Bard's Gate

Here's a piece of my ongoing re-work of Bard's Gate. This section is Market Way with a piece of Merchant's Way to the south and Grocer's Plaza to the north. It's about 95% faithful to the original layout. The main difference between this and original is I've identified heights of buildings -- gray is 1-story, red is 2-story and blue is 3-story.

Mordiggian's picture

Thanks. Looks great!

Here's the above map viewed at night.  I'm aiming for an approximate light/shadow overview for nighttime adventuring. Lots and lots and lots of lights still to place.  Eventually I'll have a dragon's eye view from above showing the city lights at night.I still have a LOT of houses to draw though....

'Tis becoming more challenging than anticipated. Scale is wonky. And while some businesses are detailed and come with maps...not a single one of the detailed maps match the city map. I'm leaning toward the floorplans and building descriptions as being accurate and correcting my map accordingly. For instance, B1 is described as having a walkway between the towers for instance which doesn't match either the artist rendering or the BG map.

Love the Frog God material, but ahhhh the joys of multiple authors and artists.  :)  All the better to tackle this as my weekend project to really delve into Campaign Cartographer and to really immerse myself in Bard's Gate. I'm hoping these issues are addressed with the next redo for the Lost Lands.

michaelsandar's picture

Very cool!

brvheart's picture

Not sure they had someone in charge of consistency back then. I think that is one of Skeeter's many hats these days. It is not as easy as it may seem. I tried doing that for JG when I was involved. With many hands involved you can't always catch everything!
I am curious what map program you are using? These are great! Also the one of Fairhill.

I'm using Campaign Cartographer. My goal with Bard's Gate is to establish a consistent look/feel that I can use for other locations I map. Bard's Gate is really nice for this as it has lots of water, canals, a prominent hill and distinctive neighborhoods.

I feel for Skeeter. He's got a huge task on his hands keeping so many different sources, authors, artists and versions in alignment. Oy vey! I'll be taking some artistic license so I can establish a consistent scale and from there some buildings may need to grow/move to fit what appears to be the intent.

brvheart's picture

I think my version of CC is rather out of date as it was the original. Never used it much. Prefered Corel Draw.

Another view as the drawing progresses....  This is colored by height (darker is taller) and district. Colored in CSotIO building blocks. I considered highlighting prominent or named buildings but I think this will become my player view and will have labels removed.

Whoah! Someone stole Grocer's Plaza! Guards!!!

*mumble mumble stupid delete mumble*

The Hill is starting to take shape and most buildings are in place for the Temple and Guild Districts. The Wizard's Guild is described as "...housed in this ominous walled tower complex" which wasn't what the map depicted so liberties have been taken. Likewise, lots of open areas just begging for trees on the Hill.... The Bridge is probably next to define the islands a bit.

Omote's picture

Extraordinary work! 


Placing each building by hand really drives home building size and population density in the various parts of town. The Hill went super quick due to large lots while the Bridge District is dragging along. Lots of smaller two-story and three-story buildings mixed with huge warehouses along the Old Docks make it a crowded space. And I have to wonder what the priests knew that kept them from claiming The Hill for their temples.... 

Now that I've settled on a scale, some of the towers look waaaay out or proportion. King's Bridge I'll keep as originally being tower keeps but the docks will likely have smaller, uniform towers before I'm done.

I've started a change log so I can keep track of where I deviate from canon. Adjustments/changes to original map:

  • Resized M8 to match floorplan dimensions
  • Resized G19, added wall and "a cluster of towers" to match description
  • Resized OT1 to match floorplan dimensions
  • Resized OT9 as it is was the largest building in Bard's Gate
  • Resized T1 and redrew shape to match description
  • Swapped K3 and K6 based upon descriptions
  • Resized B3 and redrew shape to match description
  • Resized B4 and redrew shape to match description
  • Added moat to tower SW of King's Bridge in OT and labeled it Irtep's Tower per Quests of Doom adventure "Irtep's Dish"
  • Added trees where logical

The colored view showing districts and roof heights works better for the eagle's eye view. Close-ups of a few buildings looks better with tile roofs.

