[Atlas of Mystara] An Introduction to the Atlas Project

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[Atlas of Mystara] An Introduction to the Atlas Project

Postby Thorf » Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:57 pm

This is the original foreword, written back at the start of the whole project, in January 2005. I decided not to publish it at the time, but instead to wait until Stage One was nearing completion before announcing the true nature of the project. That time has now come, so without further ado I present to you the original 2005 foreword, followed by the new 2008 Overview.

Foreword

When I was growing up, I often spent hours poring over my large Atlas of the World. It fascinated me to see the layout of forests, mountain ranges, cities and towns, and the sometimes disputed positions of national and local borders. I especially enjoyed studying the tables at the back, which showed population statistics, along with lists of capital cities, government types and heads of state.

When I discovered the Gazetteer series, I became equally enthralled with the maps included with each supplement. I had always enjoyed playing around with making dungeon and hex maps for D&D, and finding these new nicely ordered hex maps, complete with more detailed hexes than past maps, was like finding buried treasure. Each map came on a full colour poster sheet, surrounded by city maps and other diagrams related to the country. With each country coming on a different sheet, I longed to join them all up and see a full map.

My wish came true with the release of the wonderful trail maps, TM1 The Western Countries and TM2 The Eastern Countries. These two massive posters brought together all the maps from the first twelve Gazetteers and the Dawn of the Emperors boxed set. Finally it was possible to see the Known World in its full glory.

Moreover, the trail maps provided numerous tables of geographic and political information, not at all unlike those at the back of my real world atlas. I was very excited to find out the populations of all the nations of the Known World, and many other things besides.

However, time passed, and the world which encompassed the Known World became known as Mystara. Increasingly large areas of the world, previously undeveloped in official supplements, soon had their own hex maps. Before long there existed an extensive but incomplete collection of differently-scaled maps of the world, from the Hollow World to the Known World, from the Savage Coast to the sprawling Empire of Alphatia. The Poor Wizard’s Almanac Series provided some updates to this map collection, as well as more nice tables of statistics to go with them.

Then the unimaginable happened, and Mystara died. Whether it was TSR’s decision to abandon the original D&D game, or the way in which they tried to tackle the conversion to AD&D, I’m not really sure. But in any case, the rug was pulled out from beneath our feet, and Mystara’s collection of maps was left to forever remain in its patchwork, messy state.

Of course, Mystara never died in our hearts, and we, the fan community, continued to work on our world, and share our work through the Mystara Mailing List and the Mystara Message Board. But for me, the fan-produced maps never quite met the high expectations set by the Gazetteer maps and those that followed. Some of the best came close, especially those made by Andrew “Cthulhudrew” Theisen, Thibault Sarlat and Ricardo Matheus. And dedicated fans such as Christian Constantin and Geoff Gander continued to produce maps of thus-far undeveloped areas. But I remained nostalgic for the maps of old.

Until now, that is.

A few years back, I tried my own hand at solving the problem of producing quality maps. Using Adobe Illustrator, I designed my own hexes based on the original Gazetteer maps, but the system used up too much processing power and I threw up my hands in frustration and defeat.

This year, I decided to see if my computer, which had changed twice since my last attempt, was up to the task. Happily, it was, and this atlas is the result.

My goal in this project has been to produce high-resolution print-quality maps to rival or even surpass TSR’s original maps in both quality and completeness. But more than that, I wanted to take the concept of the trail map and expand it to the scope of a real world atlas, complete with statistical data, both geographic and political. And of course, I wanted to map out as much of Mystara as possible, using both official and fan sources.

In short, I wanted to make nothing short of a complete Atlas of Mystara.

Thorfinn Tait
Akita, Japan
January 2005

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Overview

More than three years have now passed since I began this project. During this time, you have known it as Thorf's Secret Project, and I have concealed the true nature and scope of my undertaking. But from today, that changes. The time has come to discard my tongue-in-cheek code-name, and announce the title and aims of the project... and ask for your help.

My aim, you see, is to create nothing less than a comprehensive Atlas of Mystara.

The Introduction will provide an overview of the Atlas of Mystara, followed by the Legend and descriptions of the various different terrain types present in Mystara, and what each hex means. The main sources for these descriptions will be Karameikos: Kingdom of Adventure, Glantri: Kingdom of Magic, and the DM’s Survival Kit. Finally the Mapping Conventions used throughout the atlas will be laid out.

Stage One of the project comprises the Atlas proper: the geographical maps of Mystara which I and various others have been working on these past years. The Atlas will be set out like a real world atlas, with various styles of maps, both line-art and hex maps, detailing both the Outer World and the Hollow World as much as possible. Primary scales will be 72, 24 and 8 miles per hex, with larger areas also covered by line-art maps.

