Mapping Malpheggi Swamp (Darokin, 2 2/3 miles per hex)

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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:38 pm

Seer of Yhog wrote:I'd go with the moderate Taymoran stronghold option. I couldn't see "cosmopolitan" Taymoran nobles (even minor ones) bothering to set foot in the accursed wilderness of Malpheggi unless they were forced to do so (e.g., pursued by enemies, seeking a refuge from the collapse of the empire, or needing a secret hideout for top secret experiements).

I was thinking about the estate primarily as a "home away from home" for the Taymoran family/business venture who grabbed slaves and wanted a taste of home, as it were.

However, the stronghold also fits, and it probably provides more interesting adventure possibilities anyway.

Seer of Yhog wrote:Had a thought about Deadman's Wall - perhaps it was where some locals made a valiant attempt to fight the Red Duke. The Duke won the battle, levelled the keep, and then impaled the bodies on an intact stretch of wall. Hence the name.

I like that. I'm sold :-)

Running with that, the region from around Greenlee to the Battle of Callenaal is just begging for a 1mph map with all sorts of details :-) I have something else on my immediate plate (Athenos city, and the immediate surrounds incl. canal at 1mph), but I'll probably take that challenge up if no one beats me to it.

Regarding the islands:
Hugin wrote:I don't know, I'd kind of like them to be mostly barren, rocky islands myself; bony remnants of the 1700 BC cataclysm.

I wanted a more broken up coastline. Other than "closer to the swamp == still swampy" and "farther from the swamp == not swampy", they're just empty rooms. I had nothing specific in mind, I just thought it would be interesting to have some places to build on. So that's a fine explanation, as far as I'm concerned :-)
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:22 am

OK, Geoff, here are two maps to have a little fun with:

Elstrich Valley: 2.7 miles per hex:
ImageImageImageImage

Elstrich Valley: 1 mile per hex:
ImageImageImageImage

I included Dead Man's Wall and the vineyard which produces Blood Wine, as well as ruins for Orbandas (matches the placement in the AC700 map I did). I sprinkled some villages which seemed logical to me, and some ruins around what was Irum. Feel free to name them, if you want :-) (I saw Dead Man's Wall as a territorial marker, thus the approximate location.)

I probably won't revisit these maps for a bit, but I was testing out some larger hex brushes (stamping 7 hexes at a time makes scaling from 8 to 2.7 a LOT faster).

I also did a quick update to add five more adventure seeds to the notes which occurred to me over the week-end.
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:19 pm

The map is pretty close to final at this point, barring some sudden brainstorm or realization that something's missing.

Changes:
  • Added title and scale (sorry, no fancy graphic handy)
  • Named the final four lairs: Den of Dar'roshk, Drakepoint, the Grim Grotto, and Kareth's Cairn
  • Tweaked the national borders to be less Large Hex, and adjusted internal borders to match

I also updated the map post and notes post (including moving all references to the map post, and grouping and alphabetizing the notes).

Added descriptions for Den of Dar'roshk, Drakepoint, the Grim Grotto, and Kareth's Cairn (new this revision). Also added descriptions for a couple things I missed along the way: Clawson Keep, Attleson Keep, and Malpheggi Keep.

Other than dreaming up some more adventure seeds, and maybe adding some suggestions for local color, I think this is pretty much done.

Does this belong in the mapping forum? If so, could someone kindly move it? (and in that case, I'll start future threads there. I didn't really want to jump in and start messing up Thorf's project, though...)
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Seer of Yhog » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:49 am

Incredible work here, Bonetti, and thank you for the 1-mile hex map of the Elstrich Valley. Just when I thought I'd be in the clear once Leeha and Mogreth were done... ;)
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:09 am

Seer of Yhog wrote:Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in!

No, wait, that's not quite right...
Seer of Yhog wrote:Incredible work here, Bonetti, and thank you for the 1-mile hex map of the Elstrich Valley. Just when I thought I'd be in the clear once Leeha and Mogreth were done... ;)

Never, never! We will never leave you to your own devices! :-)

I probably won't do much with the Elstrich Valley maps until I wrap up the rest of my game preparation, and even then I may not push it unless the party ends up heading that way. So, there's no rush. It just seemed appropriate to stick the Dead Man's Wall on a map somewhere :-)

(I still have Athenos to map and develop, some more notes to put together on the intermediary villages, and a totally separate, monumental project to kick off... mwahahahahaha. Actually, I need to start the Athenos thread... tonight, if time permits!)
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Seer of Yhog » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:54 pm

Before I forget, I should mention that BigHara wrote a short one-player D&D module called "Greenlee" (available on dragonsfoot.org), which provided me with some inspiration when I worked on this region. This module (which is set near swamps, making it especially appropriate for the Malpheggi region) features a village (Greenlee) located near the ruin of the Red Duke's fortress and prison.

