My name is Ted Fauster. I’m a fantasy and speculative fiction author. I’m also an avid tabletop gamer and a fantasy cartographer specializing in an old-school RPG style popularized in the original dungeon modules that came out in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
In 2018, I was diagnosed with a rare form of multiple sclerosis called primary progressive. Less than 18% of people living with MS have this form. My MS is with me every day. There is no remission and no cure.
One of my major symptoms includes numbness. For me, I’m particularly affected in my hands and feet. Especially my left hand, which is almost entirely numb. I’m losing most of my fine motor skills. Under the suggestion of my neurologist I took up sketching.
But what to sketch?
Truthfully, I’ve never really considered myself much of an artist. Writing has always been my thing. And then it hit me…
Why not draw some old-school dungeon maps?
My first dungeon map was horrible! When I posted it on social media, the very first response I got was “so much black” followed by “get a straight edge”. But instead of getting discouraged, I just took my time. I kept at it and slowly began to improve. I sought out others in the cartography field. I asked their advice and studied their styles. It wasn’t long before a style of my own began to emerge.
My hope is to bring a little happiness and maybe a sense of nostalgia into your lives through my art, and to pass on some of the skills that I have learned. I’m in my fifties now and I’m still learning. In fact, I don’t think you’re ever too old to learn something new!
It’s exciting to see my own personal style as a fantasy cartographer grow with each new map I create, and it’s liberating to be able to combine therapy with something that brings me joy.
Thank you so much for coming along with me on this journey!