Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Maps of the area around the Keep

In the session reports I mentioned that the PCs commissioned maps of the area around the Caves of Chaos. One was an extremely local map, and the other a rather broad map showing things in roughly a four-day march, excepting to the west because that's where the Realm lies and therefore not interesting.

The first is just the local map with the numbers taken off, which I include here because someone else might find it useful.
Bet you can't tell where the numbers used to be

(Oh, also the Caves of the Unknown are missing, because Cedric the sage didn't know they existed.)

I really like this map from B2. It has some serious charm to it. I especially like the sudden interruption of 'standard' terrain features to show a stand of tamaracks in the swamp. I don't know why, but it shows a sort of quirky artistry to me that I find endearing. It helps bring the area alive - like this was a map actually drawn by one of the inhabitants.

One of the other things I wonder is whether the Keep is drawn to scale, and I think so. That would put it at somewhere between 100-200 yards in its longest dimension, closer to the former than the latter. It really is a pretty small place if you're treating it as a town. I'd estimate it very roughly as about the same size as Le Château de Rolle.

The other map is a sort of rough-and-ready thing I threw together in Hexographer in half an hour:
Things within a 4-day walk from the Keep

Those ruins to the south of the swamp are the Caverns of Thracia. I'm beginning to think the players will never go there, which makes me a little sad because everyone should get a chance to play in (and run) a Paul Jacquays module. However, they discussed it (in an upcoming play report) and realized they would either have to brave the swamp to and from the Keep, or set up a temporary base camp at the ruins (once they found them).

Most of the rest of the map is undetailed. I have rough ideas of what I want to put where (e.g., the cave in the moutains is an old dwarven stronghold, Limbick's Tower is the ancient abandoned tower of an Imperial archmage.) One thing I'm particularly excited by on this map is Old Isk, which is the ruins of an old Imperial trading city. I want to make it into a 'city dungeon', with a very small population living among the ruins of the old civilization - like Constantinople after the Crusades. I'm mulling over ideas for that, but it'll probably be a sort of psuedo-hexcrawl/pseudo-dungeon with a lot of random generation of buildings, treasures, and encounters.

Then if the players don't go there, I can plop it down in another campaign.


  1. So walking South is easy, North or East is hard, and West is impossible?


    1. You have that a little backwards. North and South are hard, while East is fairly easy (there's a road), but the Keep is in the middle of the north/south divide, so the map is wider in those directions. West is impossible because there's nothing interesting that way.

  2. I wasn't happy with Lesserton & Mor, but mechanically it seems like a starting point for the Old Isk you're looking for.

    1. I'm not familiar with Lesserton and Mor, actually. (Betraying my ignorance, I know.) I was probably going to go with a Vornheim that I poke into my own shape.