Adventure, Fantasy, geomorph, mapping challenge, Maps, Modern, postaday2011, RPG, RPG Carnival
This month I had the honour of hosting the RPG Blog Carnival – and of course I picked the topic of RPG Cartography.
This month we talked about maps, posted maps, and discussed the forms maps take. While I tend to focus on dungeon cartography, we covered a large basis of RPG cartography – with urban landscapes, regional maps, and other frontiers of RPG cartography like social network mapping, mind mapping, and event flow diagrams.
I wasn’t expecting quite the turn-out that the Carnival received in the end – there’s close to a hundred posts specifically for the carnival, and of course I went out and looked for more material that fit the theme that was blogged this month across the blogosphere. I’m a bit stunned.
So here’s what people 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):
There was so much amazing content generated this month that I don’t know how to process it all without it becoming a massive list of links that causes almost immediate eye-glazing. So here’s the massive list of goods – enjoy!
- Tower of the Archmage brought us a whole pile of megadungeon maps and partial maps, and an article (and a pile of random tables) about treasure maps.
- 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). He also did a series of posts about cross-hatching – trying to emulate and then move away from the somehow defacto standard of my crosshatching. Hatching Experiment 1. Hatching Experiment 2. He also gave us an awesome retro map of the Village of Bettendorf, and the light-hearted and awesome keyed map of Zorgath’s Lair.
- 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). He follows it up with a discussion and sample Microdungeon.
- 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). He also posted a great and ENORMOUS megadungeon map of his revision of the Temple of Elemental Evil.
- 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 a great set of maps: Dinosaur Island with a great colour hexmap and details of the island; a Haunted House; The Killing Fields; and the Pathway to the Stars.
- Richard’s Dystopian Pokeverse shares links to the standards that establish the basis of his cartographic thinking.
- Bane gets into an interesting process about population interactions built around a hex map he made previously of his game setting.
- Justin Alexander did an incredible series of posts about drawing better dungeon maps. This is a must-read series for dungeon cartographers out there. Part 1 – Opening Doors. Part 2 – Stairs. Part 3 – Light Sources. Part 4 – Ceilings. Part 5 – Pits and Chimneys. Part 6 – The Room Key. And finally Part 7 – The Monster Roster.
- Fire In the Jungle brings us a pattern-based dungeon map of the Tomb of the Monkey God that is absolutely awesome, then a great post about Labyrinthine Mountain Maps.
- KORPG games posted a very pretty Map of the Inner Kingdoms, and a great set of maps based on a greek temple for an adventure for astrolomancers.
- Tolrendor’s Blog – a new one – made several awesome cartography posts. The first is a set of three CC3-designed maps. He followed it up with an awesome selection of great maps from hex maps to urban maps to urban geomorphs.
- DVoid Systems made some very interesting posts – cinematic mapping in D-Jumpers, and visualizations or abstract maps associated with such.
- A Butterfly Dreaming brings us several posts – treasure maps and legends, and a great post about spectacles for your maps – those truly fantastic elements that remind us that this is a fantasy setting.
- Mondbuchstaben (a german blog) brings us a great post and map for the Dragon Warriors game setting of Rathurbosk, a city built on a massive stone bridge (a great fantasy game set piece!). But he didn’t stop there, he proceeded to give us his remake of the Forgotten Realms map in the style of the classic Greyhawk map and a few more in the same style; a map of the city of Toran from the Lone Wolf setting; a set of gorgeous hand-drawn and coloured maps of his homebrew campaign (regional and urban maps); more maps of that setting drawn in the style of the World of Greyhawk maps; and he closes off with a discussion on the maps of Ludinn.
- Talysman of the Nine and Thirty Kingdoms posted a great map of a megachasm dungeon. He also put together a great set of posts including a Chamber Generation system, and a Planet Generator.
- Mithral and Mages shared a couple of maps with us – one continental and one dungeon.
- John Four gave us a pair of great posts about dungeon tiles – 9 ways to get the most out of your tile collection and 8 ways to organize your dungeon tiles.
- Stuffed Crocodile takes a great look at the maps from The Dark Eye.
- Blood of Prokopious talks about megadungeons and posts a final map from a game of How to Host a Dungeon.
- Digital Orc posted about the maps for his New Amur module. (1) (2).
- 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; these from Laketown; these maps of Mirkwood; he also posted a lot more of these prior to April, it is totally worth going through them all if you aren’t lucky enough to own all the classic MERP modules.
- Carter at the Lands of Ara posted a great greyscale hexmap of… The Lands of Ara; appropriately enough; then maps of the Kingdom of Noffel and Wraithstone Island.
- 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.
- Stonewerks posted a great minidungeon side view map.
- Sword & Shield posts these awesome Pocket Full of Peril adventures using two geomorphs (from several of the geomorphers – mine, Risus Monkey’s, and Stonewerks’) and stocking them so they fit on a single index card. Pocket Full of Peril #8 – Ruins of Rhee-Suh-Uhs. Pocket Full of Peril #7 – Lair of the Lunatics.
