Most everyone in the Fantasy and Science Fiction community knows how important world building is. Not world building as in an environment for a 20th century novel or a lurid drama set in the seventeen hundreds. I’m talking about Avatar, Balder’s Gate, Lord of the Rings, Fire and Ice, and TSR AD&D, Gamma World, and Traveler; all games I played throughout my childhood and on into my adolescent and adult phases.
I have two hand drawn maps. The first was started in my teen years and has evolved into a six by eight feet view of four full continents, some of which has yet to be explored and many oceans and seas hanging from a wall when I actually have enough wall space to hang it. Why would that be a problem? First, I live in a small house, and write in what we jokingly call the dungeon, our basement. Secondly, my maps are hand drawn in pencil, so I can keep up with changes as time impacts the environment and the societies who live within it. Over time, the paper begins to yellow, and the whole thing starts to get dirty from smudges and the like. I’ve redrawn this world at least four times, twice from memory when it was destroyed, and later when some idiot drenched it in water. Finally, I decided in 2005 I needed something more professionally done, something that I can replace easily.
I got Campaign Cartographer for Christmas this year. It’s been on my gift list for the better count of ten years. Finally I just gifted it to myself. The reviews said that it is a professional program, but it is also complicated. I’ve been meaning to play with it, but I simply haven’t had the time. But that is going to change. If anyone out there reading this uses this program, I’m open to whatever advice you care to share.