FR Atlas FAQ


Below is an extensive list of questions and answers relating to the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas CD. Many queries and solutions are given here by various sources, the main FAQ is provided courtesy of Simon Rogers of ProFantasy Software Ltd. - Creators of the software. Furthermore, information compiled by Mark Oliva and Carl Nielson from discussions on the REALMS-L Mailing List are also given..

Forgotten Realms® Interactive Atlas CD
Ordering info: ISBN: 0-7869-1451-3, TSR#11451


1. What Updates Are Available? How Do I Get Them?

Updates No. 1 and No. 2 both are available for free download from the Wizards of the Coast website. These updates correct errors and add a large number of new maps to your Atlas. The download files are quite sizeable, coming to 32 MB for Update No. 1 and 39 MB for Update No. 2. The second update is supplemental. You must install Update No. 1 before you install Update No. 2.

Important: After installing the updates, zou must use the Atlas menu options Go and Reindex Atlas before the new elements become functional! Reindexing takes approximatelz 6 to 7 minutes.

Download the updates from this URL:

2. Where Do I Get Info?

The best running source for information on the FR Atlas is the FRATLAS-L Mailing List at the WotC Oracle Server. To join the regular FRAtlas-L mailing list, read the LISTSERV Reference Card and then send an EMail to: LISTSERV@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM

with the following message (modified as desired according to your reference card):

SUB FRAtlas-L <Your name>

If you prefer the digest version, send the following message instead(modified as desired according to your reference card):

SUB FRAtlas-L <Your name>

Another source of information is the technical support service for registered users at ProFantasy Ltd. in London. Send an eMail to:

3. FR Interactive Atlas FAQ v1.01
By Simon Rogers, ProFantasy Ltd. London,

What is the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas?

The Atlas consists of three parts. First, over 500 maps of the Realms. All of these are attractively rendered in full color. Second, the viewer, which enables you to find your maps then print them. Third, the Globe which shows a spherical overview of Abeir-Toril which you can click on to view selected areas in the Viewer.

Ordering info: ISBN: 0-7869-1451-3, TSR#11451

See the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas product page in 'Tethtorils Bookhelf'.


The Viewer

What can the viewer do?

The viewer is configured to let you navigate quickly and easily between maps and within maps, print the maps at any scale and hide and show features on a map. You can add information to maps and hide and show features.

How can I find a particular map?

An indexed search quickly takes you to any related maps; find all overland maps, all maps from a particular product, or all maps containing Waterdeep and Church. You can also select a map using Open, which works just the same way as in any other software. You can use the forward and back button to move through recently viewed maps. Finally, you can select a map from predefined lists of maps called bookmark. An example bookmark lists all the maps in alphabetical order.

How can I group related maps?

The bookmark utility lets you select any map from the Atlas and add it to a list. You can also add searches to the list. You can save any number of lists. For example, you could have a list of all maps relating to Waterdeep, all maps from a particular product, or a list of the maps you'll need for your forthcoming session.

How quick and easy is it to search for particular maps?

The viewer uses an indexed search; this means that searches happen in a split second. You can search for any text appearing in the body of the map, or in the map notes. The map notes contain product information and map details, so you can quickly find a particular map from a particular supplement. (If you make any changes to the maps, or add maps of your own, you can re-index the Atlas. This takes two or three minutes. )

Can I view lists of related maps?

The Atlas has a feature called Bookmarking. This allows you to create lists of related maps. You can add to these lists manually, or add a search. You can move bookmarked files up and down the list or remove them. You can make a list of related files for your own campaign, or track the journeys of Marco Volo. The Atlas includes some example bookmarks, including an alphabetical list of all maps and a list of Waterdeep related maps.

How else can I navigate between maps?

You can select the parent map of any map. For example, if you select the parent icon on the Waterdeep map, you would see an appropriate map of the Sword Coast. You can also get to the parent by clicking on the center of the compass rose. You can click on hotspots to open other maps. For example, if another floor of a building is mapped, you can click on the stairs to open that map; if a town is mapped, you can select it on an overland map and it will open. On overland maps, you can click on the arrows on the compass rose to see adjacent maps, or click on an area to see a focus map.

How do I navigate within maps?

You can zoom to any part of the map in at most two steps. You can zoom in, out, to a particular window, to the extents of the map, or to a pre-defined view of the map. Finally, you can find and zoom to a particular item of text; this is particularly useful on large overland maps or cities such as Waterdeep - you can find any street or keyed location very quickly.

How can I get information about the map?

You can find the distance as the crow flies between any two points using Distance. You can find the distance between any two points on a road or river using Length Along and you can find the area of a piece of land using Area -just draw around the area to be measured. How do I hide and show map features? All of the drawing objects on the maps are divided up into layers. Think of these as overlapping pieces of clear plastic. You can hide a layer (remove the clear plastic sheet) or show it (put the sheet back again). This means that you can hide secret features, traps, keys or text so that players can't see them. When you print, hidden layers are not shown.

What printing options are there?

There are three options that control what you print. First, what view you are printing? This can be the entire drawing, the view you can currently see, or a predefined view. Second, the scale you are printing at. This can be no scale (in other words the view you have chosen fits on the page) or a particular scale (1" = 10', 1:72, whatever). Finally, you can choose whether to print on one piece of paper, or tile your print across many pieces of paper.

A few examples of what you can do:

Can I export maps?

Yes. You can export maps as a high resolution bitmap. Bitmaps are easily converted into other raster-based images such as GIFs and JPEGs.

What changes can I make to maps with the viewer? The viewer is not designed to edit maps, just view them. However, you can add searchable map notes to any map, hide and show layers, or save a particular view, and if you save the map, that information will remain. You can edit the maps, but you'll need Campaign Cartographer 2™ or Campaign Mapper™ to edit the maps.

