Sneak Peek At Ghosts of Saltmarsh Maps
  • Sneak Peek At Ghosts of Saltmarsh Maps


    Here's a sneak peek at some of the maps to be found in the upcoming D&D Ghosts of Saltmarsh, courtesy of WotC's Twitch stream.





    And Dyson Logos, one of the cartographers for the book, has shared some of his work which will be appearing!





    Comments 85 Comments
    1. Paul Farquhar's Avatar
      Paul Farquhar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
      Huh. That is an interesting question. If you wanted to place this in the Sword Coast, where would you?

      North west of Luskan, or on the bay south of Candlekeep, or on one of the islands, such as Mintarn.

      You could always cross out the "N" and change the orientation though.
    1. WaterRabbit -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
      Huh. That is an interesting question. If you wanted to place this in the Sword Coast, where would you?
      I renamed it and use it as Leilon.
    1. Tom B1's Avatar
      Tom B1 -
      As to FR placement: Keep in mind, most of the campaign map rivers are a fair size. There are undoubtedly others and the one in the Saltmarsh map doesn't look huge.

      As to colour maps: Sorry, not in favour. I like clean references. Even if I'm on a VTT, but doubly so if I'm laying the thing on the table.

      The real issue with many premade dungeon cardstock products (photopaper) is that artists need to put extra flourishes on every last little tile or photo map.... skeletons, broken swords or carts, little magical or lighting flourishes... all of which may be entirely out of place for where I want to use them.

      I have a lot of Paizo, WotC and other tilesets of various sorts and a good 20% of them are contaminated with extraneous junk. A lot of the time, my groups are off in the deep woods, mountains, or the like. Finding giant skeletons, strange moai statues or odd magical lighting is just something that guts engagement when that isn't part of the product.

      So, still in favour of information dense, black and white battle map presentation. If it is photo-real, there shouldn't be any little arty flourishes.

      And while I'm at it, some sort of loo is likely a requirement in castles and some inns. Some inns and many churches might have an outhouse, but castles likely require facilities as do some inns. Yet you rarely see any facilities (sometimes not een a kitchen) as designers are too busy sticking in all manner of other things while ignoring baseline requirements.

      That all said, U1 to U3 I've run and it formed a great part of a 20 year D&D campaign (20 real life years). One of the two brothers who help out the party (customs guys?) survived to become an adventurer in his own right (the other died). Great series for new or veteran players.
    1. muppetmuppet's Avatar
      muppetmuppet -
      Someone made u1 to 3 in neverwinter the online game using the foundry. No idea if they are still there and playable. I did play through some of it but it was a long time ago.
    1. Flexor the Mighty! -
      I find the black and white location maps, nice and clean without art textures under and all that jazz, to be far more useful in play myself. Or blue maps. For a dungeon map I don't need a lot of art on it that just clutters it, makes it harder to make notes, and add little to the game. Honestly I don't like any of the maps in any of the AP for 5e that I've bought for that reason. When you copy them they can get messier as well. For the larger maps like the town itself the artsy maps are OK, but even then it would be sweet if the modules had a nice clean b&w map as well.
    1. Rob Twohy's Avatar
      Rob Twohy -
      Dyson Logos is a fine artist, but is anyone else upset because we're paying $50 for BLACK and WHITE maps? WotC needs to tighten it up in my estimation.
    1. Demetrios1453's Avatar
      Demetrios1453 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rob Twohy View Post
      Dyson Logos is a fine artist, but is anyone else upset because we're paying $50 for BLACK and WHITE maps? WotC needs to tighten it up in my estimation.
      Not upset at all.

      I'm paying $50 for a lot of other content, and the color/style of the maps is immaterial as long as they are usable.
    1. Paul Farquhar's Avatar
      Paul Farquhar -
      I think the only way to make everyone happy is to include both black and white and colour versions of each map.
    1. Rob Twohy's Avatar
      Rob Twohy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Demetrios1453 View Post
      Not upset at all.

