Friday, December 24, 2021

Happy Needfest! The Digital Darlene Greyhawk Map

Over on the Flanaess Geographical Society facebook group, I noticed that Zach Henderson started to post a clean up of the original Darlene Greyhawk map. One of the things he did was to go through the map with Photoshop and removed all the hexes. A monumental task. 

I realized that you could digitalize that version and make a crisp clean copy of Darlene's original Greyhawk map. I started talking with Zach and it turned out he broke up his work out into layers. We exchanged files and I started to digitalize the text, fills, and symbols.

Using a variety of tools managed to turn nearly everything on Darlene into a vector. This allow arbitrarily small or large maps to be made from the file. Plus you get a smaller file size for various resolutions.

I then added a few requested bells and whistles like 6 mile hexes, and a black and white version.

I was able to export as SVG file containing most of the map. The only thing that didn't come through are the forest and mountain drawings. The digitization of those layers did not translate well into a SVG  file. But I managed to export the rest and sort it into proper layers usable with the free Inkscape  illustration software and most other illustration and mapping programs.

This is released under the Wizards Fan Content Policy and the few original elements I have are released under the CC-BY-SA-NC 4.0 license.

The main file is a layered PDF. In testing this I found many PDF readers to be hit or miss on their ability to turn layers off and on. Adobe Reader definitely works. 

Digital Darlene Greyhawk Map (PDF and JPGs)

Rob's Note: I been received errata on the map. I uploaded the fixed PDF. It is Rev 12b. Appreciate everybody who sent me errata on Christmas Eve. 

Rob's Note #2: I applied more errata. Fixing up settlement symbols because of the lack of clarity in the original scan. Also restored the missing i in White Fang Bay. Finally I sorted out the issue with the mountain and forest fills in the SVG file. They are now present. The PDF and SVG are now Rev 12c. The JPGs been all updated.

Here is a jpg export of the full map.

Digital Darlene Greyhawk Map (JPG)

Everybody have a happy and safe holiday and Merry Christmas to one and all.

Original Darlene Style

Six Mile Hexes

Greyscale version


Jon S said...

Fantastic Rob! These look really excellent.

Andy Action said...

Stunning work!

Zach Henderson said...

Brilliant! This is exactly the kind of community engagement I hoped for when I started the project.

This has been- and I hope continues to be a fun and very satisfying collaboration.

Thank you, sir, for your hard work!

Carlson said...

A Conley-ized take on the Darlene Greyhawk map. YUM!!

Baron Greystone said...

Thanks, the Darlene map is essential to me!

Robert Conley said...

I am glad to see your take out there as a bitmap scan will be more accurate than a digitized version. And it was great working with you on this Zach!

Mike Bridges said...

You guys have done an amazing job! The black and white one in particular gives me ideas for map projects based off that. Thanks a million for the downloads.

Steve said...

Whata gift! Thank you!

Wayne's Books said...

Fantastic work!

Blue Tyson said...

Thank you!

Wanderer Bill said...

Stunning! Thanks for your amazing work!

I love playing around with the various layers in inkscape. I noticed that in the SVG texture for mountains and forrests seems to be missing, or might that be a rendering problem on my side?

Happy Holidays everyone!

Robert Conley said...

@Wanderer Bill, the forest and mountain texture got mangled in the SVG export. So I had to delete those layers. I am working on fixing that. It willl take time tho.

Jon Bupp said...

Absolutely beautiful!
Added to the Blog Database.

Robert Conley said...

@Jon, thanks!

Dreamakuma said...

Is there perchance a way to get the greyscale map without the hex like it is on the preview? that preview makes it look like a thing of beauty straight out of a fantasy novel

Zach Henderson said...

@Dreamakuma, you should be able to achieve the look with the pdf file. Adobe Reader or others which support layer viewing should enable you to customize the output. I found the look are after by making the following layers invisible: Hex layers, Forest Trunks, Desert Plains Wastes, Mountains Solid, Hills Solid, Swamp, Ground, Water Contours, and Water. Robert might correct me if I've missed something.

Robert Conley said...

@Zach Yup that correct.

Robert Conley said...

@Dreamakuma, I added your request to the zip file.

Dreamakuma said...

Thank you so much!

Henry said...

Thank you so much. I have zero skill playing with this stuff. I want to create a six-mile map centered on Verbobonc/Narwell/Enstad/Dyvers. How do I zoom in on that section, select the region, and then print it out (so that I can populate the hexes)? Thanks for any help! Merry Xmas

Robert Conley said...

1) Zoom in with your PDF or JPG viewer
2) Print Screen (using the Print Screen button on your keyboard
2) Use a Screen Capture utility
3) Paste into MS Paint (or your OS Paint program)
4) Print

Greg Gorgonmilk said...

Thanks so much, Rob! Happy New Year!

Whiskey said...

It's gorgeous!
Not to be a party-pooper, but I noticed that WHITE FANGED BAY is missing the I.
Otherwise, this is a spectacular piece of craftsmanship.

Nagora said...

Phenomenal. Well done.

Corathon said...

Great work! Many thanks!

Eric Griffins said...

Thank you!, this is a great chrismast gift!

Irmo306 said...

Incredible work! This is such a godsend for my current campaign!
Would it be possible to get the maps in PNG format also? Having them in image formats is a lot easier for working with quickly (say snipping out a region for example) but the artifacting on the JPGs, especially the 6mi hexes, is pretty bad.
I also did notice that the place where the Davish and Javan rivers meet by Sterich came out looking like a thick black triangle. Not sure if that was intentional.

Bromos Sunstar said...

Thank you so much for bringing Greyhawk into the future. Very much appreciated!
Anyone know how large the resolution can go to print the map at Kinkos or Office Depot, is 36x36 or 24x24 possible?

Robert Conley said...

with the pdf as big as you want. It is vector based.

KMSCHMZX said...

Hello !
Thank you very much for this excellent work!
everything is really great, but I especially like the svg format.
Do you think it is possible to make a version without any text?
This would allow non-English speaking players to recreate the map for their players...
Anyway, great work
Thanks for your attention

Robert Conley said...


The download has a SVG file that compatible with Inkscape and other illustration programs. It is layered and all vectors. So does that work for you? You can just hide or delete the current text layer or even selected text. Then sub in your language specific text.

Likewise the PDF has no security on it, vector based, and has layers. So you could use illustrator to open the PDF, or Adobe Acrobat and edit it. Even if you only have Adobe Reader or another PDF software, the PDF is layered so you can turn off the text layers and save the results as a jpg or other graphic file format.

Let me know if that works for you.

KMSCHMZX said...

Yes !
Thank You !