Thorfinn

is creating the Atlas of Mystara

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Karameikan Explorer

reward item
reward item
$1
per month
  • Twice weekly Patreon posts with updates and early access to new maps
  • Guide my progress
  • Support the Atlas of Mystara
Includes Discord benefits

Glantrian Adventurer

reward item
reward item
$3
per month
  • Download the full PNG archive
  • Twice weekly Patreon posts with updates and early access to new maps
  • Guide my progress
  • Support the Atlas of Mystara
Includes Discord benefits

Thyatian Cartographer

reward item
reward item
$5
per month
  • Download new PDF and GeoTIF versions each month
  • Customised maps: get 1 Map Point each month
  • Download the full PNG archive
  • Twice weekly Patreon posts with updates and early access to new maps
  • Guide my progress
  • Support the Atlas of Mystara
Includes Discord benefits

61

patrons

About Thorfinn

Since 2005, the Atlas of Mystara has aimed to provide consistent and comprehensive maps for the world of Mystara. I have poured my heart and soul into this non-commercial fan project over all these years, and my work is still far from finished. Now, thanks to Wizards of the Coasts's Fan Content Policy, I am able to ask for your sponsorship and support.

Since you're here, you probably already know about me and my work on Mystara. But in case you don't: I'm a cartographer specialising in fantasy maps. The distinguishing features of my maps are:

  • Gorgeous hex maps
  • 3D height model-based satellite-style topographic maps
  • Proper use of map projections and georeferencing


You may be familiar with my work from the Atlas of Mystara. You can find my hex maps scattered all over the Internet, and I've also made my mapping tools available. Or perhaps you've seen my recent work on Bruce Heard's Calidar setting, or indeed my other Patreon for creating new Calidar maps. Making maps is what I love doing the most.

My main web site is here: Thorfinn Tait Cartography. That's where I post about projects, such as Lining Up Mystara Revisited and Let's Map Mystara. Finished maps go up at the Atlas site.


Overview

This Patreon is about enabling me to make more maps, more tools, and more tutorials for you and others to enjoy and use in RPGs. It is intended to support my cartography and enable me to continue working on all my Mystara projects, slowly working towards completing the Atlas.

It's about creating beautiful maps that are freely available for everyone. 

I make all of my maps, tools, and tutorials freely available on the Internet. But the truth is that they're not free for me to make. My cartography began as a hobby, and I've spent years building up my cartographic workbench, including computer hardware and software. But there are still significant costs.

If you become my patron, your backing will go towards:
  • paying for essential software
  • keeping my websites open and backed up
  • backing up my work
  • saving for new software
  • saving for new hardware
But even more important: you will directly motivate me to continue work on all your favourite maps and projects. The encouragement and support of the community is what keeps me going — it's why I'm still working on the Atlas more than 15 years later!

During the day I work as a high school teacher in Japan. So all of my mapping is done in my spare time. I also have three small children, so my time is quite limited. Nevertheless, mapping is my passion, and I'm highly motivated to push forward on my many projects as often and as much as I can.

That's where I need your help. With your support, I could afford to spend more time on mapping, and invest in software and hardware to assist with my efforts. Most importantly, your backing motivates me to keep going when I hit a brick wall.

In short, with you behind my efforts, I could make more maps.



How does this work?

How much you pledge is up you — every little helps! Check out the tiers at the right for details of rewards. If you don't see what you want there, or if there's something specific you'd like me to work on, feel free to send me a message and we can work it out.

If you're new to Patreon, let me explain.

Patreon is a system for you to support your favourite creators. My campaign is set up on a monthly plan, which means your pledge is collected and sent to me once each month. There are tiers at the top right of this page for you to choose from, or you can simply pay what you want.

Please, only pledge what you can afford. I'd hate to be a drain on your cash flow, so please only pledge from your disposable income. If you can't afford to, know that there are other ways to support my work, such as spreading the word, and sharing my posts on social media. Thank you for your kindness! You are amazing.

