[Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Chimpman » Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:30 am

Here is a preliminary list of all of the races on Vaniae (hopefully I caught all of the ones we spoke about in this thread so far).


Natives - Sandfolk

Natives - Earth Elementals

Planar Spiders

BC 4000 - Beagle/Grens, original expedition leaves behind Galactic technology

BC 3000 - Blackmoorians/warforged?, visit the planet from Mystara

BC 2500 to BC 900? - Pyrithian Amazons

BC 1200 - Aranea

BC 1200 - Nithians

Giff

~BC 700 - Alphatians

Minotaurs?

Canine Folk?

Brown Dragons


One interesting thing I realized was that since the Beagle crew visits here on their way to Mystara, and since it is likely the Blackmoorians also visit this planet during their civilization's height, we have an opportunity to showcase the parallel development of Galactic tech. The older/original Beagle tech, verses the Blackmoorian tech that evolves from it.
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Chimpman » Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:56 am

Havard wrote:FSS Beagle Probes left on MMars:
I have about 200 different ideas for how to incorporate Warforged on Mystara. I can never decide on which I prefer though. But yes, I suppose that would work quite well. I am thinking there could also be something bigger though, like a huge mega-computer or, something like this. In effect, an ancient technology based intelligent lifeform, hidden somewhere in some deep dungeon.
I like this idea. I'm wondering if the "something larger" could have been left by the Beagle crew during their original visit. Another something I've been thinking about, but if the spiders are so technologically advanced, then there has to be something really big in order to drive them away (and lead to the ultimate death of the planet). What if this original Beagle tech is that thing. Perhaps something that our M-Ming gets his mits on and uses in order to "conquer" the planet.

Meanwhile, later down the timeline there is Blackmoorian colonization. This might bring flesh and blood Blackmoorians as well as warforged and the like.
Havard wrote:Elementals:
I think so. I had different elementals associated with different planets, but I think M-Mars was the earth based one. Gates to the Elemental Plane of Earth might be more common here. Another result of the workings of the Nithians? Or just a natural phenomenon?
It could be either I suppose. I like the idea that some of the native life on the planet is elemental, but the NIthians may have increased activity between the planes.
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Chimpman » Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:16 am

Seer of Yhog wrote:Just popping by to say this is very interesting! Any effort to create an M-Mars setting absolutely needs to borrow elements from ERB's John Carter series. The books are fabulous examples of pulp action at its best. The whole dying world motif, if pursued, would be an interesting backdrop IMO.
Thanks Geoff! I agree about the dying world motif. Any suggestions you might have would be appreciated.
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Chimpman » Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:23 am

Havard wrote:Elementals:
I think so. I had different elementals associated with different planets, but I think M-Mars was the earth based one.
;) I stumbled on this at the Vaults: Mystaran Solar System. It looks like you have planet 8 being linked to earth (and to the Giff as well), and insect life on planet 4. I still like our ideas so far, and don't see any need to change them.
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Planefarer » Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:36 am

Havard wrote: Nithians contacting the Alphatians:
Ohh... I like this. What are you thinking of?
Not really sure where to take this farther. Perhaps the Nithians used their Pyramids to contact other planets/stars. They could also use them as "Star Gates".
I actually noted an interesting little passage that speaks briefly to this the other day, when I glanced the DM book for HW: Kingdom of Nithia, p.2:

"Magic also flowered in the Nithian empire. In this way not only was the material world explored, but other planes and planets were opened to the incursions of the Nithian mages and priests. (Some of the most ancient Nithian scrolls hint that the Alphatians were invited to colonize the Known World by the Nithians. Others refer to the Nithians aiding the Followers of Air in the struggle that destroyed Old Alphatia.)"

