This week: Maps
Welcome to the first edition of DM ToolBox! I hope to share some of my favorite world building resources with you and hopefully help you make a better world! If your a DM, I hope you will use these tools! If your a player show this to your DM or even make your own world!! This week is all about Maps! I love them, so much so that I have joined multiple “Cartography Guilds” along with taking courses and lessons on map making. One of the many joys I have a DM is getting to sit there and pencil in a small mountain as in my head I’m coming up with the history of it!
One day I may even go in and make some tutorials to share what I have learned but today is not that day! Today I want to share with you what resources I used to learn. Teach you where to find my teachers! For starters I shall introduce you to the Cartographers Guild. This little website has tons and tons of map enthusiasts. People who do what I love to do and LOVE to teach others. On it you can find guides and tutorials on how to hand draw, use Photoshop or even commission a map! By far out of all my resources this has been a treasure trove of information! I recommend joining and exploring if for not other reason than curiosity.
Now if drawing a map is not really your style I have acouple alternatives. One of which is a program I bumped into that will randomly generate a map for you. Now this is not detailed or fleshed out, bare bones at the minimum, but it works in a pinch for me and for any DM that needs a quick answer should suffice. The Planet Map Generator works well when you need a whole world. When I first started DMing I will admit I was not clever with the first world map. I took a map of Florida, turned it upside down and called it Adirolf! Took the players 3 weeks to catch on to what I had done, and only because they turned the map the way it should be. This will spare you the embarrassment of not having a world with less than 4 hours prep time. The other big one for me is actually from Donjon, a website full of generators! The one for world building I would highly recommend is Fantasy World Generator which does generally the same thing as Planet Map Generator but at a higher quality. Takes alittle time to render sometimes though. The website itself also has a Dungeon Generator which will create a full dungeon, randomly created as always, and in seconds! Another great resource for making random dungeons!!
Earlier I mentioned commission work. Alot of map makers will sell there work, fairly cheaply and some even just give away maps if you ask! My favorite commission worker is actual a long time friend of mine. Stephen Joy has a Map a Day program going where every day he posts a map on Twitter! How he pumps out maps so fast will forever boggle my mind but he does, which is a blessing for DMs like me that have short time to prep and lots to do. At his website MSJmaps.com you can see contact information and all the maps he has created. He is friendly and an awesome guy to work with so go give him a shout and say Howl sent ya!
So with those materials under your belt you can start to create maps or buy maps or generate maps or steal maps of Florida for you game! This should at least get ya on your feet if nothing else and help when time gets tight. I know as a DM that having lots of resources on call makes life ALOT easier. Hopefully you can sue a few of these! :3
Thats it for now, Tune in next week when I discuss how I make my NPCs for my campaigns.
Till then, Cheers!
Hello, my name is Howl. I am a ‘professional’ gamer and reviewer that works with the NERD community. This is my personal blog and podcast and if you would like to get updates or see more please follow me on Twitter: @HowlPhilinish. or even my Instagram: HowlPhilinish. I hope to see more of you and feel free to comment! I read every comment so don’t be shy!
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