Maps, making them like crazy

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Maps, making them like crazy
« on: July 29, 2010, 09:22:42 AM »
This thread is for telling everyone about your maps. What's on them?

When do you make your first map? Do you come to the first session with one?

How have you used them in play? How have they evolved? What's the scale?

Share links to images! I'll share first.

I'm hopefully going to be MCing a game starting after Gen Con, and I was reading about how much the sea level might rise if the polar caps melted, and that gave me an idea for a cool "Flooded World" setting. So I made this map, using some online references and taking a few liberties to make the environment more badass:

http://www.dog-eared-designs.com/img/apocmap.png

The boxy things are the ruins of skyscrapers, sticking up out of the water. The grayish area is The Seep, where the water is poisonous and foul. The little circle in the middle of the water is a strange green statue of a woman rising up out of the ocean, holding a torch.

I'd probably revise this a little and make the scale a little smaller. I'm imagining lots of boats in this setting, especially airboats, so it would be easy to explore this size map pretty quickly.
"I don't care what Wilson says." -- some slanderous bastard on the internet

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Bret

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Re: Maps, making them like crazy
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 09:51:20 AM »
I have a big-scale map of Long Neck that I need to add some details to. It shows the general area nearby - a hardhold, cliffs and an old train tunnel, the water basins.

I'm going to draw a more zoomed in one of Long Neck soon showing the different "neighborhoods." The area Sorrow's Children has staked off, the bustling market, Fleece's turf, etc.

I drew one after the first session and after rereading the rules was like "oh crap I need some more maps." I might draw one of Criner's hardhold too in case I need one.

The water map is great. I totally loved Waterworld. I'd love to play a Chopper leading a gang on jet skis.
Tupacalypse World

Re: Maps, making them like crazy
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 09:59:12 AM »
We definitely had maps by session two, but I don't remember a map on the table at the start of the 1st Session. Seems like enough stuff gets determined in the 1st session that having a pre-existing map is of questionable use. I'd want to have a sense of space, maybe some sketches, but I think I'd be too likely to -over-plan and over-think if I brought a map to the 1st session and said 'Okay, we're Here, and the features of the landscape are These". I like the discovery of landscape, like when Vx turned to the group and said "So Roark's back form raiding - where's he been raiding?" and we came up with the nasty, foul, sick-making river and the three river-barges that go back and forth along it, running trade for the slaver up-river. If we'd known about it ahead of time, it would not have been an idea from the group, and the discovery process would not have been as cool. YMMV, of course.

I think the first map we used was when I asked, playing Alison, how far away Foster's pit was where they were holding Dustwitch, and what the lay of the scene was. Vx made a quick sketch of the outer edge of what could be considered Alison's Holding, ellipsed a bit of space but not much, and roughed out the stack of overpasses, now cut off, that was where Foster was holded up. "There's like a maintenance building, low and concrete, at the base of the overpass."

I'll see if I can track it down and scan it.


Re: Maps, making them like crazy
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 10:20:45 AM »
I have to admit:  I'm a miserable mapmaker.  I'm no good at drawing, and I've never really managed to get a map that I was truly satisfied with.

So when I MC, I just shuffle everything off to the PC's.  It doesn't always work since some idea's I need to really map out, like overall layout after the first session.  But That's just one of those things I'm going to have to accept I suppose.
My real name is Timo

Re: Maps, making them like crazy
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2010, 11:05:16 AM »
Thing I saw John Harper do: ask people a few idle questions during character creation, and just immediately start sketching out the area we'd play in. Pausing sometimes to tease an important detail out of someone and add it.

By the time we were done making characters, we had our map. "Alright, here's where you all live."

I used that same tactic in my own campaign, and it sung.

Re: Maps, making them like crazy
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2010, 11:26:58 AM »
I let the players make the map.  I suggested we base it on the area we live in in real life (though I eventually had to wrench it out of that spot because one friend was getting too bogged down in real world details) but then I just put a piece of graph paper on the board and asked them to help draw the map.  I had some weird landmarks I put on it that I'd thought of earlier, but for the places where they lived and things like that I let them put it on the map.  We did that in the first session, after they made characters, before we started doing some normal play.

The map probably covers nearly 20 km of space, but most of that is wasteland.

Depending on how things go, I may make or ask them to make, a more detailed, zoomed-in map of the island the actual holding is on and the stuff closest to the shores of the river.  That's the most densely populated area, and so far we've been pretty vague about how it's laid out.

Re: Maps, making them like crazy
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2010, 11:29:19 AM »
Thing I saw John Harper do: ask people a few idle questions during character creation, and just immediately start sketching out the area we'd play in. Pausing sometimes to tease an important detail out of someone and add it.

