Fractal Mapper v8.0 (Windows Download)

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"Powerful Mapping Made Easy!"

Fractal Mapper 8 raises the bar in terms of power, flexibility, and ease of use. Whether you need to whip up a quick dungeon or battle map, or craft your campaign world in the finest detail, Fractal Mapper 8 will be the map making tool you'll want to turn to!

  • Powerful Graphics Engine
    Fractal Mapper features a fast, optimized vector graphics engine designed from the ground up for fantasy map making. Each object placed on the map can be individually selected and modified. The graphics engine supports object rotation to any angle, resizing, reshaping, scaled (geometric) lines, bitmap pattern fills, and variable levels of transparency. In addition, FM features a powerful zooming capability that lets you fill in small map details on continental or even planet-wide maps.
  • Fractal Drawing Tools
    Fractal Mapper gets its name from its set of Fractal drawing tools. These allow you to easily draw out natural looking continents, islands, rivers, and caverns. In addition, FM contains a number of non-fractal drawing tools for drawing out more regular shapes such as straight lines, polygons, circles, and spline curves.
  • Full Color Mapping Symbols
    Fractal Mapper includes over 600 full color mapping symbols you can place on your maps. Sets include symbols for world maps, dungeon interiors, towns, and sci-fi deck plans. Fractal Mapper supports two types of symbols – raster symbols which are image files of several common formats, and vector symbols which are simply other Fractal Mapper maps. The symbol library is customizable, so you can easily add your own symbols as well.
  • .PNG Mapping Symbols
    Fractal Mapper also features optimized support for 32-bit .PNG image files, complete with support for variable levels of transparency (alpha channels). Over 100 ‘battlemap’ symbols in .PNG format are included for use in creating great looking maps designed for miniatures. Any .PNG image, including those from other programs or that you find online, can easily be added to the symbol library as well.
  • Text
    You can place text on your maps using any True Type® font installed on your system. Text can wrap across multiple lines, be left-right-center justified, and can be rotated to any angle. Text can have it's own outline and fill colors, making it easy to create attractive, stylish text on your map. Unicode text can also be placed on your maps, allowing for the placement of text in such languages as Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.
  • Grids
    FM can place square, hex, offset square, or dot grids of any color, size, and transparency level on your map – either above or below the objects on your map. Grid cells can also be numbered in the font and text size of your choice, as well as aligned in the cell several different ways - a great feature for wargamers! In addition, polygons and other shapes on your map can be individually filled with a grid. These grid fills can be 'synchronized' with the main grid to create seamless grid patterns within irregular shapes (like caverns).
  • Printing
    Once you have your map, you’ll likely want to print it off for use at your game. Printing across multiple pages, fit to page, or at specific zoom percentages is supported. When square grids are set, you can even print the map out at specific sizes, such as 1 grid = 1 inch. The entire map or a portion can be printed. Maps printed across multiple pages can be 'overprinted' to make them easier to tape together. If desired, you can print a single page of a tiled map without having to print the entire set again. FM also features a tiled print preview so you can see how those big multi-paged prints will align on the pages—a big ink saver!
  • Special Effects
    Fractal Mapper supports a number of special raster-based effects you can use to enhance the look of your maps. Bevel effects, for example, can be applied to create a raised edge on objects of various styles. Or apply Texture effects to an object to define its surface texture. Objects can be made to cast a drop shadow, or even a shadow onto itself. Blurs can also be applied to objects – either on the entire object or to create a ‘feathered’ edge.
