The Post Where I Give You Awesome Map Graphics

That is, if you think that by awesome I mean a recreation of the art and design methods of late-seventies RPG game maps. Awesome in a way that Red versus Blue of the generic cold war armies on a Tactics II game board are awesome.

If you will recall from my last stint of map posting, I explained the whole process of generating a random and unique regional hex map for use in a starting sandbox style campaign. It was a homage (copy) of the same style of region maps that were put out by Judges Guild in the late seventies for their Wilderlands of High Fantasy series.

Towards the end of the process, I bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t exactly replicate their graphic style in my final map iteration. The designers at Judges Guild used a combination of hand-inking on a full size sheet and screen tone to produce their textures and shapes on their large 48″ x 36″ maps.

Photo-mechanical printing to capture a full size drawn map seemed a little severe for my purposes and screen-tone is generally only used in Japanese manga as a carry over from pre-digital illustration days. I had already found some digital textures on the internet that someone had lifted off of old wargame designs that would take care of my forests and rough patches. Those were good, but there were still a bunch of tone patterns that were impossible to locate, to say nothing about the mountains and hills that were hand drawn directly on the old JG maps.

So to satisfy my own obsessive sense of needless design (it is a DM eyes only map, no one will get to see it.), I created a bunch of repeating digital patterns to simulate the inking and screen-tone that I could find on the old maps and loaded them into my imaging software for my personal mapping enjoyment.

And the good news is that I am giving them all to you.
They include such top hits like:

  • Forest
  • Grasslands
  • Coast and River Rough Patches (sand)
  • Rolling Hills
  • Rough Hills
  • Mountains
  • Swamp
  • Desert (I am quite proud of all the little palm trees)

And a couple different encounter symbols for :

  • Villages
  • Castles
  • Lairs
  • Ruins

All the patterns are scaled to perfectly fit the 48″ x 36″ 150 dpi hex region map that I am also including in the attached zip file.

Here is the link.

Or try here.

Or maybe here.

See the included readme for further instructions about how to use them in your graphics program. However be forewarned, it still takes a lot of fiddling with layers and brushing and erasing hills to get it to look good. It is no Campaign Cartorapher. It looks particularly good when you lay the whole business over your enlarged watercolor painting. But it also looks just fine in B&W like the old Judges Guild maps.

Enjoy and map-on through your 70’s fantasy lands. Listening to Hawkwind helps the process along.


15 Responses to “The Post Where I Give You Awesome Map Graphics”

  1. 1 Naked Samurai
    January 11, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I’m in love with you.

  2. January 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    The files don’t seem to be working for me.
    –Any advice?

    Google Docs is a nice host, BTW.
    –Perhaps you’d find them easier to use as a distribution point.
    —Dropbox is another choice.


  3. 3 Greengoat
    January 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm


    Hmm, it seems to be working on my end of things. If you could explain your issue maybe I can help.

    Rapidshare can be blocked by various employers because of the unsavory content that is usually kept there, but it tends to work. Just click on the slow download.

    I tend to avoid file services that I actually have to register for.

    -Naked Sam
    You are just infatuated with my dedication to absurd pursuits.

  4. January 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    GG, this series of articles is super cool. I love the look of the final product. Greengoatlandia looks fantastic.

    Is there a way to combine this random hexmap generator with the How to Host a Dungeon game?

  5. January 11, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Rapidshare is giving me a “download is not available” message:

    The file of the above link no longer exists. This could be for several reasons:

    * The uploader deleted the file
    * The file contained illegal contents and was deleted from our Abuse team
    * The file is incorrect
    * The server is busy and can not process the request.

    I’ll try again later.

  6. 6 Greengoat
    January 11, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Thanks cr0m,
    I think to combine the region map with the HTHAD game you would just need to pick a spot on the map for the mega-dungeon and maybe tweak your village and ruin placement on your hex-map to suit the instances where the dungeon sprouts up to the surface. I did just such a think on my original map I showed in my previous posts. I located a volcano on a large mountain as the main lava vent for the dungeon and placed the generated village and wizard’s tower next to it.

    I am kind of ambivalent about the usefulness of mega-dungeons in play however. Tony Dowler’s game is very excellent for making big old hair dungeons with a lot of history. Each of the “rooms” generated on the map feel like a level or pocket of a much larger connected complex.

    My estimation is that the Lairs, Ruins, and some of the Castle encounters on the Region map will work as dungeon areas for exploration. Most of them should be 1-3 table sessions in length with a couple rare areas stretching into 4-6 sessions. The mega-dungeon type of design generally seems endless and can be it’s own extended campaign. Since I want to kick the player’s out into the wilderness to explore, I don’t want to tie them up in any one area for too long. YMMV.

  7. 7 Greengoat
    January 11, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Sorry Trollsmyth.
    I added another link in the article to another source.

  8. January 11, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Great! Looks like it’s downloading just fine this time. Thanks! :D

  9. January 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    These are really awesome. Thanks!


  10. July 23, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Much appreciated! Cheers

  11. February 13, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Alas, the files seem to be unavailable at all three links at this late date. Are they by any chance hosted elsewhere?

  12. 12 Greengoat
    February 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Hey Gary,
    I have re-upped the zip file with my map graphics at my illustration blog, enjoy:

  13. April 16, 2012 at 7:00 am

    YES. A thousand thanks; may experience points rain down upon you.

    – DYA

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Past Adventures of the Mule

January 2011

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