The Maps

How were the maps created?

We scanned the maps from the source material. Most of the original were black and white and not very detailed. We then recreated each map by drawing over the scan using our Campaign Cartographer 2 software, correcting errors and often adding interesting detail based on the map keys in the source material. Over 100 Campaign Cartographer 2 users were involved in the project under the watchful supervision of the Forgotten Realms team. All the maps are in full color and contain as much if not more information than the originals. In addition there are a number of all-new maps including a new level of the Undermountain.

How did you create the overland maps?

These were scanned, just as the other maps were, but were much harder to keep consistent; many of the original maps do mot fit together properly. We worked from a world view down, making sure each section fitted with its neighbors.

Do maps have square or hex grids?

Most non-overland maps have an appropriately sized and labelled square grid. Overland maps do not have a grid. Non-overland maps that had a hex grid on the original have a hex grid on the Atlas version. You can hide or show the grid.

What overland maps are included?

The whole of the Realms has been mapped at overland campaign level, some areas to greater detail than others. The overland maps in the Atlas have been consolidated from several sources, with an eye to making the overland map set as complete, up-to-date, and accurate as possible. Where conflicting information appears within the original source material, corrections and changes have been made where necessary through liaison with TSR.

What other maps are included?

What isn't included?

With the exception of a selection of maps from OA7 Test of the Samurai, and the module series FRA1-3 (and, of course, the Kara Tur boxed set), maps from Oriental Adventures modules and source are not included.

With the exception of the overland map information, no map from any Al-Qadim source has been included.

A small number (roughly 5% of existing material) of adventure module maps.

What is common to all maps?

Maps have a compass rose showing north (where appropriate). Maps have a scale bar. All maps have predefined layers; overland, city and floorplan maps have slightly different layer sets. They all look great.

What format are the maps in?

The Atlas' maps are stored in a compressed vector format. Instead of using the array of dots found in bitmaps, the Atlas stores maps as a collection of geometric shapes that combine to make the map. These are stored in a drawing 's database. Whenever you change the view in the viewing window, the Atlas re-calculates what you can see from the database and displays it. The Atlas' file format has four major advantages over raster-based images (e.g. GIFs and bitmaps). First, you can zoom in and print without any loss of detail. Second, the files created are very small in comparison with similarly detailed raster maps. Third, you can hide and show relevant features using layers. Finally, the Atlas uses the same file format as AD&D Core Rules Campaign Mapper® and ProFantasy Software's Campaign Cartographer 2®, so you can use these to edit the maps.

The Globe

What is the Globe?

The globe is a spherical image of Aber-Toril, including never before seen lands. It is used when you need to step back and get an overview. You can use the globe to open maps in the viewer. The globe has two images; an attractive relief map and a more prosaic features map. You can swap between the two at any time.

How do I control what I see on the globe?

You can use a "hand" cursor to grab the globe and drag it around. You can zoom in to get a more detailed view, or zoom out.

How can I select an area to explore?

When you move the arrow cursor over the globe, mapped areas highlight and a yellow tool tip lets you know the name of the area. You can then click on any area to open the appropriate map in the viewing window.

What else can I use the Globe for?

You can use it to play the animation that comes with the Atlas.

Other Questions

How can I edit the maps?

If you have Campaign Mapper (in the AD&D Core Rules 2.0) or Campaign Cartographer you will be able to edit the maps in the Atlas and create your own. It is much easier to make changes to the maps in the Atlas than to start your own from scratch. You will need version 6 or higher of CC2 or CM to edit the maps. The Atlas includes a free upgrade to version 6 of Campaign Mapper for existing Core Rules 2 users.

How can I add encounters?

If you have Campaign Mapper (in the AD&D Core Rules 2.0) or Campaign Cartographer and Core Rules 2.0 you will be able to link encounters to your map created with Core Rules 2.0.

I have CC2 version 5. Can I edit the maps?

No. CC2 version 5 users need to purchase an upgrade to version 6 to be able to edit the maps from . A free software-only upgrade to version 6 is available with City Designer 2. The upgrade is only £10.00 / $15.00 and includes many more features.

Are there any new symbols included?

We created over 500 new symbols based on original TSR artwork to make the Atlas. If you have Campaign Mapper (in the AD&D Core Rules 2.0) or Campaign Cartographer 2 v.6 (from ), the symbols will install automatically and be available for you to add to your own maps.

A list of source material used to make the Atlas:

Boxed Sets

Softback Books & Modules



Trail Maps

A list of sources not included to make the Atlas

Certain of the products below were referenced to ensure overland map consistency, but no individual maps from these sources appear in the Atlas) This list does not include unreferenced novels and magazine articles).

Boxed Sets

Softback Books & Modules

* indicates no cartographical source

4. More Answers, Tips and Tricks
Compiled by Mark Oliva and Online Coordinator Carl Nielsen

This page is compiled from tips, tricks, answers and suggestions posted on the various Forgotten Realms Mailing Lists and from suggestions submitted by list members.

Menu (click the desired option)

Private Atlas Maps and TSR Canon

Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 11:43:03 -0700
From: Jim Butler oracle@WIZARDS.COM

In going through the FR Interactive Atlas CD, I noticed that lots of places, villages, etc., have been added that never have been mentioned previously in any official FR material. Daggerdale is a good example. With the 32MB update, there are at least four new villages located in Daggerdale that never have been mentioned anywhere before. When one checks the info file behind these villages, one sees that the the source is not in canon material but rather that these villages are the invention of the volunteers who made the maps.

My question: Are these villages now considered to be official FR sites by TSR? If so, will TSR also view the map layout as official? Or will we maybe see, for example, a brand new and totally different map of the new village of Teshmere in some paper product?

The map locations and such are considered to be canon. The amount of future development that you see on those locations will largely be based on how they fit into future products. It's probably safe to bet that we won't be doing major products based on any of them in the near future.

