GMJ 156: DMG Chapter 1: Mapping Your Campaign

Lex continues his exploration of the DMG with a discussion of creating maps for your campaign and world. He discusses the bottom-up and top-down approaches to mapping, giving some pros and cons of each. He also considers what to do if you don't have any skills with mapping and provides some campaign map resources to help you with your campaign and world.

Call the Game Master's Journey voice mail: 951-GMJ-LEX1 (951-465-5391)

Check out Lex's Tales from the Yawning Portal Campaign

Lex's Series on the Dungeon Master's Guide

Episode 151: DMG Introduction - Know Your Players

Episode 152: DMG Chapter 1 - A World of Your Own

Episode 154: DMG Chapter 1 - Gods of Your World

Episode 155: DMG Chapter 1 - Developing Gods & Pantheons for Your World

Lex's Series on the Player's Handbook

Episode 137: PHB Prelude through Chapter 4

Episode 138: PHB Chapter 5 - Equipment

Episode 139: PHB Chapter 6 - Multiclassing & Feats

Episode 140: PHB Chapter 7 - Ability Scores

Episode 142: PHB Chapter 8 - Adventuring part 1

Episode 143: PHB Chapter 8 - Adventuring part 2

Episode 145: PHB Chapter 9 - Combat

Episode 146: PHB Chapter 10 & Appendices - Spellcasting, Conditions & Exhaustion

Recommended Previous Worldbuilding Episodes:

Episode 127: Adventuring in the Wilds of Primordia

Episode 128: Primordia Q&A

Episode 130: Improving Your World Through Revision

Episode 152: A World of Your Own

Episode 154: Gods of Your World

Episode 155: Developing Gods & Pantheons for Your World


Bottom-up versus top-down approaches to worldbuilding and mapping

Avoiding worldbuilder’s disease

Province scale maps

Kingdom scale maps

Continent scale maps

Using the different scales together

What to do if you don’t have the talent or skills for map-making—making a “blob map”

Cartography Resources

You can learn everything you need to know about cartography at the Cartographers' Guild. The have tons of resources including tutorials and advice on all types of cartography, whether you make your maps by hand or use software. 

You can download blank, printable province, kingdom and continent scale hex paper from the Bag of Holding blog. These are the same scales recommended by the DMG.

The province scale map has 1-mile hexes with 6-mile kingdom scale hexes overlaid.

The kingdom scale map has 6-mile hexes with 60-mile continent scale hexes overlaid.

The continent scale map has 60-mile hexes.

You can use the free program, Hexographer, to make crude digital hex maps.

You can use Campaign Cartographer to create more attractive hex maps, but the software isn't free and has a rather steep learning curve. 

Get the beautiful Numenera maps to use in your game, and here is yet another pdf of Numenera Maps. 

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