In 2020, I got the fantastic opportunity to create and illustrate a full map of Bahumia, the setting of the popular American Dungeons & Dragons podcast “Not Another D&D Podcast” ( or “NADDPOD”). The show recently concluded it’s first 100-episode campaign set in this fun fantasy realm and the team behind Naddpod reached out to me to see if I was interested in creating an illustrated version of their world that they could print and sell as a map.
Started in 2018, Not Another D&D Podcast is ‘real play’ D&D podcast in which the cast, Brian Murphy, Emily Axford, Jake Hurwitz and Caldwell Tanner play Dungeons & Dragons in the fictional “Realm of Bahumia” that has been created by the games ‘DM’ or ‘Dungeon Master’, Brian Murphy. The fantasy realm that Murph has created in Bahumia is truly wonderful and the story, characters and setting that the entire cast has created over the course of this first campaign set in Bahumia is both compelling, immersive and so unbelievably funny.
Early in 2020 I had taken to drawing some scenes and locations from the show for fun, one of which being the original map that I drew on just a small piece of A4. Without an offical map to go on, I approximated most of the locations based on hints throughout the show and I was surprised when Murph replied on Twitter to say I had gotten very close with my guessing! This was the basis from which the new map was made, with Murph adding in comments and corrections that I could then work from and Caldwell, player and resident artist of the crew, providing me with artist direction and corrections for the map design.
I wanted this definitive edition of the Bahumia map to be large and detailed and not missing any locations or references, so I scaled up considerably and went for A3 200gsm cartridge paper stock for drawing the main landmass. The entire finished map is actually about a dozen individually hand drawn elements, the biggest being the main Bahumian landmass, as well as neighbouring frozen northern continent known as the Frigid North, smaller elements such as airships, clouds, kongo bongo islands and then about eight exploded views of some of the most notable towns, cities and locations found throughout the show and the world of Bahumia.
To actually create the map, each element was scanned in at 1200 DPI and assembled in photoshop- because I don’t use much pencil the scans are relatively clean, and once brought into photoshop I could start assembling the different drawings together. In my ways the drawing is the easy bit, once in photoshop the never-ending task of tweaking and fixing starts – peeling away the layers you can see the numerous changes the map went though- the entire centre of the map and the living wood was expanded, and a whole newly drawn element was dropped in and I had to go through each pen line to make sure it had all joined up correct. We also decided to add in a few new coastlines in the south of the continent near the ruined city of Azmodea, as well as an entirely new Frigid North and other little smaller fixes. This is where you have to be somewhat careful, as it’s easy to get carried away with countless tweaks and ‘pixel peepering’ at the end of the day one of the charms of a pen and ink drawing is the somewhat natural imperfections in it.
Anyway I was very pleased with the final outcome, as was the Naddpod team! I’d recommend you watch my Youtube video on the design and process if you’d like more information and details on the entire design process! In the end, the guys did a limited canvas print run of the map, as well as a large poster print run that you can order on demand through their Naddpod store.