Good Gaming!

Jim Butler, Brand Manager
Alternity, D&D Worlds
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
(425) 254-2289

What Maps Are in the Update?

Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999
From: Ian R Malcomson ian@DOMICUS.DEMON.CO.UK

The following list shows those maps that are included in the downloadable update to the FR Atlas. Note that it does not include maps that appear in the CD installation that needed to be included in the update due to the addition of new links etc.

0110 Mount Drakkor Rouge
0120 Temple of the Dragon Oracle
0130 Border Outpost
0150 Adzerak's Home
0160 Thistleflame Keep - Manor
0160 Thistleflame Keep
0180 Journey's Rest
0200 Tower of Ruin
0210 Wyvernwatch
0250 The Illithid Cavern
0420 Caxal's Palace
0430 Drakosa Estate
0460 Death's Head Bar
0470 Golotl's House
0480 The Pens of Tezat
0520 The Signal Tower
0530 The Gilden Kiva Surroundings
0540 Golden Kiva Interior
0550 Kin Elbhaz Storage Chamber
0640 Hellgate Keep Surface Features
0650 Hellgate Keep Grintharke's Gulch
0660 Hellgate Keep Sewers
0670 Hellgate Keep Lesser Assemblies
0690 Hellgate Keep Deep Garrisons 2
0700 Hellgate Keep Deep Garrisons 1
0720 Hellgate Keep Cross-Section
0740 Hellgate Keep Dlardrageth Redoubt
0750 Hellgate Keep The Deep Tunnels
0760 Hellgate Keep Chambers Below
0790 Shraevyn's Tomb
0800 Lair of Alokkair
0820 Tombs of Deckon Thar
0830 Tomb of Hsssthak
0840 Lair of Jeremiah Morningmist
0850 Mansion of Hieronymous Bosco
0920 Sparkling Edge
0950 Jack Mooney & Sons (A)
0960 Jack Mooney & Sons Circus (B)
0970 The Whitewater
0990 Leaf In Root
1010 Safe Harbor Marine Insurance Company
1040 Flirin's Sea Morsels
1050 Ashakar's Accessories
1070 The Lighthouse
1090 Coker Wharf Company
1160 Dragondark Tower
1170 The Thelaeneum
1180 The Llundlath
1190 The Neirdrecrypt
1200 Windsong Tower
1230 Tessaril's Tower
1240 House of the Morning
1240A House of the Morning 2nd Floor
1250 Rivior's Keep
1260 Haunted Halls of Eveningstar
1270 Mage-Lords Crypt
1280 Eagle's Eyrie
1350 Temple of Torm
2140 Hall of the Beast-Tamers
2150 School of Wizardry
2170 Khazari Ra-Khati House
2180 Horseshoe Temple Upper
2180 Horseshoe Temple
2200 Walls of the Madinat of Dhaztanar
2220 Rainbow Falls Monestary Interiors
2230 Deserted City of Kushk
2310 Palace of Ultimate Felicity
2320 Solon - Imaskari Level
2320 Solon - Kao Level
2320 Solon - Solonese Level
2320 Solon - Profile
2350 Red Mountain Monastery
2460 Giant Kobold Tunnels
2510 Hillsafar Hall
2680 Mnt Akka Caverns
2700 Gate of Iron Fangs
2730 Under Elmwood
2770 Hill Giant Camp
2780 Frost Giant Glacier
2790 Fire Giant Palace
2840 Draco Holy Wars Map
2870 House Faen Tlabbar
2870 House Agrach Dyrr
2900 House Mizzrym
2910 House Fey Branche
2930 Battle Maze 1
2940 Battle Maze 2 Level 1
2940 Battle Maze 2 Level 2
2940 Battle Maze 2 Level 3
2950 House Millithor
3130 Cathedral of Emerald Scales
3150 Cloister of St Ramedar Lvl 1-4
3150 Cloister of St Ramedar Lvl 5-8
3150 Cloister of St Ramedar Overview
3270 Typical Stonelands - Goblin Marches Goblin Lair
3280 Typical Sembian Family Farm
3680 Model Sabban of Calishite City
3840 Bargewright Inn
3850 Beorunna's Well
4020 Dhaztanar
4201 Hellgate Keep Pre-Destruction
4363 Beneath Kuo Meilan
4400 Longsaddle
4490 Menzoberranzan
4860 Shoonach
4720 Phlan 1357
5470 Zhentil Keep (pre-1368 DR)
5480 Catacombs Beneath Zhentil Keep
5490 Wolover's Keep
5510 Stronghold Level 3
5520 Stronghold Level 1
5530 Stronghold Beach
5540 Stronghold Level 2
5620 Tilverton Thieves' Guild
5630 Fire Knives HQ
5640 Temple of Moander
5650 Myth Drannor Burial Glenn
5660 Temple of Tyranthraxus
6050 Cryshal Tirith
6060 The Cutlass
6240 Denlor's Tower
6251 Cadorna Textile House
6280 North Gate Inn
6300 The House
6350 Castle Kilgrave
6370 The Flaming Tower
6470 Sokol Keep
6480 Kovel Mansion
6490 Temple of Bane
6500 Kuto's Well
6500b Catacombs Beneath Kuto's Well
6510 Mantor's Library
6520 Stojanow Gate
6530 Valhingen Graveyard
6540 Valjevo Castle
6550 Valjevo Castle Second Floor
6560 Sorcerer's Island Overview
6570 Sorcerer's Island Lower Level
6580 Sorcerer's Island Upper Levels
6590 Thri-Kreen Village Ground Level
6600 Thri-Kreen Village Below Ground
6620 Nomad Camp
6660 Kobold Camp
6670 Hobgoblin's Lair Ground Level
6680 Hobgoblin's Lair Below Ground
6700 Secret Temple
6720 Temple in the Sky
6750 The Black Altar Temple of Bane
6760 Fzoul's Tower
6770 The Tower High
6780 Sewers Under Zhentil Keep
10005 Arkhenham
10006 Falls Creek
10007 Hap
10013 Tethyamerside
10019 Feather Falls
10024 Heggar's Bridge
20001 Wang Ho School of Kung Fu
20002 White Tiger Monastery
20003 House of Chen
20004 Inn of the Lucky Dragon
20006 Fochu
20007 Jasuga
20008 Cham Fau
Phlan Mansions
Phlan Podol Plaza
Phlan Slums
Tilverton Sewers
Veilstone Peaks regional
Zhentil Keep Outpost

Ian R Malcomson

Can I Use ProFantasy's CC2 Viewer With the FR Atlas?