Interesting if true. Never heard that before. I wonder to what extent the Bead of Oblivion has suppressed that little bit of information from the Alphatians' perception of history.
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Chimpman » Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:37 pm

Planefarer wrote:"Magic also flowered in the Nithian empire. In this way not only was the material world explored, but other planes and planets were opened to the incursions of the Nithian mages and priests. (Some of the most ancient Nithian scrolls hint that the Alphatians were invited to colonize the Known World by the Nithians. Others refer to the Nithians aiding the Followers of Air in the struggle that destroyed Old Alphatia.)"
I think this is the passage that most folks are thinking of when they develop ideas about Nithian planar travel. The interesting part for me (and read - the part that makes no sense), is that Nithian fire worshipers would aid Alphatian Followers of Air against Alphatian Followers of Fire. You'd think that the Nithians would have more in common with the latter.
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Planefarer » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:09 pm

Chimpman wrote:
Planefarer wrote:"Magic also flowered in the Nithian empire. In this way not only was the material world explored, but other planes and planets were opened to the incursions of the Nithian mages and priests. (Some of the most ancient Nithian scrolls hint that the Alphatians were invited to colonize the Known World by the Nithians. Others refer to the Nithians aiding the Followers of Air in the struggle that destroyed Old Alphatia.)"
I think this is the passage that most folks are thinking of when they develop ideas about Nithian planar travel. The interesting part for me (and read - the part that makes no sense), is that Nithian fire worshipers would aid Alphatian Followers of Air against Alphatian Followers of Fire. You'd think that the Nithians would have more in common with the latter.
True. Unless they saw them as competitors and felt that air wizards having fled their world would make a good addition to their own culture, and one that they could control to their own benefit, seeing as how they would be fugitives on a foreign world.

Short version: Yes, it makes little sense, but it's not as if we can't make up excuses for that ;)
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Chimpman » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:14 pm

Just going back re-reading old threads and mining them for some ideas, when I stumbled upon this little gem of a thought:
Seer of Yhog wrote:Just popping by to say this is very interesting! Any effort to create an M-Mars setting absolutely needs to borrow elements from ERB's John Carter series. The books are fabulous examples of pulp action at its best. The whole dying world motif, if pursued, would be an interesting backdrop IMO.
What would happen if Vaniae was more than just a dying world... what if it is a murdered world! We already have one instance of a planet being destroyed in the Mystaran system (Damoclese), what if that destruction was not actually caused by the Damocletians? Perhaps there is some nefarious world destroying entity that is hopping from one planet in the system to the next. Some powerful force that actually "feeds" on the life energy of planets - eventually leading to their destruction. After having successfully fed on Damoclese, that entity has moved on to Vaniae. Now, like some planetary vampire, it is slowly but surely sucking the life out of M-Mars.

Of course the epic end goal of such a campaign would be to root this entity out and destroy it (or at least drive it off). Such a campaign could possibly (and even very probably) bleed over into immortal level play. Because - after the thing feeds on Vaniae, you know which planet is next!
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Havard » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:49 pm

Pretty cool idea! :)

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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Chimpman » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:29 pm

A few more ideas that have been floating around (not sure if we've already talked about all of them or not, but I'm going to do a brain dump here):

Possible Setting Villains:
Brissard/M-Ming - The Emperor of Vaniae is your typical despotic ruler, however he possesses powers far in advance of the other kingdoms on the planet. The Emperor uses these powers (possibly derived from ancient Galactic technology) to cow all of the other rulers into subservience. Low to mid level campaigns could focus on confronting the Emperor's servants and foiling his plots, while higher level campaigns could be centered around uniting the nations of Vaniae and breaking the Emperor's rule.

Egg of Vaniae - Possibly an analogue to the Egg of Coot, possibly some derivation of ancient Galactic technology combined with magic - this ancient device and or entity wields unimaginable power. It's motives and plots are unknowable, but studying them suggests that this entity is anything but beneficent. The Egg may be the device that the Emperor has possession of that grants his extraordinary powers, and defeating the Emperor may set the Egg free from its bonds.

The Planet Vampire - Whatever this entity is, it is ancient and powerful beyond belief, rivaling even the immortals themselves. Few even know of the existence of this creature, but those that do theorize it came from beyond the borders of Mystaraspace and has been feeding on planets ever since its arrival. Already one has fallen (Damocles) and now the entity has attached itself to Vaniae (possibly riding one of the shards of shattered Damocles to its new home).

