Thursday, 15 August 2013

Maps and Map Making

I was thinking today about Maps and Mapmaking, and whats better drawing by hand or using Software to create your Maps.

For Dungeons, personally I prefer drawing them by hand - even if its just line and numbers mapping (like the Drummer in my Band used to do, on the rare occasion he turned his hand to DM'ing) or full-blown map drawing using gridded paper - I find as I am referring back and forth to books whilst I draw my Map that Ideas occur to me that might not when I'm simply tapping away at a keyboard or dragging a computer-mouse whilst looking at a PC Monitor.

I even know of one DM who draws things by hand, then scans them and finishes them off in Photoshop - but even going that extra mile for his Maps, he's still taken the time to at least start them by hand - something I think is admirable.

The same goes for Maps of Towns and Wilderness Maps - I "rough" them out using pen and Pencil, and then do a "tidy" map using the PC (I still love using software from the 2nd Edition "AD&D Core Rules" suite of programs for my overland maps) - giving me something quite professional to show my Players.

Whatever your take on Map Making, or your "process" - even though they are a very important part of the planning and the gaming experience, creating them should also be practical and fun - and I think at least some hand drawing is not only fun, but essential - especially in this sterile technological age.


  1. Hand written is nice its almost like you've been hand a map to find a magical artifact by some stranger in the Green Griffon Inn

  2. For "handouts" Messages, Maps, anything the CHARACTERS have access to rather than the Players themselves. Hand Written/Drawn is definitely the way to go.

  3. I think that computer generated is better if you're using a computer screen for a DM screen, but a written map for the characters (or one they write themselves) is more game-realistic.