On with the second part of my review of the annuals for Campaign Cartographer 3. This time I will deal with the months of May through August. This middle bunch I found overall rather lacking in appeal which is more than a little disappointing given how well I thought of the original four episodes. Still there is some quality here.
May’s entry into the annual was similar to March’s, though this one did have a bit of a tutorial. The tutorial delt more with how to create a 3D diorama with a city map. The city map itself was pretty cool, and if it was an example of what you got with the source maps: cities collection, it isn’t bad, just not anything I am interested in. Again, like March, this might be something I look at again when designing cities just to get an idea of how others do it.
June brought a bunch of parchment map styles. This month was really mostly about introducing a lot of different parchment backgrounds, but also had some sheets and symbols to go with it so that you could better make your map look old which I actually kind of like. There was a guide to go along with it that went through some techniques on how to make sure the map looks old, like adding blood splotches and don’t use too much naming or things like that. There really wasn’t much, but for this one that was very appropriate. I really enjoyed the parchments, in particular there are some styles that are ripped up that if you draw something over them the ripped up look will still exist and I think that is great.
To me, the gem of this group occurred with the seventh issue which was all about caves. There were two types of cave mapping, a more realistic approach, and the type of map that surveyers may make of caves. I drew out the more realistic one quickly, not much to it but they did go through how to make pillars, windy tunnels, slopes, and entrances (the last of which I didn’t quite do right). The surveyor map was actually really nice, because the more important part of it was they went through how to create a profile map of the cave which I thought was awesome. I didn’t take the time to go out and make it as it looked like it was going to take a bit of work, but this is something I think would be extremely useful.
The last issue of this portion of the 2007 Cartographer’s Annual that I will be covering is the Starship Deck plan. I started work on this one but it started becoming more difficult than I think it should have been. I felt like I was doing something wrong all the time because what I was doing didn’t look like the pictures. Not really sure what I was doing wrong. I think this may be better with someone who has a bigger familiarity of drawing sci-fi ships. I did like some of what it taught as it showed how to mirror the side of the ship to make it the same on both sides. I thought this was very helpful.
I’ve heard a lot that the second part of a story is often the worst part of the story. For this Annual it may very be true, though I haven’t finished working on the other parts to be able to say if the last 4 will be better, but I thought most of these could have been done without. Though I really do love the caves and parchments and will definitely be using the techniques in both in future maps.