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Author Topic: Got a map question for everybody.  (Read 4447 times)

Mojo

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Got a map question for everybody.
« on: February 22, 2016, 03:19:32 AM »
So here it is in a nut shell.  If you were brand new to the hobby, and you bought a game that had everything but the dice to play including adventures. Would you feel cheated if there was no preset map to the world?

I ask because I am struggling with two different ideas. One is not to have a set map and only have maps in adventures. That way GM's could then use them to "piece mail" their own world map as their group explores.

The second is to have the basic continent map with only geographic indications like mountains, rivers, lakes, so forth and so on, to give the GM the freedom to populate it how they see fit.

As you can tell I want the GM to have total ownership over their Wyldland World. I want each world of Wyldland to be different from table to table. I think this approach keeps the game fresh and new with out 10 million updates.

Anyway really need your feedback on this one.

Thanks for any and all opinions you share and give. I am open and ready for all points of view.

Mojo

Offline kevinwatson

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Re: Got a map question for everybody.
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 06:54:29 AM »
Maybe each adventure should have a regional map, maybe 100 miles square max.
After a long string of adventures, the regional maps could be tiled into a larger map by the individual DM or by the creator.

Offline Professor thork

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Re: Got a map question for everybody.
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 08:46:11 AM »

Quote
If you were brand new to the hobby, and you bought a game that had everything but the dice to play including adventures. Would you feel cheated if there was no preset map to the world?

If such was the case, TSR would never have been able to produce individual adventures/items, since  a number of DMs and players did not own World of Greyhawk, and pretty much just went from one adventure to another; those that were ambitious (DMs) either created their own world, or found sources to their liking (JG, etc.)

Don't be a wussy--give 'em a world!  ;D

Offline sgtslag

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Re: Got a map question for everybody.
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 12:04:51 PM »
I created my own game world, back in 1983.  I am still using it today.  When a group of players drops out of my life, I just introduce the next group of players to my world.  I've been building, and fleshing out my game world for...  Thirty-three years now.  I only develop those areas I need, and will use.  So far, that is not as much as you might imagine!  Then there is the timeline...

I had one player from one group, rejoin me with another group, several years after a hiatus.  He asked to continue the same character, even after I told him I had advanced the timeline by 300 years!  We discussed the fact that his PC had been involved in something akin to a retributive strike made with a Staff of the Magi, or a Staff of Power, or an artifact (in that storyline, his player character had been around a few artifacts, so this is not much of a stretch for the plotline), which advanced him forward in time by three centuries.  He was OK with that.  This allowed me to reshape my world, and its cultures, so his PC would not have an unfair advantage over the new players.

It also presented an opportunity for me to re-introduce an old party member of his back into the new campaign:  an Elf cleric whom he thought had been executed.  He was shocked to see her again, especially when she had the opportunity to execute him for offenses committed against her 300 years in the past!  She let him live, but the expression on his face, was priceless, as he knew he was guilty, and completely at her mercy...

Last year, this same PC cast the spell, Alternate Reality (2nd Ed. rules), one too many times for my liking:  since it changed the outcome of a die-roll, and another PC lived, when he should have died, I ruled that his spell had split the time-line...  This gave me the opportunity to mess with the world just a bit:  their friend, the Emperor of a powerful nation they were politically involved with up to their eyeballs, had a personality change, along with other subtle changes.  This really chafed their hides (months later, they are still grousing about it all...), but it slowed down their flippant use of the Alternate Reality spell...

There are ways to change your game world design, if you feel constrained by it, over time.  You can create an alternate timeline where things are subtly different :  NPC's are somewhat different in their attitudes, and friendships (can be loads of fun...); some people who should be dead, are alive, and others who should be alive, are now dead; you can change the time period, either moving forward a couple of centuries, or move the players back a few centuries, or even a few thousand years(!) -- if you have some history which you have introduced in the game, this gives you the chance to make it 'real' for the players, by thrusting their PC's into the thick of it!

A game world you are intimately familiar with, is a fantastic tool to use to challenge your players.  Keeping track of time, however, is critical.  The world moves forward, with/without the PC's involvement, and they need to know this.  The old TSR product regarding time travel, is an interesting read, as well as providing resources, and ideas, for how to play with time, and history, within your game world, or a commercial game world product.  It's all about how you choose to play with it.  Cheers!
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Offline Alex Karaczun

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Re: Got a map question for everybody.
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2016, 10:48:01 PM »
As a publisher I look at it this way...

Providing a concrete framework for a world doesn't hurt anyone. It helps those who don't want to, or don't have the time to make their own world. Anyone who has their own world, or wants to make their own world can easily and safely ignore anything about a module they want.

If I supply the setting both types of players are helped. If I don't, only one type of player is helped. I choose the inclusive rather than exclusive option.

YMMV
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Offline Maegnarval

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Re: Got a map question for everybody.
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 12:16:20 AM »
Right now for my campaign I am using the ' Twelve Kingdoms ' map as the world map & will be using the city of Arabel in the FRE1: Shadowdale module as the map for Caer Brennau when the

adventures return from the Underdark after module " DD2: Fortress of the Yuan-Ti ".

I will be running " FRE1: Shadowdale " & " Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde " concurrently.

Kalex, can you up the rez on the Twelve Kingdoms  map enough so the city names are legible ???

