I recently decided to “publish” my high level module Caverns of Slime. To the right, you can see the various stages my map went through. And you can see that the entire process started out with map. The map was the backbone of all subsequent activities.
It all started with the first map at the top. Things that made it from the very first draft to the very end:
- the ring like structure with a water flow leading to the Ooze Lord in the center
- the lab of one of my former player characters, Gar
- Shroom Lord (I wanted some continuity with the level above)
- orcs on landsharks throwing bottles of green slime
- Prison of Dis
- Aranea city
- Eternal Swamps
Things that got lost:
- were rats (boring unless transformed in interesting ways)
- poison flowers (what’s interesting about poison flowers? the Eternal Swamps ended up being not so evil…)
- sauro-eels (but giant eels remained)
- “sulfur levels of clockhouse wheels” – a kind of evil Clockwork Nirvana of Mechanus (the evil fusion of men and machine reappeared in the Fortress Dam of Ix)
- refugees of the fungus forest (the level above didn’t seem to have any refugees)
- rock giant with moss (I feel that giants don’t fit thematically)
- dread mages of the shroom kings (which kings? what’s interesting about dread?)
Also note how I abandoned my detailed isometric map in step two. As I drew it, I kept dreading the moment where I’d have to key it and I kept thinking that at higher levels, the party would be flying, teleporting, gating, or pass walling anyway.
As for the final map: I just drew it all using Inkscape. I wanted to write more about it, but in the end, all I did was draw lines, using a lot of Ctrl+L to simplify the paths and then editing the nodes using F2 to make it look better. Every section was on a different layer so that I could lock the rest. The most important decision was to work on paper for the longest time.
A long time ago I wrote an Old School Hex Map Tutorial using Inkscape. The campaign I started this with is still on-going after 46 sessions and more than two years of play. We meet on two Sundays per month. Tomorrow is the next session, and I’m looking forward to it.
And I keep working on my map!
It just keeps on growing…
Some of you may recognize this map as a section of the Lenap region in the Wilderlands of High Fantasy.
And I started on a similar map for a new Labyrinth Lord campaign in the Sea of Five Winds region of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy. I love the material because it provides a rough foundation upon which I can build my own campaign setting.
- Starting with XQuartz 2.3.2, X11 has some functionality to exchange the content of the clipboard with OS X. But it currently does not know how to deal with vector images so it just captures the screen, i.e. creates a bitmap copy, and then pastes that. You need to deactivate this functionality in X11 preferences > Pasteboard: uncheck “Update Pasteboard when CLIPBOARD changes”.
I have a problem with Inkscape and I think it’s related to the handling or loss of CSS information. I have a script that creates an SVG map which looks fine in Firefox – check it out and hit the submit button.
When I import that SVG into another SVG in order to add more layers, everything looks more or less ok. One thing that’s already wrong is that the hex coordinates are missing. When I save the file, close Inkscape, open Inkscape again, and reopen the new file, things are messed up:
- Coordinates are still missing
- Font sizes are wrong for the coordinates
- Symbols (text elements) around planets have some sort of white border
Do you think Inkscape will have an easier time handling the SVG if I don’t use CSS to specificy stroke width, opacity, and the like?
I’m using Inkscape 0.46 at the moment.
I wanted to have a bigger and printable version of the logo. The problem with the old logo is that the background was is on a map I drew for a campaign of mine, based on a campaign map I drew, in turn based on the Lenap map of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy. If I zoomed in, the town name “Boghra Little” was going to be readable.
I decided to rearrange elements on my map such that only elements I had added myself were going to be visible, purging all traces of the Lenap map. And I was going to keep an SVG source file around. This also meant I needed to vectorize my old X-Face. No problem. Inkscape makes this really easy. The result:
I like it!
There was a lot of talk about corporate wikis, measuring corporate wiki participation, and some wikis “competing” for use in the corporate area.
Oddmuse is definitely not a “corporate wiki” in this respect. I think the problem is the process of decision making: Someone starts with a list of features and goes to collect more items for that list by talking to other “stakeholders” in the company. This is what you end up with:
Yeah, I’m being mean.
Damn, I forgot WYSIWYG, blog integration, CMS, mailing list integration, bug tracking system integration, calendar integration, … there’s so much out there!
I’m using four layers:
- This is a light blue hex grid I got from a grid PDF generator  
- Rivers, hills, forest
- Dots for cities, ruins – my goal is for every hex to offer something to do
- All the stuff my players don’t know yet
The Alder King is going to be a game of exploration. There are no detailed maps available to the players.
If you have a crappy browser, the above PNG file with a transparent background will probably look borked. Get Firefox instead.
The above map without the Hex and Unknown layers, of course.
I like it!
In fact, I wrote a tutorial for those interested in doing something similar: Old School Hex Map Tutorial.
Now that I’ve placed a few things on the map, I will need a little campaign plan.
Gah, I can’t find a good SVG → PDF tool that I could install at my webhoster. I downloaded the svgtopdf module from the InkScape svn repository, installed PDF::API2 in my home directory, and tried it.
alex@mirabel:~$ svgtopdf < test.svg > test.pdf Can't call method "value" on an undefined value at /home/alex/lib/perl5/SVG2/ToPDF.pm line 57.
It seems that the library requires a height and width of the document to be specified. Ok, try again…
alex@mirabel:~$ svgtopdf < test.svg > test.pdf Creating a page: 1600, 1200 Unknown Object Found 'defs' Unknown Object Found 'use' Unknown Object Found 'use' Unknown Object Found 'use' Unknown Object Found 'use'
Gah! That’s the central idea behind the SVG I’m generating: I define each hex only once, and then rely on the
use element to assemble the map. (2007-06-02 Hex Mapping)
There’s a svg2pdf that is part of Cairo which works more or less. I built it on my webhost machine. I downloaded, configured using
--prefix=/home/alex, compiled, and installed the following from source:
- libsvg 0.1.4
- cairo 1.4.6
- libsvg-cairo 0.1.6
- svg2pdf 0.1.3
Building required me to set
PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/home/alex/lib/pkgconfig, and running requires me to set
Why am I not 100% happy? Somehow the PDF output doesn’t look too good. The aspect ratio is wrong, I think.