Cartography for Tabletop Gaming

Cartography for Tabletop Gaming

Recently, I have been enthralled with the work of Dyson Logos. Over the last several weeks I have been watching as Dyson posted map after map of beautifully drawn maps. Being a fan of sketching, I was drawn naturally to the allure of gaming cartography. I had one problem, I just needed to sit down and make something.

Last Friday, I was a player in the Dungeons and Dragons (5e for those interested) game, so I didn’t create the map. I took some photos of the table as we were nearing completion of the evening as well as drew a small sketch of the map near me on the table with some numbers so I could remember the story points. You can find my entire write-up including my final maps here.

I did some research on Dysonizing Dungeons, and while I had been playing with my own versions of Dyson’s advanced style with small sketches of maps, I decided to leave that for the future.

Josh's Dyson-like style small

I started by sketching out each of the rooms, counting out each of the components to come close or match the original design of the dungeon as closely as possible. I did not realize how large the map was. It did not fit on my paper at all. I should have scrapped it as soon as I realized this, but I was more interested in getting a final product (just make a map already).

My second miscalculation was on the far-right side with the circular room. As I was working to line up the passages with the circular room, I forgot to leave them open resulting in a closed rounded room.

I think that by comparison, this is clearly a noob’s map, and the “cheat” style looks far inferior to the fully-fledged Dysonified maps. Overall, the experience was rewarding, and drawing all of those lines was quite relaxing.

I can’t wait ’till the next map I draw. Next time, I will plan my attack better and amp up the styling.

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