  • Color Themes
    Your maps can be displayed in several different color themes. By default maps are shown in full color. But you can also choose to display your map in grayscale, black and white, or with a sepia color theme.
  • Exporting
    Fractal Mapper maps can be exported to several image file formats: Windows bitmaps (*.bmp), JPEG files (*.jpg), Portable Network Graphics images (.png), and Enhanced Windows Metafiles (.emf). Either the entire map or a selected portion of the map can be exported.
  • Campaign notes and the Scenario Builder
    Fractal Mapper isn’t just a graphics tool—you can also store your campaign notes along with your map. Each object on your map can have assigned to it two sets of notes—one for the GM, and one for the players. You can even define an area on the map as that object’s illustration. Once you have the notes, the Scenario Builder allows you to create an HTML file (web page) or print out an illustrated version of them. You can print out all of the notes, or create a player-version for handouts.
  • Plug-in and Scripting Interface
    Do you dabble in code? Fractal Mapper features a sophisticated scripting interface called the GoblinAPI which allows you to create new program features, custom drawing tools, map generators, and perform complex actions on your map. You don’t have to be a programmer to use Fractal Mapper, obviously, but if you are—you’ll enjoy the flexibility!
  • The Inspiration Pad
    Need help coming up with names? Let the Inspiration Pad help! The Inspiration Pad is a built in name generator you can use to create endless inspiration for place and people names. Drag and drop randomly generated names onto your map! Over 25 random name generators are included, and since the Inspiration Pad is plug-in based, you can also add your own.
  • Hyperlinking
    You can hyperlink Fractal Mapper maps together, allowing you to create interactive atlases. Each object on your map can be assigned another map as a link. When you click on that object with the link tool, the linked map is displayed. In addition, other types of files, such as PDFs, spreadsheets, or even URLs, can be linked to. When one of those links is clicked, the file is opened up in it’s application (or a browser window is opened and the web site navigated to, in the case of web links).
  • Localization
    Fractal Mapper is used in many countries all over the world. So to make FM more friendly and approachable to the world audience, it can display its menus, buttons, and windows in languages other than English. FM uses a simple text based system for storing translation data, which means anyone can add support for a language (if they speak that language, that is). Language files will be hosted seperately on NBOS Online Exchange as they become available. (note: FM8 does not support unicode-only latin-based character sets)
  • 3D Terrain
    Fractal Mapper includes a free add-on program called Fractal World Explorer. You can use FWE to create great looking 3d shaded relief maps, and then edit and shape the terrain. Once you have a planet you like, you can then export the map for use in Fractal Mapper.
  • Globe View
    Another free add-on program included with Fractal Mapper is the newly redesigned Globe viewer. With this tool, you can wrap your world maps around an interactive globe. You can rotate and pan around your planet, and zoom in and out. The globe view can also be exported as a graphic or even a movie file!
  • NBOS Online Exchange
    Fractal Mapper integrates with NBOS’s web based map sharing system, NBOS Online Exchange. Right from within Fractal Mapper you can upload your maps to the map sharing site. As easily as saving maps to disk, you can now upload and share your maps with others!
    System Requirements:
  • Intel Pentium IV class PC or faster with 512 meg ram.
  • 150 meg free hard disk space
  • Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista.
  • Internet connection and software registration required to access the NBOS Online Exchange map sharing area.

