Adventure, Fantasy, geomorph, mapping challenge, Maps, Modern, postaday2011, RPG, RPG Carnival
As promised, here’s where we stand on this month’s RPG Blog Carnival.
Once again, the topic of the Carnival this month is RPG Cartography. If you are new to the RPG Blog Carnival, it works by having other bloggers posting on the topic of the carnival, and I run a bunch of links to these interconnected blog posts, providing a cluster of information on the same topic in a shorter time that usually happens among the many awesome RPG blogs out there. Link to your post in a comment on this page or on the original RPG Blog Carnival page for the month, and at the end of the month I will post a follow-up that includes links to every other post in the carnival – my own and yours!
The topic this month is RPG Cartography – talk about maps, post maps, talk about what makes them work for you, or what doesn’t. While I tend to focus on dungeon cartography, don’t forget urban landscapes, regional maps, and other frontiers of RPG cartography like social network mapping, mind mapping, and event flow diagrams.
So here’s what people have posted so far as part of the Carnival (items in italics are not officially part of the carnival per se, but were topic-relevant posts made this month that I was aware of – this is traditional of most Blog Carnivals which aren’t typically about people posting on a theme, but are just a one-day collection of posts on a chosen theme culled from years of blog posting over every blog the author can hunt down):
- Some great 3D cartography & minis over at the Stuffer Shack.
- ElthosRPG discusses his methods and tools and shares a bunch of very cool maps in several styles.
- Mike Shulz talks about relationship maps and shares one with us.
- M.S. Jackson draws out a nice little dungeon while waiting for a plane in the airport (this is a man who maps like I do – whenever there’s nothing else to do – he uses digital, I use the inside covers of novels)
- The Platinum Warlock discusses found-object mapping (and digs up some old HeroQuest pieces – how I miss that game).
- Risus Monkey gives us the awesome map he drew of Karst Chantry for the 1 Page Dungeon Contest (but didn’t end up entering).
- ROFL Initiative (a new blog for me at least – with a great name) presents some discussion on maps and posts a gorgeous regional map of the Westerlands.
- Blood of Prokopius delves into why he loves maps, with a great story about his father’s fantasy world map (probably not what you are expecting, but equally if not more geeky than our own fantasy world maps).
- Kevin at KORPG posts some great digital urban map segments.
- Game Knight Reviews goes into Mind Mapping with a demonstration mind map. Great stuff!
- Simon of the Sky Full of Dust gives us Dinosaur Island with a great colour hexmap and details of the island.
- Richard’s Dystopian Pokeverse shares links to the standards that establish the basis of his cartographic thinking.
- Dan at Tales from the Tower posted more of his cartographic illustration work from the old days at ICE – with these taken from the Mines of Moria product.
- Carter at the Lands of Ara posted a great greyscale hexmap of… The Lands of Ara; appropriately enough.
- Dreams in the Lich House posted the hexmap for his Thule Archipelago.
- Henchman Abuse posted the second level of his dungeon after refinishing it in Campaign Cartographer 2. It is drop-dead gorgeous, and a great dungeon design, and makes me wish I could map digitally at all.
- Gaming All Over The Place posted a hexmap of GreatHolm and goes into a great exposition / discussion of the bandits therein.
- Ode To Black Dougal is making a Random Dungeon of OSR Evilness and has posted the map that he produced for it… using very familiar geomorphs!
- Greywulf teaches us how to make a Mobius Dungeon – easy! (and the end result looks like one of my dungeons, only twisted!)
- Geek Ken does an overview of creating dungeon tile maps using PyMapper.
- Trollish Delver goes into detail on how to create great dungeons (I could take lessons).
- Bone Scroll discusses Perspective Mapping as described in the Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide (a technique I’ve tried on several occasions, but one that never managed to work out for me).
- Daniel Perez discusses how a Character Sheet is a Map. A great and insightful post about how a character sheet is your guide to a game.
- JP On Gaming posts a map in progress for NeoExodus.
