Friday, 30 May 2014

Large Scale Mapping for Veins 1

Ok here is my idea for quickly generating large underground volumes extending through three dimensions.

Divide an a4 sheet into quadrants.

Quadrants are either top-down or vertical.

If vertical then top is always at the top. If horizontal then North is at the top, the other compass points arranged as usual.

If you want, one vertical compass can have Up, Dwn, North, South instead, but that is a bid to mind-bending and crazy for right now so we will leave it out.













You need about three passage-forming elements. We will start with the simplest, a river. In blue.






Remember in the vertical sections a river can only go down, never up. Now we will add a fault.





Now a mine in green.



There are four kinds of hex, depending on how many lines are in the hex.

No lines - the wilderness of stone. Hard travel, have to search, go cave-by-cave.
One - Transport possible along route. Semi-wilderness, encounters rare but nearly unavoidable when they do happen.
Two - More travelled. Tribes. Small outposts. More encounters, can be avoided.
Three - Likely encounters, organised polities, armies, population centres.

So, depending on what hex you are in you just describe what you see on the map.

"A river leads straight down, a fault leads down to the west and up east, a minework leads up and west."

You can still search to go anywhere but those are the main routes and should (eventually) take you somewhere.

Encounter density probably equivalent to desert. Routes will compress travellers but population much lower overall so should even out.


Will do a table for the kinds of lines you can roll for tomorrow.

7 comments:

  1. This is both incredibly awesome and deeply headache-inducing. Love it.

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  2. I think I get this. It took me like 5 minutes but I get this

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  3. ...call me dense, but what are the quadrants for?

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    1. Quadrants are either top-down or vertical.

      If vertical then top is always at the top. If horizontal then North is at the top, the other compass points arranged as usual.

      Not sure if I can state it more clearly than that. Some are seen as a top down map, others aer seen as a side-on map that shows height

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  4. This is brilliant.

    "Irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically."
    -Sol Lewitt

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  5. I was reading Veins of the Earth. I got stuck at the book when I reached this chapter (A Large Scale Map) and I dropped it. I can't figure out neither how it works, nor the utility of it. I can pick monsters and rules but the main purpose of the book, creating underground maps, is too elusive to me. And I'm not stupid, it just doesn't reveal its secrets, I guess.

    I mean, why the upper-left quadrant (UL) is continued in the upper-right quadrant (UR)? I would have thought each quadrant would depict the same map from top and side perspective each. As it is, it seems that we have mapped a portion of the Veins from top view (UL) and then another portion from a side view (UR). But, why four quadrants and only one line? How are these four wuadrants related to each other? Why not just two quadrants, each with just a line, both representing the same area? I just don't get it. I accept that I have never run a hexcrawl, but I don't see a problem when each hex contains "something", and it is depicted from top view. I don't understand how it works from a side view perspective, though, much less when the same line starts top view and is continued in side view.

    Would you happen to have a blog entry where you explain this in more detail? I don't want to have another huge and beautiful book I can't take full advantage of (like Carcosa).

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    1. I mean, why the upper-left quadrant (UL) is continued in the upper-right quadrant (UR)?

      I would have thought each quadrant would depict the same map from top and side perspective each.

      As it is, it seems that we have mapped a portion of the Veins from top view (UL) and then another portion from a side view (UR). But, why four quadrants and only one line?

      How are these four wuadrants related to each other?

      Why not just two quadrants, each with just a line, both representing the same area?

      I just don't get it. I accept that I have never run a hexcrawl, but I don't see a problem when each hex contains "something", and it is depicted from top view. I don't understand how it works from a side view perspective, though, much less when the same line starts top view and is continued in side view.


      > Ok all these questions interrelate so I will have to answer them together.



      > The key point here is 'quickly'. The system is arranged so you can, very rapidly, and almost without thinking, scrawl some lines on an A4 page and have a map.

      If I mapped the same place from a top-down AND side-on perspective, which is the way cave-exploreres do it that would take AGES. Think about how long it would take to model that kind of space in your head and write it down.


      > And added to this is the desire for necessary three-dimensional movement. All to be accomplished _quickly_, with _simplicity_ so you can draw up a map in about 1-2 minutes while the players are thinking or eating.



      > The side-on vew is like looking at the windows of a very thin sky-scraper from the outside. If you imagine all the lights being on and watching people go up and down, left to right, as they climb stairs and move across rooms, thats roughly what a side-on view is like.



      > The reason there is 'only one line' is because all those routes or giant tunnels interconnect as they go from quadrant to quadrant.




      > This is easier to understand if you just do it with two halfs of a sheet of paper, so instead of four quadrants you only have two things to think about.

      So if you imagine folding an A4 page in half, so that one half sticks in the air, and the other is flat on the ground, like the laptop I'm typing this on.

      The half sticking up is like a vertical section.

      The half flat on the ground is like a top-down section.

      Then you draw one line on the sheet, simple, straight, right down the middle, going across the two halfs. This could represent a long corridor, or in Veins terms, a mega-shaft.

      If you imagine players being in that shaft while its in the top-down section, you would say "you are in a huge, long straight corridor, leading directly north south"

      Then if they move north, up the paper, and reach the bent part, where, on my laptop, the hinge it, and it turns into a screen, you would say "the corridor is bent into a shaft, instead, leading directly up, is a smooth straight shaft, you can't see the end.


      > So if you are crawling in a side-view area, you would describe much more of what the PCs are doing as climbing up or down, wheras in a top-down view, they would be mainly moving on a normal axis with incidental climbs to get around particular objects or deal with particular landscapes.

      In a top-down view they _have_ to climb to move, although there may be flat areas they can rest in, and the climbing surfaces may be rough or large scale enough that its more like climbing up and down a mountain than up and down an elevator shaft.


      > If that doesn't clarify it, let me know and I will do a youtube video or something.

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