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View Full Version : April Entry: The Legend of Mata-Gara



delgondahntelius
04-04-2008, 02:47 PM
This is just a claim stake and a place-holder pic, but is set in my homebrew world (Azora) in the south-eastern seas, an area known as the Barbarian Isles... a chain of some 400+ islands that have a mix of cultures that relate to real world cultures of arabian, mayan, aztec, incan and tribal african. (hows that for a mixing pot?)

More to come

### Latest WIP ###

delgondahntelius
04-05-2008, 01:40 PM
Small update, had to get my idea up here so I could claim it, i'm in the middle of the initial map, hand drawn as of now but I gotta head outta town today and don't have time to finish or scan it at the moment...

But the initial map is an actual sword, a sailor's cutlass... one captain in particular whose name I haven't settled on... but the sword is the map... thought I'd keep someone updated to my ever twisted mind ....

I love mapping :D

delgondahntelius
04-09-2008, 07:31 AM
Ehh.. the sword thing wasn't working ... but this is the map I have so far

### Latest WIP ###

delgondahntelius
04-17-2008, 06:23 AM
The tales of the Mata-Gara, a ship that sailed the seas of the Barbarian Islands is legendary. The only ship to sail back from the chaotic Maelstrom where the ancient civilization of the Jömlas once thrived and were destroyed by their own catastrophic magic. It was laden with artifacts and treasure of a previous age, and was soon the target of adventurer and pirate alike. The ship was thought lost at sea ...... until now.

The map passes too the adventurer's hands by whatever means you devise with only one message.... "The key is in the dragon's grasp" ...

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In disgust of my PS skills, I once again turned to my hand drawn maps. It seemed more appropriate anyway. Shuffling through old papers I happened across some printer paper that looked like a scroll... I couldn't resist mapping on this. I used a combination of speedball pens (Hunts 99, 512), Kohinoor .18, .25, .30; Brush pen and a rotring fine art pen. scanned in at 300 dpi and scaled down to approx 70% of its actual size.

Since I haven't really been keeping up with anything on here these past couple weeks, I dunno if we are revealing the secrets of our maps straight up. So i'll hold off until I find out. questions and comments welcome and encouraged.

Here is some hints (txt) and solutions (docx and doc)

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SpamValiant
04-17-2008, 01:20 PM
I'm officially intrigued. I can see me spending too much time trying to decipher your code(s?) and not enough finishing my own entry.:)

Are we allowed to take a guess if we think we've got it?

ravells
04-17-2008, 03:04 PM
This one has me stumped! I thought the top lettering was rot 13, but it isn't.

The Cartographist
04-17-2008, 04:05 PM
delgondahntelius - I don't have the time to figure out your riddle but I have to say that I really love your map. I really like the handdrawn feel. Beautiful.

RobA
04-17-2008, 04:33 PM
Nice one Del!

I'm no good at cryptology so I won't even make the attempt :)

-Rob A>

delgondahntelius
04-17-2008, 07:01 PM
Are we allowed to take a guess if we think we've got it?
Absolutely! .. what fun is a puzzle if noone gets to make a guess?


This one has me stumped! I thought the top lettering was rot 13, but it isn't.
Nope, not ROT 13, I didn't want to make it 'too' simple, but simple (so i thought) enough that it could be figured out in a reasonable amount of time by a group of players... But you were close... you are in the right back yard.


delgondahntelius - I don't have the time to figure out your riddle but I have to say that I really love your map. I really like the handdrawn feel. Beautiful.
You can call me Del :) Thank you, it makes the time spent on a map worth all the more when I hear things like this.


Nice one Del! I'm no good at cryptology so I won't even make the attempt :)
Thanx Rob, I appreciate the encouragement. No worries tho, I too am horrible at cryptology. And would probably hate my DM if he pulled out a map like this one...which is why I enjoy springing these on my players... mwahahaha >:)
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Moderately simple was what I was trying to achieve, but often times when creating a puzzle, the creator knows the answer so it may seem simple. Everything is easy when you know the answer. So I'm hoping I didn't make it too hard. :?

I will create a txt file with hints and solution so others can attempt to solve it if they wish... I'll try to get that up soon as i'm able :) Thanks for the map-ego boost... it helps, believe me... :D and I'm just glad that Handdrawn maps and pen & ink are still admired in a pixelated cgi world.

