Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've been looking for a program that can create maps on a Mac... Any ideas? I would like it to be a World Map, that the players just relate to, to know where they are and to tie all of the quests into one story. Also as a side note, I'm not skilled at GIMP or Photoshop, so I would rather not go on that approach.

share|improve this question
You only need 1 world-scale map for a whole setting (unless planet-hopping is part of the game). So just draw it in pencil and scan or photograph it if you need on a computer. Or clarify what features/level of detail you expect that means a quick pencil sketch is not enough? – Neil Slater May 12 '14 at 13:49
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Nearly all mapmaking software aimed at RPGs is exclusively for Windows, which makes it hard for GMs who are Mac owners to find anything to create maps, if they don't have the technical and artistic skills that mapmaking with a photo-editing suite requires.

The one RPG mapping tool I've used to good effect that is available on Mac is Hexographer. (It's Java, so runs everywhere Java is installed, which includes Macs.) I've used its free verson to create world maps before, and it does the job well enough. It creates hex maps though, so its maps are not pretty by modern standards (unless you like the aesthetic of hex maps!), but for your purposes will convey the information you need to your players.

share|improve this answer

When I saw the question I immediately thought of Hexographer.

I use it on a Windows PC and Linux (runs under Java, so should also work on Mac). The free version has good random map generation, but also a good choice of tiles to create your own from scratch.

The paid version lets you zoom in on a hex (or range of hexes) to add more detail to a specific area, also an option to import an image (such as an outline map) and draw on top of it.

share|improve this answer

Ortelius by MapDiva is I believe the best map-making app out there right now for mac. Version 2 is apparently right around the corner.

share|improve this answer
That looks awesome. I'm going to have to check it out when I get home. However, it's worth noting that this is professional cartography software with a matching price ($99). – Bobson Mar 31 '15 at 18:26
Submitted as an edit by an anon but should have been a comment: "Update: After watching their website and forums for the past 6+ months I've seen very little development or forum usage. Version 2 apparently won't be put out until 2015 though at this point I'm wondering if at all. It looks great, but at the price point I'd tread carefully." – SevenSidedDie Jul 13 '15 at 15:32

If all you want is a cool world map, donjon has a generic world generator that works pretty good and runs online (you can easily export the maps, though). If you happen to be running a fantasy campaign or one of a handful of scifi systems there are slightly enhanced generators available on that site as well. All of the stuff is free, and takes basically no time or effort to use, which is pretty sweet.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.