Mid-Year Review: Daytown and Teaser Map for What’s Next

Taking a short break from maps this week, I would like to look back over what I’ve done so far this year and look a bit into the future to let you all know what you can expect from the rest of 2017.

2017 Goals Update

So back at the beginning of the year I set for myself some weekly goals for map making. At the time it was a bit ambitious:

Weekly Goals:

  • Have a new map or titlecard posted every Monday.
  • Have a new trap, object, or other supplementary item posted every Wednesday.
  • Have a new piece of Falleron lore posted every Friday.

Monthly Goals:

  • Have, once per month, a “bonus” map unrelated to any specific game for use in random content. These would be things like wilderness scenes, small cave maps, and other short encounters for when you need a quick game thrown together.
  • Have all campaign summaries updated within 3 days of the game (for both Scourge of Heinrich and Crown of the Heartlands).

Yearly Goals:

  • By end of Spring have have all of my major GM resource paged updated to 5th edition (such as the old wondrous items page from Pathfinder) and, once those are to date, originate new content for this purpose.
  • Complete the codex “The Fool’s Song,” the origin mythos of Falleron, and publish it to the site.
  • Push my art styles even farther and develop new and interesting tools for use on game maps.

The Weekly Goals have turned out to be a tad bit unrealistic in some ways, and far less difficult in others. Posting traps and objects have gone out the window (for now, at least) as I no longer am building top-down maps. Instead, my maps moving forward will continue with the primarily 3d rendered objects, making posting additional items less necessary. In the D&D map making community there are a considerable amount of excellent producers of drop-in objects, top-down maps, and lovely hand drawn art. What I feel there isn’t a whole lot of are the rendered angled maps, which I like a bit better for my own games.

Both have advantages, but when working with truly 3d settings with different heights and terrain I prefer being able to see the heights and size differences rather than making them up from a top-down graphic. In my own campaigns, they have led to more dynamic use of the terrain in combat and encounters, and I’ve decided to focus a bit more on that for the second half of the year.

At the beginning of the year my goal was to make a total of 52 maps before the end of the year. That goal has already been met (currently I have produced 53 maps this year, not counting variations on the rollable maps or day/night changes). The next mapset will add, at minimum, another 17 unique maps to that total, not counting variations for weather and day/night. In that, so far this has been the most productive year I have had for map making, and my quality has been (for the most part) improving with each map.

Not all of our GM tools have been changed over to 5th edition yet, but a great many more have already been produced along with icons and unique graphics for our Falleron Handbook. I am happy with our progress on this front and things are moving forward pretty well!

I also opened a Patreon in the last few months to support my time I spend on these maps. It has been a great asset in helping me devote more time to producing content.

The Daytown Mapset was originally going to be a smaller set just focused on the city, but in the end we managed to visit a great number of locations! The city has a lot more to offer, and I have no doubt that our travels will one day bring us back to discover new corners and threats to the Beacon of the Kendredai.

Moving Forward

Next up we will be focusing upon the Crown of the Heartlands campaign. While that campaign has been revisiting old areas, such as Kingsbridge and Highchurch, the next arc will take players to the isolated village of Bentley. This quiet place,  deep in the Heartlands, has a great number of troubles brewing and our players will have a great many things to explore along the way.

Structurally, Bentley will be unlike my previous map projects in that it is starting from an area map and will slowly be expanded as players discover locations. The Area Map itself will have several iterations as the arcs expand the map and discover new reaches, revisiting a few notable locations from 2015 (such as Castle Charm), this time rendered in 3d.

Bentley will also be the first mapset to be rendered partially with Blender. The first arc for a small portion of the assets, with the later arcs entirely relying upon the graphics engine. I’m hoping that my maps will improve by leaps and bounds with this new set, and happily I can say they have already begun to.

Posting for the next set will be different than the last six months. Each Bentley map will have six variations, as I am now playing with weather in addition to day and night. Each outdoor map will have:

  • Day – Clear
  • Day – Foggy
  • Day – Raining
  • Night – Clear
  • Night – Foggy
  • Night – Raining

Because this makes each individual map have so many variations, rather than posting multiple times a week I will be posting all six variations each Monday. Additional bonus maps may post later in the week, but that will be infrequent during the second half of 2017. August onwards will have three times the amount of map content posted in a week from previous, thanks in a large part to my Patreon supporters.

As a teaser, we have one map for you to chew on – Wendy’s Tavern:

Thanks for reading, and I hope you continue to find my maps useful for your games!

-Enc