Double Proficiency

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You’re just starting a new campaign. Your last party got killed and disbanded, you managed to find a new Game Master, or maybe you’re just bored of role-playing the tank. Time for a change!

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Sure you want to draw a map for your campaign. Or your universe. I won’t be surprised if creating a map is where you actually want to start creating your world. Thankfully, there’s a book for that.

71im2hw7QNLWell, theoretically there’s also an app for that (kind of), but first, let me tell you about this amazing book I’ve got. It’s called How to Draw Fantasy Art & RPG Maps by Jared Blando (published in 2015 by Impact Books), and its contents are pretty much what the cover says. As the publisher was so nice as to supply us with trailer for the book, take a look:

Inside this 128-page book you’ll find tips and tricks that will help you with hand-drawing your map – even if you’ve never tried it before. The entry level for this tutorial is fairly low; the whole process is split into small, easy to understand parts. The most complicated things – like border ornamentation, compasses, and heraldry are discussed in highly-detailed step-by-step tutorial. And after spending some time with the book, following the instructions, you’ll actually winish with a good map drawn all by yourself! It could, for example look like this:

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I know the Internet is overflowing with free and paid tutorials for mapmaking; but there is a reason to give this book a chance. If not for the sake of having a book about fantasy cartography, then for the sake of having  a complete, well-written, aesthetically-pleasing manual covering all of the important topics in the field. Just look at the table of contents:

  • Building Your World
  • Mountains, Forests, Rivers and Water
  • Town and City Icons
  • Typography
  • Landmarks
  • Iconography
  • Heraldry and Shields
  • Political Boundaries
  • Backgrounds
  • Painting Techniques
  • Putting It All Together

It’s the only complete manual for hand-drawn cartography, fantasy or not, that doesn’t give you this kind of meme-worthy instruction:

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But what if I don’t want to draw my map with crayons?

So, you’re looking for an app. Sure, there are some.We’ll get to it next week, shall we?

So, as the Warlord Games announced today the release of The Battle for Xilos, I can finally share with you what I was working on for the last couple of months. And boy, what fun it was!

I don’t know if you’re familiar with Beyond the Gates of Antares or with wargaming in general. I happen to work as a graphic designer for Warlord Games, one of the biggest companies in historical and science-fiction wargaming. The miniatures range from Ancient Greece, through Thirty Years War, Napoleonic Wars, and World War II – up to s-f world of Antares. You’ll find it all here: http://www.warlordgames.com.

And now the new stuff: in June Warlord Games releases The Battle for Xilos, a campaign supplement about the discovery, exploration and conquest of Xilos, the mysterious planet that defies all former knowledge of all factions. I had a pleasure of creating the layout for the book, editing it, proofreading, and even creating maps, planet views, and other illustrations. You cannot probably fathom how proud I am seeing it finally out for publishing.

As it’s still at printers I cannot tell you much except of informing you of it being an absolutely cool thing; you may as well check it out and then join me (and lots of other people) at the gaming table.