give it a go anyway...

So, to kick off I present my recreation of The Grand Dutchy of Karameikos from the blue box Expert D&D set. It's where my experience of DM'ing for players began, so holds some fondness in my heart. I used the Cartographer's Annual Vol. 69 - 13th Age Overland - style to recreate this map. It's such a beautiful style, and I'm currently using it to redraw my Aethir World Map for my homebrew 5e D&D game. That particular map is a way off being finished, but this one took me about 4-5 hours in total.

If anyone is inspired to recreate some classic RPG maps here, then please feel free to add a contribution to the thread, and lets see where your RP adventures began...

Without further ado - my map for Sunday 09/07/17 - The Grand Dutchy of Karameikos...
ThorfCuindlessRicko HascheSteven Nentwig (Steven!)LautiCalibreOctorilla


  • TopdeckerTopdecker Traveler
    Crisp and clean regional map! Very nice indeed and the integrated map key is a nice touch. I was a BECMI DM but never used Mystara due to my love of Greyhawk, but this map might have helped lure me away :)

  • Very nice. I don't think I've seen a map in this style, before: looks like it's well-suited to large regional maps.

    And sorry for the pickiness, but you've got a typo in "Duchy." ("Dutchy.")
  • Thanks for the comments, guys.

    And you're right, Barliman! Well spotted. It is Duchy, officially... and I'm glad you spotted the mistake.

    "Dutch" was my dog back in the late seventies and eighties. I named him after Gold Leader in Star Wars because my mum bought me a huge Y-Wing model for my birthday following taking me to see Star Wars for the first time at the Cinema (I wanted Luke's X-wing, but what did my mum know!?). He passed away in 1989, during the time my friends and I were playing in Karameikos, and they suggested we rename the realm in his honour... so, for me, it will forevermore be the Grand Dutchy. Another reason I chose to do this map first.
  • What a nice story! :)

    I just figured you weer a fan of chocolate, tulips and wooden shoes. :)
  • DogtagDogtag Moderator, Betatester Traveler
    edited July 2017

    That's a stunning map, let alone a wonderful recreation. You've got real talent, DMG ("DMG," heh*). And you're right, it is a perfect application of the 13th Age style. Thanks for sharing this. It's very inspiring. I eagerly look forward to the rest of your challenge. *doffs cap*

    I've never played in Mystara, myself, either, but I have a few very nice supplements. I think I have one detailing Krakatos, but I could be wrong about that. Always loved the maps, though, and yours is a nice update.


    * DMG = Dungeon Master's Guide, a vital rulebook for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, for our non-gaming/non-D&D forum pals.
  • Hello again all!

    Day 2 of my Classic Recreations challenge.

    Thanks for the comments again, guys. Very happy you like the first map, and I'm on-track to continue my challenge so far.

    I never played in Mystara, other than a starting campaign in the region presented in the basic D&D Expert set. I went and bought, and read, all the Gazeteers and other publications just simply for the love of reading about other worlds, and during that time in my role-playing past there were a lot of worlds for me to read about and enjoy.

    The next map I've recreated is from one of those other worlds. This was another setting that I never campaigned in, but instead set my own version of the story in my own campaign world to suit what my players at the time wanted. I've always drawn inspiration for adventures from books and movies I've read and seen, and integrated them into my own worlds. I once used the plot of Eddie Murphy's "The Golden Child" as an adventure set in one of my campaign worlds. The adventure went incredibly well - mystical artefacts, fantastic locations, demons! - and my player's loved it. It wasn't until about four years after I had ran the adventure that a couple of my friends came up to me and said "We've just seen The Golden Child and knew how it was going to end before we'd seen it..." It was at that point that I confessed where I'd got the idea from for what became one of their favourite adventures, and we all had a good laugh about it.

    So, here's my next submission. I'll not say where it's from. I'm sure many of you role players will know. It's done in the Cartographer's Annual 106/107 - Ancient Realms style and took me less time to make than the running length of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

    Now I'm done, I'll pop on my clogs and relax with some chocolate in my tulip garden... :)

    All the best

  • DogtagDogtag Moderator, Betatester Traveler
    So very good. Like you, I never actually played Dragonlance, but I collected all of the modules as they came out. It was a grand experiment, releasing an entire campaign and campaign world via modules — including one with wargaming rules. Brilliant! The maps and supplements were so good. This style suits it nicely. You're not only making some very nice recreations here, but you're picking very good styles for them, which goes a long way. Bravo.
  • Wow.....I had a wonderful beach day today......brought along my Nook, scanned through the hundreds of books i've got on it....stopped at Dragonlance - Dragons of Autumn Twilight, an old favorite, and started re-reading! I, of course, stopped at the map, and since selling all my old paperbacks (don't ask - it was a tragic week in the life of me) - i've missed the maps (the map on the nook is IMPOSSIBLE to see clearly). THIS IS PERFECT!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Oh, and darn, i would LOVE to convince someone to DM a Dragonlance game for me to play in. Oh and I, too, have a few of the old modules in my collection :)
  • Dogtag. Lorelei. Thank you.

