Deserts can indeed have underground water - and when they rise above 'ground' level, they form oases. So not impossible at all.
Here is an update. The first pic is without the reference sketch, the second with.
I'm stymied on the contours. Currently I have 2 polygons, a dark grey below and a smaller lighter grey above both with transparency and blur.
Any suggestions? If this was my previous old-school B&W style it's easy as, a couple of rows of hachures and you're done but this is making my brain ache. I know what I want to achieve, a gradiated shadow like effect, I just don't know how to go about it!
Two ways I can think of;
1) trace the contours and just use them as is. Very map like, and may not be what the client had in mind.
2) use the traced contours and more shades of grey to build the gradations. So where you have 3 polygons now ( including the Island base), you would have 6 polygons and 6 shades of grey. I think using the same effects, but some tweaking may be necessary.
Well, I tried multiple contours and whatnot and I couldn't get them looking like the picture in my head. In the end, I deleted all but one changed, its colour to a light grey and watched @Ralf's, Live Mapping - Ryecroft Town video for how he did the hill and finally got something I think looks good. Added a transparency effect, then spent a bit of time trying to draw stairs and decided, to hell with it, I'll use the regular stairs from SS4. Labelled it, put the obligatory creepy message in and viola, it is done!
Thanks again for your support and encouragement folks!
PS: I might make the compass rose smaller, and put it in the top left corner. It looks a little large...
This isn't an Ancient Tomb map but it is a WIP pic of a map in the same adventure, so rather than starting another thread...
Here is where I'm at with my town at the moment. I think it's looking OK. Undoubtedly it could be better. I don't know if the hill is going to work for me on this one...
Give the hill a wider Edge Fade Inner so that it blends with the ground better. It's a bit narrow at the moment, so it looks like the slope hits the flat bit at a 45 degree angle.
The key elements for the city itself are in place on the above drawing; Watchtowers, Temple, Shrines, Market Square, Inn and Old Town. Now it's just a matter of adding the docks on the east with associated buildings; warehouses, inns, etc, working out the layout for the rest of the town and doing the farms and whatever on the outskirts.
Most of the remaining buildings will be as per the 3 south of the market square for merchants and those of higher status. There will be some special buildings from SS5, Middle Eastern catalogue to represent the homes of the uber-wealthy and diplomats scattered around the base of the hill, with some smaller dwellings along the internal walls of that area for servants and the like.
I've spent the last 3 hours modifying this and that and coming up with a viable street plan based on the text "The narrow streets are dusty and unpaved but laid in a precise grid...". Finishing the map should be much quicker now.
I also have a question re this style (CA25): there are 2 terrain fills, Terrain, Background Green and Vegetation, Grass Background. I created a polygon of each to see what the differences are. The information in the List window is identical apart from tag # and secondary color, the 1st is 5, the second is 6. With the sheet effects on, I can't see any difference. Should they go on different sheets, with different effects? Currently, both are on the Background City sheet.
Not sure why the tools are identical. Might be just to allow for different filters to match, i.e bot Terrain ad Vegetation.
I don't think any belongs on a different sheet. both are background polygons, and there are no other sheet where they would fit in as far as I can see. I thought about the vegetation sheet, but then they would end up overlapping things in a weird manner, so I don't think so.
Here is yet another update. Starting to look ok.
To do what I've done tonight in Photoshop would have taken me a day at least.
@DaltonSpence The pyramid with the temple is some 50km's or so west of this town. This is where the PCs start. The water is actually a fresh water river which plays a major part in trade between settlements north and south. This town is an important trade hub.
I've still got to do a bit more to do on the market, fill out the farming areas on the outskirts, label and it's done. Then I can start on the regional map...
Seeing as how I appear to be the cartographer for this product line, I'm going to stick with the fantasy cities styles for any cities and do like I did here, adding some Mike Schley buildings to call out important structures and Mike Schley Overland and Overland Hex for the other maps. For dungeon maps, I'll take each one as it comes and use the style best suited but the default will probably be Mike's.
I haven't put this forward to the publisher yet, but I would like to create an Atlas for this setting at some stage, hence all the maps for it are in one folder! It would mean re-drawing the maps fom previous adventures obviously...
Experimented with various things for the farmalnd for a couple of hours tonight as wells ass modifying the dock area.
I think I'll stick with bushes for the borders and coloured terrain fills like the attached...I'll probably adjust the scaling on the Symbols Along (ESC) dialogue for slightly less variation.
