As a lifelong DND enthusiast who’s played around with the latest AI generators, I know the thrill of finding the perfect map maker for your campaign.
What are the best DND map makers?
The best DND Map Makers are Dungeon Fog, Inkarnate, Wonderdraft, Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator, and Dungeondraft. Each tool offers unique features like custom assets, intuitive controls, and expansive libraries to craft detailed maps for any adventure.
Let’s dive into the best tools that blend imagination with technology.
Top 5 Best DND Map Makers (Use These)
After extensive hands-on experimentation with a host of map-making software, I’ve distilled my findings into a shortlist.
This table slices through the complexity, presenting you with the top 5 DND map makers, each excelling in a specific category that caters to the diverse needs of dungeon masters and players alike.
|Category||Best DND Map Maker|
|Ease of Use||RPG Map Editor II|
|Best for Worldbuilding||Worldspinner|
|Best for Real-time Collaboration||Arkenforge|
Next, check out all 15 of the best DND map makers.
You may find one that you like even better than my top five (but I doubt it ;).
Dungeon Fog is a powerhouse for dungeon design, equipped with an extensive asset library and user-friendly controls.
It allows you to construct detailed interiors, perfect for any dungeon crawl.
Standout features include its drag-and-drop interface and the ability to create multi-level maps which can add depth to your game.
- Rich library of objects and textures.
- Multi-level mapping capability.
- User-friendly interface, great for beginners.
- Subscription-based with some features behind a paywall.
- Can be resource-intensive on older computers.
In my own use, Dungeon Fog proved invaluable for quick dungeon setups.
The ease with which I could create complex, multi-layered designs saved time and let me focus on storytelling.
The multi-level mapping is a game-changer for adding verticality to encounters.
Inkarnate stands out as an artist’s dream for map making.
its suite of brushes and textures, you can craft maps that look hand-drawn.
It’s especially good for creating overland maps and detailed city layouts with a stylized, fantasy aesthetic.
- Artistic control with diverse brushes.
- High-quality textures for a hand-drawn look.
- Regular updates with new features and assets.
- Steeper learning curve for detailed customizations.
- Some advanced features require a paid subscription.
From personal experience, Inkarnate let me elevate the visual storytelling of my campaigns.
Its ability to create visually stunning maps that still hold practical utility is impressive.
The results often left my players in awe, making it a staple in my map-making toolkit.
Wonderdraft is a versatile tool for crafting large-scale world maps.
It has a robust symbol library and options to customize coastlines and landmasses, making it ideal for world-building enthusiasts.
Its simplicity doesn’t sacrifice depth, offering features like landmass generation and watercolor-style themes.
- Extensive symbol library for detailed maps.
- Customizable coastlines and terrain features.
- One-time purchase with no subscription.
- Requires a capable system for smooth operation.
- Can be overwhelming due to its extensive features.
My hands-on time with Wonderdraft showed its strength in creating expansive, detailed worlds.
The customization options for geography made each map feel unique.
The tool’s one-time purchase is a cost-effective option for serious map makers. It quickly became my go-to for creating continents and regions.
Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator
Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator is a go-to for those who enjoy a blend of automation and customization in their map-making process.
It creates vast, random maps that you can tailor to fit your campaign’s needs.
Its strength lies in the algorithmic generation of terrain, political boundaries, and settlements.
- Generates large maps quickly with algorithms.
- Customizable down to the smallest detail.
- Free to use with a web-based interface.
- Less intuitive for users seeking manual control.
- The automated nature can produce less personal results.
I was often surprised by the unique and unexpected map configurations it produced.
The level of detail it offers for customization allowed me to fine-tune generated maps to fit the narrative of my games perfectly.
Dungeondraft is tailored for DMs who want to craft detailed battle maps with ease.
Its standout feature is the smart tiling system that helps you build rooms and environments quickly.
Automated features like object scattering save time, allowing for a focus on the finer aspects of map creation.
- Smart tiling system for quick room creation.
- Automated object scattering for efficient detailing.
- Pay once and own it forever model.
- Limited to battle maps, not suitable for larger scale maps.
- A bit of a learning curve for new users to master all features.
My experiences with Dungeondraft have been predominantly positive, with the tool enabling me to swiftly create complex battle scenes that are both functional and rich in detail.
Its intuitive design tools made it easy to turn my ideas into playable maps.
Campaign Cartographer 3+
Campaign Cartographer 3+ (CC3+) is the heavyweight when it comes to precision and professional-grade map-making capabilities
It’s akin to a CAD program for RPG maps, delivering exceptional control over every element of your map.
- Incredibly detailed control over map elements.
- Professional grade software with CAD-like features.
- Extensive selection of add-ons and symbol sets.
- Steep learning curve compared to other map makers.
- Higher cost, especially with add-ons.
Using CC3+ has allowed me to craft maps with a level of precision and detail that other map makers couldn’t match.
For those willing to climb the steep learning curve, CC3+ offers unparalleled control and detail in their map-making endeavors.
The results can be stunning, providing a level of professionalism that enhances any campaign.
ProFantasy’s Fractal Terrains
ProFantasy’s Fractal Terrains takes map-making into the realm of intricate, procedurally generated worlds.
The software creates realistic landmasses and terrains that can be edited to an impressive degree of detail.
It’s especially potent for designing entire planets or large, explorative maps for epic campaigns.
- Procedural generation creates unique, vast maps.
- Deep editing options for customizing terrain.
- Integrates with Campaign Cartographer for enhanced detailing.
- Can be complex for those not familiar with fractal software.
- Focuses more on geography rather than settlements or specific locations.
My time with Fractal Terrains was a journey in discovering the sheer scale of maps I could create.
The software’s ability to produce organically varied landscapes with minimal effort made it a top choice for large-scale mapping.