The Red Curse - Some foul curse traveled from Mystara to Vaniae centuries ago and has been plaguing the planet ever since. This would be some variant of the Savage Coast's Red Curse, having traveled to Vaniae with the Nithians and Aranea when they migrated here.

Any other ideas?

I also realize that I never posted my latest map for the planet. I'll do that shortly. It's still no where near to being finished, but it's beginning to take shape.
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Chimpman » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:59 am

Ok, here is the current map of Vaniae. It's fairly rough and unfinished, but you can start to see some major topographical regions take shape.
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by multizar » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:06 pm

Chimpman wrote:Ok, here is the current map of Vaniae. It's fairly rough and unfinished, but you can start to see some major topographical regions take shape.
That is a good map of Mars for the background.
Have you ever seen this one?

Image

I have a higher resolution bitmap of this one. 13 megs.

edit* I just noticed on the map that east of the Elysium Planitia, or due west of Olympus Mons...The area is known as Orcus Patera :o :lol:
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Chimpman » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:57 pm

multizar wrote:That is a good map of Mars for the background.
Have you ever seen this one?
I may have that one on my computer at home... not sure though. Do you have a url to the higher res image?
multizar wrote:edit* I just noticed on the map that east of the Elysium Planitia, or due west of Olympus Mons...The area is known as Orcus Patera :o :lol:
Nice catch! This one should be fun to develop :twisted:
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by AuldDragon » Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:17 pm

FYI, ProFantasy's Fractal Terrains Pro has an optional download of Martian elevation files. May or may not be useful to you (obviously less-so if you don't have any access to any of their other products). :)

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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by multizar » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:58 am

Chimpman wrote:I may have that one on my computer at home... not sure though. Do you have a url to the higher res image?
I can not remember where I got that pic. I could email it to you....
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Bonetti » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:58 am

No idea if you want to use it or not, but I saw an announcement today of a map of buried Martian ice which may or may not help with laying out waterways.
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by nerik » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:19 am

Chimpman wrote:Ok, here is the current map of Vaniae. It's fairly rough and unfinished, but you can start to see some major topographical regions take shape.
There is a slight problem with putting a hex grid over a cylindrical projection like that - the hexes will get narrower towards the poles, rather than being of uniform size.

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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Chimpman » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:02 pm

nerik wrote:
Chimpman wrote:Ok, here is the current map of Vaniae. It's fairly rough and unfinished, but you can start to see some major topographical regions take shape.
There is a slight problem with putting a hex grid over a cylindrical projection like that - the hexes will get narrower towards the poles, rather than being of uniform size.
I'm not ignoring others, but just wanted to get to this first. This is, of course, entirely correct. Cylindrical projections are distorted - and get more distorted the closer you get to the poles. It's a problem to be sure, but most Mystaran maps suffer from this from one degree to another (and it might be good to say this - I'm using a hex map because I'm a Mystaraphile, and that's what I'm familiar with and enjoy). I'm not sure what the solution is (other than not to use a cylindrical map)... but I think one of the main points of this exercise is to help me flesh out all of the nations and cultures I want to put on the map (and for that I need some idea of what the world might look like), rather than making a truly accurate map as far as distances are concerned.
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by AuldDragon » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:13 pm

Chimpman wrote:
nerik wrote:
Chimpman wrote:Ok, here is the current map of Vaniae. It's fairly rough and unfinished, but you can start to see some major topographical regions take shape.
There is a slight problem with putting a hex grid over a cylindrical projection like that - the hexes will get narrower towards the poles, rather than being of uniform size.
I'm not ignoring others, but just wanted to get to this first. This is, of course, entirely correct. Cylindrical projections are distorted - and get more distorted the closer you get to the poles. It's a problem to be sure, but most Mystaran maps suffer from this from one degree to another (and it might be good to say this - I'm using a hex map because I'm a Mystaraphile, and that's what I'm familiar with and enjoy). I'm not sure what the solution is (other than not to use a cylindrical map)... but I think one of the main points of this exercise is to help me flesh out all of the nations and cultures I want to put on the map (and for that I need some idea of what the world might look like), rather than making a truly accurate map as far as distances are concerned.
You can try an icosahedral projection. That seems to be the norm for hex-grid world maps from what I've seen.

