Arcane Game Lore

Shoot Straight, Conserve Ammo, and never, ever, cut a deal with a dragon.

Shrine of the Harvest Goddess Map

When the Shrine of the Harvest Goddess Two Sheet Location when up on DriveThruRPG it contained this map:

Full map of the Shrine of the Harvest Goddess

Shrine of the Harvest Goddess map with grid in standing structure

The file is labeled as having a grid but if you’re not looking closely you’ll miss it as it is only in the structure on the left of the structure.  @AkieshaRoberts commented about it and I told her I could put a grid across the entire map if desired.  It was really simple because the full grid was already there, just hiding below the rest of the map.  It literally took me less than to minutes to create this one:

Same grid but with a map over the entire area, not just in the building.

Same map, but with grid everywhere

All I had to do was open the file, move the grid layer up above the map layer, and resave.  She got it in an e-mail right after asking and now you can have it as well.

I thought I’d take this post and talk a bit about how the map was made.

If you don’t recognize the style, it was done to imitate the style of Dyson Logos, a cartographer of great talent, whose style I really like.  And it doesn’t hurt that he puts out tutorials and, thanks to his Patreon campaign (of which I’m a small supporter), he makes many of his maps available and free for commercial use.

Creating this map was a three step process for me.  I started by drawing the walls of the building, the large flagstones, the well, the garden, and the statue marker in Gimp.  I talked in an earlier post about making a hatching pattern.  That was done as part of this project and I used it to fill in the hatching in the walls.

When I created the image, I selected the size specifically.  The image is 2560×1600 pixels.  Which just happens to be the exact screen resolution of my Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2″ tablet.  I didn’t have to make it that size and in hind sight, probably won’t do that in the future.  However, one of the great things about this tablet is that it has a Wacom digitizer built into the screen and comes with a stylus.  When using the stylus, the tablet functions just like a notepad and I can rest my palm on the screen and draw or write without the tablet registering the touch.

So I loaded the initial image into SketchBook Pro on my tablet and got to work.  Using several of Dyson’s maps, plus his Overhead Map Key with all the symbols on it (Dyson, you should do another of these with terrain and interior features that aren’t on the first one) as reference , I drew in the rest of the map by hand.  I really like SketchBook Pro as it allows you to set up a variety of different pens with different thicknesses, pressure sensitivities, and other parameters and switch quickly between them.  Drawing in the crumbled stone wall around the cemetery was a lot of work but kind of fun as well.

Once I was done with the free-hand sketching, I saved the file and opened it back up in Gimp.  As an aside, you can get Gimp and Inkscape for Android and I have them on my tablet but it’s really just a port of the xwindows system with the programs running inside.  With a bluetooth keyboard attached it works pretty well but it’s kind of awkward and it’s easier to use the regular computer.  But if I’m ever traveling, I have my full toolkit on my tablet.

The reason to go back to Gimp was to create the grid.  There is a really useful filter (Filter->Render->Pattern->Grid) that lets you create grids of any size, line weight, color, and offset and also allows you to create the little gaps between the lines at the intersections.  (Actually I’m not completely happy with that last part as you have to do it by drawing on top of the grid lines with a different color.  In my case I used white which works everywhere where I intended the grid to go but not so well in the fully gridded map above.)  Anyway, I created a new layer and drew the grid on there.  I then moved that grid layer beneath my map.

To get the grid on the parts of the map where I wanted it, I simply went to the map layer, selected the white background in the areas I wanted the grid and deleted it.  Since the layer had an alpha channel, everything I deleted became transparent and you could see the grid on the layer below.  I simply repeated this for every area where it was needed.

The last step was to put a white background beneath the grid layer as well.  Since the grid was drawn on a transparent layer the sections deleted in the building still had some transparent pixels and we didn’t want that.  With that done, it was just a matter of exporting the file and using it in my document.

I learned quite a bit doing this map.  For one thing, I drew everything to small, I need a bit more resolution as the finer details get a bit washed out due to anti-aliasing.  That was probably the most important thing I learned.  There were a bunch of other small workflow lessons as well.

So that’s the story behind this map.  I’ll be doing more in the future.  Let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions by leaving a note in the comment section below.

In my next post I hope to be able to talk about the numbers from the pay what you want experiment I’ve been running with the Two Sheet Locations.  I’ve got all the numbers I need for the first part, I just haven’t had time to really look at them and write them up as I’ve been trying to finish up my homework projects for this semester.  Those will be done tomorrow so I’ll have a bit of free time before the next semester starts.


Categorised as: General | Resources | Tips and Tricks

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