I'm 'working' from home tomorrow & Tuesday (our guys are having a picnic day and then a rostered day off, there's not much point in driving 45 minutes each way to be bored witless for 8 hours...) so I should be able to knock this over reasonably quickly tomorrow.
Fields can be a bit difficult to get right. This surprises a lot of people, but it's true.
Here are a few thoughts on the shape they take:
These are only general rules of thumb. I'm quite sure these things are totally contradicted in many places that aren't England, but they hold true right here where I live.
Unless there is some glaring werror, I'm calling this one done. Time to move on to the regional map and then this commission is in the bag.
Wouldn't an arid region be more likely to use bricks or stones, rather than hedges?
@Quenten Hi Mate, normally I would agree with you but as I've already deleted the paths and couldn't fine any decent brick/wall symbols in this style (thinking about it, I could have used the Ancient Tombs Wall drawing tool...) I'm going to say, and this comes straight from the text of the adventure so I'm not just making excuses for an oversight, as Ombos sits on a flood plain they used hedges. They probably have some method of carting water, perhaps even some form of irrigation system, from the river. Also, the town is ruled by the High Priestess who is Good aligned, so they may even use magic...
Thanks for reminding me, I didn't label the bloody river!
The River of Blood, you mean. ?
God pick up @jslayton!
For clarity, I'd be inclined to move the numerical labels off the buildings they're labelling, and maybe add more labels where the places are pluralised (e.g. Shrines, Watchtowers and the Outskirts, Farmland). Do the gates need labelling separately as well perhaps?
Is Old Ombos just the one labeled walled rectangular area, or does it extend beyond that? Looking at the map, the surface shading and appearance might suggest the latter, as both elements seem identical in the areas northeast of this section.
@Wyvern Yes, I suppose I should copy the numerical labels for multiple items, that was just me being lazy. Old Ombos is just that walled section, I felt I needed to mix the background textures up a little - too much green otherwise.
A WIP of the regional map. Thoughts?
This is why I prefer dungeon maps. I've really no idea when it comes to overland maps. This to me looks relatively bare but I don't want to fill it with symbols either. The parent hex map has the majority of the hexes as sand, not dunes. For those of you who aren't familiar with RPG maps, in traditional hex maps each hex contains a symbol (or fill) for the predominate terrain, so if the hex has mountains, local maps for that hex need to have mountains as the predominant feature of the hex. I also think, I've overdone it for the The Tal-Kayiyb. I'll need to put the broken land symbol on the parent map...
From the way you've done this, and your comments, I'm guessing this was originally a hex map with just the classic one symbol per hex, and that those hexes equate with the over-sized hexes you're mapping now. Are the "chicken-wire" smaller hexes part of the remit for this map? I know why they're probably there, if following the classic D&D/Judges Guild fashion, but maybe they could be toned-down a little for this one? They're a bit too distracting right now, especially with the empty expanses of sandy desert.
You could maybe add some wadi lines, scattered small rocks, even small patches of greenery (the rare desert rainstorms cause a rapid abundance of growth with many bright flowers for a short period, for instance) to help break-up the barren flatness of it all otherwise. And maybe try hiding the hex grid entirely while you do so, to avoid unconsciously following the hex-lines too closely.
@Wyvern yes, the large hexes are 50km, the small 5km. The smaller grid is definitely staying, part of the design brief. I could get rid of the large hexes - they're in primarily to help me out.
I though the Mike Schley Hex style was supposed to have hex symbols, but apparently not. I'll have a re-read of the mapping guide I think. That's a good idea about some scrub and stuff...
Forgive my ignorance, what is wadi line?
Wadi are essentially desert rivers, only being in a desert, water flows very erratically. However, when it does rain, there can be a huge amount of water raging down the channel for a short time (just a few hours sometimes). This means wadis are often very steep-sided, essentially ravines. I suggested "lines" as at the scale of the river, a line will be basically all you'd see on this map. There are some brief notes here, and although the Wikipedia page is a bit brief, it does have some helpful images.
The Mike Schley Hex style just fits the existing Mike Schley fills to hex shapes, I think, much like the CC3 Hex style does. I think only the Fantasy Hex style (CA 43) actually fits all its symbols into the classic one-symbol-per-hex fashion.
For good desert vegetation, hills and canyons, Sue's Spectrum style has great stuff. Also great desert fills.
I'm not sure it will mix all that well with Mike's style, though, Quenten.
I reckon Jim should redo the whole thing in the spectrum style - so much better for deserts. eg, my quick desert map.
After all that trouble he took to do it in MS?
I think there are enough textures and symbols to make a good job of it in MS ;)