Naturally, I based my version of the long-dead villain on the character in the module, with some mods. The other major difference is that in our version Greenlee was destroyed along with the fort. I would suggest setting the adventure in Reddleton, but aside from that you could probably run it as written.
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:33 am

Cool, thanks for the tip!

I looked at Dragonsfoot (and tried google), but it appears that BigHara's site is down and the Greenlee.pdf several people linked to is no longer there. I didn't see it hosted at Dragonsfoot either. It wouldn't happen to be shared anywhere else, would it?

I also figured out how to make dotted lines in hexGIMP, so I updated all three maps (and a fourth 1 mile per hex map of the immediate area around Athenos I'm reserving for now, since some of the upcoming adventure for my group will take place there...): Malpheggi Swamp (2 2/3 miles per hex), Elstrich Valley (2 2/3 miles per hex), and Elstrich Valley (1 mile per hex).

I also fixed the label on The Mossy Spire (formerly Futharel), which I forgot to change before posting last time, I tweaked the geography slightly in Elstrich Valley, and added a palace in Chancellor's Preserve (1mph valley map only).
Last edited by Bonetti on Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Chimpman » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:37 am

Bonetti wrote:I also figured out how to make dotted lines in hexGIMP,

Just a quick aside, but can you share this with us. I've bee trying to figure this out for a while now, with no luck.
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:44 am

For regular lines, create a path with the path tool. I've been using a width of 12 pixels for external borders, and 6 pixels for internal borders. (I also do them on separate layers, each set to 50% opacity, so I can individually toggle them. If you go this route, editing anywhere the borders overlap should be done to clean up the artifacts.) Regular roads are done the same way -- 6 pixel stroke along path.

For the trails/ruined roads, after some playing, I found the following settings in the stroke dialog to work: 3 pixel width, solid color (black), miter limit 10 (which is the default), and dash preset "dense dots". (This will become "custom" the next time you open the stroke dialog.)
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Seer of Yhog » Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:01 am

Bonetti wrote:I looked at Dragonsfoot (and tried google), but it appears that BigHara's site is down and the Greenlee.pdf several people linked to is no longer there. I didn't see it hosted at Dragonsfoot either. It wouldn't happen to be shared anywhere else, would it?


Rats! I do have a copy of it on my HD, so if BigHara doesn't mind, I'll post a link to it in this thread. In the meantime, when I asked his permission to use Greenlee in my work, I also asked him for background on the petrified halfling who features in the module. He obliged, and I'm pasting the information here, from Dragonsfoot (it'll make sense once the module becomes available again):

**************
Kerris the Halfling (Male)
Level: 1 XP: 500 (+5% for DEX PR)
Lawful
Hp. 5 AC: 6

STR 9
INT 12
WIS 10
DEX 13
CON 10
CHA 10

Equipment
Dagger
Leather Armor
Clothes
Belt & Belt Pouch
11 sp

Kerris had been petrified over 100 years ago after becoming separated from the rest of his party. The other adventurers managed to escape the basilisk, but due to his small size, they couldn't find his inert form among the weeds of the swamp. (He doesn't know all this, of course; just that there was a lizard with strange eyes, then blackness.)

He is grateful for being rescued and will join with the hero and help him in his quest if allowed.

(Several years ago, some villagers saw Kerris lying in the weeds. This gave rise to the rumors that Vora turns to stone bad children who wander off.)
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Gecko » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:42 pm

Wow, you've been busy (again!). I'm so far behind, I won't even try at this time to get into depth on anything. Just want to say I'm enjoying these maps and I hope to have some use for them in the future.

keep up the great work,

cheers.

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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:28 pm

Thanks :-)

Actually, I'm pretty close to done with the map. I welcome comments, of course, and I'm still happy to tweak it. However, I don't anticipate doing much else with the map, just with the descriptive text.

