Saturday, November 21, 2015

ACKS Blackmarsh (3), Map of Civilization

In a continuing series!

Last map, I think, and I subject you to another futzing around with a "style", something I do not have a lot of.

Previously, we'd settled out...the settled lands in Blackmarsh. Rather than huddle everyone up in the same highly concentrated hexes, I took a stab at spreading folk out a bit. And I didn't really check to see if there were any highly dangerous lairs where I put folk, so those people may be dead already.

So, Hex 1212, for example, following Dwimmermount's example, would have somewhere around (2d3*10)+590 families - the hexes with three people icons.

Two icons would represent (2d6*10)+205, and one icon is a borderlands hex at (2d4*10)+95 families. I chose poorly ending my average population numbers in "5"s.

Split hexes would have ~325 families of one vassalage, and ~325 families of the other.

If you ask about that in the halfling hex of 0510, split betwixt the Greenton and Strangeholm halflings,  you will waste 2d3 turns as whichever halfling you've asked the question of gives you a very very long story about his genealogy and exactly which great-great-great third cousin's on the paternal side once did someone a solid and that's why his family is part of the Greenton rather than those Strangeholms, not that they are not perfectly upstanding members of the community but they put a bit too much spice in their porridge if you know what I mean and I don't think you do, so let's talk about proper spice application in porridge, pies, and other very exciting foods and oh look a the time, it's elevensies, and you must come stop by as we've just harvested the pumpkins and there are quite a bit of pies to eat and travelers such as you must be famished having missed second breakfast as you folk tend to do, these are properly spiced with just a touch of cinnamon, not like the Strangeholms do it - have I ever told you about my great-great-great third cousin, on the paternal side?


  1. Your islands and water features are so good! I should really take the time to do the custom-drawn sea edges (that's how you're doing those, right?)...

    1. Thanks! (though those are really Rob Conley's design)

      Yes - those are hand drawn. I prototyped the water/land with full hexes in Hexographer, then imported it as a PNG into GIMP - I transparently overlaid the Blackmarsh map to trace out the true coastlines. I don't actually like working in Hexographer for anything but rapidly filling hexes.

      The rivers were done in a succession of smaller brushes as they traveled inland.

      One thing that really helps out is a tablet+pen. I picked up an Wacom Intuos Small for around $100, and it was well worth it for the extra control in drawing.

      My settlement markers, on further review, are redundant; I don't need both a generic marker and a market class indicator. I'd really like to get to a setup that seems as wargamingly useful as the maps by James C Bennett for Dwimmermount here:

    2. Ah, nice. Did you do the civilization layer in gimp as well? I agree that hexographer is clunky for a lot of things. Wish it were open source so I could add features :\

      I had a Wacom tablet at one point but passed it on to a friend because I wasn't getting much use out of it. More fool me.

      I hadn't seen James' maps; those are pretty slick. Hmm...

    3. They are pretty slick; he's using that Campaign Cartographer, I think. What I really need is a Hexographer that can do "thirded" hexes - I may have to fiddle around with just making a pregen template, I think all I have to do is shift hex fields atop each other to get the effect.

      So - the "civilization" color overlay - yes, that's GIMP. What I did was export my map from Hexographer with everything turned off - that way I get a blank grey hex field.

      In GIMP, in that layer, I select by color all that internal grey, and delete it, leaving me with just the hex grid. I then fill the hex with the desired color, and I set the whole layer to somewhere around 40-50% opacity to let the terrain come through.

      The people shapes is a custom brush, on a layer by type (I really like layers!)

      I wouldn't say I get a lot of use out of the tablet either, I haven't bothered to make it work in the Linux side of my workstation yet, for example, but, for that 5%-10% time it comes in handy...