Omote's picture

Another good update sir!  As one who runs adventures almost exclusively in Bard's Gate, and the Lyre Valley region, this map has certainly inspired me to create more for the City of Song!  Great stuff AEIOU>Y.  I look forward to every update you post.


Thank you for the kind words.I'm making reasonable progress with the Old Docks finished.

If you haven't picked up Quests of Doom, Irtep's Dish looks like an interesting bit of investigation and playfulness. Clever title....

Omote's picture

I have not yet picked up the Quests of Doom, but intend to.  Are there new adventuring locales for Bard's Gate in QoD?


One adventure is set in BG. It references several NPC's and locales as you investigate a disappearance and wander around BG to find them. But I've only skimmed the various adventures for world locations to update Realm Works with; I really haven't gotten past the first few paragraphs of each and a quick look at each included map.

Omote's picture

Ok.  Thanks for the update.  I'm partial to the print version of the book over the .pdf, particularly for reading purposes.  I will probablu just pick it up early now.


Thieves' Quarter at 98%. Fortune's Fool redrawn and sized appropriately.

Now to finish the Bridge District, Turlin's Well, North Wall and Bard's College.

The shadows over the Thieves' Quarter from the taller buildings and greater housing density is really obvious when compared to the mostly two-story buildings of the Market District to the west.

Sooooooo close. Sorry for the long hiatus. Campaign Cartographer updated to CC3+ this spring and just recently updated the city module. I'd stopped work on this project until just recently while waiting for this upgrade as it is so much faster.

I'm also using one of the CC3 Annual packages for the city artwork and drawing tools. Unfortunately the Annuals haven't been converted to the new software yet. That's going to be the main thing holding me back but I hope to finish the map soon. I must say that I feel much more familiar with all the nooks and crannies of the city now. Lots of ideas come from drawing all of the buildings and alleyways and rooftop runs. And ambushes and shady locales and bolt holes....


Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

wayne.tripp08's picture

These are fantastic!  I hope you finish!  Thanks so much for sharing your work.

Thank you for the kind encouragement.

Life keeps getting in the way. And since I don't have immediate need for the map, this project gets worked on sporadically. It's not dead...I'm soooo close. I have about half of Turlin's Well to complete and a final pass over the rest of the city, then add lighting for a night view and it's complete.

I'd like to add in Stable's Row and Tent City somehow.  But they're a bit of a sprawl....

Close enough to call it finished. I could tweak things forever and one of these days I'll tackle the area outside the walls. Please note that I've changed the shape of several buildings to correspond with their floorplans in the Bard's Gate supplement so this is not totally true to the original. This was drawn from scratch but the layout and content and inspiration is 100% Necromancer/FGG. I'll pull down if requested. Enjoy!

wayne.tripp08's picture

Absolutely amazing!  I've been upgrading CC for years and I always say, this time I'll learn how to use it but I never seem to get it.  I am amazed and jealous of your skills.  I would really like to be able to use CC3+ even half as well as you've done!

Again, thanks for sharing!

Omote's picture

I just wrapped up a 3+ year campaign set in Bard's Gate.  When I decide to revisit the City of Song in the coming months, I am going to use your beautiful maps for my campaign.  Thank you!


Stunning maps! Adorable! 

Are you getting into Endhome? 

Or getting FGG to hire you? :D

Thank you Omote and TheMedusa and everyone else. You both make me smile.

I've considered mapping Endhome. But I think a series of hamlets and villages and communities since there are probably a few in each 50-mile hex. I thought a recent FGG comparison to The Witcher was very apt and the smattering of micro communities that make up the infrastructure for larger ones is a missing resource. Now to find the time....

For Bard's Gate, I'd really like to add a grid and then identify all of the buildings sort of like FGG did for a small section of Remballo recently or maybe like CSotIO.  Add in people and occupations for each building with minimal crunch, a little flavor, sometimes a paragraph or two and a one-liner adventure hook for some of them. Now to find the time....

Great ideas! Both about the smaller villages etc, that there will be a lot of in each 50 mile hex, and that means that some good maps of different ones would be very useful! 

Also a VERY good idea about "stocking" out a part of the city of Bard's Gate!