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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:43 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
EDIT: Current Status: Working on the Game Board version

The Bare Geography version is done! Here it is!
The Natural Geography version is done! Here it is!
The Political Geography versions are done! You can see them on my Patreon site if you're a patron. Alternately, you can wait to see the free public version I'll post later. This is the "kitchen sink" version of the map meant to convey as much information as I can cram into it.

If you'd like to support/enable my art habit, I've put together a Patreon page. I'm setting it up so that I only get contributions in months when I create and post new art. I've also provided some special, un-released maps, art, and other content for my exclusively for my patrons. Comments and suggestions are welcome; I've never done anything like this before.




What is this all about?

I've been getting that itch to make another Palladium Fantasy map, and I've decided that this one will showcase the Western Empire. I'm going to render the Empire of Sin in full color with all the relevant political and geographic information I can squeeze in. As always, the goal is to make something that's both useful for RPG sessions and nice to look at.


Scope and Size of the Map:

The focus of this map will be the 12 regions of the Western Empire, all 49 of their constituent provinces, and their ruling cities. The map will also include the Isle of the Cyclops and Four Sisters at the extreme west, Half-Moon Island and most of Phi in the extreme east, the southern half of Ophid's Grasslands, and the northern quarter of the Yin-Sloth Jungles. It will include all of the Western Empire and its colonies with a few minor exceptions: the Gruzzia Islands, the Northern Wilderness colonies of Falton Crest and North Port, the Baalgor Wasteland Colonies, and the Dread Colony.

Since there's so much political information to squeeze into this map, I'm making larger than usual. I'm building this map from the ground up to be printed at 17x11 inch stock at photo-quality 300 dpi or a standard 34x22 inch movie-poster-size at slightly less crisp but still clear 150 dpi. Either version should be useful whether you're displaying it on a large HD screen or printing it for a wall display or tabletop use, and I'm making it fully compatible with maps I've already made of neighboring regions.


A Western Empire Strategy Game?

I've occasionally contemplated making one of my maps into a game board, and I think this project is a natural fit for this. The large size of the map, the provincial/regional structure of the Western Empire, the imperialist slant of this part of the Palladium Fantasy world, and the multiple conflicts brewing in the region all seem to make it an ideal fit for a fantasy-flavored board game of conquest and strategy.

What I'm envisioning is a game with similar "recruit-attack-move" turn-based mechanics to RISK or Axis/Allies (probably more like RISK in terms of complexity). On top of this basic structure, I'm thinking of adding some special moves, units, and rules that draw their inspiration from Palladium Fantasy elements like legendary rune swords, Black Demon Ships, famous NPCs, guilds, et cetera. These elements would mostly come in the form of cards or tokens which players acquire in the course of gameplay.

I'd also like to make three game modes for lore-related scenarios like the Midlands rebellion (team vs team), barbarian invasions from the Old Kingdom (1 horde player vs everyone else), or a war of succession following the assassination of Emperor Itomas (every player for him/herself).


How long will this take?

This is a fairly large project, and since I'm doing this just for fun, and I have plenty of other demands on my time, this will be a slow-burn project. However, I fully intend to see it through as I have with my other map projects. I've been looking forward to making a Western Empire map for a long time, and I think I've developed my mapping skills enough to make this look good.

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Hotrod
Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
Arenas of Atlantis, Rifter 69
Check out my maps here!
Also, check out my Instant NPC Generators!


Last edited by Hotrod on Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:47 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:51 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
As you can probably tell from the first image of this project I've shared, I didn't just start working on this today. I've incorporated height maps from my Land of the Damned map, my Great Northern Wilderness map, and my unreleased Inland Sea map.

Additionally, I've added in the mountains and some basic land sculpting for the interior of the Western Empire and the lands to the south. Right now, I'm gathering information about the topography of each region within the empire and the lands to the south that show up on the map. I'm particularly interested in knowing where I can find plains, hills, and any specific information on rivers within the Western Empire. Canon maps don't provide much help here, so my main sources are text passages from 2nd Edition main book, Monsters and Animals, and Western Empire.

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Hotrod
Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
Arenas of Atlantis, Rifter 69
Check out my maps here!
Also, check out my Instant NPC Generators!


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:18 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:05 pm
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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
Awesome news, another map to go up on the wall :)
When I get some spare cash in the weeks to come ill donate to the cause.
Hopefully it will make it out just in time for Lopan.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:23 pm
  

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Champion

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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
Thanks, Kiralon. I don't generally solicit contributions, but they're quite welcome. Maybe I should start a Patreon page or something.

Anyways, I spent a chunk of today scouring the books for information on the geography, topography, and climate of the Western Empire. P2E says nothing about it at all, but I found some useful bits in Monsters and Animals (both the geography section and some useful bits in several animal and monster descriptions), High Seas (the Cyclops Isles), Baalgor (for its coastal areas), Bletherad (for ley lines), and of course the Western Empire book.

