Re: [nbos] [FM 8] : Eberron Core Map
"Christopher Rodrigues Macias"
Fri Jul 13th, 2007
Thanks heaps, Joe. I will, personally, be laying to rest any Friday the 13th superstitions. Not only did I have a great day, but when I got home I found your email, which just made my whole week!

You're right, though, IMHO. There aren't enough 'how to' resources for FM. In part I think this is because it is much easier to use for 'casual' work, especially when compared to its main competition, Campaign Cartographer.

CC has a big community who have produced a lot of support material, but in part this is out of necessity. The learning CC curve is all but vertical, due to its FastCAD roots. ProFantasy is *still* in denial about just how big a deterrent it is to have to learn the CAD interaction model (which is just a horrid legacy of pre-Mac/Windows user interface design) so I doubt this will ever be fixed.

I have to say that I personally prefer the CC3 symbols to those shipped with FM, but this is personal taste. FM symbols have always leaned heavily toward the pseudo-medieval hand-drawn look, whereas CC3 symbols are more colourful and are more in line with the map artwork found in modern fantasy novels and roleplaying supplements. I'm an old roleplayer, and I have enough disposable income that I can afford to buy the CC3 crossgrade just so I can use the art in FM, but that would be a luxury for many people. The new "battlemap" images in FM8, the inclusion of png support since FM7, and the forthcoming re-release of the CSUAC portfolio specifically for FM8 is fabulous news, and together I think these remove one of the key reasons why people might have preferred CC3, other than familiarity.

But I digress...

I think we, as a user community, do need to make a better effort to share tips and techniques. I'm experimenting with FM8 right now, and I can already see several areas where it would make some things I did on the Eberron map *much* easier. If (emphasis on the 'if' here) I have the time, I might start contributing some 'how to' tips to the mailing list. I hope others will do the same so I can learn from them.

Down the road maybe we can collect these into an on-line manual of some sort, but that's getting ahead of things. At the moment we just need to do a better job of sharing what we know. The Astro 2 users have been *very* active in this regard, so I kind of feel like we're not living up to their standards!

Time to start giving back, people. Just because FM is 'easier than CC' doesn't mean it's 'easy'!


P.S. I'm already plotting how to convince Ed to adopt the 'ribbon' interface from Office 2007. Damn it's slick. Perfect for complex programs with lots of options, like FM.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Joe Frazier, Jr
Sent: Friday, 13 July 2007 2:13 PM
Subject: [nbos] [FM 8] : Eberron Core Map

I would like to give "props" to Christopher Rodrigues Macias for the great job on the Eberron map. I have had the map several months and took a few casual glances, but I just starting looking closely at the
way it was built yesterday. I have to say that you have used some
great techniques that I plan to implement in my rebuilding of my MGM's game setting as soon as I have time.

With that in mind, I have noticed that there are not a lot of end user created maps uploaded to the site, nor are there any (that I could find)
end user tutorials specific to making maps in Fractal Mapper. Does any
one know of any such sites for tips/tricks for people who prefer to use FM vs CC? I would love to see something like this from Christopher and/or anyone else who is up for a few hours of imparting some sage advice to new(er) map makers or those with not quit as much artistic talent (but might be able to sufficiently fake it with good directions).


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