It's time to move this map forward (beyond the September Challenge) towards eventual publication. And I still want all of your help! My first step is to decide whether to follow the author's suggestion to simply number buildings or to insert tabs with building names instead.
Most D&D adventure publishers, particularly Paizo, frown on keys in adventure maps. I've been urged repeatedly (sharply castigated might be a better description of some instances) to make everything I present in a map so recognizable that no key becomes necessary. In keeping with that tradition, this adventure's author suggests that this map contain numbers only. The manuscript contains numbered paragraphs linked to the maps numbers, with each paragraph describing the numbered building in depth. For instance, "The Crooked Man" is the town's favorite pub.
In the September Challenge thread, gilgamec helpfully pointed out that the map, standing alone, failed to identify any buildings, risking leaving the viewer with something of a "pretty . . . but who cares?" feeling. When the map stands alone, as it did in the Challenge, I whole-heartedly agree with gilgamec. When published, of course, it will be accompanied by the text, so if it has numbers, descriptions are but a page-flip away.
So the question is descriptive tags or just numbers?
Here's my first cut at descriptive tags. I can play with font sizes and colors and bevels and embossing until the cows come home (yes, this thread welcomes all farming metaphors), but if I use a larger font size than this (it's presently 10), I'll have to start overlapping buildings with text and using arrows to designate which tag attaches to which building. The author didn't name roads or woods or rivers or ponds, but I'll encourage him to do so if tags appeal more than numbers.
What do you think?