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Favorite Map Styles: What's Yours? 
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Unkbartig
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Post Favorite Map Styles: What's Yours?
I am a mapaholic. For real. I love rpg maps of all kinds because they seem to inspire stories in me, the same way any good artwork does, but they seem to beckon for me to go there, like it's a real place I could get to if I tried.

I have seen some awsome maps of various styles that I really like, and it is really tough to pick a favorite simply because each evokes a particular flavor and tone. If I have to pick, I would say I like the sepia toned maps in the style of Blacktooth Ridge or Haunted Highlands. I still love the old school Darlene maps though too, with the hexes. I also liked the player and DM maps of the East Mark Folio.

What about you guys?


Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:16 pm
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Mogrl

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I don't really use them, to be honest. I mean, not outdoor maps, anyway. So, I would have to say a map that is very basic... pure utilitarian. All it would need is a scale, a rough gauge of terrain. I don't even like it when they have names on them...


Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:13 pm
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Battle Stag
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Love maps! I have been collecting them even before I got into gaming as a little tike. RPG maps are the same, if they are good I love to pour over them and do a little adventure in my own mind as my eyes travel from location to location.

Personal favs are tough, as I like what I like. I think I tend to like hex-based maps most of all, because I like to map out locations for players. For years, and years my players didn't care much for overland travel in the fact of what was seen. "Just get from one location to the next" mentality prevailed. As I started keeping overland maps for the players, they seemed to be much more interested in the travelling aspect of the adventure. This has led to some fantastic sessions where players discuss their maps, and which ways would be best to travel, what to certainly avoid and the like. This is a nice level of depth to our FRPG games, albeit a bit video-gamey.

-O
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:47 am
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Unkbartig
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I remember the first time I saw the Middle Earth maps as a kid......wow. It really got to me. It made it seem so real to me.

Then the same thing again with Hyboria. A buddy of mine pushed me for years to read the Conan series of books by Robert E Howard, but the Arnold version in the movies made me resistant. Once I broke down and started reading, I was hooked. And it changed how I viewed fantasy worlds forever. The maps of the Hyborian kingdoms just seemed so believable in conjunction with the stories.

For practical, utility purposes only, I can see DM's having differing views on how useful overland maps are, depending on their gaming style. Dungeon Crawlers will have little use for them for sure. But if you treat overland maps like a Macro-Dungeon, as I do, you stock them full of ruins, wondrous locales, encounters, NPC's, strange items/artifacts, etc. One of the products I am working on is based on the wilderness as a Macro-Dungeon. We'll see how it goes.


Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:46 pm
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Lore Drake
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I loved National Geographic as a kid. No, not for the indigenous boobies (ok, maybe a little), but for the special pull-out maps they'd have every few issues. I also had a Historical Atlas of the World, which showed how borders changed throughout history. Maps have always fascinated me.

RPG-wise, I always thought the more illustrative, the better. Nothing better to get your imagination cooking! I also really enjoyed the 3-d maps that they had in Ravenloft.

I also got a big kick out of that guy's maps in one of the later episodes of "The Dungeons & Dragons Experience" on youtube. I forget his name, but he's the guy who does all of the awesome tabletop terrain.
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:51 pm
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Cleric of Zagyg
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I pretty much like most map styles depending on what the creator is trying to accomplish. Hex maps are great for wilderness/overland etc. Darlene's certainly were excellent.

I also found a great HTML Greyhawk map online that complement's Darlene's version very well.

And then last year, I bought those 4 Dungeon mags that had a version of GH and it was pretty darn good.

Like Jay, I collected maps from Nat'l Geo for years, I probably have 40 or 50.

I also spend several years going to the Rand McNally map store in downtown Chicago to buy country and world maps. I've got several on my wall here in my computer room/office as well as a 3 foot wide angle photo map of Jerusalem and a beautifully rendered map (probably more like an architect's drawing of the Acropolis in Greece. Heh, I bought it in Athens for like a dollar or some such.

I've also collected high quality detailed maps of Sweden, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Russia for genealogical research on my wife's and my families.

My other fav map would be the U.S. of course. Having travelled throughout our great country ~ 41 or 42 states, I love to look at them all the time.

Of course, having a world map to augment one's book reading is essential for me.

Enough babbling . . .
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Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:07 am
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Mogrl

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I love maps too! Even National Geographic. I had a bunch of those before my house fire about 5 years ago. Now I might have a dozen.

They also evoke stories for me, and I do like Peters Style best of all at this point. I just look at those maps and my mind starts filling in the blank areas with towns, towers, cities, monster tribes, etc...
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Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:00 pm
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Battle Stag
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I know it's not practical, but I'd love to see extremely detailed maps for FRPGs; maps that have general elevation info, topographic markings, every community marked, named land features, etc. The Atlas of Kalamar came relatively close to this, but wasn't very practical (being that it was a regular hardback book, no big map, etc). Very detailed, technical maps like those National Geograhic put out, would be nice for our favoite FRPGs.

-O
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Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:15 pm
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