I’ve already talked about creating Navah in Fractal Terrains 2 and then mapping it to Google Earth. That unfortunately did not leave me with high resolution maps I could use in adventures, so that was the next thing to do. First, I created two mapping templates in Paint.net (a free download). I share them below. Feel free to use them as you like, but when you create something, please leave a comment here so I know, ok? And if you post them, please send me the link and I’ll link it here.
First I created a 15×18 hex map (above) that I could use for area maps and traveling. I designed the local map first, because it was the one I was going to use the most often. I designed the regional map later. The print size of the local map is 9.5×9.5 inches, so it is pretty easy to print out. It uses a variety of layers so I can determine exactly what I want to show in each map I handout. The layers I use (top to bottom ) are: Map key (usually turned off), Towns, Town Names, Hills & Marshes, Roads, Rivers, Lakes & Shores, hex grid, a flat low-res map of the area to start from (a screen capture from Fractal Terrain 2 output) and that serves as a background for the finished map. Each hex is 10 miles across. You’ll notice the roads don’t go anywhere off the map (yet). That’s because I haven’t designed the hex maps around it. Once I do that, I can link the two maps and show where the roads and rivers go next.
Next, I created a 10×10 square grid that I could use for everything else. So far I’ve used the 10×10 maps for two things. First, for an overview of the larger area of the game. The whole 10×10 map is 1500×1500 miles, with each of the small squares being 150 miles x 150 miles (below). Those small squares are the screen captures I use to start making the hex map, which is F8 on the larger map.
Second, I used it to map the city where the campaign will begin (below). Each of the small squares contains about 2,000 households. I have a program that generates cities. I create each district separately. For example, The Maze has about 3800 households, which means it takes a little under two full squares. Uptown only has about 700 households, so that should make up 7/10 of a square, but since it is the rich side of town, I let it have a full square. If it wasn’t a walled city, I would give them 1.5 squares or more. Later I’ll make block by block maps of the city, and use an overlay to designate where the various households, shops, and taverns are located.