The Western Empire book itself is a treasure trove of geographic information. Each province's terrain is described. It's given me enough to do a lot of detail work, but before I do that, I need to draw in the regional and provincial borders.

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Hotrod
Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
Arenas of Atlantis, Rifter 69
Check out my maps here!
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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:00 pm
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
You do good quality work that deserves money. Better than the other maps I have used.

The only other place that I think mentions the western empire much is the northern hinterlands which only talks about the colonies from memory and some unhelpful bits in the land of the damned books.

ko-fi.com is a little bit like patreon. You can put a little link in your sig for people to donate to.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:43 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
kiralon wrote:
You do good quality work that deserves money. Better than the other maps I have used.

The only other place that I think mentions the western empire much is the northern hinterlands which only talks about the colonies from memory and some unhelpful bits in the land of the damned books.

ko-fi.com is a little bit like patreon. You can put a little link in your sig for people to donate to.


Much appreciated, I'll check it out.

You're quite right about both references. I might glance over them later, but I'm not particularly worried about the Ophid's Grasslands colony topography, as I've already mapped them (twice, in some parts), and I imported the land sculpts from my Land of the Damned and Great Northern Wilderness maps. Unless I made some mistake mapping them before, I don't think there's much sculpting for me to do there. In that section, the current challenge is making sure that the parts of neighboring regional maps blend in well with each other and the map I'm making now.

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Hotrod
Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
Arenas of Atlantis, Rifter 69
Check out my maps here!
Also, check out my Instant NPC Generators!


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:34 pm
  

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Palladium Books® Freelance Writer

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Comment: The greatest part of the writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write: a man will turn over half a library to make one book. - Samuel Johnson, 1775
I've think you been spending couple of years now between the North Sea and Inland Sea.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:57 pm
  

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Champion

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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
Reagren Wright wrote:
I've think you been spending couple of years now between the North Sea and Inland Sea.

Yep. Everything north of the Inland Sea (except for the Great Ice Shelf) is done, with maybe a couple of minor revisions (I keep meaning to update the water effects in the Land of the Damned map to match what I've done in the last few), and I've done a fair bit in the south. My to-do list has shrunk quite a bit, really. I've drafted the Inland Sea and the Land of South Winds. Once this one's done, I'll just have Nimro, the Baalgor Wastelands, Yin-Sloth Jungles, the Old Kingdom, and the Floenry Isles. Then Kevin will have to start writing books about what's beyond the Edge of the World.

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Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
Arenas of Atlantis, Rifter 69
Check out my maps here!
Also, check out my Instant NPC Generators!


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:02 am
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
Hotrod wrote:
Then Kevin will have to start writing books about what's beyond the Edge of the World.

I hope he has written notes as I have a funny feeling past the edge of the world stuff will be posthumous. He is 62 now and the speed that the books come out and the number left pretty much cover the rest of his working life for palladium fantasy stuff. (4 books still coming, 6 years per book)


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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:32 pm
  

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This is awesome - a Western Empire map done in your style would be a great addition to the maps you've already created. That atlas keeps getting closer and closer to fruition!

I'd be happy to contribute to a Patreon as well.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:35 pm
  

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Champion

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Little update: I've been working through the source material and taking notes. In some ways, Western Empire is extremely well defined, especially in regards to where provinces, regions, and their capital cities are. In other ways, Western Empire is quite poorly defined. There are two big issues I'm trying to hash out:

1. Rivers. The only source of information on rivers comes from city locations and descriptions. A few regional cities have unnamed rivers flowing by. Otherwise, there's very little to go on. Even the usual assumption that there's some kind of river flowing through a big city isn't always applicable, since other city descriptions mention waterducts and using magical sources for water.

2. Terrain & Climate. Is it flat, hilly, or marshy? Is it forest or grasslands? Some provinces get these descriptions, while I have to infer a lot about others based on key industries (for example, lots of cattle or breadbasket farms = flat grasslands, while sheep or wine = hills, and logging = woods). When there are no dominant industries, though, or when a provincial description focuses on the noble family or political strife, it comes down to educated guesswork.

What this means is that I've got about 50 provinces I need to tailor to some very uneven source material and then compile it into a coherent land sculpt. I'm slogging through making this thing as canon-accurate as I can, and it's tedious. I've been through almost all the regional descriptions, and I keep finding little references and clues. Compiling all those little references together is a hassle.

tl;dr: I'm making progress, but it's slow. Wah, wah, wah.

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Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
Arenas of Atlantis, Rifter 69
Check out my maps here!
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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:04 pm
  

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Palladium Books® Freelance Writer

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Comment: The greatest part of the writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write: a man will turn over half a library to make one book. - Samuel Johnson, 1775
Hotrod wrote:
Little update: I've been working through the source material and taking notes. In some ways, Western Empire is extremely well defined, especially in regards to where provinces, regions, and their capital cities are. In other ways, Western Empire is quite poorly defined. There are two big issues I'm trying to hash out:

1. Rivers. The only source of information on rivers comes from city locations and descriptions. A few regional cities have unnamed rivers flowing by. Otherwise, there's very little to go on. Even the usual assumption that there's some kind of river flowing through a big city isn't always applicable, since other city descriptions mention waterducts and using magical sources for water.