This is what I did, and it's probably due to John's influence as the first MC I played with. We came up with the starting situation through Hx questions and through a little pitching back and forth (not strictly by the book), and then I used those answers to start sketching on my big piece of newsprint. "Okay, I want a river to be here. Maybe the holding or whatever it's called is right here, next to the river? What's its name?" I added a coupla small things throughout the session, when they came up.

Re: Maps, making them like crazy
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2010, 11:44:11 AM »
That's a really cool map, Matt.

I made a map of "The Wake" after our first session. It is mostly just a scattering of submerged towers from a futuristic city (the apocalypse did not occur until a few hundred years from now), but there are only a few named landmarks/hard holds on it right now.  I'm not very happy with it and I don't have a scanner or I'd post it.  I'll probably either re-do it or I may grow to like it more if the players start adding details to it.

We have airboats and foul, poisonous waters too (but more "psychically" poison than the traditional sort).

I plan on doing another map before the third session, something more zoomed-in that shows some details of the joined Babbel and Sagrada towers that the PCs call home.

Some of the towers of the Wake are not at all ruined and they extend deep under the surface of the water, so there's the prospect of some pretty cool cut-away sideview maps at some point.


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Chris

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Re: Maps, making them like crazy
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2010, 01:26:20 PM »
I let the players make the map.  I suggested we base it on the area we live in in real life (though I eventually had to wrench it out of that spot because one friend was getting too bogged down in real world details)

Yep, I'll never do that again. For my next tabletop AW game, it's definitely going to be some random, undeterminable place.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Re: Maps, making them like crazy
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2010, 01:39:56 PM »
Eh, it wasn't too bad.  I nipped it in the bud in the first session.  And I got what I wanted: a landscape dominated by a big-ass river with a sizable island in the middle of it.

Re: Maps, making them like crazy
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2010, 01:40:49 PM »
Yep, I'll never do that again. For my next tabletop AW game, it's definitely going to be some random, undeterminable place.

I'm using the general area we live in for an AW game I'm running soon.  I've always thought that the juxtaposition of the Real and the Unreal to be a big draw for me when it comes to Apocalypse fiction.  

That said, the players' hold is based in a rural-BC place none of us have actually been and Vancouver has become "Terminal City" - a twisted, ruined version of itself.  I don't have to worry too too much about being accurate.  Big landmarks like stadiums and bridges (or lack of bridges) and major highways - I'll keep those but everything else is details I can handwave away with "the Apocalypse Did It".

Re: Maps, making them like crazy
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2010, 02:39:22 AM »
I'm modeling a map off of a geothermal plant in the Geysers, where they pipe steam out of the ground to make electricity. "The Plant" will be a relic from the golden age. A cult of steam worshippers (Steamers) operates it, but someone (maybe a Hardholder) controls it (for now) and doles out electricity (along a few poorly maintained high voltage lines) and perhaps some kind of fuel (Juice) for trade with whoever lives nearby. There are photos and maps of these plants and the surrounding area all over the web that can be magnified and copied by hand or scribbled into an art program. They're in coastal mountains, covered with twisty back roads and (for this setting) a towering mass of gnarly pine trees (for bone crushing motorcycle races and maybe some disfigured lumberjacks with chainsaws?).  I like the idea of apocalypica in a forest, just for a change of pace. Also, the cooling tower building looks almost like something at a nuclear power plant--hard to go wrong with that (see the photo below). All sorts of threats can focus on the plant. Who gets the electricity? Why are there so many earthquakes? Are the steamers up to something? Just what the surrounding buildings are used for and how the PCs fit in to the picture can be worked up during the first session.

Below are links to some foundation material, a photo and two maps.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://geothermal.marin.org/geopresentation/images/img052.jpg&imgrefurl=http://geothermal.marin.org/geopresentation/sld052.htm&usg=__5e_71vN-9PxQRG74zq2bVQl56tE=&h=384&w=575&sz=74&hl=en&start=13&sig2=kuYR3xL-l85JuMaBcLKH8w&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=DDdzFa2xh0hU2M:&tbnh=89&tbnw=134&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dthe%2Bgeysers%2Bca%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DX%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox%26rlz%3D1I7GFRC_en%26tbs%3Disch:1&ei=esFTTL7lLYi6sQOF4-3ZAg

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=N38.80508%C2%B0++W122.80985%C2%B0&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF8&hl=en&ll=38.815122,-122.800847&spn=0.00227,0.006158&t=h&z=18/

http://www.topoquest.com/map.php?lat=38.80508&lon=-122.80985&datum=nad27&zoom=4&map=auto&coord=d&mode=zoomin&size=m