Maps


ちょっと悪くて手で書いたが、以下はウバーズレイクの基本地図である。クリックをすると、大きくなる。

ウバーズレイク

 

ハンマーと数字の意味は、書いた所で兵士宮があって、兵士人数は書いた値である。

赤い数字の意味は:

  1. ニーダさんの家
  2. シグマーの祭殿
  3. ウーバーズレイク城
  4. 悲しい盾
  5. 労働者池
  6. マネガールドの家
  7. シャリャーの祭殿
  8. モーの祭殿

その以外はPC達がまだ分からない。

Many years ago I ran a campaign I referred to as “The Apocalypse Campaign,” set in a post-apocalyptic Europe in which the sea level had risen. This was back when A4 drawing tablets for a computer were hideously expensive, and scanners were expensive too. So to make my higher sea-level Britain, I photocopied pages from an atlas (A4 size), did some careful calculations of enlargement scales to get all the different-scaled maps up to the same A3 size, then carefully joined them together, traced them out onto a new, single huge piece of paper on a light table I found in an abandoned garage next to my house[1] (even light tables were quite expensive, I recall!) and then painted over the lines.

So I spent, obviously, a lot of time on this, and I came up with a quite fascinating piece of work in which England was broken into several significant islands drawn on a crappy map coloured by one of the worst artists the world has ever known (me). I had to flood the world by quite a bit – maybe 50m I think – to reproduce the effect I wanted, which was the beautiful world map from the White Bird of Kinship novels[5], and this took some work, and I think I used a bit of GM’s license in there too (it’s not like anyone was going to check, this was before the internet could host massive maps, so no silly nerd was going to come along and complain I had my contours wrong).

Today I discovered that this site, using google maps, can produce the whole effect in a few seconds. Not only that, it can give street-level detail of anywhere in the world, hardly a comfort if you live in Bangladesh or Amsterdam; but it did enable me to check the location of my own flat, and determine that with a 5m sea level rise I’ll be on water-front property! Any more, and I’ll be going uphill in a hurry.

Perfect material for post-environmental-apocalypse gaming, if only it showed values more extreme than 14m. Who cares about that? (Besides a couple of 100 million South Asians, and the entire Pacific Island diaspora).

fn1: an interesting story that. I went digging through that garage with my flatmate, who had written some excellent art theory articles about Bladerunner[2], and we discovered a box full of old documents. Sorting through this box, we discovered a bunch of jewish religious material and some schoolbooks from world war 2. We contacted the owner of the garage to tell them what we had found, and it turned out that the owner was my boss, and the school book pictures were some material from her own childhood that she had lost. I think her parents had been refugees from Germany, though I don’t recall that clearly. Anyway, we kept the light table.

fn2: The gist of them was, 1) that Roy Batty plays a role very similar to that of the Gnostic Redeemer, come to Earth to destroy his maker and to tell the people that the Earth is a trick created by Satan (or some such), and 2) that photo that Decker examines on his super-crash-hot computer[3] is a close simulacrum of some painting by a dutch master, which famously has the picture of the painter in the mirror; but in the Bladerunner version, there is nothing in the mirror, and the investigation of the photo is physically impossible. This serves to cause the reader to question their own humanity, whereas in the original painting the figure of the painter in the mirror is meant to restore your sense of self as a viewer, and remind you of the presence of a human creator. Or something[4]

fn3: I watched Bladerunner again 2 nights ago, and it’s interesting how in some ways the vision of future technology is really basic, such as the TV on which the photo is examined, but in other ways really advanced, such as when Decker directs a computer to do things with commands like “no wait! back up!”

fn4: They were actually really good, but after 15 years the details are a bit blurry.

fn5: Which I recommend, strongly

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…?

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