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"Software For Making Scenario Maps" Topic

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1,882 hits since 11 Nov 2012
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John Thomas8 Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2012 10:57 p.m. PST

What's everyone using to make printable scenario maps? Either for including in a player handout or designing them?

Thanks in advance.

normsmith Inactive Member11 Nov 2012 11:20 p.m. PST

There is a commercial program called Cartographer which seems popular.

I use Serif DrawPlus x4 which is a good value alternative to something like CorelDraw for general stuff. I also have a (cheap) pen and tablet though I have not really ever found it essential.

At Consimworld (for boardgamers) there is a map makers topic folder and atthe top of the folder page are several useful links.

here is the folder link link

John Thomas8 Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2012 11:46 p.m. PST

Thanks normsmith

Ben Lacy Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Nov 2012 3:44 a.m. PST

It's Pro Fantasy.

freewargamesrules12 Nov 2012 7:46 a.m. PST

For simple hex maps i use BME (Battletech map Editor) simple to use but very limited maps.


Marcus Maximus12 Nov 2012 8:20 a.m. PST

Pro-fantasy is very nice indeed but a luxury piece of software as it is quite pricey….

John Thomas8 Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2012 8:33 a.m. PST

I like the looks of ProFantasy, but it'll be 10 years before I sell enough copies of my supplement to break even. Not quite practical enough.

Thanks, though.

SpaceCudet Inactive Member12 Nov 2012 10:39 a.m. PST

I wrote a map app a while a go. It's in need of an update but the current release is usable. It's at

Here's an example map drawn in the unreleased version I use:

If interested I can get the updated version ready and uploaded pretty quickly.

Henrix12 Nov 2012 2:08 p.m. PST

The Profantasy programs are very good, if pricey.
The main disadvantage is that it takes quite a bit of practice to get the hang of them.

What sort of maps are you looking for?

Dundjinni might be what you're looking for
Not free, but easy to use. RPG scenario maps are what it does best.

Fractal Mapper is rather like Campaign Cartographer, but less flashy. A little easier to use.

AutoREALM is a free program. Haven't looked at it for a long while, but it was fairly easy to use. And free is good.

John Thomas8 Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2012 7:05 p.m. PST

I'm writing a scenario supplement book for a rule set and need maps to illustrate it.

Gonsalvo12 Nov 2012 7:26 p.m. PST

Battle Chonicher would work OK, I think… and it is free! Here's a sample map from a game we're running in a few days:


It takes some practice to get used to, but after that it is pretty smooth. The only cavaeat that I would have, now that I've worked with it, would be to NOT use it's labeling function, but rather apply your own labels to the exported files in MSPaint or similar, to preserve legibility.

For my own scenario book, I just drew the maps in MS Paint. A bit time consuming, and looks computer generated, but clean and clear. Here's an example from my blog, not one of the maps in the book, but the same technique/style:

Terrain Map:


Deployment Map:


Good luck!


John Thomas8 Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2012 5:49 a.m. PST

Nice work, thanks to everybody who responded.

Sloth1963 Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2012 7:18 a.m. PST

Space Cudet,

Looks like a pretty nifty program. I, for one, would love to give it try.


Personal logo Ironwolf Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2013 12:38 a.m. PST

We searched high and low for a program that would do the above maps but with a 3D (birds eye view) look to it. Instead of looking straight down the map would look like you are viewing the buildings and terrian from an angle.

Never did find one, so had a person make the buildings and hills to fit what we needed.

pellen17 Jan 2013 12:03 p.m. PST

Saw some tutorials for making terrain in Blender 3D, but it is a quite advanced appication you need much work with to get good results.

pellen17 Jan 2013 12:09 p.m. PST

I saw on the Tiled mailing list today they have a new version out soon with new features to define terrain types and what tiles to use for transitions between terrain types and automatic random tile selection. Looks very useful even though I would like to see hex support as well (exists only in some old unofficial Tiled branch).

Thunderman Inactive Member18 Jan 2013 1:41 p.m. PST

I tend to use Hexographer ( ) for both my overworld maps and the rare town map I make. They have a free online version which is handy.

Example hex map I made with it:

Full size

Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2013 2:02 p.m. PST

Thunderman, how user friendly is the program? My only experience is with game-mapper from imagine image multimedia, have you ever used it and if so how does it compare to that or campaign cartographer?

Thanks – Allen

Thunderman Inactive Member18 Jan 2013 3:09 p.m. PST

Hmm I haven't used Campaign Cartographer so I can't comment unfortunately. But for hex maps I've found Hexographer to be simple enough. You set the hex map size, then just choose different hex brushes and fill in the map however you want. You can add features on top of that, text, layers, hand drawn lines, etc. The "scenario level" maps for villages with houses and the like are basically the same idea, except you're placing premade graphics instead of features.

Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2013 3:35 p.m. PST

Thanks for the info, I may give it a shot. I have been looking for something new.


Thunderman Inactive Member18 Jan 2013 3:51 p.m. PST

Yeah definitely worth considering. Like I said they have a free version available, so if you have Java setup in your browser you can just go to link to try it out.

custosarmorum Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2013 9:03 p.m. PST

Is there a version of battle chronicler, mappingboard, or something similar that will run on OS X? I am looking for something to draw scenario maps.


pellen11 Feb 2013 11:49 p.m. PST

I have used Inkscape and Tiled to make maps in OSX.

custosarmorum Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2013 8:01 a.m. PST


Thanks for the hints. I downloaded Tiled which look promising. I have not, however, been able to figure out how to find/generate tilesets to make a map like this: link Do you have any advice?


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