(I am actively working on a 1 mile per hex map running from Strenny Keep to Athenos, which will likely be the primary game map once the campaign starts, and I have a very large project to kick off soon :-) )

Incidentally, calling back to an earlier discussion... I was thinking some more about the runs of forested hills I have in a few places. I still sort of equate the forested hills with "vegetation" and plain hills as "rocky/barren", which is probably not a fair assessment in either case. However, I have this idea that the patches of forested hills have enough water underground (maybe underground streams?) to sustain heavier, non-seasonal vegetation on them. In that case, they may point to cave complexes -- or away from them, actually, since a cave complex might drain available water off. So, if one wants to start playing with caves underneath the hills, that might tie in. (Note: I'm not planning on doing this unless the party's adventures take them there...)
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:34 am

I updated the map notes post with some humanoid tribe names and swamp inhabitant notes, four new adventure seeds, and proper credit for Greenlee.

The humanoid tribes are inspired in part by the tribe entries in B10. I really liked the idea of tribe flavors, so the game didn't feel too much like "ho-hum, more goblins this week". So, I tried to bring some of that to the Malpheggi Swamp :-)

I thought about adding a note for M-Seminole, but I'm trying to keep it generally canon-compatible, Many Peoples' Timelines compatible, and sufficiently skeletal to have good development opportunities all at the same time.

That being said...

I believe a (lost) M-Seminole Atruaghin people has been suggested at various times by various people. They would probably comfortably fit in the swamps and hills northeast of Arbanville. In that case, Karrash Tor should probably be renamed, and be a central or sacred site for them. (Of course, this raises the question of how one of the Children of X was missed...)

Alternatively, the M-Seminole could actually be an Atruaghin-influenced lizardman tribe. This might even tie into some of my other thoughts about a lizardman civilization returning in the heart of the swamp.
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby bighara » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:00 pm

Thanks for the interest in Greenlee, and sorry I didn't see the PM right away. I put a copy up on a net drive, here's a link: Greenlee.

I should mention that the module may be getting a makeover in the near-ish future, so the link may go down for a bit at some point. That probably won't happen any time in the next few weeks, though. :)
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Seer of Yhog » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:11 pm

Very cool! Thanks for checking in! :)
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:28 pm

Very, very cool. Thanks!
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Cthulhudrew » Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:52 am

Bonetti wrote:I believe a (lost) M-Seminole Atruaghin people has been suggested at various times by various people. They would probably comfortably fit in the swamps and hills northeast of Arbanville. In that case, Karrash Tor should probably be renamed, and be a central or sacred site for them. (Of course, this raises the question of how one of the Children of X was missed...)


If I ever get back to detailing them more, I had always intended the M-Seminole to be located in various regions to the east of the Tiger Clan, both in and out of the Malpheggi Swamp. Part of the reasoning behind the Republic declaring the Malpheggi to be Heartlands territory has to do with their presence, IMC; as non-Atruaghin settlers moved into Atruaghin lands (notably the various Borderlands in and around Tenobar), they naturally came into conflict with the Atruaghin natives. The relatively new Republic decided to simply absorb the Malpheggi into its demesnes as a (half-hearted) attempt to stave off the conflicts, by providing some measure of protection to the more peaceful M-Seminole people (no one really cares all that much about the warlike Tiger Clan).

Alternatively, the M-Seminole could actually be an Atruaghin-influenced lizardman tribe. This might even tie into some of my other thoughts about a lizardman civilization returning in the heart of the swamp.


That's kind of an interesting notion, too. Particularly as I'd had thoughts about creating some kind of "real" Viper Clan (as opposed to the typo Viper/Tiger Clan from the map of Gaz12). My current leaning is to have a sort of Mounds People inspired Clan living largely in gigantic partially underground warrens to the west of the Tiger Clan (and perhaps they are yuan-ti; though I'm divided on that idea), but making the M-Seminoles lizardmen is a very intriguing possibility as well.
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:44 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:If I ever get back to detailing them more, I had always intended the M-Seminole to be located in various regions to the east of the Tiger Clan, both in and out of the Malpheggi Swamp.

Well, if, no when you do, I will eagerly read it :-)

I have this idea of some percentage of the current-day Malpheggi lizardmen still having the potential to return to a civilization. Not because I particularly like lizardmen, but because redemption and/or renaissance can be an interesting theme. (That sort of thought plays into a couple of the adventure seeds, actually.) So, I've been playing with various ideas of how to run something against expectation, and an Atruaghin-following lizardman clan is perfect.

