Over the past few months, off and on I’ve been playing around with trying to make maps for role-playing games. It turns out that there is a whole web community devoted to this hobby, located at the Cartographer’s Guild. They have tons of tutorials and walk-throughs for creating different kinds of maps using GIMP, photoshop, or occasionally some other programs like Campaign Cartographer.

I’m not nearly dedicated enough to shell out the the money for such expensive software as photoshop or the campaign cartographer, nor am I covetous enough to want to pirate them. So it’s GIMP for me. GIMP has really improved in leaps and bounds over the past few years though (much like linux in general), to the point where photoshop’s advantages have become smaller and smaller. Certainly it’s more than capable of doing everything that I could ever want to do.

So here is one of my first works: simply a reproduction of old, weathered parchment:

It was a lot of fun to make, but I’m pretty much a noob, so it took me a while because I don’t understand a lot of the basic concepts.

My next task is that I’m working on is some maps for the role-playing game that my brothers and I are going to play when we get together at my parent’s place for a few days in May. The game comes with maps and figurines, but I think the maps need to have some kind of a grid scheme to really make full use of the maps. I’m a bit partial to hex grids myself, so I’m working on scanning the maps and then overlaying a hex grid of the appropriate size. I’ll post some of my results after we’ve played.