Product Availability

Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of Download.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

NBO801E


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System requirements? Mac Compatible? Need that kind of info, thanks.

Liberty's Edge

Kevin Olmstead wrote:
System requirements? Mac Compatible? Need that kind of info, thanks.

From the NBOS website:

* Intel Pentium® IV class PC or faster with 512 meg ram.
* 150 meg free hard disk space
* Microsoft Windows® XP or Windows Vista®. Fractal Mapper v8.0 may also run on other earlier versions of Windows (such as Windows 2000, Windows 98, etc.), but only XP and Vista are officially supported and tested.
* Internet connection and software registration required to access the NBOS Online Exchange map sharing area. NBOS Online Exchange does not provide internet access.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Kevin Olmstead wrote:
System requirements? Mac Compatible? Need that kind of info, thanks.

Sorry—we try to include those where necessary, but we missed this one. I'll add it in.


Ed Diana at NBOS also has cleared FM8 V8.10f for Windows 7. There is one trivial issue with the 64-bit version of Windows 7. See the forums at http://www.nbos.com for more info.

On the unofficial side, I've done quite a bit of work with FM8 under Windows 7 64 and 32 bit, and except for the trivial (really trivial) issue noted above in the 64-bit version, it works excellently under both.

NBOS forum users report that FM8 also runs excellently under LINUX and WINE. I'm sorry to say that I have no information on attempts to run FM8 on a Mac.


It would be helpful to have the "Pathfinder Chronicles: City Map Folio" in Fractal Mapper format. The maps found in the Pathfinder Chronicles look similar to those created with Fractal Mapper, is that how Pathfinder maps are made? With Fractal Mapper?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Mic Marvin wrote:
It would be helpful to have the "Pathfinder Chronicles: City Map Folio" in Fractal Mapper format. The maps found in the Pathfinder Chronicles look similar to those created with Fractal Mapper, is that how Pathfinder maps are made? With Fractal Mapper?

I'm not a Paizo rep, but I imagine that would be difficult to do due to copyright reasons. People could edit the maps and try to resell or redistribute them as their own.


So if one were to buy a cartography program now; between this, dundjinni and Campaign Cartographer 3, which one would you recommend ?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

@stroVal wrote:
So if one were to buy a cartography program now; between this, dundjinni and Campaign Cartographer 3, which one would you recommend ?

About 10 years ago, I used an older version of Fractal Mapper and while it was good, I was not fully pleased with the results I got. I felt my options were limited and didn't like the image quality.

The version of Campaign Cartographer I used AT THAT TIME I was ultimately happier with the amount of options I had, but it was harder to use. Comparing Fractical Mapper 2000 to CC2, I liked CC2 better.

I currently use Campaign Cartographer 3. I am very happy with it, but it still has a steep learning curve: it uses a CAD based engine -- if you know what you're doing, you could actually build a full, to-scale, contemporary city map if you wanted (let alone rebuild Rivendell); if you don't know what you're doing the amount of options, the varied way you can do things, the way sheets and layers work, etc. Gets very overwhelming very quickly. A few tutorials get you going well, however, and you learn to focus on what you need to do at the time. Ultimately, the only thing I don't like about CC3 is that it has a "smart symbol" and "smart snapping" system which is most "stupid." You're supposed to be able to set symbols to snap quickly to the grid in a way that makes sense to the map set up, and in my experience, it consistently flips symbols around the wrong way and connects them to the wrong gridline. Fortunately this feature can be turned off.

I can also say that CC3 has exceptional customer support and a very helpful community behind it.

Never used Dundjinni; my favorite aspect of CC3 is its Dungeon Designer add-on, which I tried before I heard of Dundjinni, and have never felt a need to branch out.

I would like to see what the current version of Fractal Mapper does with overland area design to be able to compare it to the current version of CC3.

Ultimately, it depends on what you want to do. CC3 of the three programs probably has the most versatility, but also the steepest learning curve/frustration factor.


DeathQuaker wrote:
@stroVal wrote:
So if one were to buy a cartography program now; between this, dundjinni and Campaign Cartographer 3, which one would you recommend ?

About 10 years ago, I used an older version of Fractal Mapper and while it was good, I was not fully pleased with the results I got. I felt my options were limited and didn't like the image quality.

The version of Campaign Cartographer I used AT THAT TIME I was ultimately happier with the amount of options I had, but it was harder to use. Comparing Fractical Mapper 2000 to CC2, I liked CC2 better.

I currently use Campaign Cartographer 3. I am very happy with it, but it still has a steep learning curve: it uses a CAD based engine -- if you know what you're doing, you could actually build a full, to-scale, contemporary city map if you wanted (let alone rebuild Rivendell); if you don't know what you're doing the amount of options, the varied way you can do things, the way sheets and layers work, etc. Gets very overwhelming very quickly. A few tutorials get you going well, however, and you learn to focus on what you need to do at the time. Ultimately, the only thing I don't like about CC3 is that it has a "smart symbol" and "smart snapping" system which is most "stupid." You're supposed to be able to set symbols to snap quickly to the grid in a way that makes sense to the map set up, and in my experience, it consistently flips symbols around the wrong way and connects them to the wrong gridline. Fortunately this feature can be turned off.

