It’s been a long time (maybe 7 years) since I did any role-playing in a world of my own creation, with its own maps and such like. I really enjoy making the maps – the last map I made involved a light table I scavenged from somewhere, a contour map and an attempt at redrawing the map of Europe to account for catastrophic global warming – but I no longer have the energy for it, and my maps are in any case inevitably really crap. That global warming map – my God! – it involved photocopying sections of an atlas and doing careful calculations so different parts of the atlas were all mapped to the same scale, then all stuck together, and then flooded, and then painted with water colours. That’s crazy, right? And of course I lost the lot at some point when I moved house, and there is no scanner big enough to scan it all so I have no digital version.

I also when I was younger bought myself that Campaign Cartographer package and tried to use it, but it’s fiendishly complicated and you can spend hours on a single 4 room dungeon, only to discover that adventure time has come again, and the you haven’t had time to populate the map. Plus of course, the players never appreciate it. So what’s the point!?

A mysterious place of unknown provenance

A mysterious place of unknown provenance

Now I do most of my adventures in pre-existing worlds (i.e. Middle Earth) or in Europe/America, where I can just use pre-existing maps. I don’t make my own, I just scavenge others. I particularly like using historical maps and pre-existing maps of places and buildings. As an example of the sorts of silliness I get up to with maps – here is one I found in Japan. I found it on a sign, and the map is actually a photo. But what is it a map of…?