2. Terrain & Climate. Is it flat, hilly, or marshy? Is it forest or grasslands? Some provinces get these descriptions, while I have to infer a lot about others based on key industries (for example, lots of cattle or breadbasket farms = flat grasslands, while sheep or wine = hills, and logging = woods). When there are no dominant industries, though, or when a provincial description focuses on the noble family or political strife, it comes down to educated guesswork.

What this means is that I've got about 50 provinces I need to tailor to some very uneven source material and then compile it into a coherent land sculpt. I'm slogging through making this thing as canon-accurate as I can, and it's tedious. I've been through almost all the regional descriptions, and I keep finding little references and clues. Compiling all those little references together is a hassle.

tl;dr: I'm making progress, but it's slow. Wah, wah, wah.


Welcome to my world. Trying to create an authentic region based on the written material when nobody every bothered to write what was there. Instead what was used was the classic 1st edition Red Box D&D method of make it up on your own. Yeah well nobody does that any more. EvenWoTC learned a while ago to publish 3 books of the essential rules for a D.M. to make up his own adventure, but then they release several sourcebooks based on an actual physical place with detailed information as to what's there. Some G.M./D.M. just don't have the time or the consistent weekly committed players to keep making stuff up all the time. Both are find and one is not better than the other, however the trend everyone has gone is to give players and DM/GM the necessary information so they can work in the established world. Less work for the DM/GM but more works for us (writers and artists).


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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:17 pm
  

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Champion

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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
Reagren Wright wrote:
Welcome to my world. Trying to create an authentic region based on the written material when nobody every bothered to write what was there. Instead what was used was the classic 1st edition Red Box D&D method of make it up on your own. Yeah well nobody does that any more. Even WoTC learned a while ago to publish 3 books of the essential rules for a D.M. to make up his own adventure, but then they release several sourcebooks based on an actual physical place with detailed information as to what's there. Some G.M./D.M. just don't have the time or the consistent weekly committed players to keep making stuff up all the time. Both are find and one is not better than the other, however the trend everyone has gone is to give players and DM/GM the necessary information so they can work in the established world. Less work for the DM/GM but more works for us (writers and artists).


As a creator, you've got quite a load, since you have to write something with defined and coherent themes, while at least trying to keep yourself consistent with the published canon. In that respect, it's actually quite a bit easier for me, because the themes and content already exist, and the fans already like them. I just have to interpret them in a plausible, consistent, accurate, and hopefully visually appealing way.

My problem isn't quite that nobody wrote about this; it's more that Bill and Kevin were more interested in adventure hooks and opportunities first, political intrigue second, culture third, economics fourth, and physical geography only inasmuch as it supported the other priorities. There is a lot of useful material out there, but a lot of it is scattered in fairly obscure places in the Western Empire book and Monsters & Animals.

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Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
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Check out my maps here!
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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:19 am
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
Did you get a coffee?


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:39 pm
  

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Champion

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kiralon wrote:
Did you get a coffee?

Not yet. I've set up a Patreon, but I'm still working out some of the details (like what the heck should I give donors, for instance)

Maybe I should start with the coffee thing first.

EDIT: I did get a nice donation from someone who already knew how to send me some PayPal cash. Thanks for that.

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Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
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Check out my maps here!
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Last edited by Hotrod on Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:10 pm
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
I think lot of people would be happy just to donate to help maps along. Maybe if they donate enough they get a signed map, that there is good for a few tiers as you have a few maps out.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:51 pm
  

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Champion

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Mini-Update: I've drawn the provincial, regional, and national borders, as well as city locations. Normally, I'd do this much later in the process, but I needed some information on where to find river valleys and such. I may re-adjust them a bit down the road.

I've also taken an initial run at cutting in some rivers with the erosion program. I'm not very satisfied with the initial result, so I've got more land-sculpting to do. Since there are so many cities in the Western Empire, I'm trying to make lots of little river valleys and branches without making the whole place look like some kind of swamp, and I need to do more provincial and regional land sculpting so that we see hills in the right places and plains in the right places.

I'll put up another in-progress shot when I have something I'm happier with.

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Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
Arenas of Atlantis, Rifter 69
Check out my maps here!
Also, check out my Instant NPC Generators!


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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:29 pm
  

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Adventurer

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Looking forward to this one Hotrod. I think the only area I think needs your touch more is Yin Sloth, mainly due to the very limited maps of the area. The dominant Human kingdom should be properly mapped though. I'd definitely support you on Patreon if you get it running.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:07 am
  

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Champion

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Whiskeyjack wrote:
Looking forward to this one Hotrod. I think the only area I think needs your touch more is Yin Sloth, mainly due to the very limited maps of the area. The dominant Human kingdom should be properly mapped though. I'd definitely support you on Patreon if you get it running.