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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Chimpman » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:15 pm

AuldDragon wrote:FYI, ProFantasy's Fractal Terrains Pro has an optional download of Martian elevation files. May or may not be useful to you (obviously less-so if you don't have any access to any of their other products). :)

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Isn't there a free CC Viewer application out there? I could have sworn that I've used it at some point in the past, but may not have it installed on my current computer. Do you think the viewer would allow us to see the files (even if we couldn't modify them)?
multizar wrote:
Chimpman wrote:I may have that one on my computer at home... not sure though. Do you have a url to the higher res image?
I can not remember where I got that pic. I could email it to you....
I spent some time searching for it last night. I found small copies of it, but nothing readable. How well is the map labeled (and how readable is it)? I'd really like something like an atlas with as many sites labeled as possible (so I can use them to generate ideas for the map and the cultures that will be placed there). Is there a way you could convert it from a bitmap to a png? That should make the file a bit more manageable without sacrificing much quality. I'll PM you with my personal mail and if you could send it over, that would be much appreciated!
Bonetti wrote:No idea if you want to use it or not, but I saw an announcement today of a map of buried Martian ice which may or may not help with laying out waterways.
Huh... this is pretty cool, and not something I've seen before. I'll play around with overlaying that image on my map and see what I can come up with. At this point I'm not sure I want much more water lying around on the surface, but it might also work in helping to determine where large underground areas might be located!
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Chimpman » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:21 pm

AuldDragon wrote:You can try an icosahedral projection. That seems to be the norm for hex-grid world maps from what I've seen.

Jeff
That might be worth a try at some point. Actually Thorf got a program a while back that alloys him to map an image as one projection type and then easily convert it to any other. If I get serious enough about this map, I might ask for his help, but at this point I'm not there yet. I'm still mainly concerned about what nations might fit on the planet, and where it would make the most sense to place them, and for that this approximation will work well enough.
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Bonetti » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:11 pm

Icosahedral Mars project, already done if you want a starting point :-)
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by AuldDragon » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:27 pm

Chimpman wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:FYI, ProFantasy's Fractal Terrains Pro has an optional download of Martian elevation files. May or may not be useful to you (obviously less-so if you don't have any access to any of their other products). :)

Jeff
Isn't there a free CC Viewer application out there? I could have sworn that I've used it at some point in the past, but may not have it installed on my current computer. Do you think the viewer would allow us to see the files (even if we couldn't modify them)?
It doesn't work on FT maps, unfortunately.
Chimpman wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:You can try an icosahedral projection. That seems to be the norm for hex-grid world maps from what I've seen.

Jeff
That might be worth a try at some point. Actually Thorf got a program a while back that alloys him to map an image as one projection type and then easily convert it to any other. If I get serious enough about this map, I might ask for his help, but at this point I'm not there yet. I'm still mainly concerned about what nations might fit on the planet, and where it would make the most sense to place them, and for that this approximation will work well enough.
Yeah, I have a program like that too. It's a little finicky, though (although to be fair I've only used it on hand-drawn projections). :)

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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Chimpman » Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:41 am

multizar wrote:edit* I just noticed on the map that east of the Elysium Planitia, or due west of Olympus Mons...The area is known as Orcus Patera :o :lol:
:D I just found this region, and it is at the eastern tip of the region known as Cerberus :twisted: So we have the gateway to the underworld and the demon prince of the undead all in the same place :twisted:
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Re: [Mystaraspace] Map of M-Mars

Post by Havard » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:59 pm

Chimpman wrote:
multizar wrote:edit* I just noticed on the map that east of the Elysium Planitia, or due west of Olympus Mons...The area is known as Orcus Patera :o :lol:
:D I just found this region, and it is at the eastern tip of the region known as Cerberus :twisted: So we have the gateway to the underworld and the demon prince of the undead all in the same place :twisted:
I really like the idea of basing ourselves on these names guys! I would perhaps include a realm of Orcus worshippers in the surrounding area?

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