I had not meant to write part 4, but here we are. These are not really terrible any more, but they are examples of quick mapping. Two things happened; first of all, I needed to define a chunk of Alda Chur in a hurry, and second, someone else also needed to define a chunk of Alda Chur in a hurry, and I found out about it.
Michael Blum showed the Facebook Runequest group this map:
I recognised it instantly. I had been staring at that layout only the week before. At that point, I knew I had to post about maps again, and I asked, and he was kind enough to tell me how it was made and show me the quick version. It’s a 3D projection of a map from the internet, using GIMP, and with some shading added afterwards. In fact, it was the same map I’d used, but I hadn’t known where the original was from, and excitingly, he did.
This is an awesome map. It shows what needs to be known; where are the high bits, and what is the scale? I didn’t think of putting small people into mine, although I put steps and houses in. This is one of those fast maps that objectively is not great art, but is perfect for doing the job.
Michael also told me where he got most of his information about Alda Chur, and that led me to http://www.halberdgames.com/Alda_Chur/Alda_Chur.html. I had not been able to find the original source.
So, I’d been using the same map. Michael needed to show people quickly in-game what they were attacking. And by a curious coincidence, I also needed to show people what we were attacking, although I had more time, as we were between sessions, and trying to work out which things were important.
This is, once more, not great art:
At this point, I was not sure if the side of the road was an embankment going downwards then upwards, or if it was an earth wall with houses next to it. However, I was sure that it was a good idea to build a 3D version of the area we would be fighting in, so we could all be looking at the same thing. One of our group had thought we were coming in through the market, for example; there had been a lot of loud talk from the group and not so much from the GM about what the actual plan was.
The GM told me what the gate itself looked like, and even provided an image – it’s wide, 5m in fact, and good for fighting in. I decided that the things on the West side of the road were indeed houses…
And then we got into asking about how to get to the ramparts, because there are going to be problems if we don’t. As it turns out, there’s a staircase, so I moved some of the big houses alongside the wall:
I left a gap for a midden to make our Orlanthi player happy. She’s an archaeologist.
Then I got a bit carried away and modelled the stadium and the theatre. After all, people might hide behind them.
And there it is. Now everyone in the group knows what is where, and next week we work out how to get our bison rider back from where he’s gone Heavy Scouting, and our Humakti and Orlanthi go take that wall. In fact, by the time you’ve read this, we’ll hold the gate and the city, or they’ll be singing mourning chants about our heroism.
Edit to add: We’re a session further on – but we just found out where the Humakti leadership is. It turns out, ‘right in front of us, chaaaaarge!’ So, next week, we find out if my tiny angry Humakti lives through fighting a Rune Sword.