For all my love of maps, I’m a firm believer in starting a campaign without a large regional map – instead of definite locations the game is best mapped out by descriptions and ideas, not locked down into locations. In this manner, the game is more open to be expanded during play by incorporating new elements instead of having to adapt new elements to fit the structure that is already there.
Thus, it took a year of playing 5e before I found myself in the position of needing a map of the region where our campaign is taking place.
Once that adventure was finished, game play moved on to the awesome dream-like OSR adventure “Slumbering Ursine Dunes” which is set on the map by the Persimmon Sea and the settlement of Kugelburg. I also drew a player-friendly map of the Golden Barge for that adventure.
The party’s next stop was the Forbidden City from the classic 1981 adventure module “Dwellers of the Forbidden City” which required “steaming jungles” to be hidden in which were placed further south from the Dunes. For our adventures in the Forbidden City I posted a plethora of maps, many of which we didn’t need during the games (the city is quite large).
- Player Friendly Maps of the Forbidden City itself by Steve Sullivan from the module
- A ruined temple complex
- The Temple of the Snake
- The remains of the Ha’Tak Temple
- And the Redstone Shrine
Finally in our latest games the party has left the Forbidden City and travelled to the Shady Dragon Inn, the city of Letath (which I’ll post next month), back up to Winterspire, around Coranan and are finally about to visit the Yellow City of the Slug People, Yoon-Suin itself.
It was for this last session of travel that this map finally had to be assembled from the various locations where we had adventured over the last year – something to tie them together a little more concretely than “past the dunes, beyond the steaming jungles, around the Barrier Peaks, and then along the God River to the Yellow City”.
(And of course to confuse issues, while this is the West Coast of the continent in question, the region was named by the elves who lived on islands in the ocean, so it was named for how they saw it – the Eastern Shore of the sea).