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mearrin69
10-14-2011, 06:44 PM
I originally posted these on my deckplans thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?16117-USS-Singularity-NCC-74855)but I've made some refinements and figure they deserve a 'finished maps' thread of their own. These are campaign maps from an upcoming Star Trek (TNG-era) GURPS I'm going to be running. These are presented with and without player notes (as of start date) and GM notes for the first few 'episodes'. This is just the zoom-out, giving perspective on where everything is in relation to known points; there will be a much more detailed version of just the area near Bajor, showing locations of anomalies to be investigated and such. I'll probably do a pretty detailed map of the Badlands at some point as well. I think there are some Jem'Hadar Alphas hiding out in there somewhere.

The large squares are roughly 20 ly on a side, smaller darker ones are 10 ly. The circles show distance from Sol in 10 ly increments. Starships travel at about 1 ly/day at warp factor 6.0, which is the normal cruising speed. And, yes, those are real stardates. The ship leaves Sol on 4/4/2375 and gets to DS9 in mid-June. Geeky, I know but sort of fun. I've just realized, BTW, that I have to advance everything by one year...as the Dominion War doesn't end until late 2375.

Some info on the game notes, for those interested:
The campaign starts with a vignette designed to introduce a recurring character - a Cardassian ship captain (Gul Levek) who operates in the same space as the PCs. The Singularity's captain had a very personal engagement with Levek during the war - Levek's ship killed his captain so he had to take over and ended up fighting a 6-month rear-guard action inside of Cardassian/Dominion space until the end of the war. Needless to say, he doesn't much like the 'spoonheads', even though the Federation is now technically at peace with them. Levek will likely become a key 'frenemy' in the campaign - and his ride is a Galor-class warship, the Dakala, which could be scary in a confrontation or comforting if he decides to help. He's not that bad a chap, really. Nice to talk to over breakfast and a warm glass of fish juice. Ewww!

Shorly after Levek goes on his merry way, the ship will receive an automated distress call. It's long range (more than a day away at maximum warp...did I mention that Singularity is slower than most Fed starships?) but they'll gather information as they get closer. Apparently it's a unregistered Bajoran colony ship (at least it's an old freighter of Bajoran manufacture) and there's what appears to be a Cardassian patrol ship nearby. There's be an unexpected twist involved in all of this, that they'll have to figure out: the colony ship is actually a mixed group of Cardassians and Bajorans (and some others) fleeing the chaos of the area of Cardassian space, while the 'patrol ship' is actually a raider working out of the Badlands and crewed mostly by Bajoran pirates. The captain is likely to assume the Cardassians are to blame, preying on 'innocent' Bajorans...so the PCs will have to figure out the real deal, despite efforts of the Bajoran raider's captain to mislead, and resolve what could become a sticky hostage situation.

Singularity is more than a match for the raider vessel...but ship to ship combat's not the point. Notice that Dakala is somewhere nearby, and I'll reserve the right for most future encounters to have Levek/Dakala serve as a deus ex machina if needed. It's not even that, really: when/if Levek comes to the rescue it'll be a plank in the captain's story. Can he come to trust Cardassians? Maybe they'll even have to come to Levek's rescue some day...like when he gets Dakala trapped in some quantum whatsit and only Singularity can emit a beam of just the right sort of completely made-up fundamental particle to seal it up and free him. Warm fish juice all around!

After that, they'll head to DS9 for a layover (and hopefully character exploration) and to pick up a team of three scientists from the Daystrom Institute. They're an interesting bunch (I think so anyway) so hopefully that'll result in some dramatic moments as they explore all of the weird anomalies in this area of space. When everything's ready to go the ship will head out to have a look at that 'sub-space compression anomaly' the crew of DS9 checked out briefly during the Dominion War (DS9: One Little Ship). Haven't worked it out yet but either a science vessel is stuck in there and needs rescue or there's a warship full of little tiny Jem'Hadar and Vorta in the vicinity waiting to cause some trouble.
M

ravells
10-15-2011, 06:37 AM
I missed this earlier. Great work, Mearrin! I really like the clarity. I would never have thought of putting a black stroke on text against a very dark background, but it really works here.

mearrin69
10-15-2011, 09:39 PM
Thanks, Ravells. I added the black stroke because there are so many layers of bright colors I ended up with a lot of things crossing and getting lost in each other.

