Our third edition of Community Spotlight highlights Baileywiki, one of our most popular and prolific mapmakers. Baileywiki is known for high quality maps as well as his use of Foundry modules to enhance the features of his work. Check out his Patreon or browse his extensive Youtube playlist for more information!
Questions for Baileywiki? This article is paired with the Foundry Reddit, which is hosting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Baileywiki *HERE*
Let’s talk with Baileywiki and see what we can learn!
FHub: How did you get started with Roleplaying Games? What is/are your favorite RPG(s)?
BW: I am the father of 3 boys, and screens were taking over their lives. I wanted something that we could do together that let us interact and play in more creative ways. I was listening to Critical Role at the time and was thinking back to my childhood and the great memories (and skills) I developed through D&D. So we started an epic 2 year game and they loved it.
The problem was that I couldn’t find maps that I was happy with. So I discovered Dungeondraft, and then Forgotten Adventures, and then I started to post maps to Reddit that would get 1,000 upvotes. Various someones suggested I do a Patreon, which sounded absurd at the time, but interesting. Fast-forward to today, and I’ve got a thriving Patreon and a valued community of fellow nerds and techno-artists around me. I love it.
I’m focused on the fantasy space at the moment. But if you follow my work, I really push the boundaries of technology and art. I make Dungeondraft and Foundry and even the core artwork do things that no one has seen before. I like combining macros with modules and interesting visual art to create spaces that will make players gasp and squeal with excitement. I know the feeling when, as a DM, I do something that really impresses my players. It’s sad how much we live for that moment. But it’s infinitely satisfying.
FHub: What is your history with TTRPGs? Do you play currently?
BW: I learned the game as a kid at 10 years old, then took 30 years off. Now I DM for my boys and their cousins and friends. I’d love to play in a game myself, but someone will have to invent a time machine for that to happen now.
Note: As of publication, the Foundry Hub staff is not aware of any working time machines ~ Ed.
I’m an inventor before I’m an artist.— Baileywiki
FHub: For those folks who like to create their own maps, what map-making software do you recommend?
BW: I strongly recommend Dungeondraft. Is it the best graphics editing software? Not even close. But it’s accessible. The user experience is as simple as it gets, and with the ability to change the artwork to something like Forgotten Adventures or Tom Cartos, it means ANYONE can be a decent map maker in a very short amount of time. It’s why I stay with Dungeondraft. The idea of simplicity is far more powerful than the raw power of the program itself.
My Discord and Patreon are full of amazing artists that just started 2 months ago by watching my videos. I see my design influence all over the Reddit and Roll20 communities, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve also helped bring attention to Foundry, Dungeondraft, and the artists that I find exceptional along the way, like Forgotten Adventures and Tom Cartos. That’s also rewarding to me.
FHub: How did you get started with modifying your maps with Foundry functionality?
BW: I discovered Foundry after Roll20 sent me screaming. Talk about bad design and no simplicity. Foundry was awesome by comparison. But then I discovered the open nature of Foundry and the module developers and technology community around it, and I was sold
Unlike most professional map makers who are generally artists by trade, I don’t consider myself an artist. I’m as comfortable with tech as I am with color palettes. Being able to bring a beautiful map into a platform that can instantly teleport my players to new levels, or two or three modules that, working together, can create never-before-seen game mechanics…that stuff tickles me. I’m an inventor before I’m an artist.
FHub: You make a lot of detailed videos explaining how to use your maps in Foundry. How much time does it take to build a map set with Foundry modifications and tutorial videos?
BW: If I spend an hour making a map, I’ll spend another hour making it “Foundry ready”, and then another hour making a video on the process. The fact is, most of my maps take more like three to five hours, so it’s a VERY big process to produce at my cadence (every 2 weeks). I tend to include a lot more detail and technology in my maps than others, so I’m doing it to myself at the end of the day. But hey, it’s why people sub to me. If you’ve ever made these things yourself, it’s a full-time job and they appreciate the time that they didn’t have to spend.
FHub: Of all your map packs, what are your favorites?
BW: My favorite single map is the Galleon. It put me on the map (pun intended), and I still enjoy playing it. But my favorite work so far is The Town. It’s an entire town, modeled loosely after Phandalin, but built entirely with modular parts. It’s the culmination of the modular town, wilderness and dungeon systems that I’ve been developing for the last few months, and it demonstrates the power of all of this art and science cobbled together in a way that lets DMs build anything they want, instead of map makers or anyone else limiting their imagination or storytelling.
FHub: What’s next for Baileywiki Maps?
BW: I’m just getting started. I’ve taken on my first staff member, Zephyr, and not only are we planning some huge releases around the modular system and large-scale premium maps, but we’re also doing licensing deals with artists, working on technology with developers and the League, and also bringing my community into contributing their own art and innovation back into the ecosystem, like with the modular dungeon system. As you’ll hear often on my Discord, “Ideas are the coin of the realm.” New ideas and pushing boundaries are what you’ll keep seeing from the Baileywiki tribe.
For more information from Baileywiki on his work, you can visit his Discord. For access to his advanced maps for Foundry (and much more), you can support him via his Patreon. Big shout out to Baileywiki for making the time to talk with us!