Del

delgondahntelius
04-17-2008, 08:46 PM
Finally ... the solution in document and pdf files:

delgondahntelius
04-17-2008, 08:49 PM
After rereading some of my research into ciphers... I have found that this is one of the most complicated ciphers that can be done by pencil and pad without computers... so I failed at my attempt to find a 'moderately simple' code... it can however be adapted to a more simple one .... of which I can write if anyone wants to use this .... :D

ravells
04-18-2008, 02:32 AM
If I'm not mistaken the allies used this code system in the second world war for SOE operatives dropped into Europe. If you get a chance, read a book called 'Between Silk and Cyanide' it's written by one of the people who contributed to inventing the cypher...and it's a brilliant read. LOL there was no way on earth I was going to solve that one!

delgondahntelius
04-18-2008, 03:53 AM
I'll see if I can find the book, I must admit that while cryptology has always been an interesting subject for me.. I never really took the time to study its history and its complexity. In WW1 the germans used it until they found out that the french were breaking their codes within a matter of days.... and in WW2 brit. SOE operatives were using it in the field... by this time tho, I think the germans learned from their mistake, hence the Enigma code...

I should have kept the original single code, but as I said.. when you are sitting on the developing side of the fence, it looks a little easier. It was only after I wrote out the solution that obivious difficulties in deciphering it were apparent.

This is the major difficulty in hand drawn maps (pen & ink especially) is that if you need to change something major ... you have to completely redo the map. But that is what these challenges are all about eh? ... not only did I learn something about history and cryptography but any mistakes that are made can be learned from. (at least, you are supposed to learn from them, sometimes I little slow in getting a point :D )

Gamerprinter
04-19-2008, 01:20 AM
When I do hand-drawn maps, I know that the work is going to be digitally scanned before completion. This means that most changes can be easily done.

Areas like contiguous coastline changes are a little tough, but most everything else can be redrawn separately scanned and placed into the original map using GIMP or other image editing software. And still look like it was done in the original rendering.

On the extreme side, if you look at my November challenge entry, although the work is completely hand-drawn. Every mountain face, butte, cactus, structure is a separate map object drawn individually scanned and converted to map objects that can be placed by anyone using my objects to build their map. Yet it looks like it was hand-drawn in a single sheet at one time.

I don't worry about having to totally redraw my map. Think digitally and you'll have more options for your handiwork! 8)

delgondahntelius
04-19-2008, 02:38 AM
GP ... That is why I like this site so much... I hadn't even considered drawing seperate pieces and placing them.... I swear sometimes I'm just plain dense, I get so frustrated with it that I don't even consider it an option, ya know... oh well, not being smart has its advantages ... no one expects much if you don't know aanything :D

thanx gp

Gamerprinter
04-19-2008, 03:03 AM
Sometimes - to make things easier to line your new objects with your existing map - I scan and print the area I want to change with the area already digitally erased. That way, I can redraw and insure it matches the surrounding area. I then mask out all to just my redrawn object.

Sometimes I print the area, then use tracing paper, something more translucent so you can see the original print beneath, then redraw to lineup exactly.

It depends on which is easier for you. This way you can insure your line widths match up as well. 8)

delgondahntelius
04-19-2008, 03:11 AM
one easy thing about this particular map is that I have multiple sheets of the paper that looks like a scroll, all of which are identical... I can draw what I need in relation to the original and layer them in or otherwise paste them in...

RobA
04-19-2008, 11:00 AM
Sometimes I print the area, then use tracing paper, something more translucent so you can see the original print beneath, then redraw to lineup exactly.

YES! I rediscovered tracing paper when I made my quarry map! Fabulous stuff Everyone should have a pad of it :)

It is also great to lay a piece of graph paper under to help line things/scale things without worrying the grid will show up in the scan.

-Rob A>

Redrobes
04-19-2008, 11:16 AM
I hadn't even considered drawing seperate pieces and placing them...You got ViewingDale right ? Just create icons out of each bit of scan. One of the things GP didn't make clear is that you can also use twenty of each for no effort. Scan 5 hand drawn mountains in and then like a mixed up set of jigsaw pieces just mix n match and then print the final. Its like going back to pre-school with bits of felt ;)

Chel
04-21-2008, 03:27 PM
Awesomely fun map and cypher, the pdf on the code is really slick. Very nifty information. You've got me all fired up to toy around with cryptology now. :D And yeah that info on scanning individual elements is invaluable. Being able to shift stuff around on the page helps in the creative process so much.