Offline kevinwatson

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Re: Got a map question for everybody.
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2016, 06:00:40 AM »
Kalex and I are in agreement. Those who "roll their own" will use it as a guide for placement in their world, and those who leverage the work of others need them.

Mojo

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Re: Got a map question for everybody.
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2016, 11:55:05 PM »
So the best way to handle this is to do both then. have both a basic map with the game  and regional maps with adventures.  OK that makes sense.

The bottom line is I want the GM's to have the freedom to put cities where they like, and not be "tied down" to pre-determined dots on a map.

So now to add map to list of things I will need an artist to do. I have an idea of what the "world" looks like but am a horrible artist and even worse on map programs. At the rate things are going at finding an artist the final game may not be ready for sale for a few years. Don't know why I am having such a hard time finding an artist.

I have contacted many artists on the deviant art site only to either never hear anything back from them, or to be quoted crazy high prices. When I have talked to those that have at least quoted me prices about doing some type of crowd funding to pay for their services they have demanded half up front. Though I understand there side of things I flat do not have the loot to fork over.

So the search continues like a herd of turtles lol.

Thank you everyone for your feedback. It was just what I needed to hear.

Mojo

Offline DocMindwipe

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Re: Got a map question for everybody.
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2016, 07:51:01 AM »
For a "default" world for your game, make it very simple indeed.... jot down some mountain ranges, 6 or 7 cities, and a couple of rivers here and there. Don't worry too much about it making sense, although a major port city in the middle of the Rockies would probably raise a few question marks. Assume the game master is also a newbie to RPGs in general, and thus explain in a few words how to expand on the map locations. "Do your adventuring group want to go south from the City of Nevahefas? Gently mark down a rough path and put some encounters every few hexes, these can be friendly, villainly, simple wildlife, areas to explore, take shelter for the night, etc"

Then when you release adventures, you can flesh out the areas around the adventure locations, so as to build a more complete map of the world as _you_ envision it, while at the same time, encouraging the various game masters to make it their own.

Unless I've managed to completely misunderstand Gary Gygax' own words, this is the exact approach he wanted for the World of Greyhawk. It's enough to get you started, you're encouraged to do your own thing, while at the same time it is a common starting point for "everyone"

Offline sgtslag

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Re: Got a map question for everybody.
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2016, 08:25:30 AM »
Mojo, have a look at this product:  http://www.rpgnow.com/product/133653/How-to-Create-Great-Fantasy-Maps-Even-if-You-Cant-Draw.  It demonstrates how to draw maps similar, in style, to Darlene's classic Greyhawk map.

It is all about drawing techniques with pencil, pen, and paper.  It also teaches how to draw large, then reduce on a copier -- an old trick I had forgotten until I saw it in this product.  By reducing your drawing size, you also reduce the errors, if any.  It is quite amazing how this trick works on the brain/eye of the beholder (including your own!).  It is $1.50 US, so not a huge investment.  However, understand that drawing your own maps will require time, and effort, on your part -- this product shows you how, but it does not do the work for you.  Cheers!
Gaming:  one of life's many pleasures!

Offline RobertFisher

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Re: Got a map question for everybody.
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2016, 11:00:13 PM »

So here it is in a nut shell.  If you were brand new to the hobby, and you bought a game that had everything but the dice to play including adventures. Would you feel cheated if there was no preset map to the world?

I didn’t. (Moldvay’s basic set being my first purchase.)

And I’ve probably seen more world maps that didn’t really help me than ones that have.

Mojo

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Re: Got a map question for everybody.
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2016, 06:28:59 PM »
For a "default" world for your game, make it very simple indeed.... jot down some mountain ranges, 6 or 7 cities, and a couple of rivers here and there. Don't worry too much about it making sense, although a major port city in the middle of the Rockies would probably raise a few question marks. Assume the game master is also a newbie to RPGs in general, and thus explain in a few words how to expand on the map locations. "Do your adventuring group want to go south from the City of Nevahefas? Gently mark down a rough path and put some encounters every few hexes, these can be friendly, villainly, simple wildlife, areas to explore, take shelter for the night, etc"

Then when you release adventures, you can flesh out the areas around the adventure locations, so as to build a more complete map of the world as _you_ envision it, while at the same time, encouraging the various game masters to make it their own.

Unless I've managed to completely misunderstand Gary Gygax' own words, this is the exact approach he wanted for the World of Greyhawk. It's enough to get you started, you're encouraged to do your own thing, while at the same time it is a common starting point for "everyone"

It's funny that folks keep mentioning Greyhawk because that is my inspiration for Wyldland. Doc you hit the nail on the head as usual. Your input is just what I needed. I only hope that when I get this all put together and you guys play test the final product (of course y'all will be the first to do so with the final product) and I post it here for free for all of the help y'all have been, that it will be worth all the time, blood, sweat, and tears I have put into it. Then I only hope others would want to buy it. But first I have to get this darn thing finished!

Mojo

Offline mutazoid

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Re: Got a map question for everybody.
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2016, 06:26:56 AM »
a little confused but Ill add my 2c that might give an idea.
Before each adventure description of the surrounding area should be given to the DM can match it to their world and a location on your world map for the DMs that plan to follow your campaigns in your world more literally.
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