From Sketch To Print: Comparing Perkins & Schley's Maps For CURSE OF STRAHD

Curse of Strahd may be in many peoples' hands by now, but that doesn't stop us looking at Chris Perkins' map sketches for the adventure. We've seen several already, but I think this might be the best yet. This sketch map for Tsolenka Pass contains views from the side and from above and, frankly, is good enough to include in an adventure just as it is! Minor spoilers follow, of course.

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If you want to see how the final version came out, check out cartographer Mike Schley's map, which is what is included in the book. You can buy the print, as always, directly from the cartographer.



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Here are some of the previous maps (Perkins followed by Schley) which we've looked at over the past few weeks. It's really interesting to see the differences! I think it's worth noting that the quality and deal of Perkins' maps are significantly higher than average. See the bottom of the page for something from an adventure I published (which you can find on EN5ider) for the clear difference between his cartography skills and my own.


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As promised, I'll embarrass myself by showing some of my own mapping skills. My adventure TO SLAY A DRAGON (which is now available for 5th Edition as The Holdenshire Chronicles in EN5ider) contains maps, as you'd expect. Below are my maps, followed by the final versions by cartographer Sean Macdonald. I don't think anybody will disagree that Chris Perkins' sketches are a hundred times better than mine! Note, spoilers for The Holdenshire Chronicles.


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Russ Morrissey

Comments

Faenor

Explorer
Off topic, but I know I'll get eyes here, so I'm going to ask. I was looking at the maps of Ravenloft and reading the adventure text. I noticed there isn't a scale label on the map - or I couldn't find one anyway. I read in the teleport room text - the one with the brazier puzzle - it was described as 30 foot square, which would make each square 10'. Another spot I read a hallway description, I forget the length - but I think it worked out to be 5' squares. Am I missing something?
 

WackyAnne

Visitor
Off topic, but I know I'll get eyes here, so I'm going to ask. I was looking at the maps of Ravenloft and reading the adventure text. I noticed there isn't a scale label on the map - or I couldn't find one anyway. I read in the teleport room text - the one with the brazier puzzle - it was described as 30 foot square, which would make each square 10'. Another spot I read a hallway description, I forget the length - but I think it worked out to be 5' squares. Am I missing something?

Each of the maps shown here has the scale - square to 5' - written on it; and as I recall, that's been the same for most other maps I've seen. But I do know that with some of the larger scope maps, in the past, they did have each square as 10 feet. Do you have the book in hand? Unfortunately, I can't yet check the hardcopy for you. My FLGS, despite being a high tier WPN store, won't be getting them in until the regular release date, b/c it was much more expensive to get them that way than through a Canadian distributor like every other bookstore :/
 

Faenor

Explorer
Yeah. No scale on the ravenloft maps. Not that I could find. Maybe it's in the text somewhere? Either way, 5 or 10, there seemed to be a disagreement between the two text descriptions. The number of feet per square in one description was 5 and another was 10. 10 seemed to be right for the brazier room, it's supposed to be a big room to hold the brazier and the two iron golems, which was described as 30' square and was 3x3 on the map.
 

Faenor

Explorer
Oh, right, I was looking at the maps interspersed through the book. Makes sense - each piece is chopped out of the poster.
 

GX.Sigma

Visitor
Another amusing inconsistency between the book and the poster: On the poster, Map 2 is called "Walls of Ravenloft Ravenloft." So neither version is perfect.

Anyway, on topic: Perkins and Schley do great work, and they work great together. I hope to see more of this duo!
 

mach1.9pants

Adventurer
I prefer the sketches, the final versions are too clean and tidy! Not that they're bed by any stretch of the imagination
 

Jhaelen

Visitor
Chris Perkins' maps are incredibly detailed and well sketched. I was already greatly impressed by his drawing (and DMing!) skills when I'd watched the recorded sessions with the Robo Chicken guys.
I also like Mike Schley's style, though.
 
Yeah, Chris Perkins is definitely showing some artistic skills there. I wonder if we can give ourselves solace by saying that he has had a lot of practice over the years, preparing briefs for professional artists? :(
 

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