Resources For Every GM: Cartography Part 5
Good evening everyone! Tonight I bring you a Resources article featuring some terrific websites and pages for those who need maps. Add these to your bookmarks and worry even less about cartography for your game. Of course, at this point you might start worrying more because you have too many resources. Let’s just pretend that is something that doesn’t happen. Let’s assume you need ever more mapping utilities!
Honestly, I do myself a disservice by continuously forgetting to use this tool. Dungeon Painter is a browser-based dungeon creator. The creator features numerous different tiles from stone floors to grass to wooden floors. These can be shaped as rectangles, round shapes, or point by point into whatever shape you want. On top of this there are walls, alters, tables, and other decorations to make a detailed and proper dungeons. This works on a gridded background and the grid can be manipulated to fit your style. The background and lines can be changed color and the design can even be hexes instead of a grid, if that is what you need. These images all exist in their own layers for ease of later manipulation and, when you are done, you can export the file as a PNG, JPG, or PDF. For a free map maker it is an incredible tool. If this isn’t enough you can head over to Steam and spend $15 to get a full studio. While I have not used it the interface implies that there is extra decor, plants, and even terrain to use. With even more this great tool would become a magnificent asset. Especially for virtual table tops, many for which it is supposed to be able to export easily!
This is a magnificent resource that I stumbled upon when I was trying to expand my asset library without spending money. This is a DevientArt user that has created a huge gallery of images for folks to use. There is a huge number of great images to use in making maps and they are available for download there. There are map tiles, map objects, and even item card templates. The downloadables are formatted in a useful way too. For example, objects come as PNGs with invisible backgrounds which make them much easier to use than other images you might find. The gallery here is well organized and there is plenty to work with. For the curious, there are licence / usage rules associated with the packs as well so you know what the artist is granting permission for. Whether you are a new cartographer looking for free, easy to utilize image files or a veteran who needs more assets, you should absolutely add this to your bookmarks.
Aren’t the type to make your own maps? Simply don’t have time too? That’s okay, this last resource is for you. ETC is a wonderful website full of resources for Dungeons & Dragons players. The biggest resource, of course, comes in the form of maps. The Elven Tower has quite a few to choose from and they are available. Not all of them are readily usable as a battle map, as such, but there are other features of the site that make them worthwhile. There are over 100 maps that encompass a single image and many of them come with DM notes, encounters, and more. Some are readily usable as ready to play encounters, should you need to increase a back-up folder of such things. For those who love the work being done, there is also a Patreon for ETC which grants access to a greater array of useful tools. Gridless maps, maps without labels for players to have, printer friendly versions, and even PDFs with information for you, the GM. This site is definitely worth checking out!!