Arkenforge is built with an eye for detail and an understanding of what tabletop gamers crave.
It doubles as a map maker and a toolkit for running your sessions, with features like dynamic lighting and soundscapes.
It’s designed to be an all-in-one solution for the tech-savvy dungeon master.
- Detailed mapping with dynamic lighting effects.
- Built-in soundscape and music tools.
- Offline capability ideal for in-person sessions.
- The wealth of features can be daunting to new users.
- Initial cost may be a barrier for some.
In personal use, Arkenforge proved to be more than just a map maker — it was an immersion enhancer.
The dynamic lighting in particular brought my maps to life, making every dungeon delve and tavern visit more memorable.
RPG Map Editor II
RPG Map Editor II is a simple yet effective tool for those who wish to quickly design maps without the complexity of more advanced software.
Its straightforward interface and set of tools allow for rapid creation of interior maps and environments.
Perfect for on-the-fly game design.
- User-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate.
- Quick map generation for spontaneous game creation.
- Free to use, making it accessible for everyone.
- Limited in scope compared to more robust programs.
- Lacks depth in terms of textures and objects.
My experience with RPG Map Editor II was one of convenience.
When I needed a map in a pinch, it delivered.
Its simplicity is its strength, allowing for rapid creation without the fuss. It’s a solid choice for those who value speed and ease over complexity.
Hexographer is the cartographer’s answer to classic, hex-based map creation.
This tool specializes in the old-school approach, offering a nostalgic feel with its straightforward hex-tile system that’s perfect for strategic games and large overviews of continents and realms.
- Classic hex-grid style ideal for certain gameplay mechanics.
- Intuitive interface that’s easy to pick up.
- Free version available with ample features.
- Aesthetics might be too simplistic for those seeking modern visuals.
- Advanced features require payment for the pro version.
In my sessions, Hexographer was a nod to the past.
The simplicity of its grid system and the speed at which I could generate a map were highly effective for certain styles of play.
It’s an excellent match for games that harken back to the origins of tabletop RPGs.
Tiled Map Editor
Tiled Map Editor is an open-source tool that’s flexible and powerful, used for creating maps in a tile-based manner.
It’s not exclusively for D&D.
But has the capabilities to design detailed maps due to its layering system and custom tilesets.
- Highly customizable with support for custom tilesets.
- Layering system allows for complex map design.
- Open-source and free to use.
- Learning curve to effectively use all features.
- Primarily designed for video games, not tabletop, requiring adaptation.
Using Tiled gave me the flexibility I needed for a custom campaign.
I could import my own assets and stack layers for complex maps.
It’s versatile, allowing for creativity to run wild, though it does require some tinkering to get just right.
ChatGPT (with DALL-E)
ChatGPT, paired with DALL-E, is an innovative approach to map making, where AI’s conversational interface meets powerful image generation.
I use this combo all the time for most of my image needs.
Describe your vision, and the AI conjures up a visual representation, making it a unique blend of description and design.
- AI-powered generation creates unique, on-demand maps.
- Conversational interface allows for easy description of needs.
- Continuously improving with feedback and updates.
- Results may require tweaking for specific details.
- AI interpretation of instructions can vary.
My use of ChatGPT with DALL-E was like bringing a concept artist into the room.
I could iterate rapidly, with the AI suggesting and revising until the map matched my vision.
It’s not just a tool. It’s a collaborative partner in the creative process.
Worldspinner is designed with the fantasy novelist and game master in mind.
This platform offers detailed world-building and map-making tools.
It not only generates the geography but also the political boundaries and cultural details that bring a world to life.
- Detailed world-building features, including cultures and heraldry.
- Automated generation of geography and political borders.
- Allows for deep customization post-generation.
- The interface can be complex for newcomers.
- Full access requires a subscription.
As I delved into Worldspinner, I found its ability to flesh out the lore of my maps through its heraldry and culture tools remarkable.
The maps I created came with a backstory, which enriched the gaming experience significantly.
Midjourney is an innovative AI that specializes in generating striking images from textual prompts, offering a new frontier in visual creativity and expression.
It uses advanced AI to create stunning images from textual descriptions.
In the context of D&D, it’s like having an artist at your fingertips, translating your words into visual masterpieces.
- Creates vivid, detailed images from text descriptions.
- Highly responsive to feedback for iterations.
- Produces unique artwork that can inspire and direct game narratives.
- Might require several iterations to get the desired result.
- The nuances of map requirements can sometimes be lost in translation.
Utilizing Midjourney was an exhilarating way to visualize my campaign’s locales.
The AI’s interpretations of my descriptions were at times surprising and led to unexpected creative directions in my game design.
Canva.com is not traditionally a map maker, but its ease of use and flexibility make it a valuable tool for DMs.
It’s another tool that I use daily for creating and editing images.
With its drag-and-drop interface and extensive library of images and icons, you can create simple maps without needing specialized software.
- Intuitive design tools and user-friendly interface.
- Huge library of images and icons suitable for map elements.
- Free to use with optional premium subscriptions for more assets.
- Not specifically designed for map making; lacks specialized features.
- The simplicity of tools may not satisfy those seeking intricate details.
In my experience, Canva was a quick fix for when I needed to draft a simple map.
It’s especially good for creating clean, easy-to-read maps for travel or basic layouts.
For more sophisticated needs, though, I would turn to a dedicated map maker.
Still, you can always use Canva as an editing tool if needed.
Here is a great video that compares five of the best DND map makers:
Final Thoughts: Best DND Map Makers
The best DND map maker is the one that suits your needs the best.
Whether you seek grand worlds or intricate dungeons, these tools empower your creative vision, turning imagined landscapes into tangible realms for unforgettable adventures.
Check out these examples of DND Maps that I made (that are 100% free!):