I very much appreciate the offer. I've PM'd one of the mods to ask if me posting a Ko-Fi or Patreon link on the forums is consistent with the forum rules.

When I made the global vector map, The Yin-Sloth Jungles were the hardest part to work out, because none of the canon maps matched up well. There was no way to make the maps in that book line up with the original world map, no matter how I stretched, rotated, and skewed it, so I had to take a piecemeal approach to matching up the local details it presents with the general locations of key features in the world map. It was nasty. It also doesn't help that I'm less familiar with that book than any other in the published PF canon.

Yeah, you're probably right. Yin-Sloth needs some love (and a 2nd Edition). Maybe I'll do that one next.

Here's a scaled-down early look of the map in its current state with provincial boundaries and regional colors. The full size image is 10x bigger. A few issues stand out at this point. A few of the provinces are much smaller than the others, which will pose some space issues for labeling and icons. Additionally, for the game board version, these tiny provinces won't have much space for placing army markers. I may need to reshape and redefine some provinces for that version.

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Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
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Check out my maps here!
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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:46 pm
  

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Unread postPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 1:08 pm
  

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Champion

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Update:

+I've smoothed out most of the deep gouges that the random terrain generator creates. I've also been land sculpting province-by-province based on each province's descriptions to try to make provinces with cliffs distinct from provinces with sea trade.
+I've also added in some rivers where the city descriptions warrant one. In most maps, I assume that settlements are built on or next to rivers or streams, but in the Western Empire, that's not always the case. Only a couple of cities even mention having a river (Caer Itom and Waterfall), and none of the city maps show rivers. In one case, I can infer a river when a regional capital city map shows docks, but the national map shows that city not being near a coast(Epiphany in the Middle Kingdoms). Otherwise, there's very little to go on. I may end up letting rivers away from these cities run where they will. Rivers outside the mainland of the Western Empire are better-defined.
+I've also smeared the terrain in provinces with lots of flat grasslands to give them more of a prairie look.

Now I'm making tweaks here and there as I comb through Western Empire for any other hints about terrain. No screenshot today. This bit is tedious, and the results won't be very eye-popping at first, but it should make a big difference later on.

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Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
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Check out my maps here!
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Unread postPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 2:28 pm
  

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Champion

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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
Update: I'm still working the land sculpting. I've solved some problems, but others have popped up. Here's the latest draft.

Issues I'm working:
-The rivers need work. The one flowing west through Caer Itom should drain a much bigger basin (no canon guidance here, just my own intuition), and its river valley shouldn't be so deep. That river valley depth problem also applies to the other rivers I shoehorned in.
-On a related note, some of the elevations within the mainland areas need tweaking. There's a lot of flat space that needs to either get raised or get drained better.
-The smearing of Ophid's grasslands came out weird. Maybe I tried to smear too much too fast, but there's a choppiness to the smear that doesn't look natural or right. I need to go in there and do some small-scale smearing to fix this.
-I need to do some smearing of the Tarldet Plains, the Old Kingdom, and the Old Kingdom frontier.

Overall, though, it's getting close.

By the way, if you'd like to support/enable my art habit, I've put together a very primitive Patreon page. I'm setting it up on a "per creation" basis, and my intent is to make each creation a proper map. Comments and suggestions are welcome; I've never done anything like this before.

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Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
Arenas of Atlantis, Rifter 69
Check out my maps here!
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Unread postPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 9:13 pm
  

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Champion

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Hotrod wrote:
By the way, if you'd like to support/enable my art habit, I've put together a very primitive Patreon page. I'm setting it up on a "per creation" basis, and my intent is to make each creation a proper map. Comments and suggestions are welcome; I've never done anything like this before.

Greetings and Salutations. You now have a Patron, though I'll state now I set it up so I'd only pay one creation per month. Full maps tend to take a while, but just in case.

Also, I'm new to Patreon, but looks like they take approximately an 8% fee, is that right? Otherwise I'm confused. Farewell and safe journeys.

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 10:06 pm
  

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Champion

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Prysus wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
By the way, if you'd like to support/enable my art habit, I've put together a very primitive Patreon page. I'm setting it up on a "per creation" basis, and my intent is to make each creation a proper map. Comments and suggestions are welcome; I've never done anything like this before.

Greetings and Salutations. You now have a Patron, though I'll state now I set it up so I'd only pay one creation per month. Full maps tend to take a while, but just in case.

Also, I'm new to Patreon, but looks like they take approximately an 8% fee, is that right? Otherwise I'm confused. Farewell and safe journeys.


I'm glad you set it up with a one-creation-per-month limit; that will allow me to post multiple versions of a project without you getting charged extra. I just revised my welcome text to advise prospective patrons to pledge the same way.

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Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
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Check out my maps here!
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Unread postPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 10:19 pm
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
patreonised


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Unread postPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 11:38 pm
  

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Champion

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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
kiralon wrote:
patreonised

Wow! Saying thanks doesn't seem like quite enough. I'm putting up a couple of unreleased maps for patrons' exclusive perusal and enjoyment (these won't count as 'creations,' just freebies for those who have pledged).

