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Charles Dickey Map Header

While wandering around the web this week, I stumbled across a few maps that made me sit back and say “wow”. There are maps out there that make me shake my head and then knuckle down to improve my drawing skills and/or learn more about the source material so my maps represent environments with more style, or in many cases, more verisimilitude. Good maps are more than just maps of cool places, they are visually interesting, provide a clear and precise image of what we are looking at, and at least in my case, make me want to sit down and draw more maps.

I’m a map junky. I love maps.

Map by Charles Dickey

Brilliant Maps from Atmospheric Games

The first jaw-dropping discovery of the week (found through the map tag search of all wordpress.com blogs) is the map by Charles Dickey that I used a slice of for the header image of this article. He drew these large-scale maps (we’re talking battlemat scale here, so a scale I never consider drawing at) with a highly intricate fill that is visually stunning and immediately appealing. Here’s a direct link to the post for this map, and this leads to his blog, “Atmospheric Games” (an RPG blog I had never seen before, with more cool maps – the map that first caught my eye here was his most recent keep map which also uses great fills to represent the stony areas around the keep).

Monastery PlanReichenau Monastery

Then over on the RPG.net forums in response to my Monastery of Electrum Flowers map, Telarus aimed me at the St. Gall Plan, a beautiful map of the 40 or so structures of the Ceichenau Monastery drawn up in the middle ages on five sheets of parchment that were stitched together into one massive map.

Here is a modern version of that map to make it easier to understand the original (and as a wonderfully detailed layout for RPG monasteries).
And here is the actual hand-drawn map in question – click on various bits to zoom in to see the wonderful detail.