Date: Tue, 15 Dec1999
From: Mark Oliva

Yes. But only if you use the current Version 6. You can download it free from ProFantasy's Web Site: .

Mark Oliva

Improving Computer Performance With the Atlas

Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999
From: Steve Allen scorge30@HOTMAIL.COM

For those users of the FR Atlas using Windows 9X or NT try doing the following. Before opening the Atlas, press Control Alt and Del together once. You should see a window open listing the programs currently running on your PC. If you purchased your PC from makers such as Compaq, you will see a long list of programs that automatically load when your boot up the computer. These eat up lots of needed RAM, that are not necessary at this time, when you need all the RAM available for handling the maps. Using the window that pops up each time you press Control, Alt and Delete together, close all of these programs (!except Explorer!) by highliting the program and pressing the button *end task*. Closing Explorer will shut your computer down. This includes all anti-virus programs, and any of the memory eating Windows file utilities. This should remarkably improve your computer performance but once you are done with the Atlas, restart your computer to reload all those programs. Especially be careful not to enter the Internet while your anti-virus programs are shut down.

Steve Allen AKA Scourge

Plans for More Updates

Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999
From: Simon Rogers simon@PROFANTASY.COM

WotC has allowed us to complete all remaining FR maps. These will be available by free download, too. Hopefully before Christmas.

Simon Rogers

Problems With Layers

Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999
From: Simon Rogers simon@PROFANTASY.COM

<<"Reducing the number of Redraws" - simply says don't use the scrollbars to navigate, use zoom features, and save your views. "Increasing Redraw Speed" - just tells you to hide some layers - but I can't figure out how to make the layers stay hidden for the next map I see! It takes more time to keep shutting them off than to just let the damn thing redraw....

The layer settings are stored in an individual basis. You can save the map with whatever layers hidden you want. Global layer settings are on our wish list. The only problem with this is that it would need a seperate dialog box, a global one, to allow for those users who want to run the software from the CD. We might make a script file which goes through every map and hides the layers you want in every map. We can do this, If you would like this, please let me know.

The engine we use is by far the fastest PC-based CAD viewer in the world. We are working on one that works even faster (about 5 times faster) for future Atlases.

Simon Rogers

Will Zakhara Maps Be Added?

Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999
From: Simon Rogers simon@PROFANTASY.COM

I believe so, yes.

Simon Rogers

Editing Atlas Maps

Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999
From: Simon Rogers simon@PROFANTASY.COM

In order to edit Realms maps, you can do one of three things.

1) Export the maps from the Atlas into Windows bitmaps, and edit these using any paint package in existence. This is free.

2) As advertised, use Core Rules 2.0 Campaign Mapper to edit the maps. The Atlas includes a free upgrade to version 6.0 of Campaign Mapper. If anyone can't edit their maps with Campaign Mapper, please contact us for support at .

3) Use Campaign Cartographer 2 version 6. This is the current version. It was released in September.

Simon Rogers

About CC2 Version 6 and Updates

Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999
From: Simon Rogers simon@PROFANTASY.COM

For your information:

The only people who have to pay this additional sum in order to edit their maps are those who haven't got Core Rules 2.0 and bought CC2 before 1st January 1999, don't want CD2 and who don't want to edit the maps in raster format. This is likely to be a very small number of people. If any of these people have examined the extra features of CC2 version 6 and the new manual and don't consider them to be worthwhile and find the Atlas useless without the ability to edit the maps in vector format, I suggest they ask their Atlas supplier for a refund.

Version 6 includes over 100 new features including fractalisation, all new features in the Atlas freehand skecthing and improved editing and text
support. Anyone who wants a list, please contact me.

Simon Rogers

Reindex After Updating

Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999
From: Simon Rogers simon@PROFANTASY.COM
Subject: Re: MISC: Atlas Search Problems

I just downlowded the 30 MB download from the Wizards Website. It worked > fine, but whenever I try to use the search feature to find any of those maps (such as the plans of Hellgate Keep) I get that they don't exist. However, I am able to open them with the "open" command. Has anybody else had this problem, and do they know of a way to fix it?

Try reindexing.

Simon Rogers

Raster and Vector Images

Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999
From: Simon Rogers simon@PROFANTASY.COM

Raster images consist of a grid of dots stored in various ways (bitmpas, gifs, etc.). Vector file formats (such as the Atlas's) consist of a list of objects (lines, arcs, etc) which are displayed on the screen by the viewer going through the file and displaying what can be seen. It is very simple to convert from vector to raster, very difficult to go the other way. You don't lose detail when you zoom into vector drawings and hence you can print them out at any scale.

I am happy to answer any more questions on this subject, or give tech support for specific problems with the Atlas, but it's probably best to e-mail me personally, or join the software.altas newsgroup.


