Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: How to Create Great Fantasy Maps (even if you can't draw)

Sometimes I go on to RPGNow and cruise around for some random thing to buy.  I always stash away some store credit for such occasions.  This time around I saw the title, How to Create Great Fantasy Maps (even if you can't draw)Great title.  I like maps.  I like great maps.  I like to try and draw maps.  So I bought it.  At the low price of a $1.50, hell yeah I was going to get it.

This is the PDF printed.  The staple is not included in the PDF.
How to Create Fantasy Maps was written by Mark Wightman (don't touch him or you'll lose a level) for Draken Games.  The PDF comes in at 24 letter sized pages.  This features, don't be shocked, a lot of maps.  It's very printer friendly.  No large black spaces.  No backgrounds.  Just text and maps. 

Being a map guy myself, I'm always looking for a few tips, tricks or cheats.  There are a couple of cool techniques I learned in this that I want to try.  I won't go into detail because that would spoil the fun.  While you won't find any deep, dark secrets of mapping within, it is very handy and I can see it being especially useful to beginners or folks like me who want to see how other hand draw their maps.

The biggest draw to How to Create Fantasy Maps is Mark's writing.  The guy's excitement for maps really comes across in his writing.  In the intro he mentions his love for the Tolkien maps and a spectacular example of his lack of artistic ability (I am right there with you brother).  It's a fun, practical way to learn how to draw maps.  The examples are great.  He gives advice that I would have difficulty following, such as be patient.  I forget that.  Let the ink dry first before you try to erase the pencil lines.  Good advice.

I give a big thumbs up for How to Create Fantasy Maps