Game masters and world builders gather round today I bring you many free dnd map making tools. Hi everybody and welcome to solutionHow and thank you so much for joining me today this article that you’re reading today is solutionHow, I want to quickly thank my writers for their support you can join with them to make sure that you get more frequent article at a higher quality by going to solutionhow.com.
Now there are many free d&d map maker tools we’re gonna take an approach where we kind of start big and then slowly hone in to smaller and smaller scale.
D&D maps maker we will not be getting down to the dungeon scale in this one although at the end of the article, I will give some honorable mention to a couple of dungeon mapping tools so without further ado let’s begin with our very first tool the first tool, we’re going to be taking a look at today is donjon a lot of you are probably familiar with donjon.
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Online Map Making Tools
This is the list of best online dnd map making tools.
- Dave’s Mapper – fantasy and sci-fi map creator online (Find by solutionHow)
- Donjon – You can generate DnD map easily (Find by solutionHow)
- DunGen – free and high resolution Dungeon Generator, creates maps (Find by solutionHow) at 70px per tile and under 5mb to import directly into Roll20. Can now automatically generate Dynamic Lighting!
- DungeonFog– Vector-based online mapmaker (free & premium) shareable maps & export (Find by solutionHow)
- Dungeon Painter Online -by Pyromancer (Find by solutionHow)
- GM Friend – Hex Map Making Tool with subhexes and random generation (Find by solutionHow)
- HexTML – hex map maker with dnd submaps (Find by solutionHow)
- itch.io Medieval Fantasy City Generator dynamic city map generator (Find by solutionHow)
- Mipui – simple and fast grid-based mapper (Find by solutionHow)
- RPG MAP EDITOR II by deepnight (Find by solutionHow)
- Tiamat The Tile Mapper (Find by solutionHow)
- 5 Free Online Room Design Software – useful for modern games (Find by solutionHow)
D&D Map Making Software
- Worldographer Generate or create from scratch world/kingdom maps, city/village maps, and dungeon/battlemat maps (Find by solutionHow)
- Campaign Cartographer 3 Windows d&d map making software (Find by solutionHow)
- WonderDraft Beautiful map-making software for any x64 operating system (Windows 10, linux, MacOSX) (Find by solutionHow)
- Dungeon Painter Studio Steam (Find by solutionHow)
- MapForge – Windows/MacOS map making software (Find by solutionHow)
- misc list of other mapping software (Find by solutionHow)
- GIMP – GNU Image Manipulation Program – free alternative to PhotoShop (Find by solutionHow)
- Mapping with Gimp – Guide for making maps with GIMP (Find by solutionHow)
- http://www.obsidiandawn.com/category/brushes (Find by solutionHow)
- http://www.redmondpie.com/download-adobe-photoshop-cs2-for-free-legally-while-you-still-can/ (Find by solutionHow)
List of pages with free world/dungeon/historical/other maps that could be used in your games
Map sharing on Reddit:
- http://www.opengameart.org – Graphics, Sound Effects, etc (Find by solutionHow).
