Fantasy books or novels are the perfect vehicle for a romantic’s entry into the unrealized, mystical potentials of the world. Works of literary fantasy fiction contain thoughtful, focused, and complex maps. These fantasy maps become tools that help the reader navigate such transcendental realms with ease.
To further understand the background of central characters in fantasy games and novels, the reader must know where and how they move forward in their respective journeys. Fantasy maps are exactly those documented charters that trace the “where’s” and the “how’s” of a fictional world. Now they constitute an entire genre of their own.
Fantasy maps are testaments of the boundless creativity of the human mind. They first conjure geographical abstractions and then impart topographical credibility.
Here are a few of the most inspirational fantasy maps that have brought us famous imaginary worlds over the years.
L. Frank Baum’s “Land of Oz”
L. Frank Baum’s cartographical representation of Oz is one of the early predecessors of fantasy maps and also considered to be one of the best. Baum’s “Tik Tok of Oz” was the first to feature the vibrant and mazelike map of Oz before Tolkien’s “Mirkwood Forest”. It is where “East” and “West” interchange in the compass.
Map of The Lands Beyond
In “The Phantom of Tollbooth”, the boy named Milo transported himself to the “Kingdom of Wisdom” by accident. Milo received a magical tollbooth and drove through the strange land of imageries, idioms, and games in his toy car.
C.S Lewis’s Narnia offers a place of relief in a war-torn world, from which the protagonists are eager to escape. Narnia is a land of superlative fantasy, filled with shiny lights, talking animals, and chilly winters. The magical gateway was found at the back of a nondescript wardrobe. Narnia is a land of pastoral bliss, offering a rich visual of nature, aiding the wide-eyed reader’s imaginative journey across seven books.
The Marauder’s Map
As the title of this fantasy map suggests, the map serves the wild ambitions of larrikin marauders, i.e. to raid the well-kept secrets of Hogwarts castle.
The Map enticed troublemakers towards everything out-of-bounds, from dungeon monsters to secret trapdoors. Also, it helped in weaseling themselves out of many magical dangers.
World of Greyhawk
The World of Greyhawk from “Dungeons and Dragons” is intricately detailed. This D&D fantasy map came in a poster-sized format, which is perfect for bedroom walls. This allows young fans to hang the map next to the posters of their favorite bands.
Overworld Maps from the Realm of Hyrule
The world of Hyrule has been exquisitely mapped out for “The Legend of Zelda” fans. It is full of certain archetypal elements, although lacking contemporary details. Its retro renderings allow players to locate bridges, cross rivers, and interact with other characters.
Lord of the Rings has a defining place in the history of imaginary map production. J.R.R. Tolkien was a genius in creating a fictional world. He created dialects for his races and developed a world so itemized, that many individuals have created their own guides for it over the decades. This amazing guide traverses the whole of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings world. The hero’s uncle, Bilbo Baggins, drew his own portrayal of this domain, known as the “Middle Earth”, after his adventures with many mythical entities like dwarves and other fantastic creatures.
Many of us grew up with Dungeons and Dragons, and immersed ourselves in the exploration of the Forgotten Realms. Its setting has inspired various dream books and games since its founding by game designer, Ed Greenwood, in 1967. The majority of the activities happen in the mainland of Faerûn. If you adhere to a solitary landmass, you will need a very creative mind to monitor the topography. It is truly its own world, and there are some exquisite guides to help players along the way, and the popularity of this creative game has not waned.
