November 6th, 2010

Mapmaking A Go-Go

A friend of mine asked me to draw floor plans for a huge Victorian-era mansion for an upcoming con (probably Owlcon in Houston) he's running a game in. Knowing him, it's CoC or some similar Gothic horror-type game. A little short notice given my school schedule, but since I am a self-employed designer and l-u-v looove architecture I fired up AutoCAD and decided to tackle it. In addition, I'm starting a second playtest group for my sci-fi system, which is set in post-apocalyptic Texas; because I have a ton of Texas GIS files from a previous class, I think I will produce a few quick and dirty GIS maps so the players can keep track of how the game world has changed from real life easier (two of them, bless their hearts, have no concept of spatial relationships whatsoever).

This makes me curious: how many of you guys and gals love to draw maps for your campaigns? How do you use them- to track minis, to help the players visualize areas, or just for the Hell of it? What is your preferred method for drawing maps- by hand, with CAD, or some really slick graphics program?
Voodoo Dolly

Advancement in Setting

One thing I really like about the upcoming Guild Wars 2 MMO is that even though apocalyptic dragons have torn the landscape apart, civilization actually advances.  The races have access to pistols and rifles, and the charr have access to things like turret-cannons and siege weapons of utter doom.  I like this.  Most settings presume that if 'something horrible' happens, civilization has to be pushed back.  GW2 shrugs that off, and pushes forward.  Culture, clothing, weaponry, civilization, the whole shebang actually looks like it's evolved two centuries.

More settings need to do that.  (I really wish the Forgotten Realms had done that between 3E and 4E...)
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