- https://www.textures.com (Find by solutionHow)
Tokens & such
- Creating your own battlemaps – a simple tutorial (Find by solutionHow)
- How to draw a map – excellent site for Painterly maps (Find by solutionHow)
- Dyson Logos – amazing sketched maps and tutorials (Find by solutionHow)
- Plexsoup on Youtube – Blender, Gimp, Inkscape, Roll20 (Find by solutionHow)
- Mapmaking on Reddit (Find by solutionHow)
- Cartographer’s Guild (Find by solutionHow)
Other Useful Links
- Game Resources (Find by solutionHow)
- Isometric Maps (Find by solutionHow)
- Mapping with Gimp (Find by solutionHow)
- Geomorphic Map Tiles (Find by solutionHow)
Map-Making Tools (Free)
- Inkarnate – Comprehensive in-browser map-making software (Find by solutionHow)
- Dungeon Fog – quick and easy high quality battle map creation (Find by solutionHow)
- FantasticMapper – Detailed Hex Mapping (Find by solutionHow)
- HexTML – World map creation using simple hexes (Find by solutionHow)
- Tiamat Tile Mapper (Find by solutionHow)
- MapForge Software (Find by solutionHow)
- WorldSpinner (Find by solutionHow)
- Mipui’s Map Maker – In-browser map tool (Find by solutionHow)
- Hobbyte – Isometric map-making software (Find by solutionHow)
- Pyromancers’ Dungeon Painter Online (Find by solutionHow)
- PyMapper – You can use your own assets to stitch maps together (Find by solutionHow)
- ANAmap RPG Map Editor (Find by solutionHow)
Map-Making Tools (Paid)
- Inkarnate Pro ($25/year or $5/mo) (Find by solutionHow)
- Wonderdraft ($19.99 USD) – Incredibly customizable maps (Find by solutionHow)
- ArkenForge Master Toolkit ($30 USD) – Make maps for Virtual Tabletops, or run it on a TV for use as a dynamic grid map with fog of war (Find by solutionHow)
- FlowScape ($10 USD) – create beautiful 3D maps easily that you can export as 2D battlemaps (Find by solutionHow)
- GenBrush ($14.20 USD) – Advanced realistic terrain creator. View as globe, add hex/square/heightmap overlay, and more (Find by solutionHow)
- Dungeon Painter Studio ($14.99 USD) (Find by solutionHow)
- Astral Tabletop Map Builder ($9.99/mo for assets) (Find by solutionHow)
- Campaign Cartographer 3 ($44.95 USD) (Find by solutionHow)
- Tutorials page (Find by solutionHow)
- Illwinter’s Floorplan Generator ($6.99 USD) (Find by solutionHow)
- Inkwell Ideas Software Shop (Find by solutionHow)
- Dungeonographer (Find by solutionHow)
- Hexographer (Find by solutionHow)
- Worldographer (AKA Hexographer II) (Find by solutionHow)
- Ortelius Professional Map-Making Software ($150/year or $400, FREE 5-month renewable education license) (Find by solutionHow)
Tools For Random Generators
- Watabou’s City Map Generator More rounded/organic, customizable
- Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator – Super detailed maps for lots of scenarios
- MapGen4 – Continents with advanced river, mountain, and coast generation
- City Map Generator Procedural, fractal-based on-the-fly generation.
- Inn Floorplan Generator
- Planet Generator
- Random Terrain generator (advanced coastal algorithm)
- (Stanford CS project) Polygon World Map generator
- Gozzys – Random Caves, Dungeons, and Wilderness
- City Map Generator More Square
- City Map Generator More organic
- Twitter @UnchartedAtlas – Randomly generated maps, posted every hour.
- [Google Drive Link] Map Collection
- [Google Drive Link] Another RPG Map Collection
- Dyson’s Dodecahedron free map archive
- David Rumsey Map Collection
- [2minutetabletop] BattleMaps
- Cartography Guild Tactical Maps
- More maps, unsorted
- Real City Maps throughout history
- Coastal Battlemaps
- [Google Image Search] Small Area Maps
- [Google Image Search] Large Area Maps
Notable Map Creators
- Mike Schley – Creator of maps for most official D&D modules
- Dyson Logos – Creator of maps for Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Dungeon of the Mad Mage
- Jared Blando – Another official map creator for Wizards of the Coast
- Blue Sword Games
- Rue Ink – Mapmaker for Critical Role
- Elven Tower Maps
- 2 Minute Tabletop
- Venatus Maps
- Dark Realm Maps
- Kosmic Dungeon Maps
- SkullFungus maps
- Miska’s Maps – Sci-Fi and more
It just has a wealth of resources for world builders and game masters just tons and tons of cool stuff, if you don’t know about the site you need to check out this site just click links and poke around and you’ll see so many amazing things that are incredibly useful, this one right here is the fractal world generator so this tool and a lot of the tools were looking at today are actually kind of random generators you could say we will get to one tool it’s a little more artistic in nature but a lot of these are just going to randomly generate good-looking maps and this.
