I use @Michael_Prescott’s Trilemma maps more than any other. Been getting lots of use out of the free adventures (with a hardcover collection now being Kickstarted). I love the adventures themselves, but just as often I use the evocative maps with fascinating situations as scenes for my own material. Michael posts the unmarked map images on the blog so you can safely reveal them to players.
It was the maps that got me into the Harn setting from Kekestia Productions and Columbia Games, and I think they are still lovely all these years on. What they introduced me to was the idea of ‘detailed’ maps at the scale of Kingdom down to settlement for use by the GM and ‘Poetic Maps’ to share with players. I still use them to help visualise locations …
I love how Dyson Logos’s style has evolved. I mean, look at this recent example of the Isle of Kheyus:
Other map illustrators I love include Elven Tower (Derek Ruiz), Blue Sword (Caeora, mentioned above), and Jared Blando, whose work has appeared in a few official and 3rd-party D&D 5e supplements.
Related: I love small artistic flourishes on the maps, like fossils in the dungeon walls or decorations on the edges of the map, even if they’re never visible to players because it helps me as a GM feel more “in the world” and thus I can communicate that better to the players.
Read the initial post and immediately had this exact thought.
I realize I’m a little late to the party, but I wanted to thank @Julian for sharing those two links to my blog. Those two entries have been getting a lot more visitors recently, and I think it’s thanks to all the nice people here on the Gauntlet Forums!
@diyanddragons Good to see you here, Anne!
Me neither and I had never seen this before. It is AMAZING!
For maps that I’m going to frequently refer to in play (for example dungeon maps), some things that I really like are:
- ability to “see” multiple related maps on the same page (e.g. two levels connected by stairs)
- either good labels or some kind of key (e.g. mapping room numbers to names)
- either providing detached maps, or digital images, or photocopy-friendly
- little visual reminders about obvious notable features (doors, decorations, traps, etc.)
- high contrast for visibility (either black and white, or light colors with dark lines)
I enjoy seeing very stylized maps but given the choice between artistic style and clear iconography I usually prefer the latter for these kinds of maps.
For maps that I’m going not going to be consulting so frequently (e.g. maps of a region or world, or maps that don’t have corresponding location descriptions) I do prefer more stylized, artistic maps and don’t get as hung up on the above details.
Thanks for sharing the links