      I'm paying $50 for a lot of other content, and the color/style of the maps is immaterial as long as they are usable.
      Ugh. The fact that people AREN'T upset by this is UPSETTING! I will say I'm kind of bias tho... I do all my playing on the Fantasy Grounds VTT and having black and white maps just seems wrong. But I buy the books ($50) and I also buy the FG modules ($25) and the DnD Beyond version, so I'm in for $100 each time they release a book. I only really need the Fantasy Grounds version but I'm a freak and have to have it all, I just wish the maps were color.
    1. Flexor the Mighty! -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Farquhar View Post
      I think the only way to make everyone happy is to include both black and white and colour versions of each map.
      One artsy and more purely functional would be great.
    1. rredmond's Avatar
      rredmond -
      Interesting. Like the looks of those maps.
    1. Tom B1's Avatar
      Tom B1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rob Twohy View Post
      Ugh. The fact that people AREN'T upset by this is UPSETTING! I will say I'm kind of bias tho... I do all my playing on the Fantasy Grounds VTT and having black and white maps just seems wrong. But I buy the books ($50) and I also buy the FG modules ($25) and the DnD Beyond version, so I'm in for $100 each time they release a book. I only really need the Fantasy Grounds version but I'm a freak and have to have it all, I just wish the maps were color.
      I get some of your point - I looked at FG and DnDBeyond and both wanted me to pay an additional $30ish for PHB content (even though I had a hard copy PHB). I know there is work in conversions, but one hopes it isn't the same cost as all of the development and creativity in the original product. If they wanted $10, I would not have blinked. As it is, they got 0$ from me because I cannot afford to commit $100 every time a new book comes up (and that's $100 US, about $130 CAD).

      I've used MapTool and I had licenses for Grip iPC and another VTT I paid for (forget the name now - but I bought 4 licenses). One of the problems I've encountered is they (not sure if FG is the same) only support some games or some content of those games and the ability to add the full fledged support for new content is strictly something the original developers can provide and they are either way slow or just don't. So buying the paper books (or a PDF thereof) still means you've got content the VTTs don't support.

      I write code for a living. I know several ways one could make much more open data models and interfaces/APIs to let users add content to the software almost as easily as they could to the PnP game. But none of the developers for VTTs that want hefty fees tend to bother. And I am not able to afford FG monthly subscription any more than I can justify a monthly subscription to MS Office when an 8 year old version I own works for 100% of my needs.

      I have no issues with the game books including colour maps. I never use maps out of books directly because they aren't miniature sized. They should, by now, be releasing B&W and colour digital maps (and other game aids from products) when you buy the digital product. (And if you do it smart, with the right tools, you can probably easily reskin a floorplan from fancy to simple B&W)

      Ideally:
      - Print or POD version
      - PDF version with digital versions of all reference materials (B&W or easily printable and colourful for VTTs)
      - VTT packages with tokens and full VTT integration data

      If WotC was smart, they'd partner with VTT vendors so that you could buy these parts individually but if you bought more than one of the three categories, a discount would be applied (the author's input has already been remunerated).

      I like VTTs for distance gaming and I like B&W or easily printable for tabletop gaming. The books to me could be broken into an easily printable reference booklet and the larger 'arty' hardcover or softcover.

      One driver is artists like to be arty. And module designers want to try out layout and module design experiments. Creative people want to be creative. That instinct often overwhelms the understanding that end users need to be able to use the product.
    1. Rob Twohy's Avatar
      Rob Twohy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tom B1 View Post
      I get some of your point - I looked at FG and DnDBeyond and both wanted me to pay an additional $30ish for PHB content (even though I had a hard copy PHB). I know there is work in conversions, but one hopes it isn't the same cost as all of the development and creativity in the original product. If they wanted $10, I would not have blinked. As it is, they got 0$ from me because I cannot afford to commit $100 every time a new book comes up (and that's $100 US, about $130 CAD).

