Before we start
If anyone reading this is playing Season 5 at Good Games Lanyon, please read no further! This post may contain SPOILERS!
I don't have much idea what you guys here charge. I am thinking an evening's work, maybe two. It's noncommercial, a map for a game. I have a PayPal account, so no worries there.
I'm looking at running a waterworld campaign in which the islands are controlled by the elves. The elves have an oriental theme, so the world of Rokugan (legends of the five rings) seems perfect. Using that world, I could leverage all the campaign politics as backstory.
So I would like a map of Rokugan, but redone as islands - and preferably fairly sparse islands. The major cities would become biggish islands, and important roads would become island chains. But there's a lot there, and really I don't need it all. Rokugan has almost a grid of roads over it - we can dispense with most of them and we don't need to relocate every damn city to its own island. The main thing is that areas controlled by the various clans in Rokugan should map more or less correspondingly to the waterworld. It doesn't have to be exact or even close, just so long as we can, for instance, use the fact that Crane clan territory is next to Lion clan territory and there have been wars in the past.
I suppose I will really need to give you a copy of the map that I have (ripped out of a PDF), marked up with what locations I think should be included. Al the other little towns and whatnot optional.
Other points to note:
- The world is hot, hot, hot (our last campaign was an ice world, so…). Civilisation is up around the pole, which should be perhaps not on the map but (say) half a page-width away from one of the edges. Although I'm after a naval chart, if you want to decorate then the islands should be tropical.
- I think that having the pole off to the "west" of Rokugan (as it is usually oriented) might work.
- I'm thinking of putting a massive whirlpool at the pole (which will have significance in the campaign. Yes: the characters are going to have to surf it ). The prevailing surface currents spiral inwards in that direction overall.
- The equator is an immense, permanent maelstrom. A hurricane. The globe is not navigable below (say) 45 degrees latitude. But this will probably not appear on the map.
- The currents become stronger as you get close to the whirlpool at the pole, the winds become stronger as you approach the equator. This creates natural boundaries.
- The "shadowlands" of Rokugan become "the Seas of the Fey". In this world, the Crab Clan are not at war with the Oni of the shadowlands, but with the unseelie fey.
- The barbarians of the north become Sahuagin, which provides another boundary for the map.
- The Shinomen Forest could be reinterpreted as a sargasso sea - no worries there.
- I am not sure how to reinterpret the mountain range that runs through the middle of Rokugan. Perhaps a chasm in the sea floor without islands, and make it wider than the Rokugan mountains to simulate the extra time it takes to cross it. Or a very strong current leading to the pole, one that is dangerous to cross.
- In general, we can do the land mass of Rokugan as a relatively shallow shelf, with a boundary where the ocean becomes deep. So rather than being bordered by mountains, it's bordered by the dropoff of the ocean shelf.
- The non-elf races (and the player characters) are seagoing, with a italian/spanish/english theme. Pirates of the carribean. While elvish houses control the largest islands with arable lands, some smaller islands and sand atolls can be "freeports", "Il Porto del Paradisio" or whatever. Particularly on clan borders.
The map is primarily a naval chart. The islands can be outlines with perhaps ports marked. Grayscale is fine. I would like to see prevailing winds and currents marked. I want to be able to say to the players "The navigator thinks it will take 8 days, winds permitting, to get to X".
I was intending to divide the map into hexes, each hex 24 leagues (the distance a sailing ship can travel in a day). A league is 3nm, but at that scale the hexes are a bit big - you could get from one end of the empire to the other in about two weeks (winds permitting). I am thinking that the empire should be a bit bigger than that - maybe a month from end to end. But I can overlay hexes onto it myself, I suppose.
Semiprofessional is more than enough. I prefer cheap to beautiful, frankly. I don't need a lot of detail, just "these hexes are scorpion clan, this island is Kyuden Bayushi (the clan's main castle/island), and to get there from here you can hitch a ride on this sea current", (which means you can shave 3 days off the time, but you'll have to go through a region not controlled by any clan, so we are talking pirates and/or sea monsters)."
I would prefer a GIMP .xcf file with layers so that I can mark it up and conceal detail from my players.
I'm supposed to be starting this campaign in about six weeks.
I shall have a a nonexclusive right to use the map for noncommercial purposes, including modifying and annotating the map, and reproducing the map, or portions thereof, with or without my annotations and modifications on my blog (paulmurray.wordpress.com), my website (paulmurray.id.au), and distributing printed handouts to my players. A Creative Commons license is fine, so long as I have the right to create and distribute derived works - I may need to plonk things here and there depending on which way the campaign goes.
pmurray at bigpond dot com. I have a facebook page etc, but I'd prefer to conceal this from my players for the moment.