I think is one that especially I like the way they look I like the coastlines on these maps you can mess with some of the settings here choose what percentage of water and ice what style you want and all this stuff but I’m just gonna go ahead this is the first one that popped up and we’re just gonna hit create and then it is going to work hard to put this globe into a map for us and there you have it so this is our globe now kind of rolled out flat, I think it makes really nice looking coastline so the way that I use this personally is I draw my own maps, I use these coastal as inspiration especially if I’m struggling to come up with shapes.
I think look good sometimes I’ll go to something like this and I immediately latch on to a certain point and say I really like that area I’m gonna use a little of that and you can do that you know whether you’re drawing your map on paper or whether you are using another digital map making tool like incarnate or wonder draft or a Photoshop or campaign cartographer whatever you’re using you can use these coastlines as inspiration.
I really like the way they turn out in general again if you haven’t checked out some of the other things here there’s a lot of other really good stuff there’s the fantasy world generator which actually will put some labels of places on your map it will give your world a name.
As it is slowly loading here I mean this took a while this was like 30 seconds here so there’s clearly a lot going on behind the scenes to generate some of these but look the tomb of horrors, it’s on my map so you can see that this puts hexes there you’ve got mountains and hills and forest icons and it names a bunch of stuff which is really cool so that’s just another nice little tool that’s in there and there’s also just tons of other stuff here we can do go to the random town joiner generator this one actually goes pretty fast in general oh there we go so it randomly generated a little town here.
I have another town mapping app we’ll be taking a look at later that I like better but it does a lot and also I have used this before for these sorts of things if you’re playing D&D 5e or one of these other games it can generate a lot of cool stuff and here’s a little random dungeon generator as well so anyway enough on donjon it definitely is worth checking out Don John Ben dot SH for tool number two here.
I am very pleased to introduce to you tectonics dot J s very catchy name this is one of many tools that instead of fractally generating a world like Don John does this will actually use realistic plate tectonics they try to simulate that and how realistic well I don’t know I’m no expert and to be quite honest with you I use don’t worry about plate tectonics at all when I am creating my own world maps and map or creating maps for clients but I know some people out there really do and it’s something that I am interested in learning.
I think will be a really useful tool and using the coastlines that can be generated in this tool will give you more realistic plate tectonics in terms of the way the different plates are moving and the continents are colliding or pulling apart now you might say who cares.
I don’t ever have movement of continents in my world that’s happening so slowly but in terms of the the shapes and where mountains form and things like that it actually can help them be more realistic when you simulate plate tectonics.
When you know something about them so here it is generating this globe for us and you see it is animated it is just slowly showing us this is how these continents would move perhaps in a plate tectonic situation we can even show the arrows here so you can look at mantle flow kind of hard to see but you can see a little bit the arrows pointing.
You can pause at any point if you say well that’s good this is the moment where my world exists and you can you know copy these coastlines and just like you would with Don John use them as inspiration for your own this time with a more realistic feel for plate tectonics now you notice that these are a bit more geometric they’re not quite as smooth and or frayed maybe you could say they just don’t look as realistic in that way so it would take some adjustment there but the general shapes of the continents here do look pretty good I would say we’ll hit play again
We’ll keep keep going here pick another moment in time okay so anyway it’s a cool tool if you really care about plate tectonics and you really want to be geometrically geographically geographically and geologically realistic then I would definitely recommend checking out tectonics dot j/s and there are other tools out there that do this if you know of some that you think do this better I would love to those down in the comments below a couple other settings I’ll quickly mention you can go fullscreen here the setting here is supercontinent break up.
So I don’t know if there will be more settings eventually but I think that’s what it’s simulating now and you can change the view here a little bit so we could look at you know elevation precipitation so there’s all sorts of different settings here that you can use crust age and you can choose if you would rather see this on a dnd map flat out like that you can do that instead of on the globe view which is really nice so that is tectonics dot Js the third tool on the list is as gars fantasy d&d map generator and this is probably the first of the ones we’re looking at that I think actually makes some really nice-looking dnd maps that.
