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View Full Version : Geographic Variety, and Cities... is there enough?



Slade
02-01-2008, 07:37 AM
So, here is my map. Its the world map. But I have a few concerns regarding accuracy and gameplay stuff. The map is made for a Fantasy game setting.

1) Are there enough mountains? I don't know. I personally live in a very mountainous region, but I don't know if I can take my limited experience, and apply it to an entire world. It seems like there should be more? I am not sure. I would appreciate some opinions on that. I guess this goes beyond just mountains, is there enough terrain variety, distributed over a large enough distance, to make sense?

2) The second map has cities. Are there enough cities in this world? Or does there need to be more? I am unsure. I mostly just sat down, and said, "lets put 6 here". So, more help would be appreciated with that.

http://tiecorps.org/aedaeion/images/c/c2/Overview.jpg

http://tiecorps.org/aedaeion/images/9/97/Worldmap_cities_highways_oc.jpg

ravells
02-01-2008, 09:01 AM
Nice map, Slade!

Here are my 2 cents -

General Process
For me, I would make the world you want to create drive the map rather than vice versa. At the end of the day, the purpose of the map is to be used to portray the world in which the players will be adventuring, so flesh out (roughly at least) what sort of world you want your players to adventure in. Some considerations to take into account are:


Urbanisation / Wilderness Ratios.
Key Locations - be they cities or natural features.
Climate - Is it earthlike, is the north cold and the equator humid?
Cultural classifications / technology- if your world is more of a rennaisance type one would expect more urbanisation than medieval and the ratio to be higher. Cities are likely to be larger and so on.
National Borders - these often follow natural boundaries like rivers or mountain ranges.
Roads - Higher the technology level the more one would expect.And so on.

Once you have a rough idea of these elements the geography becomes easier to plot and hopefully you will not have any 'gaps'. E.g. not putting in a desert where you anticipate one might be required at some point. Of course once you start plotting the map, other adventure ideas may come to you as a result so the process is an interacive one.

Geographical Credibility

For geographical features, the best rule for comparison I find is to take a map of the earth (or part of it) at a similar scale and see how it compares to what you've drawn - your world is about 1/3 of the earth's circumferance if the map you have drawn 'wraps around' East-West. See if, at least it looks sort of like a real world map in terms of general placement and then you know your map will look natural to the players. No need to follow rules slavishly though as this is fantasy. Of course there may be some 'cause' e.g. a magical rift in space etc. which might alter the geography radically from that of earth, and then you would have to think about what the knock-on effects of that would be.

There are some good world building manuals. Check out the Reference Material and Tutorial sections of the site which contain some good links to world building tutorials / essays.

For example look here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=521) and here (http://hiddenway.tripod.com/world/) also take a look at 'conworlds' in wikipedia and the links at the bottom.

Hope this helps!

Ravs

pyrandon
02-01-2008, 11:49 AM
Not sure what to add after ravells's comments! Yeah, do that! :)

I can say that judging from a quick glance at your maps, nothing in your questions hops out at me as erroneous--although scale may be a factor.

Great starts!

NeonKnight
02-01-2008, 12:51 PM
To me, I look at you Map, and think.....It looks Nice.

The scale shows me there is a good enough ratio/distribution of the mountains. Which is fine. Unless you want an extremely Mountainous Planet/world.

As to cities. the same rule applies. Also, what do you determine as being a city for your world? Is a city a town with a populationh of around 10-15,000 people? Or is it larger, like 50,000 thousand? Either way, with the scale you've listed, the most populated area you have detailed, looks like a lot of Cities, until you realize it is only an area some 2500x2500 miles across. And area approximately the size of Europe. So the number of cities is diminished in scope.

I hope the advice of others and myself has helped.

Slade
02-01-2008, 02:58 PM
Thanks for the reply, i really appreciate your time with this.

Yeah, I've used some consites, and manuals etc. I have national borders, and cultural borders, and the cities map there has highways. I even have a trade goods map. I was just trying to add some detail to a few cities the other night, and noticed there was no mountains anywhere around them. Which made me question the scale.

I have a geographic map of all the terrain types across the world, and I have the world divided up into 'zones', based on geography and cultural splits.

You guys seemed to have answered my question, of if there is enough mountains for the scale of the world though. I appreciate your time with that.


As a side note, I just spent a few bucks at Kinkos, and got some 300dpi prints of my maps (about 10 of them) made into a little booklet. Its been very useful for game stuff.


Nice map, Slade!

Here are my 2 cents -

General Process
For me, I would make the world you want to create drive the map rather than vice versa. At the end of the day, the purpose of the map is to be used to portray the world in which the players will be adventuring, so flesh out (roughly at least) what sort of world you want your players to adventure in. Some considerations to take into account are:


Urbanisation / Wilderness Ratios.
Key Locations - be they cities or natural features.
Climate - Is it earthlike, is the north cold and the equator humid?
Cultural classifications / technology- if your world is more of a rennaisance type one would expect more urbanisation than medieval and the ratio to be higher. Cities are likely to be larger and so on.
National Borders - these often follow natural boundaries like rivers or mountain ranges.
Roads - Higher the technology level the more one would expect.And so on.

Once you have a rough idea of these elements the geography becomes easier to plot and hopefully you will not have any 'gaps'. E.g. not putting in a desert where you anticipate one might be required at some point. Of course once you start plotting the map, other adventure ideas may come to you as a result so the process is an interacive one.

Geographical Credibility

For geographical features, the best rule for comparison I find is to take a map of the earth (or part of it) at a similar scale and see how it compares to what you've drawn - your world is about 1/3 of the earth's circumferance if the map you have drawn 'wraps around' East-West. See if, at least it looks sort of like a real world map in terms of general placement and then you know your map will look natural to the players. No need to follow rules slavishly though as this is fantasy. Of course there may be some 'cause' e.g. a magical rift in space etc. which might alter the geography radically from that of earth, and then you would have to think about what the knock-on effects of that would be.

There are some good world building manuals. Check out the Reference Material and Tutorial sections of the site which contain some good links to world building tutorials / essays.

For example look here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=521) and here (http://hiddenway.tripod.com/world/) also take a look at 'conworlds' in wikipedia and the links at the bottom.

Hope this helps!

Ravs

Sigurd
02-28-2008, 05:56 PM
Looks like a useful map.

I hate setting a scale and defining things. I tend to think the world is finished when it looks 'right' :) I'm trying to make sure I give people what they want in terms of scale etc.... though.


Sigurd