View Full Version : September Entry: Lynch the Scribe

09-08-2009, 12:43 PM
Not as early an entry as I would have like to have made, but I had a few other projects that had priority (money always wins out, lol), and then I had to cast around for some good ideas (the previous ones I had are already taken, and I really wanted to do something different).

So, the idea behind this entry is to show a map acquired by a group of adventurers when they first land upon the shores of a (formerly) distant land. They purchase it from a reputable looking scribe, who has compiled it from "trusted sources". (exact wording is important, heh). As they explore this new land, they keep track of what happened where, and correct the discrepancies between the map and what's REALLY out there. At some point, I'm sure the frustrations regarding the inaccuracies will show through in the map notes, hence the entry title :)

I meant to post a WIP in progress sooner than this but got so caught up in creating I forgot :) First map is approaching finished already, then the REAL fun begins.

(partially an idea I had floating around in my head for awhile - I used to give out inaccurate maps to my gaming groups, and they'd correct them as they went - and partially inspired by msa. It probably would have stayed floating around if not for the reminder, yay :))

Steel General
09-08-2009, 01:10 PM
It looks a lot like Sicily, is that intended?

Very nice so far.

09-08-2009, 02:04 PM
Great idea, can't wait to see the second map.

09-08-2009, 05:11 PM
Classic "D&D" map, though of course a lot more sophisticated than anything we ever did back in the day--it evokes nostalgia for simpler times when fun was easier to come by and every wrinkle we threw in was a first.

It got me to thinking about back then and how things have changed. It was thirty years ago when I placed my first game of Dungeons and Dragons, and last week I played my last. We just finished a year-long campaign, and we won't be playing D&D again. We plan to kick the tires on Heroes for a month or three, then slide into Pathfinder. Needless to say, 4E didn't impress.

Anyway, thanks for triggering the memories. I think it's the simple lines and clarity of the map that do it, so that's a quality you might want to preserve as you develop the project. You'll find no shortage of folks around here worshiping at the alter of simplicity, but we all too often come up short when it's time to tithe there. I guess it's a hat tip to the fact that, while we emulate cartographers, the actual purpose of our projects is frequently to impress with our artistic talent or sense of style or clever ideas, rather than to convey information as effectively and efficiently as possible.

I look forward to watching this one develop.

09-08-2009, 05:42 PM
I wanna lynch the scribe for those coastlines :) Good job so far.

09-08-2009, 06:46 PM
Thanks for the nice words so far everyone. yes, there are a few things about the map that are designed to be perturbing (the coastline, yes. typo here and there, "why is a lost city marked on the map?" and one of my favourites- "we don't go here" lol)

The primary map isn't going to change much, I'm adding a border, scale marker, compass etc and paper texture to overlay, but not too grungy (it's new at this point afterall). So what you see is close to what you'll get. Actually, I can save what I have so far and upload, why not.

Immolate: Yes, I've been going down a very similar memory lane, nice to see I'm not the only one that happened to :) Some of the locations (and resulting comments) are from actual gaming adventures and players in my past, so I've been spending a lot of time reminiscing - a hazard that I wasn't actually expecting to be an obstacle, lol.

I am trying to keep it simple, in part because the map is to convey information (just the things that would concern our intrepid adventurers - interesting places to loot, interesting places to sell said loot, and how to get from one to the other most efficiently) and partly because I know I'll need to leave a lot of room for notes and updates :)

That having been said, I'm letting my creativity loose a bit for the embellishments, but still keeping a tight reign on it - the compass rose is as ornate as anything will get. Anything not added yet will be kept simple for.. well, the sake of simplicity :)

09-08-2009, 11:35 PM
Ok, so I went a bit further than I meant to with the cartouche, but I had to keep the feel similar to match the other skulls :)

Done as it needs to be, and will be considering most errors as intentional :P

Known (intentional) issues:
coastline (especially in the northeast)
2 cities labeled Newford
"Lost City" marked as location
Wizard's Tower typo

Any other intentional issues shouldn't be noticed until the next map as they will involve mislabeling, shoreline corrections, scale corrections, etc :)

IF there IS anything anyone sees that's not listed in the known issues, feel free to speak up and I'll incorporate them into the corrected map.