I should probably have mentioned, BTW, that I did the initial layout of this map in Illustrator by bringing in a blown up scan of a map from a fabulous ST star charts book my friend loaned me and drawing the stars, grid lines, etc. over that. Then I imported those into Photoshop and added color, text, etc. I tried it in PS at first but just couldn't make a start on the look I wanted to get. AI helped for some reason...even though it was just for drawing circles and lines. :)

Steel General
10-17-2011, 11:45 AM
Nicely done...

Redrobes
10-17-2011, 06:03 PM
Great stuff, nice clean lines to the images.

mearrin69
10-17-2011, 06:19 PM
Thanks, guys!
M

bartmoss
10-22-2011, 03:20 AM
Neat maps. Have you got a larger area mapped, or just this bit?

mearrin69
10-22-2011, 10:49 AM
Thanks. Just this bit. I didn't cover any of the Beta Quadrant because I don't expect the PCs to travel there during this game. Most of the action in the first several episodes takes place within a few tens of light years of Bajor/DS9. Later, I expect them to move spinward-coreward as they investigate the region I've noted "Area of Operations" but unless we go for quite a while I don't really expect them to move much past the area covered in the map. If they do I'll do another map centered on the AoO showing the whole thing. I do plan to make some zoom-ins of particular areas (a regional map showing key phenomena, a detailed map of the badlands, etc.) that will likely be more in the form of in-game handouts...i.e. they look like a PADD display and will be displayed in-game on my iPad.

If you like this map and want to see a larger area I suggest you check out my inspiration: Star Trek Star Charts: The Complete Atlas of Star Trek by Geoffrey Mandel (2002, Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster). It covers pretty much everything in ST, even showing the paths of the various starships through the series...theres a several-page set of maps that chart Voyager's path back from the Delta Quadrant with details on its various encounters.
M

Acidrain
10-24-2011, 04:18 PM
Very cool, i would ask how did you accurately place the locations, territories, planets, and so on? I would be interested, iam researching for that of a team of modders that are looking at modifying a title for the means of what you have accomplished.

Cheers,

Acidrain

mearrin69
10-24-2011, 05:16 PM
Thanks. I'm not sure how accurate they are: I pretty much took a scan of a map from the book mentioned in the post before yours and used that as a guide layer to draw on top of...so they're as accurate as that book.
M

Acidrain
10-24-2011, 07:28 PM
Thanks. I'm not sure how accurate they are: I pretty much took a scan of a map from the book mentioned in the post before yours and used that as a guide layer to draw on top of...so they're as accurate as that book.
M

Ah, i have the same book and i was wondering and had thought that might have been the case but if i am inquire what did you use in order to create such a fantastic looking map that looks just speechless? I would be interested to knowing how you did it. If you can provide any further information, i would certain welcome it.

Cheers,

A

mearrin69
10-24-2011, 07:55 PM
I made the map with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator (CS4). I took a scan of the Alpha Quadrant (found online, not scanned myself) and laid that into the background of an Illustrator document. On top of that I made layers containing gridlines, circles for the stars, symbols for outposts and starbases, etc. I brought those into Photoshop layer by layer and applied layer styles to them (mostly a color overlay and a stroke). I created the political regions, nebulae, Badlands, etc. by just painting into layers and applying a style (color overlay, transparancy, inner glow fading to black on the edges, and maybe a gradient) and turning down the opacity. The text is an LCARS font I found on the net somewhere. The paths of ships were made with polygon select and stroke and then deleting out the parts I didn't want. Oh, and there's a starscape I found somewhere on the internet hiding behind the whole thing. I had to move it around and dim out some of the brighter stars so they didn't compete with my actual map stars.

One thing, pointed out above, I found is that a black stroke really made the objects stand out and sort of gave it that LCARS feel - though I was a bit more relaxed about palette than I was on my deckplans.

I think that's everything. Hope it helps!
M

Acidrain
10-24-2011, 08:20 PM
Hmmm, interesting i too have that of the Masters Collection of Adobe CS5 which i got a good price from that of work. Ill look into that and see what you have suggested. Thank you

Cheers,

A