30
Jan

27 More Mapping Marvels

The World Wide Webosphere contains multitudes of maps for gaming, and is rife with resources like tokens and objects – perfect procurements for your own overhead originals. If you’re looking for fully-finished digital displays for your VTT or inspiration for the blank page sitting in front of you, it is out there. But map-making is much more fun than research, so I did some of the grunt-work for you. Suggested by MapForge’s own Hernan Ruiz Camauer, I’ve assembled a copious cartographic collection, and I hope you find it useful.

2-Minute TableTop has slick, quick artwork that will look really bright and wonderful on any kind of digital display. Featured by Geek&Sundry a few years ago, this artist’s library of maps and tokens has grown tremendously. You can find frequent free options (with a button to add a tip) and you can support the artist via Patreon.

Allison Sermarini’s Maps of the Ancient World is a categorized collection of almost 200 historical maps hidden in the back of a website about old coins (also a cool subject – if I keep telling myself my nerd obsessions are cool, they become cool). If you’re looking to be inspired by the real places that inspired all of our fantastic realms, or if you need a good-looking guide for your non-fiction setting, this is the site for you.

Arkenforge keeps a few free maps created and sourced by their community crafters for use with their software. Many include day and night versions.

Cartography Assets aims to be a hub for the many mapping resources available across the web, and is focused on centralizing the work of as many artists as they can incorporate into their community (and protecting their copyrights, too). There are plenty of packages full of terrain, textures, icons, symbols, themes, frames, and an assortment of assets that feature a variety of art styles. They also have an asset manager to help keep you organized while you’re designing maps. It’s a fairly new site, but they’re growing fast and adding support for more and more mapping platforms and programs. You can help them continue to grow through their Patreon page.

DeviantArt is a GIANT online repository for digital art and a great primary source for all sorts of game goodies, both the free kind and custom-commissions. For maps, you can start with groups like

the World Builders’ Guild,

the Cartography-Guild,

Mythical-Lands,

MapsAndFlags,

and DungeonsAnDragons.

Once you find work you like, you can also browse specific artist’s galleries (both professionals and amateurs) and look at their favorites. Many have their contact info in their profiles if you want to support them or request something specific.

Or, just search for “map” in the search bar and sort by various levels of popularity. And if you prefer to draw your own maps, don’t forget to check out the many textures that are available for a good starting point.

DragonsFoot.org is a website focused on old-school D&D, but they have plenty of free maps that can be co-opted for use in any kind of game. Be sure to check out their map category in the forums for even more goodies.

DriveThruRPG sells maps – lots of them. Electronic or hands-on, they have all sorts, and the assets and accessories to go with them. And if you do a little bit of searching, you can find artists who have put up their precious pieces in the “pay-what-you-want” or “free” categories.

The Dundjinni Forums contain multitudes of maps and other searchable resources, including objects, textures, and special exhibition and contest pieces, all categorized for pleasant perusal. There’s a wide selection of isometric resources, too (an overhead, three-quarter view). Don’t forget to check out their store full of art and token packs as well as their free art section, which has downloads of the week, community spotlight items, and free user art.

Fantastic Maps has a little section of freebies, if you need some quick tiles and dungeon objects. The artist, Jonathan Roberts, also has other maps for sale that are worth a look.

Kickstarter is the big crowd-funding platform where you put your money directly into the projects and products you want to succeed. You can find lots of maps and map-related gaming goods here, but you will have to be patient while your artist-of-choice graphs those carto’s. If you’re looking for more immediate items, search for fully funded ventures and follow the links to buy completed art.

Loresmyth has a great little shop full of modular dungeon tiles, print-and-play maps, and other guides and accessories for your gaming geekery. Slick art and reasonable prices all around – you can get most maps and tile sets for between $2.50 and $10, or buy bundles of the popular items for digital and/or analog use. There’s also a small section for freebies.

The Mappery has a ridiculously large selection of real-world maps, if you’re in need of something from the non-fiction section. They have historical and modern maps, but they really seem to shine in the city category (I enjoy the tourist maps). Search by country or by keyword, then click the “gallery view” tab for the easiest viewing.

Patreon, of course, always has new artists and mapping projects in-progress, and it’s a great way to find a vast variety of art styles. You donate – they design. The downside is, you often have to pay and wait for the work to be completed. The upside is, you get to support creators and encourage them to make exactly what you need.

Reddit, as mentioned in my previous article, is a perfect starting-point for your atlas analysis:

r/battlemaps

r/cartography

r/dndmaps

r/fantasycartography

r/fantasymaps

r/imaginarymaps

r/mapmaking

r/worldbuilding

The RPGMapShare Gallery is a collection of overhead-view maps and mapping objects, subdivided into albums for easy searching. There’s hundreds of maps for fantasy, modern, and sci-fi settings, and over 5000 objects, creatures, tiles, textures, and other bits and bobs for customizing your own scenes.

The Vintyri Project is a veteran freeware site that evolved from even older enterprises (25 years old!) that keeps a large collection of open source material for gaming. Browse through their assemblage of assets, which are already optimized for the most popular mapping programs, and check out their free campaign setting and 4th Ed. game system while you’re there.

The links listed here only just scratch the surface of the many maps and assets available. Add your own art and favorite collections to the list and keep sharing!

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