    You're both right. The Dragonlances Saga was a revolution in RPGs. A bit like Disney buying Star Wars.

    I never campaigned in Krynn - but I did.

    I read all the novels, modules, supplements, etc., and studied Karen Wynn Fonstadt's Atlas meticulously, but I told the story to my friends through adventures in my own campaign setting. I created the setting on taped-together sheets of squared paper ripped from my maths book that took me weeks to fill every square with a little, brown triangles or green stick-trees, specifically to tell the Dragonlance story. It resembled Krynn in many ways - but it wasn't.

    Around that time, while feeding my imagination with DUNGEON magazine and the like, I would come across adverts for CC and I wanted it so much, but I only had a ZX Spectum or Commodore 64 at the time. If only I had a PC I could create a Dragonlance setting every 15 minutes with such a digital wonder. No more wearing my fingers away with felt tips...!Now, some twenty-odd years later I have what I dreamed of as a teenager, and it's a privilege to share what I make with people like yourselves. Thank you.

  • I was never much of a fan of Dragonlance, but this map is wonderful. And the style is a great choice for the setting.
  • HI Guys

    Sorry it's late today. I've been pushed for time. Consequently, It's a simple map for my third contribution.

    I picked this one from the AD&D module B2: Keep on the Borderlands (Think it was B2 anyway?). The reason I picked it was because my friends and I played through the adventure as part of the D&D 5e playtest. Wotc provided the Caves of Chaos part of the module as a playtest scenario, and it was good fun to revisit a classic module from back in he day. I've used the Mike Schley style because it's gorgeous and very versatile for creating maps of all kinds of scales. Some of the maps in the Community Atlas portray this very well - and everyone is doing an incredible job with the Atlas, btw.

    Thanks for the compliment, Barliman. I finish work tomorrow at 2pm, so will have more time than today, and I plan on spending it making my next recreation with you in mind. I hope that you'll like it...

    Until tomorrow...
    FrostyRicko HascheLauti
  • Ah, Keep on the Borderlands. No matter what a critical eye on this would say today, it is one of those modules that framed my early D&D experiences and therefore is remembered fondly. Thanks :)
  • DogtagDogtag Moderator, Betatester Traveler
    edited July 2017
    Strangely, I've been playing AD&D for nearly 40 years, from way back to the original white boxed set, and I've never actually played through B2! I have the module, of course — and the map — but I've never played it.

    This is another triumph. I especially like the forests and the river. Just beautiful!
  • Wow!, these are some great looking maps!. I'm lucky enough to have played in all of them so far. B2, the Keep on the Borderlands is the most produced product the Dungeons & Dragons game ever made according to the blurb about it on Drive Through RPG. I've actually got a Campaign I plan on running in the Grand Duchy of Karameikos that will eventually end up leading the players after one of the members of the Toranescu clan that has been turned into a Werewolf and made his way to Ravenloft! So then they will have to deal with Vlad before they can come back to Karameikos proper.

    These maps are a fantastic way to represent all of those worlds. I'm especially impressed with the first one because the original map was a hex map, so translating it to a normal map using the 13th age style must have been quite a task!
  • B1 is the keep, B2 is the caves of chaos. i have both and was reading, probably for the hundredth time, B1 recently.
  • B2 contained both the Keep and Caves of Chaos. B1 was Quasqueton
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    Gorgeous maps DGM :D

    Sadly I came at mapping from the pov of a writer, and have never played any games to be able to say much more than that ;)
  • TopdeckerTopdecker Traveler
    Posted By: Loopysue
    Sadly I came at mapping from the pov of a writer, and have never played any games to be able to say much more than that ;)
    Do you map after writing, or write after mapping? I am curious about that since I frequently have an adventure in mind, but the process of mapping further embellishes the story elements.

  • edited July 2017
    Hello All

    Thank you, everyone, for your comments, and thank you for contributing to this thread. Your interest is greatly appreciated.

    So, today's submission is for Barliman. I read about his GW and Warhammer past on another thread and thought this map would be right up his street. I hope you enjoy it, Barliman!

    The Old World was one of the few published settings that I campaigned in. I started by insisting that at least one of my players must be a Rat Catcher, and began the campaign with the adventure - Shadows over Boganhafen. It was also the setting that I played my "Golden Child" adventure in, and another adventure that will be the focus of tomorrow's map.

