I've always enjoyed cartography; I've hand-drawn maps since I was little. A few years ago I tried it digitally and I've been hooked since. I've posted a few in other places, like here.
I'm going to use this thread for a couple of the FR ones I've done. They're all based on canon lore, though different time periods may affect what's there. I tend to focus on 3e and some 4e that would be retroactively true in the 3e time period. In the end, though, they're my maps and created in the image I want. One of the pieces I enjoy almost as much as making the maps is all I learn about the region I'm mapping while scouring through other maps and regional lore.
Last Edit: Nov 3, 2018 14:12:30 GMT -5 by Lady Frost
Progress! So far its a pair of 3.5gb files. One for the land & textures, and one with the names, though both are pretty heavy due to so many layers of map overlays so I can compare where places are. So far I've looked up, compared, and researched (when necessary) every location placed. Lots of searching through pdf's to make sure places are real and are in the best location - though that can be tricky because many major maps have a slightly different land structure (especially in those old pdf's) so places don't always line up. I've made mistakes on other maps and most maps out there have mistakes of their own -spelling, placement, not canon, etc-, so hopefully, I don't replicate them much through the research.
After all the locations, I'll add land names. After that, I'll finish detailing the landscape.
Post by Lady Frost on Dec 22, 2018 15:20:28 GMT -5
After about a month and a half and over 400 hours, I've researched and labeled just about all the locations. I say just about because I'm sure I'll find more as I dig into less mainstream material and start to label the land. Fortunately, the long and tedious part is over. Until I did this I never realized just how subjective these maps are. There really are only a few main cartographers for the realms and a lot of the maps out there are influenced by choices of the cartographers. Some choices are made with designers -most of the good 4E maps by Mike Schley are very accurate and made to go with publications-, however, some maps are made without the article designer having any input leading the map that literally goes with an article to have locations in the wrong positions. On top of that, one of the most active Forgotten Realms cartographers likes to alter maps to make more sense which includes adding pseudo-canon lore and homebrew. While most of the things he adds are heavily discussed through Candlekeep with opinions and comments from some of the most prominent FR sages and designers, it does simply fall to "what he thinks it should be". That makes looking up 'what actually is' really hard and annoying sometimes. On top of that, some lore is only detailed in 2E and in 2E some of the geographies are different so placing some of those things on a 3E map requires you to figure it out, other times you have to revert the geography to an earlier edition because whoever did the 3E map was obviously not paying attention.
That said, Candlekeep has been a great forum to chat with some of the authors and designers and read about what they say about the geography that hasn't been printed properly. Many maps are made from other maps and we all know how the copy of a copy thing works. That's why this has taken so long. Digging through pdf's to look up lore, seeing if game designers or Ed have unfiltered comments on places, determining what spelling is right, and THEN making sure it fits the into a 3E timeline. With that though, I think I'd argue what I'm putting together is one of the most correct, lore-accurate, and detailed 3E maps ever made. I've not included prominent Underdark locations, but I'd like to include the most prominent ones if there is space. I have included prominent Serôs (water of the Sea of Fallen Stars) locations already and will try to track down things in the Trackless Sea and Great Sea eventually, too.
Anyways, lots more to do, but here it is so far at 50%.
EDIT: Nimbral will have a frame around it since it would normally fall outside the map boundary.
Last Edit: Dec 22, 2018 16:35:17 GMT -5 by Lady Frost
Post by Sago Jerassen on Dec 25, 2018 17:24:11 GMT -5
Miss Frost this is fantastic stuff to say the least! It helps myself and others big time. To have a direction in the game is a prize to be had and only adds to the knowledge and depth of the rp. Love what your doing.
Post by Lady Frost on Mar 11, 2019 15:50:16 GMT -5
I've resumed! Right now I'm in the middle of adding the names for the land (islands, forests, mountains, etc). Since each step is in a new file, I have names that cross each other. Once I'm done here, I'll go back and move things around so they don't overlap. I also haven't adjusted some of the underwater locations since I added the depths and a few aren't quite in the right spot.
Here's part of the Sea of Fallen Stars at 100% scale. The locations with blue dots in the middle of the symbol are underwater.
Today I finished labeling major geography - that doesn't include rivers. Rivers, roads, mountain peaks are next.
Here's an actual file of it at about 80%. There are mistakes and tweaks to make but I'll fix things at the end all at once. Since each part is its own file, its annoying to go back time after time to fix things. If you see major things though, feel free to send me a message about it.
Beautiful work. I did not see the Bramblewood but maybe I just missed it.
The Bramble is an FRC creation so it isn't placed on this map. The only FRC creation on the map is Ash Isle and the Gargoyle because it's my map and I'm like that. The lore I'm using is 3e with 4e or 5e in places that don't otherwise have lore there and would be backward compatible with 3e lore. Additionally, I've used non-canon material that comes from Forgotten Realms designers who intend and treat the information as canon, it just was never published. Much of that information comes from conversations and questions on the Candlekeep site.
And thank you.
Last Edit: May 10, 2019 16:56:35 GMT -5 by Lady Frost
Since I linked to here recently in a post, I thought I'd share my most recent update. I'm currently adding river and road names. There are places where things overlap and markers are a little off, but since each phase is a new file, I won't make those fixes until the end so I can do them all at once. Everything on here is extensively researched and as correct as possible with consideration to so many contradictions throughout canon lore. Nearly all contradictions and questionable names / spellings/ placements have been looked into, especially though Candlekeep, where many of the authors of the lore have old notes or are still active. It is incredibly accurate and doesn't include many of the non-canon material that is added to many maps made by a prominent cartographer (who does great work, but again, commonly adds his own material when he thinks its makes sense, an area is blank, or a non-canon adventure was created.)
If you click on the map it will take you to a 100% view.
Last Edit: Aug 18, 2019 2:40:56 GMT -5 by Lady Frost