Building a World #1

Creating the Map: Part One

Many great stories begin with just a map. When starting to craft my world I began with ideas and concepts of the people first. How their cultures developed and what elements of the natural world influenced that development. I used these idea to draw a sketch of the world that would become Veyrn.


Step One: The Sketch

I’d been sketching maps by hand for years, even since I started playing roleplaying games almost 20 years ago. I don’t consider myself an artist by any means, but they’ve proven to be effective if not beautiful.

After drawing them by hand for many years I eventually switched to programs such as Campaign Cartographer, which allowed me to create simple but more more appealing and colorful maps I could use as reference and share with my players. I used to sketch a rough map, then recreate it by hand. The results were not perfect, but usable. It was difficult to make the image I’d drawn on paper never quite matched what made it to the computer screen.

Then as I was creating this map I thought of a handy trick (which I discovered others use as well after the fact.) I used my sketch as a background in my CC3 file then traced the continents using the tools provided. The result was much better than anything I could have done by hand. I had discovered a handy and useful trick to get my ideas onto the computer screen that accurately reflected the ideas in my head.

Veyrn 2.0

Step Two: The continents traced into CC3+


With the continents down (the tracing process took me all of 15-20 minutes.) My next step was to make the coastlines pop a bit more.

CC3 comes with handy tools to add effects to your maps (I swear Profantasy Software is not paying me for this blog, I just really like their tools.) So I added some effects to add some color and definition to the map.


Step Three: Coastlines and ocean shading.

These effects added a coastline to it and some more detail to the continents to make them look quite a bit better than they did previously. It took a bit of trial and error to get it the way I wanted, but as an amateur at this I am pretty pleased by the results.

So this gave me a great starting point to begin adding detail to my map.

In part two I’ll describe the next few steps in the process, and show you the results.