(Oh, now that leads somewhere interesting, too -- imagine the Atruaghin history replaying out among the humanoid tribes. So maybe Atzanteotl grabs some of the humanoids and Tigerizes them, while there are Bear-like goblins building in the sides of hills, and Elk-like gnolls in the grassier areas... In that case, the lizardmen could well go Turtle, which would set up a really interesting dynamic with the tortles along the coast.)

I'd love to see some additional development of the Clans area, actually -- the five clans seem to have been fairly static for a very long time. I buy that for the Horse and Elk on top of the plateau, but not so much for Tiger, Turtle, and Bear. My gut reaction is that there should be something in the hills north/northeast of the plateau, and in the forests north of the Turtle.

The Westerlands campaign suggests a different cliff culture along the western edge of the plateau, and moving the Elk off the top to the space north of the Turtle (thus providing a buffer between the Tiger and the Turtle, and leaving the plateau fully plains).
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:40 pm

Small, and probably second-from-last update to the map notes. I added the orc tribes (mentioned in the language fragments thread), added a thought to the Drakepoint adventure seed (a parallel scenario), and clarified the notes for Markor's Mound slightly.
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:20 am

These are the final (for now) revisions:

Map:
  • Named some water ways: Greenhill River, Clearwater Stream, The Serpent's Tail, Zeno's Flow
  • Named two geographic points: Solon's Point, Nethlinn Badlands
  • Added map title and scale (left off previous revision)

Notes:
  • Added goblin tribes, and a new lizardman tribe
  • General cleanup of text

For what it's worth, Solon's Point was named for Solon of Athens. I don't know how much history of Athenos has been developed, but there are some interesting tidbits about him which mesh well with Darokinian political culture. I can see him as one of the early pioneers of the plutocratic electoral system, and possibly an early hero of Athenos.

I've done some development of Ameron, Woodhaven, and Hellwych for the adventure I will be running, but that's more than really belongs here. Those will be shared in due time.
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:02 pm

D'oh!

I was looking something else up, and noticed this tidbit here:
Thorf wrote:Amsorak River - "During the rainy season (primarily in the fall), ships can easily travel from Lake Amsorak, down the Amsorak River, and on to the Arbandrine." (GAZ11 DM's Guide page 8b) Thus, the Amsorak River has two parts: one flowing into Lake Amsorak, the other flowing out before it joins with the Arbandrine.


(I have absolutely no idea how I missed this...)

:-(

I guess I should revise the river name, although I kind of like calling it the Sashenta...
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Chimpman » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:21 pm

Bonetti wrote:I guess I should revise the river name, although I kind of like calling it the Sashenta...

I wonder if you could use that name for a portion of the river in an earlier time period? Maybe there is some story behind having both sections named (or renamed) Amsorak.
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:44 pm

Maybe it's the locals' name for it, but the wider Darokin officials (and thus barge traffic, non-local merchants, and Gazetteer) call it the Amsorak River...

From a reference point of view, I like Sashenta for several reasons -- not the least of which is then a local map would be of the "Sashenta Valley", whereas the "Amsorak Valley" could be one of two areas and require further disambiguation.

(I'm currently working on an Elstrich Valley map and a Marstrich Moor map, and I'm probably going to start a Nethlinn Hills map soon, so the regional naming is kind of important to me right now :-) )

Total tangent: It still bugs me that there's no town at the northern mouth of the river -- it's such a natural place for a trading port to cover the river trade that it just feels weird. Akorros is nice, but it's a little out of the way for direct river traffic. That's why I put Londredos there in the AC685 and AC700 maps (and will have it be at least a small town there in my own campaign). Hrm, well, if Londredos is at the mouth, then maybe the longer-term residents there call it the Londredos River, just to add confusion!
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Seer of Yhog » Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:14 pm

You know, if Londredos is a natural stopping point for traffic (and I agree it would be), such a settlement would eventually be re-founded. With the rise of the republic, a village might exist at the site as of AC 1000, as a rest stop for people trading with the Atruaghin or other peoples in the area. With time, it might become a town again.
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Re: Mapping around Malpheggi Swamp

Postby Bonetti » Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:31 pm

Well, if Londredos has been (mostly) forgotten, then maybe the new village is named for the region, and is the village of Sashenta. Thus, some of the inhabitants might start thinking of the river as "their" river, and.....

Oh, that ties stuff up neatly. I'd buy that :-)
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