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Bizantium and the Northern Isles, p65 map
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Check out my maps here!
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Last edited by Hotrod on Wed May 08, 2019 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 11:45 pm
  

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
Your maps are worth it.


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 4:04 pm
  

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Update: The land sculpt is almost done. Here is the current draft. I made adjustments all over the place on this one focusing on specific regions and their descriptions. Here are my notes on each region:

West Kighfalton:
+Eliminated some low, flat areas throughout the province.
+Added a river flowing along the length of the Imperial Province, and a ridge along its northern boundary.
+Evened out the terrain of Gioto province and raised the lower parts of its coasts to match the description of its cliffs as being coasts.
+Since Decurance province is big on grapes and fruits, I'm going with gently-rolling hills and no predetermined river
+I flattened much of Paaslaan province. It's supposed to have a lot of sand, and this seemed to make sense to me. No predetermined river.
+Milaszc Province is fruit and wine country, so I went with gently-rolling hills and no predetermined big river

Upper Kighfalton:
+Regional Province: Not much in the way of adjustments. It's supposed to be profitable with some agriculture, but not so much as the plains nearby.
+Raised the coast of Csusk Province to make it more cliff-like, and smoothed the rest of it out to make it more farm friendly/profitable, like Dover in England.
+Lowered the coast of Amberhall Province, since they're all about seafaring and ship-building. II'll probably put in some sparse forest to support the ship-building later.
+Since Zietich province is described as being inland despite the fact that it clearly has a shore, I simply continued the cliffs from Csusk Province further south. They can see the sea, they just can't get to it very easily.

Koerdian Mountains:
+Defined a deep, narrow valley for the orcs and ogres of Greenclaw.

Kighfalton Plains:
+Configured the terrain so that about half of this region will drain away to the west through Caer Itom, and the other half will drain to the south.
+I smeared the hills and valleys of this region to give it more of an eroded, prairie look.

Lower Barraduk:
+Eliminated some hills and cliffs close to the coast and generally reduced the highs and lows in elevation across the region. Given the abundance of trade, it seems more appropriate to have the coast feature gentle terrain in order to facilitate road traffic from its ports to the Tarldet Plains.

Vequerrel Woodlands:
+I eliminated some wide, flat areas. Otherwise, I left this province alone. Interestingly, the southernmost province is where most of the lumber mills are, yet that's the land-locked, southernmost province. One would think that this province would be nearer the coast, where rivers and such could float downstream to them. Ah well. Most of this area is going to be covered with forest eventually.

Middle Kingdoms:
+I sculpted them so that a large river flows by the regional capital.

Old Kingdom Frontier:
+Added in a river flowing through Shinkasa to correspond to the one in the city map in Western Empire.

Scarlet Mountains:
+No adjustments; I'm pretty satisfied with how this region came out in the first land sculpt.

Tarldett Plains:
+I made the coasts nice and low and smeared the terrain to give the region an eroded grassy look.

Ophid's Grasslands:
+I re-smeared much of the Grasslands to tone down a kind of bumpy texture that was showing up.

Yin-Sloth Jungle Colonies:
+I toned down the canon rivers' valleys a bit. They're still flowing mostly where I want them.


Outstanding Issues:
-My big question remaining about this land sculpt is the Old Kingdom and Old Kingdom Frontier. There's very little to go on in terms of its climate. I think it's grassland, which suggests that some prairie-like terrain smearing is in order, as I've done for the Tarldet Plains, Kighfalton Plains, Ophid's Grasslands, et cetera, but I don't have any good canon statements on that. The regional description is more about the threat of invading hordes and describing it as a frontier than actually describing the terrain and climate.
-Some of the larger rivers have broad, flat areas that don't quite look right.
-The canon lakes in the south likewise are surrounded by some broad, flat areas that don't quite look right.

Overall, all that's remaining are some tweaks and detail work. The rivers are flowing where I want them and the regional details seem to fit the descriptions now.

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Last edited by Hotrod on Mon May 13, 2019 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 5:40 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:05 pm
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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
It is a warm, humid land with sprawling plains, deserts, marsh lands, subtropical forests to the south, and rolling hills, lush lowlands, and scattered forests to the north and east.
From the first ed description.


From mount nimro it says NE is the old kingdom grasslands and to the se are the lotsw marshes

is all I can find with a quick scan.


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Unread postPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:13 am
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
Yeah, I think I'll leave the terrain for the Old Kingdom unmodified for now. I can always come back and smear it around later (whereas un-smearing that kind of stuff can be a real pain). Looks like I just need to make a couple of tweaks to some watersheds, rivers, and inland lakes, and I should be good to move onto climate coloring, forests, and some heraldry.