I could imagine myself putting out on the table and saying here dear players of Dungeons and Dragons is the game world with Don John and tectonics J s I just can’t really imagine doing that they don’t look that good but I think these look really good and it does some unique things that the other ones do not so first of all this one does not simulate plate tectonics to the best of my knowledge but there are just a ton of options and it does like the other ones randomly generate a d&d map for you based on the settings that you choose so you’re not gonna be drawing the coastlines yourself here you’re not going to be realizing your imagination if you have a certain coastline in mind and you want to articulate that express that in your dnd map you can’t do that here it is going to randomly generate one for you it is absolutely not a tool.
Where you can exercise your artistic creativity it’s just gonna generate one I had someone telling me that you know how could you possibly use wonder draught when there’s a tool like this out there and that’s exactly it wonder draught and incarnate and a lot of these other tools what I do in Photoshop allows me to be the artist and sometimes I just want to do that most times but this is a really good tool so look at it look at all these settings here you know how many Berg’s state’s state disbalance neutral distance there’s just tons of things to tinker with so I don’t want a political map I just want like a height map here so I can change that and there we go check out these rivers these look great we go to political map we can actually see like the the boundaries between countries if we go to cultural d&d maps and map maker we can see the various you know cultures and the names of them even or we can just select pure landmass here so yeah there’s a whole lot of customization here you can zoom in and out which is really nice and we can click here to actually edit our labels so it names things for you but it gives you the option to customize them if you would rather.
I would be completely honest I there’s a lot of features that I have not explored here but from what I have seen it looks really cool so I definitely recommend you go check it out let’s just try randomly generating one more here we’ll go new dnd map and there you can see another one a very different looking from the first we can change the sepia dingy tint and greyscale the especially unique thing I think is probably the cultures I think that that’s something you’re not really getting on any of the other options I’ve seen so as Garth fantasy map generator go check it out it is completely free it is all web-based and I have definitely had a lot of fun playing around with this and I think you will too all right the next one we’ll be taking a look at is Incarnate.
I have mentioned it before I’ve talked about this one quite a bit and I’ve done two different article on it so I don’t know if there’s that much more I need to say now this is a tool that has a free version that can do a whole lot and I definitely recommend you check it out but there is also a pro version and it is subscription-based, I believe it’s five dollars a month but this map right here was made in the free version and there is just a whole lot you can do, I’ll show you a little bit of the basics here so we can go in and we can add if we use the sculpt tool we can add some land here now it is a little bit of work to go in and then kind of make it shaped something realistic and there’s no random generator here that’s going to give you a realistic looking coastline which is one thing .
I don’t really like too much about incarnate and one reason that I’m a really big fan of wonder draft which is a paid application but it’s one and done it’s like 20 or 30 bucks so yeah, I incarnate in this version we’re looking at now is free so I’ve made a peninsula that I think looks remotely realistic here and you know then you can go in you can add all kinds of things got trees you’ve got all sorts of structures the pro version has many more but you still get quite a bit here in the free version, I won’t take too much more of a look at this but this is the first one that really allows you to draw your own map using their toolset placing mountains where you want to trees and settlements adding labels and naming things so yeah .
I definitely recommend you go check out incarnate at incarnate with a que dot-com and the last tool we’re gonna be taking a look at today is what about dot H dot IO huh this is kind of a weird one a little bit obscure but I had a co-worker show this to me.
Thank You Ryan I really appreciate it and I really do like it so if we go to this medieval fantasy citizen writer, here we can generate a fantasy city or town and then there’s toy town here which actually lets you get 3d and kind of walk through the town into 3d fashion so that’s really interesting one – there’s some other stuff here procedurally generated mansions there’s some little games this looks like a website where a guy just kind of hey, I developed some stuff and here’s a website where I put it all which is cool I appreciate it so let’s take a look at medieval fittest fantasy city generator first so here we have the first one.
I generated now this took on my computer’s like a minute or two minutes to generate, so I’m not sure if it’s my internet being slow I don’t think it is my Internet’s pretty fast so it was taking a while but it eventually did come up with a town here and the nice thing about this is unlike some of the random generators that you have out there this one you can adjust you can actually you know adjust the walls and add some buildings and things like that so that’s really nice they’ve got a lot of info and tutorials down here for how you can do some of this but yeah.
