Mashupforge: Custom Interactive Maps

Mashupforge: Custom Interactive Maps
Mashupforge is a free online tool for making public/shared interactive maps. It allows users to create high-resolution maps by uploading custom images as backdrops and then populating them with imbedded markers and custom shapes. All of these markers can then be given collapsible text boxes describing the location, feature, or event indicated by the marker. Best of all, MashupForge then lets you host these maps publicly for free, allowing your players to access to your world, its lore, and their exploits at their leisure.

Now, I’ve only just scratched the surface of this tool, but so far it seems really promising. In our age of private wikis, campaign websites, and forums all meant to facilitate player engagement between sessions, MashupForge provides a wonderfully simple, visual supplement to any GMs online toolbox.

Check out Mashupforge here!

Here is a test map done with an image captured with the TerraIncognitacontinent generator tool:

Mashup-SB

And here’s a complex custom map most of you should recognize:

MashUp-Skyrim

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Donjon: The Holy Grail

Check out donjon!

Hopefully many of you will already be familiar with the FREE donjon tool-suite. For those of you who aren’t, this resource is so valuable and expansive that I fully endorse you clicking on the link above right now and spending your time playing with it rather than reading the rest of this article. Donjon is so massive and useful that you really have to get lost digging through it to appreciate how much it can do. Go on…I’m serious…GO!

…why are you still reading this?

Go here: http://donjon.bin.sh

The donjon tool-suite is, put simply, one of the best out there. This brilliant and wonderful website provides randomly generated names, loot, trinkets, quests, NPCs, maps, and even fully populated dungeons for TEN (yes, you read that right), TEN different game settings/systems. For a FREE tool-suite, there is no criticism I can honestly make when fairly considering everything donjon provides. Since reviewing these tools exhaustively would be far less valuable than time spent by you playing with them yourselves, I’m just going to highlight some of the features I find most impressive.

Fantasy World Generator
Let’s start big: donjon can build you a fantasy world-map, complete with cities and a scaled hex-grid in just under 60 seconds. For those of you who love GMing but struggle to invest the initial time-sink to build a world, consider yourselves saved.

After you’ve customized your filters (like city frequency, water/land ratios, etc.), you’ll get something likes this (again, in <60 seconds). Keep in mind this image is only one screenshot of a map about 6 times larger:

World2
“But what if I don’t run your boring, old, neo-medieval fantasy setting?” Don’t worry, donjon predicted your whining complaint and built a solar-system generator too.

COMPLETE Dungeon Generator (D&D4E, D&D5E, PFRPG)
I dare you to find a better dungeon generator. Again, within seconds donjon generates a dungeon customized to your liking that comes complete with GM and Player maps, descriptions (temperatures, illuminations, masonry), traps, treasure, secret doors, wandering monsters, and static monsters FOR EVERY ROOM AND CORRIDOR, all based on the difficulty ratings and creature ratings specified for your party and your game system. The only restriction (and it’s a small one, considering) is that the numeric content (stats, difficulty ratings, etc.) is specific to the systems covered.

NPC Generator (Multiple Genres/Systems)
While significantly smaller in terms of the raw content it provides, donjon’s random NPC generators are some of the best. Spanning everything from Fantasy to Modern to Cyberpunk and back again, all with customizable gender/race/class/culture filters and providing a robust description of NPC physicality, equipment, and disposition, these generators are any GM’s dream come true. For any of you who struggle with improvising that shop-keeper you never knew existed until the party sought them out, you will struggle no longer. Here is just one unfiltered sample (each hit generates 10 fresh NPCs):

NPCs

If any of you are still reading, check out donjon here!

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