      I've used MapTool and I had licenses for Grip iPC and another VTT I paid for (forget the name now - but I bought 4 licenses). One of the problems I've encountered is they (not sure if FG is the same) only support some games or some content of those games and the ability to add the full fledged support for new content is strictly something the original developers can provide and they are either way slow or just don't. So buying the paper books (or a PDF thereof) still means you've got content the VTTs don't support.

      I write code for a living. I know several ways one could make much more open data models and interfaces/APIs to let users add content to the software almost as easily as they could to the PnP game. But none of the developers for VTTs that want hefty fees tend to bother. And I am not able to afford FG monthly subscription any more than I can justify a monthly subscription to MS Office when an 8 year old version I own works for 100% of my needs.

      I have no issues with the game books including colour maps. I never use maps out of books directly because they aren't miniature sized. They should, by now, be releasing B&W and colour digital maps (and other game aids from products) when you buy the digital product. (And if you do it smart, with the right tools, you can probably easily reskin a floorplan from fancy to simple B&W)

      Ideally:
      - Print or POD version
      - PDF version with digital versions of all reference materials (B&W or easily printable and colourful for VTTs)
      - VTT packages with tokens and full VTT integration data

      If WotC was smart, they'd partner with VTT vendors so that you could buy these parts individually but if you bought more than one of the three categories, a discount would be applied (the author's input has already been remunerated).

      I like VTTs for distance gaming and I like B&W or easily printable for tabletop gaming. The books to me could be broken into an easily printable reference booklet and the larger 'arty' hardcover or softcover.

      One driver is artists like to be arty. And module designers want to try out layout and module design experiments. Creative people want to be creative. That instinct often overwhelms the understanding that end users need to be able to use the product.
      Most people don't realize that it takes about 400-600 hours of work to convert the average WotC book into Fantasy Grounds format. Also, there is usually EXTRA stuff, like automated table and encounter makers, etc. Like fo rexample the Dungeon Master's Guide has an Item forge where you can combine (magic) items to make new items.

      Also, SmiteWorks (makers of FG) charges only about half the cover price of the book for the VTT version (which is a GREAT DEAL) and most of that money goes to WotC for the license anyway.
    1. Tom B1's Avatar
      Tom B1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rob Twohy View Post
      Most people don't realize that it takes about 400-600 hours of work to convert the average WotC book into Fantasy Grounds format. Also, there is usually EXTRA stuff, like automated table and encounter makers, etc. Like fo rexample the Dungeon Master's Guide has an Item forge where you can combine (magic) items to make new items.

      Also, SmiteWorks (makers of FG) charges only about half the cover price of the book for the VTT version (which is a GREAT DEAL) and most of that money goes to WotC for the license anyway.
      There's part of the issue: If they went about things differently, the amount of labour to integrate new things (especially those primarily relying on existing rules albeit in different combinations or with different flavour) would not be so lengthy. I have no doubt it could take that long for a VTT upgrade to support significant changes now. There are, however, things WotC could do in their development process that would allow them to distribute electronic artifacts (like databases of character construction, gear, magic items, spells, etc) simply as a fairly easy export. That same approach would vastly speed up creation of reference books by scripting. (I've done this on a military project - reference documentation needed a template then it just pulled all the particular reference data out into tables and sections based on export rules).

      D&D Beyond likely also pays a good chunk of the $30 for the PHB for licensing - their integration work is probably less than FG though.

      At the end of the day, it does not matter to me as a consumer (and not because I don't care, simply because of available budget) why a platform or its content cost significant chunks of $$$, it only matters that they do cost significant amounts. If I had $130 CAD to throw at each new book ($60-70 for the book, the rest for digital stuff, maybe even $150 CAD if I wanted a PDF of the book), I would not be that averse to paying it, but I don't. By having the price point they do, they price me and I'm sure others out of the market.

      When I started playing this game, a hardcover was $15 CAD (DMG $18) and modules were $8-10 CAD. Now hardcovers are $60-70 and modules are released as adventure paths for at least $50 CAD. That's a five fold increase in about 40 years. Real wage growth hasn't matched that.

