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  1. #1
    Guild Adept Gracious Donor Notsonoble's Avatar
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    Post Discussion: What maps does a setting need

    Exactly what it says... If you have a new world(s) campaign setting unrelated to existing publications to produce, what maps would you place in the first "campaign setting" book?

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    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    Would that be "book" as in player hand-out or "book" as in submitting to a publisher?

    I'm going to assume you're asking about the first situation. In that instance, I'd probably supply a sub-regional map (one spanning the area commonly known to the characters), perhaps a few key area local maps (major towns and the like) and, of course, the background information as far as recent history, legends and myths, current events and the like. Basically all the stuff that the characters would have learned growing up in that particular area of the world.

    GW
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

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    Guild Adept Gracious Donor Notsonoble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greason Wolfe View Post
    Would that be "book" as in player hand-out or "book" as in submitting to a publisher?

    I'm going to assume you're asking about the first situation. In that instance, I'd probably supply a sub-regional map (one spanning the area commonly known to the characters), perhaps a few key area local maps (major towns and the like) and, of course, the background information as far as recent history, legends and myths, current events and the like. Basically all the stuff that the characters would have learned growing up in that particular area of the world.

    GW
    Actually assume the latter...

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    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    In that case, you would likely be dealing with a great deal more information. There is another member of the guild, GamePrinter, who, I believe, is doing something similar, so he might be able to offer more information regarding the process. In the interim, however, my best suggestion would be to take a look at the various source/setting books that are available for some gaming systems. At a minimum, however, I would think that such a book would be geared towards Dungeon/Game Masters and would therefore require enough information and maps for them to run the game reasonably without too much fudging of the details. To that end, perhaps;

    Regional Map
    Sub-regional Maps
    Local Maps
    Area of Interest Maps

    In addition, you'd probably want the following as well;

    Regional Histories (perhaps in a time-line fashion with just a few notes)
    Local Histories (again in a time-line fashion but a bit more detailed)
    Important Local Figures (i.e. Mayors, Dukes, Kings, Past Heros, etc)
    Some detail regarding politics and local relations
    Some detail regarding religion
    Some detail regarding non-human races/settlements (if they exist)
    Some detail regarding random encounters (both hostile and non-hostile)
    Current events

    In a nutshell, my guess is that you'd want to provide as much "known" information as possible to potential DM/GMs while still leaving some room for individual development. On a personal level, when I look at a source/setting book, the things I look for are those that I've listed. For the most part, if I am going to buy a source/setting book, the reason I am doing so is to save time when it comes to those major details that I've listed above and concentrate on the actual play/adventure time.

    GW
    When nothing is going right and you can't find someone else to blame, start beating your head against the wall, 'cause it'll feel so much better when you stop.

  5. #5

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    Its a strange balance between random generation that inspires stories and finite depiction which denies them.

    ie

    -- that looks like a great place for a fortress..... (good)

    -- I need a bog for this plotline but there are none. (bad)

    I'm careful to keep track of what the players have seen and what they haven't. Some maps are just for the DM - I have to resist the temptation to say 'look what I did' and show too much. If it comes to it, I've told all my players that their maps might change but but so far I haven't had to. I like the freedom to change stuff before its introduced and the discipline to keep what they know stable.

    I read somewhere that most people, even today, live and die within a 15 mile radius of their place of birth. Players get maps for what they've seen and possibly poetic maps as items or based on descriptions. Poetic maps with false elements are tricky and often feel like needless work. I think you have to do them though or the one or two poetic maps you use will be really obvious.
    Last edited by Sigurd; 04-18-2009 at 05:47 PM.


    Dollhouse Syndrome = The temptation to turn a map into a picture, obscuring the goal of the image with the appeal of cute, or simply available, parts. Maps have clarity through simplification.

    --- Sigurd

  6. #6

    Post Kaidan has a few maps...

    Sorry, I came late to the conversation here.

    As Greason Wolf mentioned, I am working on a setting book and mini-adventure arc intended for publication in June 2009.

    Because my setting isn't an entire world or even a large continent, as its based on a Japan-like world of several large islands and dozens of smaller ones. I've got a map of my region called Kaidan, that includes the "whole world" as intended to be used in the adventure arc.

    Although the Islands of Kaidan consist of 22 provinces, there are 3 main isles, and on one is where entire first adventure arc takes place. Therefore, I plan to map the 2 major cities/towns included, 4 provincial maps as they pertain to the single large island, as well as numerous encounter scale maps to follow the intended adventure, none of the latter have been created yet, but the intention would be a dozen or so maps. So that upwards towards twenty maps.

    Note you may or may not be using as many encounter scale maps, which comprise the bulk of my initial setting.

    I would have to have a better idea on the intended region of a given campaign, how far the players will probably travel while playing, and specific maps for encounters that are written into the adventure.

    Does this help you, in anyway, NotsoNoble?

    GP
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  7. #7
    Guild Adept Gracious Donor Notsonoble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greason Wolfe View Post
    In addition, you'd probably want the following as well;

    Regional Histories (perhaps in a time-line fashion with just a few notes)
    Local Histories (again in a time-line fashion but a bit more detailed)
    Important Local Figures (i.e. Mayors, Dukes, Kings, Past Heros, etc)
    Some detail regarding politics and local relations
    Some detail regarding religion
    Some detail regarding non-human races/settlements (if they exist)
    Some detail regarding random encounters (both hostile and non-hostile)
    Current events

    GW
    GW, These are already things I've considered, but I'm trying to get a feel for detail levels...

    If you pick up a campaign setting book, would you rather it cover two worlds, at three time periods, vaguely, with a promise for more detailed books later? Or would you want each nation-state covered in the detail for all three time periods? Or would you want a world overview, 1 or 2 nations covered in extreme detail for each time period, and some promise expansion of details for the rest?

  8. #8

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    My guess...

    2 worlds, 3 time periods - Global view of each if there were any big changes - 6 maps.

    1 continent map for every important region - ie if its got 3 or more sub maps.

    Town Sub maps as necessary.

    Room\building size maps as necessary.


    That might be a lot of maps, but then I don't know much about your project and hey, I like maps.


    Sigurd


    Dollhouse Syndrome = The temptation to turn a map into a picture, obscuring the goal of the image with the appeal of cute, or simply available, parts. Maps have clarity through simplification.

    --- Sigurd

  9. #9
    NymTevlyn
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    Only as much as needed for the next adventure or two.

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