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The Encounter Map I've been working on

So lately I asked a lot of questions concerning encounter maps, so I thought I'd share the result. If none of you spots any glaring no-gos I'd call this one finished.

I present: Menhir Meadow



  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer Administrator
    Looks nice, but the large grass field may be a bit monotone. I would recommend breaking things up a bit more, using things like puddles of mud/water, bushes/flowers, small elevation changes, stuff like that.
  • edited March 2020
    I agree with Remy above. Also, you might want to increase your Fill scale
  • You've done a wonderful job laying out this map. Love the ivy covered walls and the standing stone. Looks like an excellent place for an encounter. :)

    The shadows on the trees and stone/pillars are very long and very dark, indicating to me that it is late in the day with the sun lower on the horizon; but the grass is very bright, like it would be at midday. Monsen's and Lorelei's suggestions will help but also think about a darker texture or a Hue/Saturation effect to darken the texture.
  • Thanks for the comments!

    To respond to your points:

    - I did try and add clusters flower or grass to the green plain but did not manage to have them look natural. They stood out starkly, so I removed them again.
    - Small elevation changes - how would you do them? I struggled with the little hill for the big standing stone and ended up cheating a bit with the round stony symbol. Looked better than what I had before
    - What exactly do you mean by "increase" your fill style? Change the scaling? If so, in what direction? Going from scaling 10 to 100 or 1?
    - I don't mind darkening the map a bit, but I've been told my last maps where too dark. So I went brighter this time. Also I worry the trees the left will stand out too much then. Also, finding the right texture that works at this zoom level is a lot of try and error. And the in-tool preview bars aren't optimal either.
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 29 images Cartographer ProFantasy
    Its a great map. Thanks for sharing it :)

    If you want to have a go at breaking up that green you could add a second grass sheet just above that one and put an Edge Fade Inner sheet effect on it, then use a different grass texture and draw irregular patches of the new grass on top of the old grass. The EFI will blend the two together. If you chose a grass texture that isn't too drastically different to the first one it will work better than using something completely different.

    There are lots of different ways of doing elevation. I'm not sure what the best way is, or if there is a best way. Maybe one of the others can be more helpful on that point. In fact I think it was Shessar who devised a way of doing it just recently that had all of us making admiring comments ;)

    The scale of a texture can be adjusted in the Fill Style Properties box. You click the "FS:..." window in the row at the top to open it, make sure you have the Bitmap file tab selected, pick the grass fill from the dropdown box, and adjust the values in the Width and Height boxes there.

    For the brightness of the grass add a Hue/Saturation Lightness sheet effect to that sheet and edit the Saturation value. Make it about 10 or 20. Positive numbers in that box make the colour less intense - more greyish. Real grass is a lot duller than you might think.
  • Thanks for the call out Sue! You posted as I was typing this up. ;)

    If you are interested in adding elevation changes I've done a tutorial showing one way of doing it.

    Here's a map I did with a couple of the elevation techniques used in my tutorial. There's multiple ways of adding elevations, these are just how I do it. Hope this helps.
  • I used Sue's suggestion and added a layer of "sunbleached" patches. Hoping for a summer afternoon vibe and thus ignoring Shessar's valid comment about the shadow length ;)


    The elevation tutorial is fantastic - I'm sure to try something like it on my next map, which will likely be a town anyway. This map I'm calling done. It's not perfect but I think good enough for now. Need to leave myself some room to grow for the next maps, too *sly grin*
  • As a complete aside from the mapping, the map's name seems aptly, if accidentally, to honour the death of Albert Uderzo earlier today (2020 Mar 24), co-creator, with the late René Goscinny, of the brilliant Asterix comic books. Asterix's great friend Obelix was a menhir deliver man, for anyone unfamiliar with the books. [And before anyone asks, no, he died from a heart attack.]
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 29 images Cartographer ProFantasy
    That is a lovely improvement - a new level of mapping :)
  • Just that small change has really changed the look of the map by breaking up the field of green. Great job!

    It's always okay to decide not to follow other's suggestions and do what you feel is best for your map. In fact, on encounter maps I prefer to keep things simple since I tend to only use them one time. I spend more time on maps that my players will refer to often. Plus, there is always something that can be changed or improved on any map, but you have to reach a point of saying "Good enough" or you'll never finish a map. LOL

    I can't wait to see your next map. I love when everyone shares what they're working on. :)
  • Well, it's all thanks to your help @Loopysue

    And the death of Uderzo is an unwelcome coincidence. Least I can do at this point is to dedicate this map to him. His comics brought me a lot of joy, even though the last installments were a bit of a letdown.
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