- Jeff Rients gave us a very nice updated hexmap of his Wessex Campaign Map.
- Planet Cthlol posted an update of the (very large) hexmap of his Cthlol campaign.
- In Places Deep gave us Keyed version of his regional map for Dark Country Region 1 and then an unkeyed map of the full region.
- Both Telecanter and Aeons & Auguries posted some great stuff about tactile maps. Telecanter describes real-world tactile maps. JDJarvis follows it up with a great “key” for making your own. Telecanter follows it up with a tactile map leading to room 21 of Quasqueton.
- Trey at the Sorcerer’s Skull presented his great City Neighborhoods Map for Weird Adventures.
- Tony Dowler, who created How to Host a Dungeon (and who is almost done revising it for a third printing) draws minidungeon maps and posts them to his blog damn near daily. It is humbling. So instead of linking to them all, go to the blog itself, or download the 2011 Compilation #1 (PDF). He also posted an example of a game of How to Host a Dungeon in progress this month – but I can’t link directly to one blog post on his blog, so you’ll have to surf for it.
- Knightvision games posted some preview maps from an upcoming module.
- Omer Golan brings us a very nice hexmap of the Zagadur Isles from his Wounded Gaia setting, followed by a pretty and simple map of the cosmology of the setting.
- Greg at the Weirdlands of Xhuul posted a sideview sketch of Hlatl, City of the Black Crater along with background information.
- Ostensible Cat posted a very pretty little map of the funerary Isle of Maedsid with a definitely celtic feel.
- In the science fiction field, Planet Algol posted the Traveller-style star map of the Pluton Zone.
- Tales of Kaelaros posted the map and areas of interest of Thaldion, capital of Teiglin.
- Sickly Purple Death Ray (love the name, love the blog) posted a classic “blue map” of the Tomb of Yekelil.
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, some Corner Geomorphs, a standard 10×10 geomorph, another two, and then an urban geomorph tile (I love urban geomorphs)
- M.S. Jackson gave us some great geomorphs – a temple geomorph, Hergoth’s Dungeon Hostel, a set of four geomorphs for the DungeonMorph Dice, another three DungeonMorph designs, two cave-style geomorphs of underground passages, two more temple designs, a chasm geomorph, and a Zeppelin Dock.
- BearMeadows posted his first ever geomorph as part of the carnival, and then he adds a second, a third, a fourth and finally a fifth! (we’ve got a new addict on our hands here)
- Stonewerks makes some great geomorphs – his latest set are village geomorphs – (1) (2) (3) (4) & (5), as well as a set of six for the DungeonMorph Dice.
- Roleplay-Geek posted a bunch more of his awesome fantasy urban geomorphs.
- Talysman of the Nine and Thirty Kingdoms posted some very cool geomorphs – (1) (2) (3) (4).
Of course, as the host, I’ve also made a few cartography-related posts:
- Due to popular demand, I posted a basic step-by-step process of how I draw my maps, which has proven to be crazy popular.
- 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.
- I made a series of posts about the Infinite Caves of the Shroom Goblins based on an awesome map by JDJarvis – post 1, post 2, and post 3. Then I compiled the whole thing into an easy-to-print PDF.
- Erdea Manor is a four-level dungeon that I’m posting and stocking in pieces. Surface level map, stocked part 1, stocked part 2. Level 2 map. Level 3 map.
- I posted two sets of 6 geomorphs. Set 1. Set 2.
- I posted a map I drew while playing a game of the incredibly awesome How to Host a Dungeon.
m.s. jackson said:
You were an outstanding host! It’s been a long month with this and A to Z Blogging Challenge, but I feel it has been really productive and some of the material people have posted is seriously top notch! Great job to everyone!
Great collection of maps, related posts and links. Thanks.
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AD&D Grognard said:
Wow! This couldn’t have come at a better time. I need all the help I can get on mapping right now and this is like a self-contained class on the subject. Many thanks to this months host and everyone who participated. Mapping is a labor of love and this is one place you can really feel the love ! 🙂
Jonathan Jacobs said:
Incredible carnival this month. I’ve Stumbled and REDDIT’ed the post. NICE WORK EVERYONE! Now… to start reading all these amazing contributions…
Pingback: Links van 1 mei 2011 tot 2 mei 2011 — Michel Vuijlsteke's Weblog
Great topic, and well done hosting it. I did want to share that I joined in with 2 posts, though I didn’t get the chance to let you know. http://towerofthearchmage.blogspot.com/2011/04/x-is-for-x-marks-spot.html and http://towerofthearchmage.blogspot.com/2011/04/m-is-for-megadungeon-maps.html
Dyson Logos said:
I’m sorry I missed yours in the wrap-up, man! I’ll get on that!
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