Of course, the geomorph mapping project goes on strong, with a bunch of cool geomorphs posted so far this month:
- Risus Monkey has Edge Geomorphs for us.
- He then adds some Corner Geomorphs.
- And still not done, he throws in a standard 10×10 geomorph.
- But he really can’t be stopped, and made another two! (He’s made way more geomorphs for this project than I have!)
- M.S. Jackson has a temple geomorph.
- He then gives us Hergoth’s Dungeon Hostel – the Geomorph!
- BearMeadows posted his first ever geomorph as part of the carnival.
- And then he adds a second, and a third! (we’ve got a new addict on our hands here)
- Roleplay-Geek posted a bunch more of his awesome fantasy urban geomorphs.
And speaking of the geomorph mapping project, the DungeonMorph Dice being put together by Joe @ Inkwell Ideas with contributions from most of the geomorph artists out there made it onto a lot of blogs this month:
- M.S. Jackson discusses the project and shares some design drafts.
- Risus Monkey discusses the project along with three of his designs for it.
- Gothridge Manor mentions his love of weird dice in association with the project.
- Joe discusses the “Stretch Goal” of the Kickstarter project.
Of course, as the host, I’ve made a few cartography-related posts so far this month:
- Post Apocalyptic Rad Ruins (a Gamma World / Mutant Future map)
- My amazement at the progress over at Dave’s Mapper.
- Ember Crag – a recurring volcanic dungeon map with rough description of the contents and how to incorporate it into your game.
- And I’m in the midst of a three-post series detailing the Infinite Caves of the Shroom-Goblin Tesseract based on an awesome map from JDJarvis.
And remember – this is only day 10 of the Carnival. So you still have two thirds of the month to jump in and show us or tell us what you think about maps. At the beginning of May I’ll post a wrap-up of this month’s carnival with links to all the articles from the whole month.
The Bane said:
Not really made for this, but it was an interesting revelation when I was mapping:
Dyson Logos said:
Coolness, and will be linked to in the month-end round-up.
As an aside, for whatever reason WordPress’ anti-spam system (Akismet) hates you and flags most of your posts as spam. I unflag them and put them through, but that’s why your responses are often delayed in appearing on the blog. On the upside, Akismet has also flagged about ten-thousand real spams, so I think I’ll keep it. It only calls out false positives a few times a month.
I’ve been building maps for Labyrinth Lord adventures on my blog using a program called Activinspire.
Dyson Logos said:
Awesome. I’ll add links to your stuff when I do the final carnival update.
Geek Ken said:
Thanks for the nod although sadly I have nothing to contribute to the wonderful maps other people have produced. Rather I have to just trumpet some of the programs I’ve been using to make dungeon tile maps. Masterplan also is a neat program for making encounter maps, but I’ve been liking Pymapper more for that task (Masterplan deserves more praise for the other wonderful adventure building tools for a 4E D&D game).
So I feel a bit shamefaced about asking this, but what distinguishes a “geomorph” from a plain old plan or section? Is it the fact that it’s “under earth”? I’m not seeing any obvious connection to geomorphology.
Also, I see discussion of perspective mapping – is this understood to include naive semi-pictorial maps like those Tolkien drew for Middle Earth, or are they really bird’s eye views, or is there another tradition here (like “exploded” rooms where you can see the walls clustered around the floors)?
Sorry to get so specific, I’m trying to tighten up some thoughts toward a substantial post.
Dyson Logos said:
Geomorphs are specifically designed to work together. They have identical connectors so you can slap a bunch together and know they will “line up”.
I think most people are thinking of isomorphic mapping when they discuss perspective mapping. The first Ravenloft module was the first one to use this style in D&D, to my recollection at least.
Deirdra Eden Coppel said:
I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Fantastic Fantasy Award.
Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
My favorite How to Host a Dungeon dungeon: http://bloodofprokopius.blogspot.com/2011/04/megadungeons.html
Dyson Logos said:
I love How to Host a Dungeon, and that is a great finalized map!