I can also say that CC3 has exceptional customer support and a very helpful community behind it.

Never used Dundjinni; my favorite aspect of CC3 is its Dungeon Designer add-on, which I tried before I heard of Dundjinni, and have never felt a need to branch out.

I would like to see what the current version of Fractal Mapper does with overland area design to be able to compare it to the current version of CC3.

Ultimately, it depends on what you want to do. CC3 of the three programs probably has the...

Thank you. Well I want to have versatility but what I really need to do at the moment is make my world map as the players keep asking about it and my version so far is from my GM notebook.(I am better with drawing than with programs but...I don't have the time to paint it at the moment)

I am not familiar with Cad but I have used cc2 and I found it of moderate difficulty.If I invest time and practice can I get to dragon/paizo map detail?

Sovereign Court

I have been searching all over the net trying to find a program that can help me do my maps. Between real life and gaming I don't have alot of time to dedicate to learning how to make a program that work for me. Dundjinni looked very easy, but it doesn't even look like they have done much support or upgrades in 4 or more years. I have been reading on CC3 but everyone says it is extremely complicated to use unless you take the time to learn, something I don't have. Now I'm looking at Fractal Mapper and am a little intimidated to purchase it, tried the extremely limited demo version, but the limitations of it are so limited I don't know if it is complicated or not. Please any advice?


Quthack wrote:
I have been searching all over the net trying to find a program that can help me do my maps. Between real life and gaming I don't have alot of time to dedicate to learning how to make a program that work for me.

My personal advise, based on the statement above is: Work with hand-drawn maps. Generally you will be able to make them more quickly (for large areas that do not need tactical-level detail) and the results will be more satisfying.

That said, I do not want to discourage you from trying mapping software. However, mapping is a very complex subject.

Mapping programs with the versatility to handle anything you can throw at it are very time consuming to learn for anything by the most basic things (landform shapes, roads, and city locations). It is possible to make very pretty maps (as though they come from a Paizo product) with these types of software, but only after investing a lot of time learning to use them.

Mapping programs that are easy to pick up and use are not usually very versatile. Dundjinni used to be, essentially, an electronic 'Dungeon Tiles'. The maps may be visually appealing, but they only fit together in certain ways.

Which mapping program you decide to use ultimately depends on what you want out of the tool. Do you want quick, easy, pretty maps? Maybe Dundjinni is for you.

There are other products out there, as well, worth exploring. Play with Demos if they're available, and see what kind of results you can achieve in 5 mintues, 15 minutes, and 30 minutes. That will help you decide.

<added in an edit>
Since this is a thread on the Fractal Mapper product listing: please, try it and see what you think. I've never used it, but I know people that love it and claim very good results with it. I also know people that hate it for various reasons. It's just like anything.

Sovereign Court

Thanks for the advice, as you yourself said it is easier and less time consuming to do maps by paper, which I have always done, and mostly will continue to do. The whole search for mapping software was because I wanted a city for a current campaign, but haven't found anything on the web or paizo maps that matched what I had in my head. And I do occassionaly run into the same problem so I figured I would look into it. Again thanks for the advice.


I hope you still do these boards. The last entry was a few years ago.

Well, I am looking for a good rpg city map creator. I have looked at CG3, Dunnjinni, and Fractual Mapper (FM) and I want to know which will give me the best CITY maps with the least amount of effort.

Also, I want a product with preloaded maps found within, that are manipulative- much of a cut and paste, etc. Where all I need to do is a few tweaks. Is there such a thing? Or am I stuck creating them from scratch.

Does FM work with Windows 8/8.1?

About how long does it take to learn FM with any amount of confidence where I can make a simple village map?

I appreciate the response if this forum is still active.

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