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Jan. 13th, 2013 @ 09:48 pm Campaign started
Current Mood: excitedexcited
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This past Wednesday was the first session of my RPG campaign, set in the Streamdales. It took a bit of time to explain how things 'worked' in the daily lives of the characters, but soon they received a mission to find out why a trading house feels the need to build a fortification to house their distribution activities. (Not much was accomplished right then, but the stage is set for the characters to start their investigation.)

During the preparations and the session itself, I found that I wanted to present maps of the setting to the players, but I hadn't had time to properly map out their surroundings. I've used Autorealm for the map in the setting booklet, which resulted in a barely readable map.
Not satisfied with that, I looked around for mapping software again, and again came to Campaign Cartographer, which is a re-tooling of a CAD program to produce maps. I watched the video tutorials, and I was very impressed with the result one could get with just a few clicks of the mouse. klik reminded me that I hadn't gotted any Sinterklaas or Christmas presents last year, so there was budget...

And so I bought their 'Fantasy Mapper' bundle, which also includes extensions to map cities and dungeons. I'm currently working my way through re-making the Streamdales map in CC, to learn the program. I'm looking forward to mapping out the rest of the setting.
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Viking!
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From:merle_
Date:January 13th, 2013 09:51 pm (UTC)
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Cool! I would have killed for a lo-res version of this twenty years ago (and honestly the backend fractal tech is straight from the books from the parameters I see).

One thing I did not see was a way to age the world: erosion, volcanos, plate shifts. Straight fractals work as a good base but nothing in nature is just one fractal dimension; other factors have other dimensions that alter the world. That's why in the real world there aren't lots of teensy islands all over all coastlines, but only in select areas, and erosion is the best way to develop true rivers and deltas.
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From:fub
Date:January 14th, 2013 09:14 am (UTC)
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I don't think the point is to provide a detailed 'planet simulator' that shows how the surface will erode over time. Instead, it's 'just' a mapping package: you need to have an idea of what goes where before even starting it up.
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From:merle_
Date:January 14th, 2013 08:12 pm (UTC)
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True. Randomized rivers that matched the countours would be nice, though, and would seem an easy addition. It would constrain the campaign because of city placement though so I see your point.
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From:fub
Date:January 14th, 2013 08:43 pm (UTC)
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This being a campaign, the map follows the story and not the other way around. Moderate amounts of handwaving are totally acceptable. ;)

I've finished my first (version of the) map! A JPG is here, if you're interested.
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