Archive for September, 2016

Stream Crossing – hex map

September 30, 2016

This is a fairly simple hex map showing a path and a stream crossing with some stepping stones.  The other elements are intended to be the trunks of trees, but they may not read that way, since there are no branches or leaves.  But that’s what those other bits are meant to be.


The scenario envisioned for this map to be used with was an ambush by a couple of archers who are working in conjunction with a nixie/water sprite.  Most of the water is too deep (more than waist deep) to be able to be easily forded, other than near the rocks at the crossing, so a fight on both sides of the water will be a lot of ranged combat (and the tree trunks as cover then become a significant element).

I’m not a regular (or, at this point, even a sporadic) VTT user, so I don’t know if this is workable/usable for that sort of thing.  Let me know if you use this in something like that, and let me know how well it works.

The original was drawn in pen on a hex page, so the hexes are integral to this image, and not something that could be turned off.  But if you’re playing a game that uses a hex grid for tactical display, then give this a shot.

“Imaginary Worlds” – Podcast about Fantasy Maps

September 22, 2016

If you aren’t already a follower of the “Imaginary Worlds” podcast, let me recommend it to you.  And no better place to start than the most recent episode: Fantasy Maps.

J.R.R. Tolkien spent decades mapping out Middle-earth on graph paper because everything had to be invented from scratch (and given a name.) Many of his maps weren’t even published until after he died, but today’s fantasy cartographers owe a great debt to his work. They also have a post-modern understanding that to create a believable fantasy map, they have to sow doubt in the minds of readers whether we should trust the mapmakers.

Let me also point out, however, if you’re already a deep map-geek like I am (and I suspect the group of people who read and follow this blog skews pretty strongly in that direction), this program isn’t full of ground-breaking, new information.  But, on the other hand, if you’re in that category, you probably haven’t reached your limit on the topic, so I’m guessing you’ll find it interesting, too.  It’s less than 20 minutes long.


Intersection T

September 21, 2016


Unplanned, I swear, but the idea for this map, without thinking about where it was going to fall in the series, was to end each of the passageways and have a decision.  There are just four passages in this map, one leading off each side.  And each one terminates and becomes a T-intersection.  Some of the rooms off those T intersections connect to other rooms, and it all gets mixed together as usual.

Intersection S

September 7, 2016


Another tangled set of passages and spaces with a large central meeting space.

There will be a complete A to Z series of these (which falls superbly well into a bi-weekly posting sequence over the course of a year).  Only the last couple maps still need to be drawn; there are a few more that will be queued up shortly.

Two things to think about related to these maps, now.  First, is making some kind of compilation of all of them, and doing it in a way that would be useful and valuable.  It can easily be combined into an ebook of PDFs.  I could add a grid, or hexes, if that kind of management would make it more usable for GMs.  Or I could provide some descriptions and backstory and inhabitants for each one, but these are meant to be intersections, not destinations, nor points of interest on their own.  If you’d be interested in supporting this and having a Codex of Intersections, let me know how you’d like to see it extended.

The second question, even though it’s still summer, is to start thinking about what the next series should be.  By the time I hit intersection Z, I think I’ll be ready to be done with intersections for a while.  But maybe not.  Again, I’m open to suggestions and other ideas for the next series to start on.