    I tried to do this one as quickly as I could, but it still took me just shy of six hours to complete. I've used a modified version of the Cartographer's Annual Vol. 101 - Classic Fantasy Maps. I particularly like this style because I think it's the kind of map style that you would find in Aragorn's pocket, or the inside cover of a good fantasy novel. I used this style to map my current campaign world of Aethir, and posted a map of The Kingdom of Estlond in this style a couple of years ago here on the CC forum.

    I've cheated a bit though! the image size is double what I should be posting, but I exported it as a 30% jpg to reduce the file size and still retain most of the detail, and I forgot to add the coastal contours to the sea in the top right of the map. But the rules of my challenge dictate that once I've posted - that's it. Sorry about that slip-up! :)

    I hope you all enjoy this one, and thank you again for all your support.

    Until tomorrow...

    FrostyRicko HascheAleDLauti
  • TopdeckerTopdecker Traveler
    DMG -

    I think you'll soon unmask yourself as a mapping doppelganger! Your effective use of different styles is most impressive.

  • Posted By: QuentenB2 contained both the Keep and Caves of Chaos. B1 was Quasqueton
    Looks like I need to re-read them again.
  • Posted By: Dungeon Master GazHello All

    Thank you, everyone, for your comments, and thank you for contributing to this thread. Your interest is greatly appreciated.

    So, today's submission is for Barliman. I read about his GW and Warhammer past on another thread and thought this map would be right up his street. I hope you enjoy it, Barliman!
    I'm flattered, thank you! :D

    I love that particular style, and, as usual, you've done a great great job with The Old World. Man, that map brings back some fond memories. :)
  • DogtagDogtag Moderator, Betatester Traveler
    edited July 2017
    *BOGGLE*  =O

    What a beautiful map. There's a lot to love but I can't take my eyes off the rivers. Also, you have a real eye for symbol placement, evident in your judicious use of the mountain and forest symbols.

    I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how awesome the landmass looks. Can I ask how you drew it? Did you trace it from the Warhammer source or did you eyeball it? The coastline is amazing.

    What a magnificent collection you've been posting. Never mind the speed you're cranking these maps out. I think you're giving Lorelei a run for her money in that department. I'll be sorry to see the week end. Thanks for posting these. They're very inspiring.

  • Thanks again, Dogtag. Everyone's comments on this thread are an inspiration to me, and I do hope these recreations inspire others.

    Ultimately, though, It's CC3+ that deserves all the credit. Without it there wouldn't be any maps. Not from me, anyway. CC3+ is such a powerful tool for creating beautiful art, and anyone can do it. So, thank you Profantasy!

    I will have been using CC for ten years this November. Consequently, just like anyone who performs a task repeatedly over time, I've gotten pretty good with it. I've studied real-world maps and other cartographer's work for a lifetime, and this rubs off when I draw my maps.

    I'm always questioning myself when drawing a map. It has to make sense in a real-world way, otherwise I scrap it and start again. I think about how terrain affects weather, how weather affects terrain, what temperature zone I'm setting the map in, what fantasy elements might have affected the area I'm mapping, or how life in the region changed things like deforestation causing soil erosion, and on and on. It's all a bit neurotic really!

    Making these maps is a break for me. I'm just simply copying someone else's work, so I don't have to think about anything except making a great copy, and the numerous wonderful styles that CC3 offers are perfect to pay homage to the RPG companies, game designers, cartographers, and artists that have enhanced my enjoyment over the many years I've loved fantasy in all it's forms. Other than technical ability with CC - There's no skill here.

    The real skill comes from long hours developing unique, interesting and engaging worlds. CharlesWayneRobinson is sharing that deeper level of skill with us in his Kelleemah world thread, along with many other members of this forum - too many to mention! - in their submissions, WIPs, and contributions.

    In answer to your question - I create A BITMAP sheet and layer, then use the DRAW > INSERT FILE command to insert a jpg/png/etc. of the original map, then trace it. Nothing more complicated, and the reason these maps are produced so quickly.

    As an aside to the challenge (which I will extend for an additional day for missing today) I will share with you the map of my campaign setting - Aethir.

    The original is 5000 x 4000 and took me about a year and a half to complete (I had loads of free time waiting for the Annual's to be converted to CC3+! lol!). Of course, not all that time was spent drawing the map - but creating the world. I've had to (obviously) reduce both the image and file size that affects overall detail in order to post here, but please enjoy one of my original pieces and we'll get back to the recreations tomorrow!

  • DogtagDogtag Moderator, Betatester Traveler
    What a brilliant campaign map, seriously. *is humbled* Your players are more spoiled than they realize.
  • Your maps are brilliant! And the challenge is pretty cool. Great work.
  • What a beautiful map, and the continents have such a dynamic flow to them.
  • RalfRalf Administrator, ProFantasy 🖼️ 18 images Mapmaker
    Wow, incredibly beautiful. You're taking my Classic Fantasy style way beyond what I was able to do it myself!
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