Traveller Mapping

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Traveller Mapping

Postby Vile » Sat Oct 22, 2016 4:56 am

This being the Piazza, home of RPG Cartography Extraordinaire, I though I should come here and ask.

You may or may not know that we have a little "Traveller 1977" subsector-creation group project happening over at the Ruins of Murkhill blog. This is randomly rolled according to the first, 1977, edition of the Traveller Worlds and Adventures LBB, so pre-OTU. It's ticking along nicely, most of the worlds have been claimed and we even have a few alien races and adventures.

Now, I'm putting the whole thing together as a free PDF in LBB-style format, which of course means we should have LBB-style subsector and planetary maps. It would be nice if we could do colour versions of both. That's where the Piazza comes in - anyone here have any experience with these sorts of maps? :geek:
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Re: Traveller Mapping

Postby Ashtagon » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:45 am

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Re: Traveller Mapping

Postby Big Mac » Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:10 pm

Vile wrote:This being the Piazza, home of RPG Cartography Extraordinaire, I though I should come here and ask.

You may or may not know that we have a little "Traveller 1977" subsector-creation group project happening over at the Ruins of Murkhill blog. This is randomly rolled according to the first, 1977, edition of the Traveller Worlds and Adventures LBB, so pre-OTU. It's ticking along nicely, most of the worlds have been claimed and we even have a few alien races and adventures.


That sounds like it could appeal to a lot of Traveller fans, but I looked over there and it was an entire subforum of topics.

Could you give a brief summary of how the Subsector-Creation Group Project works?

Is it one person randomly rolling subsectors and then handing them out? Or is someone handing out subsectors for other people to randomly roll?

How do people decide what details (like alien races) to add? Is that done centrally, or are people going there own way and then submitting to peer review?

Are races and adventures eventually going to be evenly distributed, or is it more a matter of getting all the subsectors completed and then people writing additional material if they like an area?

Vile wrote:Now, I'm putting the whole thing together as a free PDF in LBB-style format, which of course means we should have LBB-style subsector and planetary maps. It would be nice if we could do colour versions of both. That's where the Piazza comes in - anyone here have any experience with these sorts of maps? :geek:


The first website that Ashtagon linked to has a Using Custom Data page that looks pretty useful.

It looks like the standard format for Traveller is called "Second Survey Data" format and that you can add Metadata to some sort of XML file to include the various information about what is going on on the various planets on the map.

I'm not totally sure yet, but it looks like if you can transfer your Subsector-Creation Group Project information to SSD format, the automated tools there could create your maps for you.

Perhaps you might want to give that a once over and decide if it is worth doing a conversion of a small part of your project to see what sort of quality output you get.

Do you have anyone in the Subsector-Creation Group Project team who knows how to make websites? Anyone who can code HTML should be able to help make XML files...once they know what tags this Second Survey Data format uses.

Good luck!
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Re: Traveller Mapping

Postby Vile » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:30 pm

The project is only detailing a single subsector. I rolled it randomly using the 1977 edition of the rules. Then people grab worlds, add fluff according to the UWP and what their predecessors have done nearby. No overarching plan, just an experiment to see where we end up. I am editing the whole thing into a document, so there may be a few tweaks (to the text, not the rolled numbers), but that's it.

I don't think any of us are exactly computer-hotshots, but we have someone playing with the Traveller Map poster maker now. Finding a world map maker is proving much more difficult. We could do it the old-fashioned way, of course, but it would be nice to find an online generator that just works with the UWP and spurts out at least a base map with land masses.
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Re: Traveller Mapping

Postby Ashtagon » Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:58 pm

The "Heaven and Earth" program is supposed to do exactly what you describe. It's very old though, and might not work with current systems.
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Re: Traveller Mapping

Postby Big Mac » Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:19 pm

Vile wrote:The project is only detailing a single subsector. I rolled it randomly using the 1977 edition of the rules. Then people grab worlds, add fluff according to the UWP and what their predecessors have done nearby. No overarching plan, just an experiment to see where we end up. I am editing the whole thing into a document, so there may be a few tweaks (to the text, not the rolled numbers), but that's it.


Thanks for the background information. :)

Vile wrote:I don't think any of us are exactly computer-hotshots, but we have someone playing with the Traveller Map poster maker now. Finding a world map maker is proving much more difficult. We could do it the old-fashioned way, of course, but it would be nice to find an online generator that just works with the UWP and spurts out at least a base map with land masses.


I've seen random world map generators out there, but I'm not sure what special needs a Traveller world map has. There is something calld Fantasy World Generator on donjon.com. Is that sort of thing what you are looking for?
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Re: Traveller Mapping

Postby Big Mac » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:12 pm

Help is coming in from [url]The Piazza's G+ page[/url]! :)
Alex at the G+ page for The Piazza wrote:My generators still work...
https://campaignwiki.org/uwp-generator
https://campaignwiki.org/svg-map
Not sure how 1977-compatible they are; I used Mongoose Traveller when I wrote the code.


...and...

As If at the G+ page for The Piazza wrote:I don't know where you are in the process, but the following links are all worth looking at...

Traveller Star Map
http://www.rabsoft.co.uk/

Galactic Generator
http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Galactic

Star-Mapping Tools
http://roleplay-geek.blogspot.com/2011/12/rpg-mapping-tools-part-4-planet-and.html

Starmaps in Hexographer
http://inkwellideas.com/2011/01/creating-traveller-style-sub-sector-maps-in-hexographer/


I hope that helps! :)
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Re: Traveller Mapping

Postby Vile » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:11 pm

We're sorted for the subsector map now, but finding a world map generator is proving difficult. I guess we'll have to do it the old-fashioned way, using one of Ian Stead's fine planetary hex map blanks, and counting off the water squares one-by-one.
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Re: Traveller Mapping

Postby Big Mac » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:55 pm

Vile wrote:We're sorted for the subsector map now, but finding a world map generator is proving difficult. I guess we'll have to do it the old-fashioned way, using one of Ian Stead's fine planetary hex map blanks, and counting off the water squares one-by-one.


Do you have a link to the subsector map, or is it still in a pre-reveal state?

I don't really know what world maps Traveller uses. Are you after random hex maps of worlds?
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Re: Traveller Mapping

Postby Vile » Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:53 pm

Here is the subsector map: http://ruinsofmurkhill.proboards.com/post/9869/thread

Yeah, I'd really like something that can generate random world maps from the basic UWP - but it seems that sort of thing hasn't been done. No big deal, I can always do it by hand. Here is a link to Ian Stead's lovely blank world map: https://biomassart.wordpress.com/2012/0 ... map-blank/
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Re: Traveller Mapping

Postby Big Mac » Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:43 pm

Vile wrote:Here is the subsector map: http://ruinsofmurkhill.proboards.com/post/9869/thread


I wish I knew a bit more about this sort of stuff. It's slightly outside my usual area of interest, but it looks really creative.

Vile wrote:Yeah, I'd really like something that can generate random world maps from the basic UWP - but it seems that sort of thing hasn't been done. No big deal, I can always do it by hand. Here is a link to Ian Stead's lovely blank world map: https://biomassart.wordpress.com/2012/0 ... map-blank/


I'm pretty sure I've seen Mystara maps that use that sort of triangle-with-hexes projection method.

I might see if I can cast a Summon Thorf Spell, as he is an expert in Mystara maps and might know if there is a gizmo/method that you can repurpose for Traveller.
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