Sharing my map

14 posts / 0 new
Last post
Thomas Weigel
Thomas Weigel's picture
Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57
Sharing my map
I don't think I've shared this before. This is the (mostly unmarked) regional map I'm using for my Oceana campaign, and this is the spinning globe for the whole thing. The PCs, of course, have never left hex #2414 on the regional map. I have high hopes that someday they'll visit Ardáth, when they decide they need a class III market.Sneakers
Thomas Weigel
Thomas Weigel's picture
Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

Ah, and I forgot the map notes for the cities.

CatDoom
Patreon SupporterSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-06-22 19:24

I like the regional map, though it took me a minute to figure out how to read it. All that blank space just screams to be explored. How'd you make it, if you don't mind me asking? I always have trouble coming up with coastlines I like, and usually end up just tracing from interesting sections of real-world maps.

Also, it looks like you need some kind of special permission to view the globe; clicking the link just takes you to a blank "access denied" type page.

Thomas Weigel
Thomas Weigel's picture
Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

Spinning globe with no special permission required.

bonus non-spinning globe.
alternate regional map.

No great secrets on the mapping front, I'm afraid. I used Fractal Terrains Pro to generate the overall planetary map (with lots of tweaking and paint brush "fixes" to the aesthetic of the coastlines), then exported it into various formats for editing in Photoshop. The globe was just a series of single-point projections strung together into a GIF, for example.

Campaign Cartographer Pro gave me a hex grid to overlay, but it's export functions sucked. I ended up using screenshots :-(. In fact, overall, CC Pro was such a pain to use, I resorted to almost entirely working in Photoshop. When Photoshop looks less arcane? Your UI designers took a wrong turn.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Very plausible real-looking world. Have you worked out the weather patterns?

Thomas Weigel
Thomas Weigel's picture
Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

Approximate climates for broad areas, yes. Also the major ocean currents, and some pseudo-plausible (they look plausible if you don't dig too deep) long-term climate cycles.

For the regional map, though, I cheated. Once I had the broad climate for the area, I picked a real-world analog with a vaguely similar climate, and a long weather log. Went a bunch of years back, and snagged that. Weather they experience is taken straight from the log.

(I had to snag a few weather logs because they're currently on one side of a coastal mountain range; so I needed the coast, the mountains, and the rain-shadow.)

CatDoom
Patreon SupporterSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-06-22 19:24

Very cool; I've done much the same thing with weather in the past, myself. I'm actually curious about your long-term climate modeling, if you don't mind sharing.

It looks like there's not a lot of land terribly close to either of Oceana's poles, which would suggest that there's less permanent surface ice than on Earth. As I understand it, in geologic periods when the Earth's continents were clustered away from the poles the climate tended to be significantly wetter and hotter.

You could probably keep precipitation and humidity close to present earthly levels by just saying that Oceana has less water overall (hard to tell what ocean levels are like based on your maps), though that might make for some *very* dry glacial periods. As for temperature, I'm not sure how big the effect of smaller ice caps and unobstructed polar currents would be, but I could easily imagine Oceana having an overall "tropical" climate, relative to our own.

Thomas Weigel
Thomas Weigel's picture
Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

CatDoom wrote:
Very cool; I've done much the same thing with weather in the past, myself. I'm actually curious about your long-term climate modeling, if you don't mind sharing.

1. Oceana has an immense water elemental/goddess at its core. That's not significant to the thermal conditions as a whole (in practice, she serves exactly the same function as a magmic core), but it does mean that there are paths for water under the slenderest portions of the continents.

Oceana is also unimaginably salty and sedimented. When she shifts slightly, thousand-mile-long jets of hot, nutrient-rich, sediment-filled water upwell toward the surface, losing their salt as they go. If it hits a continent just right, it can erode or even shatter a coastline over a year or two. This is mostly important to the fisheries, since the nutrient-rich waters breed fish.

2. Most of the oceanic surface and sub-surface currents follow the Earth pattern. The surface currents travel along a set latitude until hitting a continent, then turn. Currents heading toward the poles are warmer than the surrounding water, toward the equator colder. Subsurface currents are usually produced by density differences, and colder waters that plunge too deep get warmed up by Oceana and produce a heat pump effect, upwelling.

3. The largest such heat pump (and a regular one) is in the south-eastern corner of the non-spinning global map; the large dark patch there that seems to stretch to the south pole.

The northernmost portion of it surges upward and then (mostly) northwest into the central sea area and (some) northeast. For the most part, it is stable, but every 2d6+3 years it erupts with greater intensity. When it does, the innermost sea gets a lot of hurricanes, the average temperature rises, the fish thin out (it is nutrient poor compared to the coastal currents), and the trade winds in the south-eastern area die out.

CatDoom wrote:
It looks like there's not a lot of land terribly close to either of Oceana's poles, which would suggest that there's less permanent surface ice than on Earth. As I understand it, in geologic periods when the Earth's continents were clustered away from the poles the climate tended to be significantly wetter and hotter.

Both poles are relatively ice free, yes, and there is more water surface and water mass in Oceana than on Earth, which means a lower overall albedo, and more absorption of sunlight.

