BEARDED DEVIL

Monsters, Horror, Gaming

Maps

I made a big map for my D&D game and turned it into a poster for use during the game. It’s easily the most detailed thing I’ve ever drawn; it took me about a year working on and off on it in my spare time, mostly as a break from my dissertation or as a way to wind down in the evening. It’s entirely hand-drawn except for the lettering; I scanned a lot of 8-1/2″x11″ pages together, then edited them.

Here it is:

Hex_Poster Hex Big Map Hex Central East Hex Central West Hex East Hex NortheastHex NorthwestHex Southeast Hex Southwest Hex West

As you can see, it’s pretty detailed:

Downpour Heights Weftmart Warded Ward Infernal Basilica

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45 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Any plans to publish this map? It’s awesome.

    • Thanks! I might see about options for publication at some point, though I’m not sure what those might be, realistically. Digital copies would be very unwieldy; it’s a 1.5 GB tiff file, currently, and reducing the resolution might lose a lot of detail. A physical copy might be too expensive to be practical. That said, I’ve got a lot of other info on the setting (write ups of all the districts and factions) and about 300 pages of adventure notes, so at some point I might try to figure out a suitable project for the setting. If you have any idea for suitable methods for publication let me know.

      • Anonymous

        How big would the file be as a jpeg?

        • Only 110 MB, could be pretty manageable I guess. Still too big to actually post here in full, but still, better. There is some detail lost – it doens’t look as good zoomed way way in – but everything’s still legible and it looks reasonably similar when zoomed a bit further out.

          • Maybe you have already tried that, but I think that you could reduce the color palette to only black and white (or a few greys), and then store it as a very compact png (theoretically it should be smaller than a jpeg).

            I’m happy to help on that if you want to send me a small cut of the original tiff to test.

          • I hadn’t tried that – good thought.

          • Gibbsies

            You could make an html page where you use a different zoomed out image. Clicking on the regions would open a different page, an individual screen sized page.

            Clicking on the edge of the zoomed page would go N, S, E or W to a different page… not a full jump, but 1/2 a page. You want to make more mini pages than you need so they can overlap and no building is permanently bisected by an edge.

            If you get especially ambitious, clicking on a building would go to a different web page and show your notes on that area…

            I don’t know how you can finance this, perhaps patreon? I would sign up.

          • Building-by-building would probably be too much even for a DM-prep-maximalist like me, but I like the idea of zooming out and in. The way I’ve been envisioning putting it in a book was going district by district (there are 36 of them, 6 being a significant number in the city, obviously) with a write-up of each below each district’s map section, and a digital version of the full map, with the more expensive physical copy as an extra.

      • Nobby-W

        Unfortunately, DriveThruRPG doesn’t do formats bigger than 12×18″. You could go to an outfit like printed.com, which will do large format posters in small runs, but you then lose out on the order fulfilment services from DriveThruRPG.

        Where this could be a win is if you wanted to make a campaign pack with supplementary rules (e.g. encounter tables, NPCs, adventure seeds, background flavour). You could do a book with a section for each neighbourhood, and isolate the detailed map parts for that neighbourhood.

        Combine that with a less detailed overview map and you could make something that could be published through DriveThruRPG.

        You could set up a fulfilment process for the posters through any online shopping provider, even if you have to take the orders and dispatch them by hand yourself (DriveThuRPG may or may not be able to help here). Put an advertisement in the book for the poster and take the orders separately.

        • I’ve generally envisioned something like a campaign pack. I’ve got a very set of notes for each neighbourhood, sometimes very detailed, sometimes a little broader. Good thought on the “order poster separately” thing – I think that makes more sense than trying to bundle them inextricably, so to speak.

  2. This is absolutely amazing

  3. Kyani

    This is amazing, not only in details and scale but also in dedication. Wonderful work.

  4. Callan S.

    You should consider selling it rather than just releasing it. In this age we should be even more considerate of an artists time, skill and efforts.

    In terms of physical form, I think you should consider how long it’ll take you to arrange that against that some people will actually decide the price is worth it. Maybe only a few buyers might take it, but it might well sell that way.

