Most of Intwischa’s best traffic is sent to us by other gaming blogs, and several bloggers have been kind enough to provide commentary or links to one of our articles (and, by extension, grant us a traffic bump). With that in mind, I’d like to share with you some articles that I bookmarked from the previous week, as well as some reflections I have on the posts.
This week’s links will all lead you to maps, which makes perfect sense since I was searching the internet for real-life maps to steal… er, inspire some campaign cartography for my original RPG realm. Stay tuned to Intwischa for the fruits of those labors, while check out these cool links while you wait!
I’ve written here before about the value of maps, but the visual aides employed by Jon Schindehette in his recent article for Wizards of the Coast’s ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ website really pack a punch. John has been responsible for some really great maps of game worlds in the historic tradition, but his highlighted uses for maps transcend the cosmetic.
What really grabbed my attention was the rough but true-to-scale pencil sketches on graph paper that are so familiar to gamers around the world. In fact, our original campaign setting started out as a crude outline on a sheet of notebook paper, and has evolved into a fairly sophisticated world delineated by political and natural boundaries.
Hopefully, John’s thoughts will inspire you to make better use of them in the future!
- “Cartography: Dragon’s-Eye View” by John Schindehette (Wizards of the Coast)
- The Value of Maps
- On the Paper Trail: Printed (Not Minted) Treasure for RPGs
The Green Hill & The Green Monster
I have to admit straight away that I’m awfully jealous of the layout of the maps at Godsend: the City of Bones, an offshoot of “…and the sky full of dust.”
While the link below takes one to a specific locale known as The Green Hill, you can see at the bottom of that page the rest of the ongoing series that explores this original campaign setting. These maps outline streets and back alleys, natural landmarks, and- perhaps most importantly- places of interest that could play vital roles in your adventures. Each map in the series is followed by a ‘plain language’ section that acts as a guided tour for new arrivals through this section of the city.
This format is exactly what I want to create for my original campaign setting! I already wrote up descriptions of a few of the towns in my world, and populated them with some key locations and local personalities. However, making the leap to literally mapping them out has proven pretty elusive thus far. This site has inspired me to take up the task again, and renewed my belief that such a feat is actually possible.
Floating Fourthcore Fun
Finally this week, we get to mash up a whole bunch of my pet projects into one easy link!
Maybe you’ve read one of our recent posts about our foray into Dungeons & Dragons Fourthcore. Or you share my affinity for nautical campaigns that has cropped up repeatedly on this site. Diligent readers may even remember my tales of crafting a scale-model sailing ship for our crew to adventure on. In this article from Roving Band of Misfits, I found an incredible (and instantly playable) idea in the form of “Fourthcore Team Deathmatch Map: Mutiny on the Hellstrider.”
In addition to giving us a chance to try out Fourthcore in one of my favorite genres, it has the added feature of a scale map of the ship Hellstrider to house your PC crew. It’s a whole lot prettier than my early attempts at such a thing- although mine actually had the cabins below decks mapped as well. Benoit’s reasoning for this in their map is pretty sound, however; I can testify that “[a]dding another level would add all sorts of complexity.” Trying to track all those miniatures on two decks in close quarters made for a big bloody mess. This also gains a distinct advantage in featuring a large scale, printable version of the ship and its surroundings!