Every GM has already been in this situation.
Your players go somewhere, and the place has enough elements that they ask you a map, then you draw… and here the magic dispels.
Drawing maps or plans is not as easy as it seems, above all if you want to give some art to it.
Drawing with a pencil or a software like GIMP a world map, or worse, a city map, requires some skills and a lot of time.
Luckily, technology has evolved and RPG cartography softwares are now available to help you feed your campaign with quality stuff, and keep your players dreaming about the world you are creating for them.
I will start with my software to go, Inkarnate, an online cartography software you use directly in your browser.
What I love with this software, as a GM and a creator of role-playing games content, is :
- You can try it for free and easily check if it suits your needs.
- It is cheap, 25$ a year.
- This cheap licence includes commercial use.
- There are a lot of assets and tools to create fantasy maps, cities, and even dungeons, but for now there are no assets for interiors/dungeons.
- The software works great, you just need to remind to regularly save because you are working online, in your web browser.
For fantasy maps, this is the software to choose. There are some haunted assets you could surely use for a Cthulhu scenario too. For a science-fiction map, forget it for now.
As you can understand, this is a very good RPG cartography software that can suits the needs of any GM or creator working on a fantasy world.
What about dungeon maps?
Ok, so with Inkarnate, you can easily make wonderful world and city maps, but hey, we are not playing Sim City or Civilizations here!
Your players will eventually enter an inn or a dungeon, and you will face the same problem again!
As I said, Inkarnate allows you to put a grid and to draw a simplified dungeon or interior map, without any assets for now. This is better than nothing, and once you have paid 25$, why not push a little bit the limits of the software 😉
But, if you want to easily make good interior/dungeon maps, there is a software that exists and that looks very good, DungeonFog.
I didn’t yet try it myself, but after looking at different tools, it looks like it is the better one to use. There is also a free version, and it is not expensive if you want to enjoy all the assets, and/or need a commercial license.
It’s time to reveal your potential!
With these tools, you are now able to give birth to the worlds you have in mind since your childhood. No excuse to avoid your work to do, this or these worlds are waiting for you to exist.
You will learning by doing maps, these maps will give you ideas for your campaign, and will help to keep your players focused on the story.
Inkarnate is evolving fast, there are regularly new assets and the team is very friendly.
Be the GM you deserve to be!