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Thread: Hi folks. I need to learn how to map the *entire* Spelljammer universe

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    Hi Robert and welcome to the Guild. Just had a read of your Traveller sandbox tutorial and it looks like a great way to go about populating a sector (although personally I would build the information around plots). Do you have a finished sample (either Traveller or fantasy) which we can look at? I had a poke around on your blog but couldn't find one!
    Not for Traveller yet. Right now I am focusing on the Fantasy Sandbox. If you go to the original post you will see at the bottom that I link to a series of other post detailing each step. The posts are linked together so you can go from step to step from the post themselves. It not finished yet but I am pretty far along and currently working on the next step which involves detailing some buildings in the main town.

    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    Regarding maps for Traveller, have you seen Isomage's sub-sector and world map generators?
    Looks interesting thanks for sharing this.

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      Big Mac is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertsconley View Post
    Appreciate the compliment.
    You're welcome.

    Thanks for materialising in my thread!

    Quote Originally Posted by robertsconley View Post
    As for adapting my sandbox tutorial I do have a Traveller Sandbox post.
    I've seen that. It is good. Spelljammer might actually have been better organised if it had the sort of hex maps that Traveller has for sectors and subsectors. Instead Jeff Grubb made gigantic spheres, in which you get a fantasy solar system. And outside of that, you have The Phlogiston, which was never really mapped out in the early days. So it is pretty hard to do SJ on the sort of scale that Traveller maps are done on.

    But, despite the fact that you designed this for Traveller, I think that some elements in the Traveller Sandbox post would help with sandboxing the crystal sphere that a spelljammer planet was located in. They certainly would add to the suggestions in the Universe Building rules in Chapter 5 of Concordance of Arcane Space. And I suppose that that needs doing before the worlds get worked on, so I should go back and make a Sandboxing a Crystal Sphere thread, so that interplanetary politics can be worked out and the number of spelljamming ports can be decided upon.

    Thanks for the poke!

    Quote Originally Posted by robertsconley View Post
    What I am trying to do with my How to create a Sandbox tutorial is manage the amount of detail you need to create. I focus on a 200 by 150 mile regions due to my experience with D&D style fantasy campaigns but different sub-genres and campaign styles could have different focuses. As you observed Spell Jammer wouldn't focuses on such a small area.
    Logically, Spelljammer should be dealing with a much larger area than your sandbox campaign area, but in actual TSR SJ products the complete opposite has always been the case. The PCs come into a system of several planets (but a couple of them are uninhabitable), they get to the world the need to go to and despite being able to land any-where, they inevitably land in a small area the size of a town or city.

    Believe me: your sandbox is a big improvement on that, because it will allow fans to build a buffer zone around that small "railroad" landing site and allow the GM to deal with PCs who move off of the edge of the map (or description) that TSR provides.

    Quote Originally Posted by robertsconley View Post
    What I would recommend is that you use the Traveller Sandbox to get your broad overview and then apply the Fantasy Sandbox steps to various worlds "of interest". Substituting world for region. For example the home base I describe in Fantasy Sandbox could be the main city or rather the most interesting city.

    Good luck.
    Thanks. I think I'll try that.

    Maybe I'll go back to my Sandboxing Plata experiment and go a couple of steps backwards (to create a crystal sphere around it).
    David "Big Mac" Shepheard
    New to cartography and seeking advice - eventual goal to make a large number of maps for the many worlds of the Spelljammer Campaign Setting

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    Hi Robert and welcome to the Guild. Just had a read of your Traveller sandbox tutorial and it looks like a great way to go about populating a sector (although personally I would build the information around plots). Do you have a finished sample (either Traveller or fantasy) which we can look at? I had a poke around on your blog but couldn't find one!

    Regarding maps for Traveller, have you seen Isomage's sub-sector and world map generators?

    (Apologies to Mac for jacking the thread, if this goes on I'll create another one).
    Don't worry about it, Ravells. I've got Robert S. Conley joining a forum and hanging around in my "hello" thread.

    And while not directly transferable to Spelljammer (because of the different mapping styles) Traveller resources are a good source of inspiration for space mapping.
    David "Big Mac" Shepheard
    New to cartography and seeking advice - eventual goal to make a large number of maps for the many worlds of the Spelljammer Campaign Setting

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      bartmoss is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartmoss View Post
    Thanks Bartmoss. I have seen Spelljammer Port Paladine. The guy who runs it is really great.

    I definately like his style. I might want to modify it a bit, but the basic structure is what I want to do myself.
    David "Big Mac" Shepheard
    New to cartography and seeking advice - eventual goal to make a large number of maps for the many worlds of the Spelljammer Campaign Setting

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
    Thanks Bartmoss. I have seen Spelljammer Port Paladine. The guy who runs it is really great.

    I definately like his style. I might want to modify it a bit, but the basic structure is what I want to do myself.
    The Port Paladine webmaster has signed up to Cartographers' Guild.

    I've also set up a Spelljammer group here (for SJ fans to find other SJ fans) and hope to get some specialist help there.
    David "Big Mac" Shepheard
    New to cartography and seeking advice - eventual goal to make a large number of maps for the many worlds of the Spelljammer Campaign Setting

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