(amazingly, the scribe did not have any river violations!)

Now for the relabeling :)

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09-08-2009, 11:48 PM
Looking very very good. Now next map the boot that kicks it ;)

Steel General
09-09-2009, 08:41 AM
I want to see a picture of an Octoclops! :D

09-09-2009, 08:53 AM
So do I, sir :)
There will be references to that in the next map, too :P

Steel General
09-09-2009, 11:44 AM
and here you go (at least my cheesy interpretation of it)... :P

09-09-2009, 01:03 PM

that's great!

I was wobbling between an octopus with one eye, an octopus with 8 eyes, a critter much like yours but with 8 eyes.. but I have to say, i wasn't quite heading the direction you did :)

I'm almost done most of the correction notes, i'll add general encounter notes once the main ones are done. I might add in some critter sketches too, if you can make a version of that thing I can use to trace out into the map, that would rock (any chance you can add 7 more eyes? lol)

Steel General
09-09-2009, 01:27 PM
:) Not really room unless the other 7 eyes were very small. If the original image were bigger I'd give it a go. But I think you'll need to settle for this for now.

09-09-2009, 10:54 PM
Ok, phase 1 of the map update is done. Primary comments had been added, and I've already changed the fonts to match the handwriting of the characters involved. this would be SO much easier if I had a tablet *waits patiently for the end of december*.

What' I'd *really* like to do is write out the comments by hand and scan them in to add to the map. Unfortunately I've ripped the house apart 3 times looking for the scanner power cord (and it's one of those super porprietary connector types) and I have no free fundage right now to order a replacement.

Anyhow, the real challenge comes up next, making the notes more organic looking. Once I get that down, I may add more comments to fill out some other areas, but I think it's pretty full and balanced as it is.

Part of the real fun here was choosing the fonts for each character. I didn't go quite so far as to create actual character sheets, but I considered it :P So I left it as basic character and personality traits, and worked it from there. I left the working notes that I tested with the fonts in this one, just because :D

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09-09-2009, 10:57 PM
That's awesome!

Might I suggest that the cross-outs be diagonal so you can clearly read what's underneath?

09-09-2009, 11:38 PM
Great idea, glad i thought of it! (though the original version will be right next to it for comparison, as well)

09-09-2009, 11:41 PM
LOL! You are a strange man.

09-09-2009, 11:58 PM
I also found a power adapter for the scanner for under 15.00, just have to wait for my paypal account to stock up and I can order it online, should be here by next week. YAY

09-10-2009, 01:40 AM
Ok, updated for most of the final effects, all that should be left now is working on making the notes wobble around a bit more (except for the mage's notes, he's too fastidious to let it look natural)

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Steel General
09-10-2009, 06:42 AM
Great work CM, I'll see what I can do about 'antiqui-fying' my octoclops, or I can upload the .PSD here if you'd like.

09-10-2009, 07:54 AM
Up to you, I'd be happy to do the work on it, I'm sure you have better things to do with your time :) (though I wouldn't turn down a finished product handed to me, lol)

Steel General
09-10-2009, 09:11 AM
OK CM, here you go...a couple of different Sepia-toned beasties, and the .PSD so you can play mad-scientist with it.

09-10-2009, 10:36 AM
wow thanks.

Yeah, I think I can make something workable with this. i hope you don't mind if I tweak it around a little :)

Steel General
09-10-2009, 10:45 AM
Not at all, just something I threw together during a slow day at work. Do with it what you will.

09-10-2009, 01:31 PM
Oh, I think you'll like this.