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Unread postPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:48 pm
  

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Champion

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Update: five drafts later, the land sculpt is done!
+I added some tiny islands in the Inland Sea. These are from my unreleased Inland Sea map and based on Glen Evans' notes for his Lopan and Phi manuscripts. Thus, they're not canon, but they might be someday. They're easy enough to erase if Kevin so chooses.
+Made many minor tweaks and finishing touches to river systems and mountains in the sculpt.

Still to go on the natural geography:
-Introduce some climate zones with prairie colors in the three plains areas.
-Bathymetry. I want to include some depth information on the surrounding seas.
-Forests. This will be a little tricky and will likely require a region-by-region approach, applying sparse and thick forests carefully depending on direct descriptions and the local economy.
-Ley Lines and Nexuses.

I'm in a bad spot for interwebs connecting this weekend, but I'll put up the latest draft sometime in the next week, hopefully with some of the additional steps completed.

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Unread postPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 10:07 am
  

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Re: bathymetry... you and I have previously discussed how the Scarlet Sea might actually be quite shallow.

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Unread postPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 10:59 pm
  

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Champion

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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
Braden Campbell wrote:
Re: bathymetry... you and I have previously discussed how the Scarlet Sea might actually be quite shallow.


Excellent point, thanks for the reminder.

Minor Update: Here's the current draft. I touched up some river valleys and added in some prairie climate coloring. I also played a little with the bathymetry, but I didn't like the results (there's a little bit of its residue in the sea you see in the latest draft). I'll take another stab at that once I finish the woods.

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Unread postPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 5:44 am
  

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:56 pm
  

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Champion

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Hotrod wrote:
I'm glad you set it up with a one-creation-per-month limit; that will allow me to post multiple versions of a project without you getting charged extra. I just revised my welcome text to advise prospective patrons to pledge the same way.

Greetings and Salutations. So, I have a question about the whole Patreon thing (as it is completely new to me). When exactly do I get charged?

I ask as I set it up for one-creation-per-month limit (as stated previously), but I haven't been charged at all. I thought it would charge me immediately, or after you made a posted a creation after that. Neither happened. I then figured maybe at the end of the month, but that didn't happen either. I'm just trying to plot out finances, and I don't know how the system works. Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you. Farewell and safe journeys.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:20 pm
  

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Champion

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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
Prysus wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
I'm glad you set it up with a one-creation-per-month limit; that will allow me to post multiple versions of a project without you getting charged extra. I just revised my welcome text to advise prospective patrons to pledge the same way.

Greetings and Salutations. So, I have a question about the whole Patreon thing (as it is completely new to me). When exactly do I get charged?

I ask as I set it up for one-creation-per-month limit (as stated previously), but I haven't been charged at all. I thought it would charge me immediately, or after you made a posted a creation after that. Neither happened. I then figured maybe at the end of the month, but that didn't happen either. I'm just trying to plot out finances, and I don't know how the system works. Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you. Farewell and safe journeys.


The way I've set it up, you only get charged when I produce and post something that I charge for, and I haven't done so yet. I only intend to charge patrons when I post significant and new works. The Patron rewards I put up are extra perks for people who have pledged to support me; since I made them a few years ago and they're not new, I'm not charging for them. The once-a-month feature is a limit, so that if/when I post more than one new product in a month, you'll only be charged for one. I often create closely-related works, such as the bare geography and natural geography, or political geography and an icon collection. When I release them close together, I don't want my patrons getting double or triple charged for what amounts to the same project.

That said, given the volume of political geography marking and custom heraldry I plan to make, and the fact that that effort may take more than a month, and that I plan to make a game board version of the map when I finish the political geography, I may release this map twice on Patreon: once with the bare geography/labeled natural geography versions, and a second time with the political geography/regional heraldry/game board versions.

I'm totally new to Patreon as well, and this is NOT the way they suggest setting up patronage, but I don't feel comfortable getting monthly donations regardless of how much or little I do. After I do this map, I may scrap my Patreon page entirely and just go with something like a small-scale kickstarter or gofundme and/or maybe a ko-fii for folks who just feel like throwing me a small tip.

In any case, I really appreciate the folks who have signed up to be my patrons, and I hope to have a new product worthy of your patronage up soon!

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:57 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
Update: The forests are drafted. Here's the current draft of the bare geography. Here's the same image with regional and provincial borders/colors superimposed.
This was a grind that required a lot of province-by-province research, but the woods are as accurate as I can make them on canon information. The woods are also consistent with the Cyclops isles' depiction in High Seas.

That said, there's some touching up to do with these forests. The borders of the Yin-Sloth Jungles and the Great Northern Wilderness woods are a bit too sharp and clean, which makes them look a bit fake to me. I'll rough them up some.

The only other item left for finishing up the bare geography is the underwater bathymetry. Next update, I should have the bare geography complete.

