Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I have always loved maps.  It began with car rides as a kid and I was obsessed with having an area map on hand of where we were going so I could follow along and see what was on the map and how it related to what I could see during the car ride. I love travel maps but especially topographical maps that really show the elevations and trees and all that. Id often make maps of my neighborhood, of surrounding area ( I grew up in rural upstate NY), buildings, fields, train tracks, etc.  And always these places had many names: The fallen towers ( a pair of giant oil drums that were dumped in a field near my house), the quicksand marsh ( the cattail marsh), the City of Doom ( the old Motts factory buildings we would play around in), etc.

Later on as I got into D&D, maps became a new obsession. I began to draw up dungeons galore, not unlike most people who got into the game around my time. When Greyhawk came out, I just LOVED this map and from there my map making world expanded from the dungeon to the world at large. I began to draw large scale hex world maps larger than the Greyhawk map, coloring and labeling each map.
I would continue to draw maps of worlds ( and for many write lengthy discussions about those worlds setting, gods, currency, geographical features, etc) for many many years. I was inspired heavily by the maps put out by various game distributors: Harn, Rolemasters Middle Earth maps, Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Jorune, etc.

I was so obsessed with maps and map making, that I would never read a fantasy novel  unless it contained a map ( which is why David Eddings, Belgariad and Mallorian are my favorites- lots and lots of maps). For me, if it didn't contain a map in the book, it wasn't worth reading- lol.

So I thought Id post some maps here that Ive made over the years. Keep in mind some of them were done when I was 12 so they are very simple in design ( as I would scour fantasy novels for cool names to use for all the things I wanted to label). Many of them you may notice who I was being influenced by at the time. Unfortunately, a share of some good maps were lost 12 yrs ago during my move out to the west coast. I never knew where they went or how they got misplaced, but they are gone. Too bad, there were some really really good detailed ones in there.

Anyway, here are a bunch. I literally have hundreds of maps, and many world maps have dozens of variations each as I played with how I wanted it to look. I mixed in some drawing as well. Here are the majority of them:

The Very First Large Scale Map I Created- Name Unknown

GALFIDORE ( my  second large scale map) 

Partially finished map of ARAGON








The City of Emmersea (in MYTHGAR)

The City of Highport ( in MYTHGAR)

Unfinished City of Malabar ( in MYTHGAR)

Unfinished City of Alitar ( in MYTHGAR) 

The City of Cathos (in YEARTH)

City of Cartha ( in The Midlands)





Threshian Spheres



The Skyrealm of Valtar

Dreken Plains Galley

Temple of the Purple Sage


The Chamber of Thought at Stonereach

The Standing Stones

Temple of the Stars

Castle Thrax



  1. oh my god, you are one hell of a cartographer.

    You sort of remind me of a character from a certain RPG that was obsessed with trains... except it's maps this time lol.

    Honestly that is a fantastic collection and you have some serious skills. I would honestly be so happy to have such awesome maps in my d&d campaigns.

  2. That's a mighty impressive collection! Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Impressive. Most impressive!

    I recently picked up a bunch of Judges Guild speia coloured hex maps. Once BMII is out the door I look forward to mapping with them and do more outdoor hex crawling in future campaigns.

  4. Bro. Cadfael: Oh my god Tom! That is an insane amount of mapping. What percentage has ever been explored by adventurers?

    1. LOL very little- most of them are just playgrounds for my imagination I guess you could say.

    2. Most DMs' maps are, I expect. That's a very good way to put it.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks. I need to get my ass in gear and work on some more its been a few years since I worked on some world maps

  6. My word you do a lot of scribbling. These are great for the shear fact that there are like a billion of them :) Tell me you're on http://cartographersguild.com/ If you're not you should be.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I dont know that site but will check it out

  7. Hey Tom - Agree with Realmwright, love your map. Definitely join the cartographers' guild - we run the entire range from hobbyists (like myself) to industry professionals :-)

    I'd really love to see you do some of these in an electronic format. Tabor is perhaps my favorite but it's so hard to choose!

  8. Maps, not map! I fail at proof reading.

  9. Wow! Found this post randomly, and here I find a brother cartographer with the same horrible, sad disease... Cartographicus Maximus, the absolute need to draw map after map after map...

    I see that we even went through many of the same styles, likely around the same time. We also seem to have started playing at the same time and the same age, and had many of the same influences. I see Fenlon, Eddings, Moorcock, the Gazetteers, Judges Guild... all sorts of styles, always building on one another.

    I see that you found one of my maps, Rhadamanthia... glad you liked it! You should check out my new maps of the Olden Lands. I think they will be right up your alley!

  10. Tom,

    I just stumbled on this blog. I love your maps, they are beautiful. Do you just do hand drawn work or have you looked into programs like Campaign Cartographer or Dunjinni?

    1. Well Ive never tried Campaign Cartographer- though Id like to give it a shot to see how I can apply some of my maps to get that manufactured old school map feel. Im very tacitile I like the physical aspect of developing my maps and dungeons weather it be my models or my hand drawn maps. There is something more rewarding to me when I create something using models, pencils, paper, etc that I think would be lost in the process. For me its often a form of creative escapism.