Mountains form the main images in the common map. Now you need to knowhow to draw and place them. Here are a few hints:
Mountains occurr in chains more often than not: long, thin chains spanningmany leagues. These chains are not straight in the least: they curveand wind about the map. They are shaded and are tall upon the map, fillingin much needed balance and dead space. Mountain chains provide a contrastto plains and forests, so use them wisely and with great care.
How to draw them
I tend to draw mountains from the top down. In this way I get an overlappingeffect that details the shading technique. They can be drawn from the bottomup, and sometimes this is necessary, but for the most part I would stickto overlapping. Mountains can be quite large or quite small: some mountainson one of my best maps are smaller than the surrounding hills. This techniqueprovides for an interesting layout, without predictable, monotonous placing.Let the mountain chains compliment each other. Let them flow with the landand cut through the flat, open areas like black knives.
Why use them?
Mountains provide depth and elevation within a map. Without them, yourland would be a plain interrupted by forests and the occasional river orswamp. If you look at a map closely, the land appears 'higher' betweentwo closely spaced mountain chains than it does between two widely spacedranges. You can use this illusion to generate the effect of highlands inyour map, a feature that should not be overlooked.
Practicing a few
Back to Style