If you have the time and inclination, please give this a good hard look and let me know if you see any issues.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:12 pm
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
am looking forward to this, when released it will be the onset of western civil war for my group. I will hex it up and have battles raging across the land with the pc's caught in the middle.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:56 am
  

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Looks awesome Hotrod. The forest boundary is definitely a it jarring. I like the regional map. The different colors really pop out the different provinces.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:52 am
  

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I little constructive criticism: With the level of detail you are inputting into the maps you should take a little artist license and incorporate some higher level of detail into the coastline of the map. Everything is way too smooth. If you look at a real map the coastline may have a smooth section of beach, but for the most part it is broken up by rough rugged edges.

The Palladium map wasn't drawn down into small detail. Just a overall dimensions of the world for the most part. However, your map can zoom down into that finer detail. I would take a few places along the coasts and breakup all the smooth curving rounded off lines. It just looks a little funny to my eye.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:29 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
Lukterran wrote:
I little constructive criticism: With the level of detail you are inputting into the maps you should take a little artist license and incorporate some higher level of detail into the coastline of the map. Everything is way too smooth. If you look at a real map the coastline may have a smooth section of beach, but for the most part it is broken up by rough rugged edges.

The Palladium map wasn't drawn down into small detail. Just a overall dimensions of the world for the most part. However, your map can zoom down into that finer detail. I would take a few places along the coasts and breakup all the smooth curving rounded off lines. It just looks a little funny to my eye.


That's an excellent point. I try to incorporate some randomization of coastlines as I do the early land sculpting. The tricky thing about that process is that it's easy to make all the coasts jagged, and it's easy to make all the coasts smooth. The most realistic have a bit of both, and that's hard to pull off well. If you zoom in, you'll see a little jitter to the coast around the edges of the map, but I kept it pretty mild for the main peninsula of the Western Empire.

I see what you're saying, and I wish I'd seen it earlier. A major rework of the coast at this stage involves an impractical amount of work, because I'd also have to re-do climate zones, erosion effects, and land sculpting. However, I may be able to effectively raising the sea level around the Western Empire's mainland so that the coastal rivers and streams will cut into the coastlines a bit more. I just tried doing this in an automated way with some promising results, and I can expand on this by cutting in by hand. The overall shape will remain with this approach, but the river mouths will effectively widen and meet the sea, which will break up the smooth lines. With the underlying blobby coast shape remaining, it may still look a little funny to you, but I think it will be an improvement.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:30 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
Whiskeyjack wrote:
Looks awesome Hotrod. The forest boundary is definitely a it jarring. I like the regional map. The different colors really pop out the different provinces.


I reworked the woods this morning while my car was getting serviced. The boundaries are looking more natural now, and I put some clearings in both the northern forest and the southern jungles. I'm feeling pretty good about the woods now.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:32 pm
  

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Hotrod wrote:
Thanks, Kiralon. I don't generally solicit contributions, but they're quite welcome. Maybe I should start a Patreon page or something.

Anyways, I spent a chunk of today scouring the books for information on the geography, topography, and climate of the Western Empire. P2E says nothing about it at all, but I found some useful bits in Monsters and Animals (both the geography section and some useful bits in several animal and monster descriptions), High Seas (the Cyclops Isles), Baalgor (for its coastal areas), Bletherad (for ley lines), and of course the Western Empire book.

The Western Empire book itself is a treasure trove of geographic information. Each province's terrain is described. It's given me enough to do a lot of detail work, but before I do that, I need to draw in the regional and provincial borders.


Double check the Yin-Sloth book. IIRC, there's a WE colony in the northwestern region in that book.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:27 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
The Beast wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
Thanks, Kiralon. I don't generally solicit contributions, but they're quite welcome. Maybe I should start a Patreon page or something.

Anyways, I spent a chunk of today scouring the books for information on the geography, topography, and climate of the Western Empire. P2E says nothing about it at all, but I found some useful bits in Monsters and Animals (both the geography section and some useful bits in several animal and monster descriptions), High Seas (the Cyclops Isles), Baalgor (for its coastal areas), Bletherad (for ley lines), and of course the Western Empire book.

The Western Empire book itself is a treasure trove of geographic information. Each province's terrain is described. It's given me enough to do a lot of detail work, but before I do that, I need to draw in the regional and provincial borders.


Double check the Yin-Sloth book. IIRC, there's a WE colony in the northwestern region in that book.


There is, and it's described(ish) in the Western Empire book. It's mostly a text description, but it maps out the three provinces in that region. Yin Sloth has a few maps, but they're not much use; there are two maps that sort of mark out and labels the different parts within the jungle and a few others that detail each part, but they don't line up well with each other. YSJ has some surprisingly decent city and dungeon maps (among the best in published canon, actually), but the regional detail maps aren't up to the kind of quality one sees in High Seas, Old Ones, and most other PF supplements.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:34 am
  

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Looks good my friend. Are all the past maps available on DriveThruRPG.com?


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:52 am
  

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Champion

Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 1:01 am
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Location: Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy
Reagren Wright wrote:
Looks good my friend. Are all the past maps available on DriveThruRPG.com?