Finished maps will be posted to my websites and social media. I'll also keep you informed here from time to time on the progress of my projects, and post previews of maps I haven't yet published.

Tier Descriptions

  • Twice weekly posts: I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays, usually at 9 pm Japan time (GMT+9). I often share newly completed and work-in-progress maps, as well as progress reports for my current projects, and sometimes just what I’m thinking about at the time. You can help motivate me and guide my progress by commenting on these posts.
  • PNG Archive: This is the folder on my computer where I store PNGs of all of my maps. It includes everything I have published up until now, current as well as old and obsolete (except for some old versions which are lost). This is a really quick way to download the entire Atlas of Mystara!
  • PDF and GeoTIF files: I am slowly building up archives in these formats. I add more every month. PDFs have layers, which you can turn on and off — great for customising maps. Both the PDFs and the GeoTIFs are geospatial files. For PDFs, this means you can access GIS data such as the name, sources, lengths, areas, and so on, of map features. GeoTIFs are useful if you want to play with map projections.
  • Illustrator files: These are the source files for my maps, created in Adobe Illustrator 2020. If you have the software, you can load up the files and edit away. I will release three more files every month, to be nominated and voted on by all eligible patrons.
  • Customisation & Map Points: Customisation is based on a points system. Thyatian Cartographers receive 1 map point, Alphatian Artificers 2 map points each month. Other tiers earn points at a rate of 1 map point for every $5. Save them up and trade them in for a map customisation of your own devising! See the table below for details on using them.
  • Map Requests: Serraine Inventors receive a half page map request every month. Save them up until you have enough for your original hex map, then get in touch with me to talk through your request.

Map Points

You can trade in 5 or more map points for a map customisation. Each customised feature takes a certain number of map points, according to the table below. The 5 point minimum is to prevent me from being inundated with customisations. I love customising maps for you, but at the same time it will help no one if I end up spending all of my mapping time doing it.

You can choose any of my maps as a base for customisation. I suggest you look in the PNG archive to find exactly what you need.

Teaming Up

I encourage you to discuss your customisations with other patrons. If you can find someone who has similar needs to yours, you can combine points and trade them in together! This will allow you both to benefit.

Map Points Table

The points are based on the time needed to adjust a feature. If changes are very minor or major, the points should be adjusted accordingly. This especially applies to creating new symbols: if it’s a very simple symbol, just 1 point may be enough.
  • Base Cost: 5 points (includes title changes, exporting, etc.)
  • 0 points: Turn off a layer
  • 1 point: 1 icon, label, or icon/label pair; other easy changes
  • 2 points: 1 road, trail, river, or border; hex art substitution (existing symbol) or palette change (whole map); more complex changes
  • 3 points: 1 section of coastline, or 1 plateau; complex changes
  • 5 points: 1 new icon

Sharing

As with all of my Mystara maps, your customised maps and map requests are provided under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution Share-Alike license. It’s important to remember that everything I provide through this Patreon must be made freely available, in accordance with Wizards of the Coast’s Fan Policy. As such, they will all end up at the Atlas of Mystara web site in the end. Until then, I will provide you with early access to the files.

Also note that you are welcome to share your customised and/or requested maps elsewhere on the Internet, as long as you credit me and link to the Atlas of Mystara. Or even better, link back to this Patreon and spread the word.



Thank You

Thanks for considering my Patreon campaign.

Above all, I'd like to thank you all for your amazing support. I feel incredibly lucky to be in the company of such talented and friendly people in our communities, and I can't stress enough how much your encouragement — financial and otherwise! — has helped me over the years.

Legal Note

The Atlas of Mystara is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.
Goals
61 of 100 patrons

Tutorials

With this level of backing, I will pledge to increase the level of support I provide for my mapping tools by posting regular tutorials. The topic will be decided by popular vote.
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