Simon Rogers


Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999
From: Ian R Malcomson ian@DOMICUS.DEMON.CO.UK


A raster image consists of pixel information - each pixel (dot) is defined by a set of colour attributes. Different file formats and compressions handle this pixel information in different ways (accounting for the differences in file size between, say, a BMP and JPEG file containing exactly the same picture). The resolution of the image determines the number of dots contained therein (300dpi means, literally, that the image has 300 dots per inch). The higher the resolution, the greater the number of dots it contains, thus the larger the file will be. Additionally (and this is especially true of "raw" raster formats, such as BMPs and DIBs), colours are usually stored in an RGB format (Red - Green - Blue). The higher the colour depth, the larger the numbers that need to be stored within the RGB values, thus the larger the file. For example, a 300dpi, 16-bit (c.65,000 colours) BMP that is 1" square contains 90,000 dots, with each dot requiring 16 bits (4 bytes) to define. Thus, the image would take up 360Kb disk space.

When you zoom in to a raster image, you are, in effect, increasing the size of the dots. Obviously, the smaller the dots in the first place (i.e., the higher the resolution of the image), then the further you can zoom in to an image before the dots become so large that the image is lost.

With a vector format, the image is defined, not by dots, but by the entities that make up the image. For example, a vector file may contain a flood-filled circle of radius a, border colour b, and fill colour c. The file would also define the x,y coordinate (and, in certain vector based packages, a z coordinate) of the circle centre. As you zoom in, the vector translator is, effectively, redrawing the circle from the information it has, thus no loss in resolution at whatever zoom level is seen.

The only advantages raster formats have over vector are (1) they are generally more portable than vector formats (in the fact that there are more pieces of software on the market that can read the various raster formats), and (2) rendering them to the screen is easier, in programming terms (not as true for the various compression formats, such as JPEG and GIF, but certainly true of raw formats such as DIB, BMP and RAS).

The general advantages vector formats have over raster are (1) relative file size (vector files are almost always smaller than an equivalent raster), (2) resolution loss when zooming, (3) ease of editing (since vector files store their data by entity, each element of a vector image can thus be edited by changing the attributes of the entity contained within the file), (4) memory usage, and (5) the ability to depict 3-dimensional models (most 3D games, such as Quake etc., make use of vector information to create their models, although the surface rendering ("skins" etc.) is then supplied by a raster image which is wrapped around the vector model).

This is why most engineering, architectural, GIS, etc. packages use vector, rather than raster, formats.

In the case of the FR Atlas, if we had converted all of the maps we produced into a raster format, then the ability to zoom right in to them would be lost, and there is no way the information would have been made available on a single CD. Say, for the sake of argument, the average map size would need to be 10" square, at 600dpi to allow a reasonable zoom level, at 16-bit colour depth. To date, the Atlas comprise 638 individual maps. Each map, as a raw raster, would thus require 144Mb. Assuming that we used a compression format - let's say JPEG using c.30% compression - each map would thus require around 40Mb. Multiply that by 638 to get 25,520Mb for the maps on the Atlas - or a total of 40 individual CDs. I'm not sure anyone would have liked to buy such a convoluted product, and I'm certainly sure they would not have enjoyed the cost of it.

Ian R Malcomson

The Atlas: Campaign Cartographer 2 vs. Campaign Mapper

Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999
From: "Mark W. Bruce" markwbruce@EARTHLINK.NET

I purchased City Designer 2 which upgraded my CC2 to version 6, but eventually wanted the new manual as well for CC2. The manual is bundled with the CC2 v6 upgrade CD, which I did not need and questioned at the time, but the manual itself is well worth the $15 as I have come to discover.

Also, while CM does a fair job, I have always wanted the full feature functionality of CC for editing my maps. I noticed quite a few postings from people saying "Why should I have to buy another piece of software to do things" ... well, have you ever had to download a zipped file that is NOT self-executable. I cannot recall having to do so in recent memory, but that didn't help me zip up my own files to send to someone, so I had to purchase zip software. The same principle applies here. You can edit with CM, but if you want full functionality, go with CC2 (and DD2 and CD2 -- shameless plugs for some great products).

-- Mark W. Bruce

Why Weren't More Maps on the CD?

Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999
From: Simon Rogers simon@PROFANTASY.COM

It wasn't lack of disk space that prevented us form including more maps on the CD.

Lack of disk space is the reason we didn't include all the maps in raster format on the CD, and also the reason we had to add a compressed file format to the CAD engine for the Atlas with a 3:1 compression ratio. The amount of information included on the Atlas is immense.

Now, as to why all the maps were not included on the CD. I am happy to reiterate this. Wizards of the Coast provided us with a vast list of maps and gave us a budget. There isn't a company in existence who could have converted that list within the budget without extensive free assistance, nor could the potential sales of the product warrant the vast budget that would have been required. We therefore contracted to do the maps on an individual basis, as many as we could do. However, due to the massive response from CC2 mappers and Realms fans who agreed to help us, we instead able to do all of the maps on the list. Time constraints meant that this list had to be divided into two, as it was never originally intended that all maps be done.

Yes, Wizards could have released a disk full of medium resolution scans, and sold it for just as much, but that wouldn't have been as good. You can export into bitmap from the Atlas if you want.

Wizards therefore released the Atlas with more than the planned original number of maps; they've put a whole bunch of extra maps that were not originally included up on the web, and now, thanks to the success of the Atlas, they have agreed to let us finish all outstanding maps in the Realms and put those up for download for Atlas users.

Simon Rogers

Electronic Registration Problems

Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999
From: Ian R Malcomson ian@DOMICUS.DEMON.CO.UK

I cannot register the program. Whenever I try to, I get a GPF.

The e-reg software is currently under investigation by TSR - the Dragon archive uses the same set-up. However, try this:

This way, the software recognises that you've registered (but remember that you have not registered), and you've got a fax to send at your leisure. Hopefully, the e-reg people will fix the problem with their software, and you'll be able to electronically register in the future.

