Saturday, February 26, 2011

Megadungeon Musings – Part II in an occasional series

**Note to players in my PbP game - Do not look too closely at the map below!!**

When I first started drawing my dungeon, I was labeling each map as “map #x” which only works up to a point. Now that I’m keying the maps, I need to rethink that nomenclature. At this point I’m working with calling each map by level, and then by section, so 1A, 2A, 2B, 2C, etc. This works a little bit better I think, but none of my maps use that, since that’s not what I was doing when I drew them.

I've also noticed that my pencil drawn maps don't really transfer to PDF format very well, even with cranking up the contrast. They're readable, but they lack the charm that the actual maps provide. So I'm left to wonder if it would be worth it to redraw all of my maps? I can see a lot of advantages to doing it too. Some of them don't fit very well onto the page, and redrawing them will allow me to fit them onto the pages better. It will also allow me to label them consistently with my new scheme. I'm most comfortable with pencil mapping, so unless I get really comfortable with using pens, my first drafts will continue to be in pencil.

What do you think? This is a completely unaltered picture (ok, it was cropped) that was drawn with a felt tip pen on graph paper. It's certainly easier to see on the computer, and even in person. I don't know if I quite have the Dyson Crosshatching™ down quite yet, but I think it's pretty close, and I think it looks better than the diagonal lines I use when I map in pencil. I think I'm going to try using some other pens, and see how they work too.

I haven't gotten any feedback on the new PDF's yet, so I'm not sure if anything needs tweaking. I'm running it as an PbP game, but based on their speed so far, it'll be a while till they get to these sections.


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  2. This looks great! I face the same challenges you do -- I map in pencil, and have been somewhat inconsistent in how I label my maps as I have produced them so far. . .

    Does re-drawing the map in pen time-consuming? Do you trace, or just re-draw?

    Have you considered using a program (like Campaign Cartographer 3) for the "final" versions of the maps? I have thought about that option, but I generally prefer the look of hand-drawn maps, so would probably be more likely to do as you have done here, to simply-re draw my maps in pen.

    Great job on the Dyson Crosshatching!

    P.S. Something must be in the air; I posted on megadungeon mapping today as well:

  3. I like the diagonal lines better.

  4. I think the crosshatch fits better with a darker, more consistent pen&ink style, while the diag. lines work well with your more sketchy vibe (which I also like.)