They are not... not yet, anyway. I can't really say any more than that yet.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:55 pm
  

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Champion

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Update: the Bare Geography and Natural Geography maps are done! This was a grind, but I've finally gotten it to a state that satisfies me. These are big files; the images arejust over 23 MB, while the source file I used to make them is 6.6 GB(!). For practical purposes, this is about the biggest map I can make.

Changes since I last shared an image:

The Bare Geography is complete!
+I fixed the issue with the forest borders. They're more gradual now, and the big woods have some scattered clearings in them instead of being a single mass of woods.
+I refined the coast a little. It's subtle, but if you look closely along the southern coast of the Western Empire, you'll see a lot of natural harbors; I hand-drew in a bunch of these all over the map, but I paid extra special attention to this coast. This is the Lower Barraduk region, which is the sea trading heart of the empire, so this seemed appropriate. I also took some action to make the coasts a bit more jagged everywhere else.
+I worked in several water effects. The map now includes bathymetry with a markedly different type of sea floor in the Inland Sea vs the outer coasts meant to suggest different geological forces at play within the Inland Sea; I matched this to the bathymetry in my Patron-exclusive Great Inland sea map; this is the first time I've ever matched up neighboring map bathymetries. Not sure if it's worth the effort, but I liked the final look. I also worked in some variety of color. The Sea of Scarlet Waters has a dull reddish hue, and there's a gray region in the Inland Sea. Special thanks to Glen Evans for his input on the Inland Sea based on his Phi and Lopan manuscripts.

The Natural Geography is complete!
+The big difference with this version is the natural geography labels.
+There's also a compass rose, scale, and title with a bit of heraldry. Nothing fancy yet; that will come with the political geography map.
+I also added ley lines and nexuses from the global ley line map in Bletherad to go with the natural geography features. These are canon, but may not be accurate according to canon.
+The "Hunting Hound" featured in the title and the compass rose is derived from the naval flag of the Western Empire described in High Seas. I'm not sure if it's their national symbol, but it works for now. The logo is something I originally made for the PDF project Glen and I are working on.

Why am I not linking these maps?
As a gesture of thanks to my patrons, I'll be uploading both files to my Patreon page a few days before I post it to my DeviantArt page for general release. Early access for my patrons will end in a few days, at which time you can see them on my Patreon page. I'll put them up on my DeviantArt web page and post links here then. I'll also be uploading a bit of Western Empire-related original art for my Compass-level Patrons to enjoy as a special thank-you to them.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:06 pm
  

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Champion

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On to the political geography!

And yeah, wow. I've bitten off a lot with this project. I need to label 12 regions, 49 provinces, and more than 50 cities within the Western Empire while keeping provincial and regional and national borders distinct.

Outside the Western Empire, there's also the Isle of the Cyclops, which adds two more cities and some ruins on the Sisters. There's regions and settlements within the Yin-Sloth Jungles that I could mark out (and probably should).

I'll start by making some heraldic shields specific to each region. If I can't make the regional labels work well, then I can use them as provincial and regional capital city markers and make a legend where I define each region off to the side, similar to how I made the Great Northern Wilderness map.

That means I have 12 custom heraldry designs to create and a new shield template (because re-using the one from the Eastern Territories doesn't seem right). I'll try to do this one in vector, similar to how I made the Eastern Territory heraldry, since the results are shinier than the Wolfen Empire shields I made for the GNW map.

I've got a shield design outlined. It'll be a heater shield (not a tall one, but not round, either) that's somewhat similar to the one I made in the Eastern Territories, but with a few more flourishes since the Western Empire is more fancy than those uncultured peasants in the east. I'm basing the outline loosely on the shield from the Imperial Janissary O.C.C. art: poky horn-like tips at the upper corners and a couple of gaps on the lower edges. The more aggressive points of this design will hopefully convey the aggression of the Empire of Sin. The overall profile seems vaguely demonic to me, which is also a good fit for the Western Empire's nobility.

Next: heraldry concepts for each regional house.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:17 pm
  

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Champion

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Update: I've created a heraldic shield template and drafted House Itomas' heraldry. Check it out.

+I went for a more stylized type of shield with more curves and sharp points. I'm trying to convey the Empire's sophistication and aggressiveness with the shape. The overall shape is a very loose adaptation of two shields that appear in the Western Empire book.

+I added a laurel both in the heraldry painted on the shield and outside and below the shield itself. I'm not sure whether or how I'll include the outer wreath in marking the map. We'll see.

+The design of the heraldry was meant to symbolize the psychic power of the Emperor with the eye, imperial victory with the laurels, and the ceremonial Itomas dagger he always carries on him. The color is meant to suggest the classic Itomas hair color, copper-red

Anyway, have a look and let me know what you think.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:07 am
  

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Champion

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Comment: Kill it with Fire.
As personal opinion only I think it will look better without the outside laurel leaves because they make it slightly too Romanesque (GNW) and friendlier.
Maybe a black shield with the copper laurel leaves and a red eye ???

But looks good anyway


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