Ian R Malcomson

Data transfer interruptions

From time to time the transfer of data from WotC's web site to your computer may be interrupted due to conditions WotC cannot control, particularly if you use an analog modem rather than digital equipment. With most browsers, this means you have to reopen the WotC site and begin the download all over again starting with byte No. Zero. This is not only irritating and time-consuming, but it also can be expensive. This problem can be minimized. There are several software programs that allow you to continue an interrupted download at the point where it was broken off, rather than having to start all over again. We recommend Go!Zilla, a freeware program that you can use at no cost. If you have no such program installed on your system, we suggest that you download Go!Zilla now, leave the Internet, install Go!Zilla and then begin downloading. This can save you time and money.

Download Go!Zilla (1.8 MB)

Mark Oliva in Bavaria

Where Are the Bloodstone Maps?

Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999
From: Ian R Malcomson

Has anyone noticed the H1-4 Bloodstone maps included with the release of the >Atlas, or is that included in the Atlas update file? It was mentioned in the FAQ that maps from these modules would be included.

We will be considering H1-4 maps to form part of the second major update to the Atlas. The FAQ does not mention these modules in relation to the Atlas or the first major update, as they were not included on the list of maps TSR provided to comprise the Atlas.

Ian R Malcomson

How Much Space Do Bitmap-Conversions Need?

Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999
From: Carl Nielsen

How much space bitmap conversions take up depends entirely on how you convert. A conversion can be as big as Waterdeep or as small as the pimple on Elminster's nose, both in the same excellent quality.

For step-by-step tips on how to do it right, see:


Carl Nielsen
[ ]
Online coordinator, Northern Realms Projects Group

New Sites in the High Dale

Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999
From: Simon Rogers

There are some places that I have never heard of before -- which surprises me since I practically own everything published on the Realms. Can someone point out where I might find more information on these places in the High Dale?


For information on what product each map is from, select Info > Map Notes. In the case of Volkumburgh, this gives

Product:The Shattered Statue
Page Number: 25

There are some original maps as well. To find these, select Search, Map Notes (not text) and type original.

This gives you sixteen never-before-seen places.

Simon Rogers

Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999
From: Ian R Malcomson

All of these places are described in the AD&D 1st Ed./DragonQuest module "DQ1: The Shattered Statue", by Paul Jaquays (TSR 9221). This may be included as part of an OOP FR source CD WotC have made noises about releasing in the future.

Ian R Malcomson

Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999
From: "Eric L. Boyd"

These places first appeared in DQ1 - The Shattered Statue. (For the curious, this odd little module was the one and only FR module that also had Runequest stats. It also introduced Amelior Amanetis (sp?), the narrator for FR5 - The Savage Frontier.

There may have been mention of one or all in VGttD or VGtC, but I don't recall.

Bryon Wischstadt reprised this old adventure in his Adventurer's Guild adventure that accompanied the release of Cult of the Dragon ... and which was reprinted in TSR Jam 1999.


Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999
From: Jason Hatter

All of these are first found in module DQ1-The Shattered Statue. Coincidentally, I'm running that module right now in my campaign. 8) It's a crossbreed module, with stats for AD&D (1st Ed) and Dragonquest. Published in '87 or so, written by Paul Jaquays. It's interesting; it contains some of the stuff later republished in the Cult of the Dragon supplement (the dragon-wraith, for one). It also contains the first mention of Amelior Aminatas (sp?) and his manservant Erek, who later featured (quite prominently) as narrators of FR5-The Savage Frontier. One problem I have with the module is that apparently wyverns in Dragonquest are land-bound animals, since nothing about their flight capabilites are mentioned in the module. All in all, I'd give it about a 6.5 out of 10 or so.

The Dragon Oracle also features in this years TSR JAM adventure compendium that came out back in March or so...but apparently the author of the adventure hadn't really read DQ1, since the Dragon Oracle is supposedly on an island in a lake in an old (dead or really passive) volcanic
caldera....but according to the adventure (iirc), it's in a vale. Ooops.

As far as where else it may appear....nowhere. I don't recall reading about it in Volo's Guide. IMC, I placed it several miles off the main trail through the Thundergap, in a valley that can currently only be reached via some very steep and dangerous trails. Hence, Amelior and his obsession with the awtamawtawn.


Can We Help Make Atlas Update Maps?

Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 01:20:20 +0100
From: Ian R Malcomson

We are currently putting together a second update to the Atlas. The second update will add in the remaining maps from Forgotten Realms sources (which includes the Desert of Desolation series).

As for the T, A, G, D and Q module maps, these will be included in a future, non-Realms Atlas, if/when the details of such a project are finalised.

If you are interested in volunteering for the current FR Atlas update project, drop me a line at If you have CC2, I suggest joining the CC-L e-mail list (see for details), and keeping an eye out there for future developments.

Ian R Malcomson

Will the OOP CD Tie Into the Map Notes of the Atlas?

Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999
From: Jim Butler

Doing something like this isn't part of the plan, at least not right now. Changing the focus of the OOP CD-ROM titles at this point would be a major undertaking that would push back the release date quite a ways...

Perhaps it's something we could look at doing in a sequel...

Good Gaming!

Jim Butler, Brand Manager
Alternity, D&D Worlds
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
(425) 254-2289

Can Other Maps Be Added to the Atlas?

Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999
From: Steigerwald EDV

All CC2/CM Maps at Version 6 level can be imported into the Atlas, including any you may have, not just those from Northern Journey. To do this, you simply copy the map file (FCW-File) into the Maps Folder (Directory) of the Atlas folder (directory). If you installed the Atlas on hard disk C, for example, the path looks like this:

|--FR Atlas

After you've copied the file, reindex the Atlas. You do that by clicking the Menu Option "Go" and then the menu option "Reindex Atlas."

