I've been working through RobA's "Using GIMP to Create an Artistic Regional RPG Map".

He indicates that roads in the pre-modern area weren't straight.

While that's true as a rule until about the 1950s there is a big exception to that. And that's where you had a major ancient empire that relied heavily on it's engineering core for support structures and occupied it's legions outside conflict for engineering construction (a way to prevent dissent - idle soldiers can foment all kinds of trouble). Obviously I'm talking about the Romans...

My campaign is in the D&D 4e "Point of Light" setting and I have based a number of my concepts of Nerath on the Roman Empire. As a result the road system left behind by them features dead staright roads, unless insurmountable geographical factors dictate otherwise (given the use of magic this generally means something like an ocean in the way).

Naturally these major byways don't link every town and villiage to every other - those are the kinds of wandering roads follow the path of least resistance that you would expect. But most large towns and all cities are on at least on of these imperial roads.

The concern I have here is that representing these imperial roads in exactly the same way as non-imperial roads may look confusing and just plain wrong.

So I'd love to hear any thoughts folks have on representing both styles of road on maps of this style.

TIA for any and all constructive posts!