In the last couple of days I've been looking at some maps done by folks whose work I enjoy, map-makers who manage to get paid a few bucks for said work.
Do I ever expect to join their ranks? Nope....not really my thing. Now I'd be lying if I didn't say I'd like to put up better maps for game products I'd like to write in the future, but maps on their own, not so much.
One thing I noticed in a recent map was that I've never tried to draw a river. Since I'm not an artist, drawing a river wasn't my goal, but creating a river map was. In order to get the organic look of a river I decided I'd just start with a river and manipulate that in Photoshop. One quick trip to the USGS National Map Viewer and I had my source file.
Most of this map's work was trying to figure out how to use this base file to create something I liked...and could replicate. Of course most of this "work" was trial and error, mostly error, but eventually I prevailed.
My original idea for this map was to create an underground river that tied into an area location I used in my home game, Shane's Delve. When I tweaked that adventure for my own needs I had anticipated tying that location into a series of caves and access points to this underground river. As I was getting close to finishing the map I realized the scale was way off for adding the one other access point the player have unwittingly found.
No matter, I now have this map for future use.
As always, click on the header graphic for the download or use this link.
Here is another slightly differently version of this map you might enjoy.......might be hard to see the differences.....