      Frankly, I settle for cheaper production values (no fancy glossy pages, no super nice art, simple B&W maps and simple layout) a) because it is cleaner and often more usable at the table than the stuff in the expensive hardcovers and b) because I can't justify spending so much on the hardcovers. The creative content can be just as useful to me (I've met duds in both formats and great work in both formats).

      Ultimately, the best value to me is having a lot of different module offerings as each new campaign has a new setting and only some modules work in it. $100+ per module path would leave me with thousands of dollars sitting on the shelf, vs. a few hundred in the cheaper production values.

      I mostly want to steal segments of a module, good ideas, or use a particular single module that fits my games' geography or themes... whole paths are rarely followed.

      What WotC produces now, other than reference books, is of limited use to me. The older D&D modules were more useful as are some 3rd party publishers' output. Also note that even with the reference books, I still depend on DTRPG and DMsGuild contributors to produce useful versions of the reference material due to the hardcovers being too arty and the data needs reformatting for utility at the table.

      YMMV, but I'm not alone in wanting good ideas and relocatable modules with more modest production values. I do respect that others want other things, but I think WotC is letting a pool of money it could be capturing now go to other companies.
    1. Hussar's Avatar
      Hussar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rob Twohy View Post
      Ugh. The fact that people AREN'T upset by this is UPSETTING! I will say I'm kind of bias tho... I do all my playing on the Fantasy Grounds VTT and having black and white maps just seems wrong. But I buy the books ($50) and I also buy the FG modules ($25) and the DnD Beyond version, so I'm in for $100 each time they release a book. I only really need the Fantasy Grounds version but I'm a freak and have to have it all, I just wish the maps were color.
      Are you @Rob Twohy of DM's Guild? I've bought some of your stuff. Just let me say that I, for one, appreciate the great map artwork.
    1. oreofox's Avatar
      oreofox -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bolongo View Post
      Huh. I mean, they even have the artifacts typical of scanning an old copy (some dirt, weak lines, and the like).

      But if you say so.

      That's really disappointing, I agree.
      That's the way Dyson makes his maps.

      Honestly, I really do not like his maps. They aren't any different than what my lame butt can draw on graph paper. I prefer the Schley maps from previous adventures. Though, being completely honest, I prefer even more how Paizo does their maps overall. Of course, I typically do my D&D playing online.
    1. Hussar's Avatar
      Hussar -
      Funnily enough though, if you take the Dyson maps, and then colorize them, they look pretty darn good. I know the colorized versions of the Dragon Heist maps actually pop in a VTT.

      It's mostly just the plain black and white. It's a bit too minimalist on a virtual tabletop. OTOH, if I was printing these to use at the table, they'd be fantastic and far better than something like the Schley maps which would destroy my poor printer cartridge.
    1. oreofox's Avatar
      oreofox -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
      Funnily enough though, if you take the Dyson maps, and then colorize them, they look pretty darn good. I know the colorized versions of the Dragon Heist maps actually pop in a VTT.

      It's mostly just the plain black and white. It's a bit too minimalist on a virtual tabletop. OTOH, if I was printing these to use at the table, they'd be fantastic and far better than something like the Schley maps which would destroy my poor printer cartridge.
      I agree. For handouts, the Dyson maps are perfect. Especially if you don't want to take the time to copy them by hand. Much easier on the printer cartridges compared to the full color Schley maps. I am ignorant on what you mean by "colorized" Dyson map, though.
    1. Paul Farquhar's Avatar
      Paul Farquhar -
      Printing is the thing. Coloured ink is expensive, and, unless you invest in expensive paper too, produces less than satisfactory results. Black and white maps can be printed/photocopied cheaply with bottom-of-the-range equipment (even better than the original blue and white maps).
    1. Rob Twohy's Avatar
      Rob Twohy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
      Are you @Rob Twohy of DM's Guild? I've bought some of your stuff. Just let me say that I, for one, appreciate the great map artwork.
      I am THAT Rob Twohy yes, and THANX for your support. I appreciate that.
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