Erathia, Heroes of Might and Magic 7
Liberty City, GTA 3
Narnia, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
World of Dark Souls 2
World of Dark Souls 1
Amestris, Full Metal Alchemis
Minas Tirith, Lord of the Rings
Rohan, Lord of the Rings
Hithaeglir, Lord of the Rings
Harlind, Lord of the Rings
Gondor, Lord of the Rings
King’s Landing, A Song of Ice and Fire/GoT
Arnor, Lord of the Rings
Middle Earth, Lord of the Rings
The Land of Ooo, Adventure Time
You just had to follow the damn train CJ
The Old World, Warhammer
The Princess Bride world
Hyboria, Conan The Barbarian
Northern Realms, Witcher 3
Slaver’s Bay, A Song of Ice and Fire/GoT
The Known World, A Song of Ice and Fire/GoT
Free Cities, A Song of Ice and Fire/GoT
Essos, A Song of Ice and Fire/GoT
Dothraki Sea, A Song of Ice and Fire/GoT
Braavos, A Song of Ice and Fire/GoT
Beyond the Wall, A Song of Ice and Fire/GoT
World of Darkness, Zelda: A Link to the Past
World of White, Zelda: A Link to the Past
Cursed City of Praag, Warhammer
Secret of Mana
World of Balance, Final Fantasy 3(6)
World of Ruin, Final Fantasy 3(6)
The Island of Sodor, Thomas the Tank Engine
Tatooine, Star Trek
Oxford, His Dark Materials
Neverland, Peter Pan
Imperium Nihilus, Warhammer
Hyborian, Conan the Barbarian
The World of Conan the Barbarian
The Galaxy, Star Wars
The Verse, Firefly
Roshar, The Stormlight Archive
Circle of the World, The First Law
The World of the Wheel of Time
The Westlands, Wheel of Time
End-World, The Dark Tower
The Commonwealth, Fallout 4
Grand Theft Auto 1
Frontier: Elite 2
Sword Coast, Baldur’s Gate 1
Menzoberranzan, Forgotten Realms
Recommended Fantasy Map Maker Tools
Making a fantasy map is a great deal of fun, but it can be somewhat challenging. Dreamland-developers need visual guides, and a map-making software is an extraordinary tool to help create their desired fantasy world.
There are many tools for creating a map, regardless of your talent at drawing. This section will discuss the top 13 Fantasy Map Making tools available.
Donjon is an excellent site with a wide range of world structure apparatuses. The most popular is the Fractal World Generator. With this guide generator, Dungeon Masters can change the state of the guide, the measure of water to land, and ice to land. It can also change the shading.
The Fractal World Generator website features a dream name generator, a schedule generator, and an optional world generator that uses various instruments from the fractal world generator. It can spot names and hex matrices on the heads of the created guides.
Wonderdraft is a downloadable, one-time purchase, guide-making program, compatible with Windows 10, Linux, and MacOSX. You can use it to create stunning maps, with some great shading and visual customization choices. It can also auto generate landmasses for quicker guide making.
It allows you to make world guides, locale maps, and city maps. Megasploot, the creator of Wonderdraft, recently launched DungeonDraft, which is a prison planning program similar to DungeonFog. However, it’s not yet part of the Wonderdraft program.
Dave’s Mapper is a venture that was first created by programming engineer, David Millar. However, the current version uses input from 14 unique map makers.
It offers more than 1,900 tiles, including tiles for prisons, sinkholes, urban areas, towns, science fiction spaceships. Dave’s Mapper is absolutely free; all highlights of Dave’s Mapper are accessible without charge. However, If you enjoy the program and want to offer financial support, Millar stated that you may donate to a Crohn’s Disease infection establishment or help him with his medical expenses.
Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator
Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator specializes in making shaded world guide bases. This tool is perfect for creating a zoomed-out world guide or nation base. The menu button on the left contains a wide range of customization alternatives for the produced shape.
Tapping on a book name or produced symbol allows you to change its alternatives, and move it without reservations. It additionally creates arbitrary data about the focal point. There’s also a subreddit available to elp producers learn how to use it.
Inkarnate is a program you can use for creating a map. It claims to work on any platform provided you have web access. It has a restricted version with around 100 guide resources, but the full version offers far more.
Inkarnate is a guide developer that allows producers to draw their own land masses. They can customize them with various shades, stamps like trees or manors, and scaffolds like spot text on the guide. These are possible in a square framework that is useful for creating a straightforward fight map. This tool also has free structure or hex plans as alternatives.