After that, the new map is a part of your Atlas. What still is missing are the links from other maps to your new map. To the best of my knowledge, the atlas viewer is not capable creating new links, but you can do that too, if you have Campaign Cartographer 2. I assume you can do it with Campaign Mapper from the Core Rules 2 CD as well, but I don't use CM, so that's strictly a guess on my part.

Mark Oliva in Bavaria
Webmaster, Northern Journey project

What's the Font Used in the Atlas? Can One Get It?

Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999
From: Steigerwald EDV

The font is called Forgotten Uncial and it's installed along with the Atlas. But it isn't activated until the computer has been rebooted the first time after installation.

Mark Oliva in Bavaria
Webmaster, Northern Journey project

Can We Post Atlas Maps on Our Websites?

Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1999
From Jim Butler

I've checked with our legal staff about this issue, and here's the scoop:

Placing a few of the maps online isn't a problem. As long as we don't start seeing significant portions of the FR maps appear online, we're not going to panic.

Good Gaming!

Jim Butler, Brand Manager
Alternity, D&D Worlds
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
(425) 254-2289

Some of My Maps Are Simply Blank. What Can I Do?

From: Ian R Malcomson ian@DOMICUS.DEMON.CO.UK
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 1999 13:47:48 +0000

The usual reason as to why maps "go black" is that they have been loaded up in a previous version of CC2, and subsequently saved. Take a look at the file sizes for the maps in question - if it is of the order of 10Kb, then this is what has happened. I suggest re-loading these maps from your Atlas CD or from the update.

Ian R Malcomson

When I Still Have Blank Maps, What Can I Do?

From: Ian R Malcomson ian@DOMICUS.DEMON.CO.UK
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 1999 14:16:32 +0000

Try deleting the offending maps from your HD before re-installing. The installation may be recognising these maps as already existing, and thus not overwriting them.

Ian R Malcomson

Can I Make Toril the Default Map for CC2?

From: Linda Kekumu lkekumu@ALOHA.NET
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 23:46:57 -1000

The easiest way to get CC2 to start with the map of Toril already loaded is to create a shortcut on your desktop with the Toril map. make sure you have associated the file extension fcw with CC2 (My Computer > View > File Types) Then in Windows Explorer just drag Toril.fcw onto the desktop.

Linda Kekumu

From: Mark Oliva
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1999 05:44:03 +0100

Another method is to click your CC2 symbol with the right mouse key and then pick the menu option Properties. Pick the links tab. It will show you a line somethings like this:


In this case X is the name of the hard drive where you've installed CC2. After that, add a space (blank) and the path and file name of the map you want opened. For example:

X:\Programs\cc2\Fcw32.exe X:\Programs\FR Atlas\Maps\Toril.fcw

Mark Oliva in Bavaria

Is There Any Way to Get Rid of the "Save changes to ____?" Text Window

From: Linda Kekumu lkekumu@ALOHA.NET
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 23:46:57 -1000

I am not certain this will work - but - it is worth a try. Using Windows Explorer go to the Fr Atlas folder & double click on any map that you have not edited. This will start CC2 (provided you've done the file association above). Don't do anything to this map, just save it. Now start CC2 & see what happens. I think it might stop the automatic save message.

Linda Kekumu

When I Extend Trail Lines, They Lose Their Proportions

From: Linda Kekumu lkekumu@ALOHA.NET
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 23:46:57 -1000

Try this - start up a map where you've added trails & the select the Change Line Style icon & select the trail you drew, now click on Like & select one of the trails that was already on the map. (Change LS > pick the one you drew > right click >Do It > LIKE > & pick one that was already there). Now zoom & see if they look the same. it is possible you've used a different line style or something. If that does not work, then try using KEEP & redraw the trails. You choose KEEP & select the trail that was already there & then draw a new trail. this should be exactly the same as what was there.

Linda Kekumu

Is There a Means to Put a Scale on a Printed Map?

From: Simon Rogers simon@PROFANTASY.COM
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 15:02:54 -0000

No, unfortunately not with the Atlas alone. Two things you can do:

1. Print the map to a easy scale (e.g. 1" = 10' or whatever) then write this on the sheet.

2. Print the map section, then use the scroll bars or Pan to move to the scale bar, print this at the same scale.

The easiest is of course, use CM or CC2 to move the scale bar or add a new one.

Simon Rogers

How Can I Correct Color Shifts in BMP Conversions?

From: Mark Oliva
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 01:10:42 +0100

Problems on this level usually are the result of mixed settings within the environment of your mapping program (Atlas, CC2, CM) and elements of your Windows environments. The best color quality maps have what's called 24-bit color depth. Such maps can portray 16 million different color per screen pixel. Considerably lower in quality are 8-bit maps. They can portray only 256 colors per pixel.

CC2 and CM produce 24-bit maps as a default. FR Atlas maps, on the other hand, have a color depth of only 8 bits. If you want to be certain that your maps geberate the color quality with which they were created, you need to chech a few settings:

First of all, you need to make sure the graphic driver that steers your monitor is enabled for 24-bit-color. Although the users are unaware of it much of the time, many systems start out being set for only 8-bit depth with no more than 256 colors. If you have this setting, your chances of having serious color shifts is great. You can check that as follows with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT and Windows 2000:

You now see the dialog box Settings. In the ComboBox Colors you now can properly set your graphic card. Choose 32-Bit True Color, if the option is ergonomically available to you. If not, choose 24-Bit True Color. Only after you make this setting is your system properly configured to show maps properly.

When you want to convert an Atlas Map into a Bitmap (BMP), you now need only to Click the menu options File and Save as. Then click the ComboBox File Type and pick the option BMP Bitmap File. The Atlas will now save the map as an 8-bit (256 colors) graphic.

If you're working with CC2, and you use the full palette of colors available to you, it's of critical importance that you convert your maps into 24-bit format. To do this, you once again need to check your settings. With CC2 open, click the menu options Edit, Clipboard and Options. Among other things, you can choose here between 8-bit and 24-bit. Color curruption of your maps usually will occur if you have selected 8-bit. Choose 24-bit instead.