Oceana's sun is a little less intense than Earth's, however. The end result is mostly temperate, but averaging a bit on the warm side.

CatDoom wrote:
You could probably keep precipitation and humidity close to present earthly levels by just saying that Oceana has less water overall (hard to tell what ocean levels are like based on your maps), though that might make for some *very* dry glacial periods. As for temperature, I'm not sure how big the effect of smaller ice caps and unobstructed polar currents would be, but I could easily imagine Oceana having an overall "tropical" climate, relative to our own.

As far as anyone knows (grin), there have never been glacial periods on Oceana. The regional map is semi-tropical to temperate-warm along the coast, temperate-warm to temperate in the mountains (largely due to altitude).

Naffir itself is very much a swamp/jungle peninsula—some say the only reason anyone built a city there was sheer cussedness.

Where the PCs are is temperate and very rainy.

CatDoom
Patreon SupporterSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-06-22 19:24

That... has got to be the coolest setting idea I've heard in a long time.

It can be tricky to find a good balance between the fantastic and the mundane, and it sounds like you've found some really interesting ways to link the two together. I think my taste in fantastic fiction was pretty heavily influenced by the amount of Lovecraft I read as a kid, and the idea of a planet-sized pseudo-deity driving the climatic and tectonic forces of a superficially "realistic" really hits the spot for me. :P

Thomas Weigel
Thomas Weigel's picture
Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

Thank you. Lovecraft was definitely an influence.

You can see a bit more of that in this post on the spheres. That post also has a variant of contact other plane which should be ignored, as I revised it in this contact other plane variant.

CatDoom
Patreon SupporterSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-06-22 19:24

Neat! Sort of classical cosmology meets Cthulhu... are you doing anything unusual with clerics in the setting?

Thomas Weigel
Thomas Weigel's picture
Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

Maybe? There are no clerics as a class. Instead, there are a collection of different divine, miraculous things that can be done, by tapping and establishing relationships with divine powers of one sort or another. "Divine powers" is left deliberately vague there, because humans have some vague theories about it all and they're all vaguely wrong.

As a rough summary: Oceana is the biggest thing around here, but doesn't care about humanity (worshiping Her is largely fruitless, and She derives energy from the ancient Engine left in this Sphere by Those That Created The Sphere). There are also a few other "elemental" or "fundamental" entities on a similar scale (the Sun, the Great Eye) who also don't need worship for their power, either because they are sponsored by Oceana, parasitize Her, or are drawing from Somewhere Else. Almost everything smaller than that would love to talk about arranging worship-energy-for-favors, thank you. And as implied, there are Things Much Bigger Than The Local Cosmology, like Those That Created The Sphere.

The primary divine, miraculous things that can be done:

Divine spells are built using the rules in Player's Companion using the arcane modifier rather than divine; or for spells not covered by PC, are at +1 spell rank. So, for example, cure serious wounds ends up as a sixth rank arcane spell. These draw on or bind a variety of miscellaneous entities, and a chunk of the Mortal Wounds Table and Tampering With Mortality Table can be seen as consequences of that.

(It's also worth noting that any literate person of some reasonable education can attempt to impress a spell into their mind, given a scroll from which to do it, and divine spells are the same in this regard; just beware backfires. A spell-casting class just has a certain number of spells they can automatically impress without chance of failure.)

Anyone with a holy symbol and faith can attempt to Turn undead (effectively as a cleric of half level). Rightous Turning taken once lets someone Turn as a cleric of the same level; taken the second time, has its usual effects.

The rules for divine power still exist, and can be used by arcane spell-casters willing to work as an intermediary between a congregation of believers and this or that "celestial" entity. If someone got really ambitious, cities in the setting act as a kind of "celestial" entity; a lot of godlings wandering the setting now were once rulers of good-sized city-states . . .

Also, patronage means certain proficiencies are treated as (G)eneral proficiencies: Divine Blessing, Righteous Turning, divine spell-like abilities (again using the rules in PC), and so on. The character has to establish a patronage relationship for each such proficiency, and follow the rules of that entity.

CatDoom
Patreon SupporterSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2013-06-22 19:24

Those are some cool ideas. The hard distinction between Arcane and Divine magic has always been a little troubling to me, since magic and religion are pretty closely linked in most cultures. I don't have a big problem with the separation between the cleric and mage classes, but it makes sense to me that an adventuring priest could be a mystic learned in the ways of supernatural beings and higher planes just as easily as a crusading warrior-monk.

The distinction get even muddier when you have classes like the witch and the warlock from the player's companion. Both enter into personal alliances or pacts with mysterious and powerful supernatural beings, so while their spellcasting mechanics differ I'm not sure you can really say that the magic itself is qualitatively different in any meaningful, in-setting way. The way that a witch casts spells also begs the question of how different, exactly, her relationship with the dive is from that of a cleric.

Er, sorry, went on a bit of a rant there eye guess. But yeah, I like the idea of mages leading divine congregations as part of a deal they've made with powerful supernatural entities. I might just seal it. :P

Thomas Weigel
Thomas Weigel's picture
Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

Steal away :-)