Fantasy Cartography

Maps are one of our favorite parts of fantasy literature. They literally map out the world where some of our favorite characters live. They can illuminate the landscapes of our dreams or delve into the depths of our nightmares.
We hope to have a collection of fantasy maps here, real soon now. In the meantime, there is a terrific program for designing your own called Campaign Cartographer, produced by ProFantasy. Please, if you haven't already, check out their website. Not only is a demo version of this great product available there, but there are great numbers of maps contributed by the many Campaign Cartographer users worldwide.

Over the years, I've heard a lot of folks talk about the challenges of learning how to use Campaign Cartographer. I know it took me quite a while before I was comfortable with it! Thankfully, a lot of people have created tutorials to help us work out our "issues".
First, always start with the tutorials that came with your legally registered copy of Campaign Cartographer! Then, come back here and take a look at these:

Tutorial Authored by What it covers
Cottage Tutorial By Allyn of Dark Leagues Uses Campaign Cartographer and Symbol Set 1
Assorted Tutorials By John Csaky Uses Campaign Cartographer and Perpectives
Large Map Tutorials By Jim Pierce Uses Campaign Cartographer
Assorted How To Articles By Matthew Lynn
of Split Eye Productions
Uses Campaign Cartographer and assorted others
How to make a Post-Apocolyptic Earth By J. K. Hoffman Uses Fractal Terrains and Campaign Cartographer


Of course, even though I prefer Campaign Cartographer, there are a lot of ways to make maps. There are numerous tutorials on the web, but one of the better tutorials that I've seen is How to draw nice maps, by Mark Rosenfelder. It's a good, and simple, method for drawing regional maps on the computer. Look around his site, the results speak for themselves. Also, the cartographer who does a lot of the maps for Wizards of the Coast has a site. You can check it out at Maldin's Greyhawk - A Guide to Mapmaking, by Denis Tetreault. His maps are, in my opinion, quite beautiful, so it's worth a look.

If you're already familiar with Campaign Cartographer, or CC2, as we fanatics call it, take a look at the partial archives from ProFantasy's e-mail list. You can pick up some great tips from these folks. You can sign up for the list on their website, or at Yahoo Groups.
The CC2 List Homepage is here:

Here are the "Best of the CC2 List" archives, compliments of Douglas J. Behringer (AKA, for your reading pleasure! (Please, note, the copyrights are held by the original posters and/or authors and not me. They retain all rights and their work may not be reprinted without their permission.)

First Archive Second Archive Third Archive Fourth Archive
Fifth Archive Sixth Archive Seventh Archive Eighth Archive
Ninth Archive Tenth Archive Eleventh Archive Twelfth Archive
Thirteenth Archive Fourteenth Archive Fifteenth Archive Sixteenth Archive
Seventeenth Archive Eighteenth Archive Ninteenth Archive ...

Maybe one day soon, I'll get a search engine setup so you can find particular topics in these archives. Until then, browse through and see what hidden gems of Campaign Cartographer insight you might find, or use the Google search below, but remember that it searches the entire site.


For all you AD&D, Hackmaster and Kenzer & Co. fans, we have maps of Rob Kuntz's Barbarous Coast.

Here is an example of what Campaign Cartographer can do. This is a map of Ethshar, as originally designed by Lawrence Watt-Evans. I took his BMP, imported it into Campaign Cartographer and traced it out to this.
Click on the thumbnail to get a bigger picture.
You can download the image, and the map in Campaign Cartographer format here. To find out more about Ethshar, and the author who created the original map, world and stories, click here.

Here is an example of a map I made for my own pleasure. It's based on the idea of a world that was created by a god pushing his hand into the world. Where the ocean stuck to his hand, islands and continents formed. It struck me as an interesting creation myth, so I explored it a little with a map. I did this "freehand" in Campaign Cartographer, without using a scan of any kind.

Click on the thumbnail to get a bigger picture.

You can download the image, and the map in Campaign Cartographer format here.