Monday, July 3, 2017

Mapping Fun

One of the things I enjoy doing as a side-thing while doing something else (half watching a baseball or hockey game or a movie) is scribbling maps. Some of them will get used in our D&D campaign (3 years and counting). Some won't. It doesn't matter. It's fun.

I took a 14 by 17 inch sketch pad and began playing around with ideas for a new world; one which would be used in a West Marches style (episodic) D&D game. Very rudimentary map at this point. Scale is 1 inch = 24 or 30 miles (I forget which without digging for notes, which is way too much trouble...).
The world of Sanctuary

The second part of this doodling was to take another 14 by 17 sheet and expand on a specific area of the larger (first) map. In the map in the first picture, there is a town on the southwestern corner of Harlon Bay. The town is tentatively called Providence. I wanted to do another map adding some detail around that area. This map would be at a level that would be used in actually running a campaign in this world. So 1 inch = 6 miles. I've done more work on this since this picture, and will update with another picture soon.
The town of Providence and environs

Lastly, it seems likely that the players in my ongoing campaign will be heading west from their home base in the Shearingvale region in the near future. So whether or not the players will ever visit any of these places or not, I have begun sketching out some of the places in the world that exist in that direction. The below start on a map is of the town of Halep, a simple frontier town of ~600 people on the Great North Road.
The town of Halep - the first bits

The first stage is to sketch in roads, a couple of hills, the citadel and buildings on the hills, a small wooden palisaded area in town, and a fortified temple complex. The rest of the town will be hastily scattered in around these elements. [Note that it took no more than ~20 minutes of half-attentiveness while listening to a YouTube video to get to this point in the work on the map...I'm not striving for art here...and I've made lots of these simple town maps]

In breaking from the old school Gygaxian tradition that I was raised in, I will not be detailing this town down to every last building, every person, and every cow, sheep and dog. I'll have a few thoughts, and if they ever end up in this town, will be able to improvise everything else.

The entire amount of detail going into this town is (and I've made this up as I've typed it):
  • It's run by the Baron of Halep, an elderly and generally good intentioned but temperamental and erratic leader with delusions of grandeur.
  • The Baron is supportive of the Castle of the New Dawn to the north (a special location built as a safe haven for settlers attempting to resettle the far North, west of Lake Beranarr).
  • The Baron is distrustful of the elves of the realm of Kyrellia to the northwest, and by extension all elves in general.
  • The priests of the fortified temple compound of Meera (agriculture, harvest and planting) are very influential in town, and can be a source of assistance to travelers and adventurers, especially to those of the same or similar faiths. They do a lucrative side business sheltering travelers and selling equipment to adventurers.
  • There is a small wooden palisade area that most of the middle class craftsmen and artisans are crammed into for safety.
And that's it for a simple town. A half hour to forty minutes tops. Nothing more than a skeletal framework that would give me a base from which to improvise.

Anyway, more mapping updates to come, as I enjoy scribbling these sorts of things in my spare time, and have enjoyed trying to make some respectable looking world maps.

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