Inkarnate guarantees a wide range of styles and advantages, including Elven, Dwarvish and Orcish resources. These are useful to TTRPG GMs who are making maps for games like Dungeons and Dragons. It also has archaic dream settings, so dream writers can compose middle ages or renaissance style dreams.
Mipui is a free open-source venture, and an excellent guidemaking tool with straightforward, fool-proof tiles, making them a popular choice for DMs..
It also has many accommodation highlights. For example, it allows you to fix or re-try an activity that you performed by accident, and resize the lattice without erasing the content. It also lets you share your guides with others and team up over the Internet. Moreover, Mipui saves your work in cloud storage at regular intervals, which prevents you from losing your guides.
Campaign Cartographer 3
Mission Cartographer is a downloadable guidemaking program made by ProFantasy Software. It runs on any advanced PC with Microsoft Windows 10, 8 (and 8.1), Windows 7, Vista, XP, or 2000, except for Mac or Linux. It’s an old program, and the UI is quite dated. However, it is reminiscent of MS Paint, with similar functions that can be quite nostalgic.
Mission Cartographer allows you to only make world and locale maps. They have other guide-making programs, and you can purchase (City Designer and Dungeon Designer) to create Cities and Dungeons or Scenes. However, they are not part of Campaign Cartographer. You can also browse many various preset styles on this program.
Fantasy Map Builder
Dream Map Builder is an online tool that lets you show your guides to your players during a game, without uncovering all its details. After constructing the guide in the Map Builder, the Map Viewer will allow you to show your guide to your clients on a website page that is completely zoomable and scrollable.
Dream Map Builder is easy to use. This tool supplies maps utilizing the preset tiles in the Map Builder. They are the Grid and Tile levels. You can also create high-level prisons, square by square, with a couple of mouse clicks. Furthermore, you can add any images from the web to the guide. The entirety of the rooms will remain hidden in the Map Viewer until you click them.
Beaglemage Fantasy Map Generator
Beaglemage Fantasy Map Generator is Open Source and downloadable from GitHub. Using Text Wrangler it’s easy to expand generated names, as well as to insert and change images. However, generating coastlines can be confusing. This is a great dream map generator for someone with a background in Python. It is ready to code into your very own dream map making instrument.
The DGNFog is an excellent prison creation program for dream games. This planning program works perfectly for prison creeping amidst the fog of war. The essence of this product is the ability for your players to be unaware of their surroundings.t It accompanies some Game Master notes so you can monitor the contents of each room and its depictions.
This is a great tool to use if you are searching for thin passages and large stays with furniture, sculptures, hidden entrances, and flights of stairs. The interface is uncomplicated with many free-form options.
Worldspinner enables you to create a whole dreamland very quickly. Each mainland, island, ocean, woods, desert, and country is clearly visible.
Many urban areas and focal points add depth to the created world. You can investigate them alongside your players, or include or change any that you wish.
Pick any piece of your reality, pick a style, and Worldspinner can be your guide, without the need for different instruments or imaginative aptitudes.
Watabou’s Medieval Fantasy City Generator
Watabou’s Medieval Fantasy City Generator is an exceptionally helpful tool, producing a clear city base. You can alter the texts, but you can’t set it in place (as it is randomized by seed and a twist device). This generator is regularly updated, and is a great tool to visualize the desired shape and size of your dream city.
Ending thoughts on fantasy maps and their styles
The purpose of a fantasy map is to guide the readers and players in an imaginary world.
Fantasy novels’ vivid detail often requires a guide to track the adventures and journeys therein, and so too with the online versions.. A guide brings fun along with the emblems, performers, genealogies, dialects, and other paraphernalia that are intrinsic to the world of fantasy. For some aficionados, creating new guidestyles can even enhance their perspective of reality.
If you liked this article about fantasy maps, you should also check out this article with map illustration examples.
We also wrote about a few related subjects like the map elements, map vector, what is a vector map, interactive maps, the choropleth map and how to make one, thematic map examples, statistical maps, and all the types of maps out there.
I take it you like maps as well so make sure to check out MapSVG, a great WordPress maps plugin you should check out.