I really like the way they look in general let’s go ahead and make a large one there we go say we want more roads oh there we go it give gave us a whole new one you can change the style here as well we want thinner lines want hatching.
If we want they block view we can take off the towers and we can warp it a little bit so let’s go in and actually make expand our town a little bit and it just fills in buildings in these areas which is really nice all right let’s say we want to bring this in over here closer to the river because drag these points shows you the points and it’s pretty easy to adjust your town so that again it’s something that’s pretty rare for these procedurally generated things to actually give you some options to tweak it yourself after they’ve given you this procedurally generated in town so we’ll just go ahead and generate a couple more here’s a nice small one now some of the building shapes are a little bit weird like I don’t think you’d get buildings shaped this way.
I would probably adjust that but again I would probably use this more as inspiration and yeah there’s a whole lot you can do here check out the docs right here out in the water oh wow this one is massive right here.
When you click on over world I didn’t notice this before but it takes you to as garz a fantasy map generator so wow that’s really cool actually so that is the medieval fantasy city generator and then we can go over here to the toy town and yeah this is the one that allows you to actually get in here and move around so let’s see.
we can figure this out here there we go we can actually rotate the camera and get a view here and let’s see what the other controls are okay so now we can use the WASD Keys to actually walk around in this town you can walk right through buildings but yeah this is a pretty cool one you know just for maybe picking a spot and getting a feel for what my players be seeing in this area of the town if they were actually down here and you can actually go fullscreen with it too.
Yeah really cool and here we can get the the flyover which is really nice you got this sort of view right here too got a top-down view like you have with the other one several different views some options for weather and night and all these things as well.
so we started pretty zoomed out at the globe view and now we have slowly kind of zoomed in here but as I mentioned in the beginning that we could go further zoomed in here if we were to talk about dungeon and encounter d&d maps first off before we do, I just want to say that all these tools that I’ve shared with you today are free or at least have free versions and I want to make clear that.
I certainly don’t fault anyone who’s charging for these programs I think that people put a lot of time and effort into applications and programs like this and they are worthy of our support, sometimes it’s nice if you can you know throw them a couple bucks and I certainly don’t fault any of the people who are charging for their applications as well.
I think that you know these people put a lot of time into them and they got to make a living so paid tools like wonder draft or Incarnate Pro I think they are worth checking out campaign cartographer some of these things and sometimes it’s definitely worth it to spend a bit of money still hopefully you’ve enjoyed these free map maker tools.
Here now let’s talk about the dungeon maps we didn’t get that and I think that it that really warrants a whole nother article at some point in the future comparing different dungeon mapping software but for now I’ll just quick shoot out there, I think are worth taking a look at the first one is pyromancers calm dungeon painter online I’ll put links to all these in the article description and this one.
it’s pretty simple you can’t do a whole lot but you can make some pretty nice-looking dungeon and dragons maps, town maps you can make building maps and structures and things like that there’s a whole lot that you get in this free version and then of course, if you want to you can go over to steam and you can pick up the full dungeon painter studio which gets really great reviews people really seem to like it it is $15.
We could also go and take a look at map forge map for just one that was a kick starter and then people are wondering when is it coming but they have a beta that’s actually pretty good you can download it for free right now so I definitely recommend you go check out d&d map forge, I did a article on that over a year ago now and I also did a article on it went ill winters floor plan generator and they actually sponsored a article a while back and it allows you to make some really nice-looking dungeon & dragons maps.
I think they don’t look quite as good as something like map forge in general but this one’s only seven dollars right now on Steam so it’s very inexpensive and might be worth checking out all right that’s all for this one everybody if you have any suggestions for mapping applications whether it’s a web-based app or whether it’s a standalone program whether it’s free or whether it is expensive.
I would love to hear what you use down in the comments below I’m always wanting to learn about more tools I just love this stuff and I love that we have such a wealth of options now out there in the role-playing game world so make sure you like subscribe all that good stuff and everybody take care you’ll see me again very soon.