    • I’ve also got a lot of material written for the campaign this is attached to, both the setting (about 75 pages) and a lot of adventures (about 300 pages) – some of it wouldn’t be publishable, but at some point I might edit and rearrange parts of it into a book. So it might make sense to do something similar to Vornheim, where the city map is an online supplement to a physical or PDF book, and then if people really wanted a big physical copy that could be a separate thing/add-on.

  5. Hi, this is awesome, congratulations.

    I’m sure you already know it, but just in case you CAN publish your map under the Open Gaming License for D&D:

    http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/systems-reference-document-srd

    And then publish it in the DM’s Guild:

    http://dungeonmastersguild.com/

    Or you could simply use something like DrivethruRPG:

    http://www.drivethrurpg.com

    Or even something as simple as Gumroad:

    https://gumroad.com

    Don’t worry about the size of the file. I won’t mind downloading something that huge, when the quality is huge too. I’m sure other fans will think the same.

    I have downloaded some really huge files for my roleplaying games and I been very happy about it.

    Good luck.

    • Thank you for the encouragement, and links! I wasn’t as familiar with the DM’s guild beyond some vague references, but I’d thought about Gumroad and Drivethru as I’ve bought stuff from there before. It’s good to know they sometimes have huge files.

  6. Alex Armand Rivas

    It is beautiful. I would gladly pay 100 to 200 for the map print. You should at least consider producing it as a physical print that’s 3 feet by 4 feet.

    • Thank you! The one hanging on my wall which I use during the game itself is about this (just slightly larger) – any smaller and the names of taverns and alleyways become too small to read, any bigger and it won’t fit on my table. Good to know that there’d be interest in purchasing it.

  7. Ben Dutter

    Love it. I’m interested in publishing it. Email me and we can chat.

  8. Garrett

    If you are losing too much going to jpg, try a PNG. It should preserve the details while getting you to a reasonable size. What’s the final resolution of this monster of a map?

    • In the TIFF file in its full version it’s 17500×22300 pixels (it has crashed a laptop before, and won’t load in some viewers). Good thought on the PNG.

  9. Erik

    I’d like to chime in with more encouragement for you to sell prints. It’s outstanding!

  10. Dollar Signs

    Please, Please, Please make a digital version of this available. For Money. Let us throw our wallets at you!

  11. Matt

    Freaking awesome!
    Super cool.
    It shows the talent and workmanship.

  12. drrockso20

    Could always split it into several parts for both online and physical distribution, so instead of 1 jpg that is like 100 MB, do 4 at 25 or 10 at 10 or something

  13. Michael Pfaff

    Have money. Will buy.

    • Thanks, good to know! Would you be more interested in just the map, or a setting book with the map included?

      • Michael Pfaff

        To be honest, I’d love to have the map as a standalone product, especially if that meant getting it sooner. The image alone is inspiring enough to run a city campaign with it. I run local public events with random assortments of players and I can imagine this being a perfect “everyone lives in this city” new group every time game.

        That said, I might buy a setting and just use the map if that were the only option.

  14. Tobias Smith

    Incredible work, you inspire me. I need to work on my paltry map making skills.

  15. tkitch

    Plz to be with the selling. I would /love/ a digital copy of this.

  16. Anonyamous

    AMAZING!

  17. Rachel

    Looks awesome 🙂 +1 for would buy a physical poster

  18. Emanuela

    I’D LOVE TO BUY IT! Both the map and the adventure. I’m a new gm (I’ve played for some years, though), and Ild love to run a campaing on this setting!

  19. Fez

    This looks AWESOME! I’d 100% be keen on purchasing this, especially for the level of detail

  20. Immolate

    You should submit this to Cartographer’s Guild. You’ll get a lot of feedback on it.

    • That’s an interesting idea, although frankly I am not really looking to further improve the map. If I do another one at some point I did learn some lessons from this one.

  21. Bob Fossil

    I would very much consider talking with someone who knows the ins and outs of Illustrator and whether it can be converted to .ai or .eps vector files. This would keep the crispness and reduce the file size

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