The psd file was perfect. I outlined the arms separately with a brush, plunked in half a dozen more eyes (literally, heh) outlined the whole mess, made several copied layers, ran multiple effects on each.. and now it looks like Gromet can draw if you give him a chance - and his artistic streak came out when he did some shading with campfire charcoal :P

I'll make another wip post soon so you can see...

09-10-2009, 10:38 PM
Well, the updated notes look nice, I think, much more natural. There are still some with nice even lines, but that's because of the natures of the personalities involved by those leaving them.

I'm trying to decide wether Gromet is going to unleash his artistic side and toss in some more sketches, but I'm leaning towards why not - once I take out the working notes, I'm going to have a large blank patch.

There's some humour in some the notes, but I tried not to overdo it, or write out entire conversations I could imagine taking place :)

And the octoclops! yay!

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09-10-2009, 11:54 PM
A map with dancing girls, A+ :)

09-11-2009, 02:02 AM
Heh, just for that I may have to add some dancing girls in to a new version :)

That having been said, unless I go wacky like I did with the goldmine map, this is close to done, if not actually so.

### LATEST WIP ###

09-11-2009, 06:44 AM
Very nice, very humorous. I only just now noticed this place is called Gelderland? Which is one of the provinces in the Netherlands:
It's a great place, actually I am going to vacation there for the next two weeks :D

What I don't get is that the first map is very crisp and clean, with white paper and that the second map is very brown. Did the paper age so fast in a year or did Gromet throw the map in a mudpool somewhere?

Steel General
09-11-2009, 07:01 AM
Very good stuff here CM (yeah Octoclops!), the only thing I would change is the white background on the 'after' map. Seem very jarring, maybe some kind of tan/beige color instead? *shrugs*

09-11-2009, 07:41 AM
I was thinking of lightening the second one a bit, or darkening the first one a tad. But yeah, between the party being fireballed unexpectedly, and the aging effects of being in the desert area for as long as they were (3 weeks at the one location, and however long exploring the rest), plus Gromet being Gromet, it would have affected the paper. Plus, I was figuring the scribe used lower quality inks and paper to begin with, perhaps I should make reference to that.

I've also gone through and updated some spelling errors, and further modified some of the comments (shortening some, changing others slightly, and let Alwen's fastidious personality show through just a tad more with correct capitalization and punctuation).

And just because he can, Gromet will add a quick sketch of a dancing girl :P

The white was to have it blend in better to the background when being viewed at full size - in my browser at least there is a default white background. Perhaps if I expand outwards a bit and have them sitting on a table? I'll play around with it a bit, I also don't want to exceed the megapixel limits (it's already 5kx2.5k)

09-11-2009, 09:51 AM
Made the newly created map look a bit more parchmenty, lightened the weathering/aging on the older version, added a title to the first to match the second.. and who can resist the dancing girl? Certainly not Gromet :P

The white isn't so harsh now with the lighter parchment on the aged version, so I'm going to leave it as is, I think.

unless I find something else worth tweaking, I just may consider this done.

new things learned from this map:
how to make proper looking torn edges
people figures (usually i suck at them)
when working from multiple computers, also keep copies of the fonts in the working folder, not just patterns textures and brushes :)

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Steel General
09-11-2009, 09:58 AM
I agree, the white isn't nearly so jarring now. Great work!

For what it's worth it I give it the official Steel General stamp of finished-ness :D

Long live the Octoclops!

09-11-2009, 10:01 AM
Much better Coyotemax!
And certainly, any map with dancing girls in it is cool in my book :P

09-18-2009, 11:03 PM
and here it is.

I was waffling between Gromet Approved and Octoclops..
but we had a clear winner.


09-18-2009, 11:19 PM
Jolly good!

Steel General
09-19-2009, 08:14 AM
Love me some Octoclops! :D

09-28-2009, 08:36 PM
Voted and repped. You finished so early I had forgotten all about this entry; it just made me laugh out loud when I looked at it again. This map is awesome!