Mark Oliva

From: Ian R Malcomson ian@DOMICUS.DEMON.CO.UK
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 00:39:40 +0000

This is why this problem occurs:

CC2 (v6) allows bitmaps to be saved to either 8 bit or 24 bit colour depth. This is set through the Clipboard Options (these options apply to both copying to the clipboard and saving as BMP).

CM and the Atlas viewer use 8 bit colour depth. At this depth, not all of the colours available to CC2 can be translated properly - thus, as you are seeing, some colours do not turn out correctly in CM and viewer saved BMPs.

Sorry, it's not a solution - but at least you know why it's happening now.

Question 2: I was attempting to scan a map from a non-FR module into CC2 (v6) to use as a >background. My HP700 allows me to save the scan as a 24-color bitmap; however, >when I imported the bmp the colors were wrong, as though it was an 8 bit.

That sounds as if you didn't scan the map in 24-bit. When you scan, have a look at the options you've set for the scanning parameters - saving an 8-bit scan as a 24-bit file will still have the scan looking as if it is 8-bit.

Ian R Malcomson

How Can I Change Atlas Parent Map Links?

From: Ian R Malcomson ian@DOMICUS.DEMON.CO.UK
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 14:13:03 +0000

To edit a parent:

Zoom in *really* close to the bottom left hand corner of the map, with "show hotspots" switched on. You'll notice a small purple link there of 1x1 dimension. This is the parent link. Use the "EDIT" command to change it.

To create a new parent:

Simply create a 1x1 link to the parent map at 0,0.

To change the blue boxes to reflect what the chlid map actually portrays, use "EDIT" on the existing link. This brings up a text entity edit box containing the link info. "LOADM" means "Load Map", a $ means "in the same directory as the current map", then the name of the map file, then a semicolon.

To make links visible when hotspots are hidden, we simply place a hollow rectangular entity on the MAP LINKS layer. Often, it is better to create this entity before the link is done, so that the link can be created using modifiers to get it to match the rectangular entity.

This is not as hard as it may seem. Since the maps themselves were created from a master, which was then broken up into it's constituent parts to form the lower level maps (obviously, there are symbol scale and detail issues), they do fit back together fairly easily. Using the various BREAKS and TRIMS to cut off what is not needed, and commands such as LPT and CMB to join the entities left together into single entities (I'd advise against using MULTIPOLY for most cases), and Bob will be your proverbial uncle.

This is how the maps fit together:

A1 B1 C1 D1
A2 B2 C2 D2

Then.... (e.g.)

B1a B1b
B1c B1d

Then.... (e.g.)


Some of the maps (notably Zakhara and Maztica) don't follow this rule precisely. Also, areas that do not contain much in the way of detail are not broken down. There are also two maps that are combos of the two "north" maps, and the two "south" maps. Finally, local area maps (e.g., the individual Dales) do not follow this scheme at all.

Ian R Malcomson

Can One Change the Size of the Hotspot Window Itself?

From: Ian R Malcomson ian@DOMICUS.DEMON.CO.UK
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 14:13:03 +0000

Some of the entity editing commands do work with hotspots - the dynamic resizing whilst moving, for example (hold CTRL down when moving). Unfortunately, node editing commands do not work with hotspots.

Ian R Malcomson

What is the Scale of the FR Atlas Symbols?

From: Linda Kekumu lkekumu@ALOHA.NET
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 12:06:25 -1000

The FR Atlas/CM symbols were created specifically for Campaign mapper & the Atlas so they really don't correspond to the regular CC2 symbols. They were generated for use at a scale of 1 on a 1500 x 1200 mile map. Some of the symbols were then further adjusted to increase redraw speed because, as you can tell - some of the FR maps are very big, detailed maps.

CC2's symbol scale of 1 is meant for a map size 1000 x 800, the FR symbols are scale 1 on a 1500 x 1200 map - I hope this helps.

Linda Kekumu

How Can One Enter Room Descriptions Into a Dungeon Map?

From: Linda Kekumu lkekumu@ALOHA.NET
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1999 13:47:34 -1000

You'll need either Campaign Mapper or CC2. Campaign Mapper is included on the CR2 disk.

Start CM, open the map you want to change & then choose the Text icon to add labels to your map. The barrels should be in the FR Dungeon catalog. If you are just starting with Campaign Mapper I would suggest joining the CM mail list at E-groups & doing the tutorial. The tutorial is located in the CM\Documents folder & is called Campaign Mapper manual.

Linda Kekumu

How Can I Make Good GIF/JPG Conversions?

From: Mark Oliva
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2000 11:03:12 +0100

Rather than using a lozt of bandwidth here, I'd prefer to refer you to a highly detailed set of instructions available in the FR Zone Web Site. Click here to go directly to that site. If you want to go there in the future, the direct URL is:

Mark Oliva

There is a Link to Map (x) That Doesn't Link to an Existing Map. Where is Map (x)?

From: Ian R Malcomson ian@DOMICUS.DEMON.CO.UK
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 200011:11:20 +0000

(Usually in reference to the Shrine of the Heart in Chult, or the Undead Castle in Daggerdale - although there are others). Maps from the Arcane Age setting, and the map of the Shrine of the Heart, were accidentally omitted from the Atlas CD and the downloadable update. These maps will be made available within a future download.

Ian R Malcomson

I'd like to have the layer that I added/modified in an old map copied to a new map.

From: Ian R Malcomson ian@DOMICUS.DEMON.CO.UK
Date: Thu 9 Mar 2000 23:19:42 +0000

Try this procedure:

Go to the FR Interactive Atlas product page

Go to the Realms Projects Main Page

Go to the Home Page