Finding other encounter and campaign maps for your RPG is as easy as a Google search, they say. However, rummaging through a few million maps and trying to research their individual copyrights might not be how you want to spend your time precious time.
And that’s where the cartographers on this list come in. For one, it’s a darn good bet the maps you’re looking for can be found on their sites. Secondly, having these cartographers bookmarked will save you from Google searching through maps until your eyes bleed. And lastly, the cartographers on this list are some of the best on the Internets.
Dyson has been tabletop gaming since 1979, and since 2009, has been posting all kinds of tabletop and RPG goodness to the Dyson’s Dodecahedron blog. The blog contains an extensive amount of content he’s created and written about, including RPG characters, character sheets, house rules, and even entire RPGs such as Geodesic Gnomes and A Flask Full of Gasoline.
But what Dyson is most known for are his superb RPG maps, which can be found in the Dyson’s Map Archive section of the blog. He has maps of dungeons, towns, cities, and wilderness locations. There are also special geomorphs and vertical maps, and maps that come with their very own fully-written adventures. Dyson has also compiled a long list of commercial maps that are released under a royalty-free Creative Commons license, and may be published for personal or commercial use. And if you would like to learn how to make your own maps in Dyson’s style, he has a handy Tutorials & Help section that explains his philosophy and design, along with the tools he uses for the trade.
Elven Tower is the RPG publishing site of Derek Ruiz, aka Derek Von Zarovich. Derek has been tabletop gaming since 2000, and now creates and writes his own fantasy RPG content, including outstanding fantasy maps.
Click on the Map Vault link to see the list of all the maps available. Elven Tower maps come in a balance of those with grids and those without. Ruiz has also written descriptions with the maps to help spark adventure and encounter ideas. Elven Tower maps are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, meaning they are free for personal (not commercial) use.
Mike Schley has been a professional RPG artist and cartographer since 2001. D&D players will recognize his work in 4th and 5th editions, including almost all maps of the Nentir Vale adventures, the Lost Mine of Phandelver, and Curse of Strahd. Schley also did The Shamutanti Hills UI map for Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! video game.
Schley’s maps include those drawn at the world, regional, city, village, and specific location levels. He also has poster scale battle maps (with grids), along with complete map bundles for official D&D adventures, such as Curse of Strahd, Legacy of the Crystal Shard, and Red Hand of Doom. Just click on the Shop link on the website to see and purchase any of Schley’s beautiful fantasy map prints and digital downloads.
Rue Ink is the website where illustrator and cartographer Deven Rue publishes her wonderful fantasy art. Rue has been an artist since the age of 12, and has been playing D&D since age 14. In 2009, she left the corporate world and became a full-time artist, and in 2017 launched her Patreon in support of her goal of providing “illustrations for all those talented creators out there producing an endless stream of adventures, campaigns, and more for the RPG community.”
Rue’s unique art style is splendidly represented through her maps, which include locations well-known in geek lore, such as Middle-earth, Skyrim, and the Sword Coast. She’s also drawn neutral-location fantasy maps, and maps that go specifically with the two fantasy campaign worlds she is in the process of creating. Beyond maps, Rue also creates handcrafted items, dabbles in photography, and writes stories, all which can be found on the site. And if you’re seriously wanting to get into fantasy cartography yourself, check out the $6 a month cartography course Rue created.
Any list on where to find the best fantasy RPG maps would be incomplete without listing Cartographer’s Guild. It gets an honorable mention here since it is the website to go to for RPG maps of every genre. Just be sure to check the artist copyrights of any maps you would like to use.
Where do you get your fantasy RPG maps from? Who is your favorite fantasy map cartographer? Are you in the business of making fantasy RPG maps? Share with us below in the comments!
Header Image Credit:Wizards of the Coast (Mike Schley)
Article Image Credits: Dyson Logos, Derek Ruiz, Wizards of the Coast (Mike Schley), Rue Ink