Carefully selected photographs of real world terrain, and 3D renders of scenery will further enhance the feeling of realism, that you are looking at a real atlas.

Stage Two of the project comprises a myriad of other sections to follow the Atlas proper. This is where I will be needing the most help from the community. Indeed, significant amounts of work for these sections has already been done, and I hope to be able to bring it all together and publish it in the Atlas.

There will be a Political and Economic Atlas, showing countries by political and dominion boundaries, and their land types: civilised, borderland, and wilderness, as well as trade details, population densities, racial distributions, and so on.

The Gazetteer will provide descriptions and statistics for every settlement, in a concise yet detailed way. This section will also include the maps for major cities and important towns and villages. All non-natural constructions will be included here.

The companion to the Gazetteer, the Geographic Overview, will collect geographical descriptions of all the nations of the world, covering Mystara’s geographical features in a similar format. It will contain geographical overviews of each nation or region, as well as specific entries for each feature. Some of this will take the form of tables, which may end up being moved to the appendices – tables of rivers, mountains, forests, etc., high on statistics and low on description.

The next section returns to a more atlas-like format, presenting a Cartographic Chronology of Mystara. The history of Mystara will be told through maps detailing Mystara from the pre-Rain of Fire world to the present day. Highlights will include migration maps for various eras and populations, maps showing the extent of various countries and Empires at certain times, and so on.

Finally, there will be extensive Appendices, detailing such things as: Incontinuity in Official Sources (mistakes and discrepancies in official maps, and how they have been dealt with in the Atlas); Notes on Adaptations and Conversions (notes on maps that were made by adapting primary sources, and by converting from a smaller scale, as well as maps for newly developed regions); The History of Mystara’s Maps (an article tracing the evolution and progression of Mystara's maps - the real world equivalent of the Cartographic Chronology of Mystara); and various other articles.

The focus in creating the maps for the Atlas is on accountability, which is why I have planned such extensive appendices. All decisions from the map-making process will be recorded there, for the benefit of future cartographic work on Mystara.

As a rule, the main sections of the Atlas will deal with the physical and geographical world of Mystara, while the Appendices will focus on Mystara from a real world perspective.

So that is the plan, and I think you'll agree it's extremely ambitious. It will undoubtedly take years to complete, but I am hopeful that, with your help and support, we can eventually bring it to fruition.

Here's to the future of Mystara.

Thorfinn Tait
Akita, Japan
June 2008
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Thorf » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:15 pm

If anyone has any contributions, comments or suggestions, please don't hesitate to post them! I'm going to release some of the info I already have bit by bit over the next few days, to give everyone a proper chance to respond to each thread. After that things will likely slow down a bit due to real life pressures, but I hope we can develop the project slowly over the coming months - and years. I'm in this for the long haul. :D

Regarding publication, from the start I have been planning to release the Atlas as PDFs. 3 years on and I still don't have InDesign to do that with, but I'm hoping to buy the whole Adobe Creative Suite CS3 package using my newly acquired academic discount within the next few months.

How to fit the maps into an online book is quite another matter: the vast majority are not sized in a way that is friendly to A4 sized books, nor even B4 or A3 size. You can see the result of this problem in the maps at the end of the Rules Cyclopedia. One solution would be to take full advantage of the online format and have huge page sizes for the maps, restricting maps within the text to excerpts that fit the chosen page size. But this would mean printing out is impossible.
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Andaire » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:24 pm

Sweet!
I love geography, history, and geopolitics, and I too have pored at length over both RW and Mystaran maps.
That is a wondrous project indeed.
Here's a first question, just to be sure: You plan on having historical maps, but the main course is set in AC 1000, Gazetteer era, right?
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Havard » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:24 pm

OMG!!!

I hope you realize we have been waiting for this for three years Thorf! :)

One suggestion that immediately comes to mind: As you said, completing the project will take a long time. I suggest aiming for releasing multiple editions of the atlas. Each edition would include only what you have completed at that point, yet perhaps it could be edited in a way so that it appears to be a complete product, even though you have plans for next years edition. This will give us something to look forward to (like the Almanacs and the FGaz'es) and keep the community more involved with the project.

As for the size of the maps versus print friendliness, would it be possible to do both? While I normally like to view Mystara maps on my screen, I have recently obtained a fairly high quality printer, so I would like to take advantage of that and get more maps printed, if they come in a format that allows this (chopped up if neccessary).

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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Gecko » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:29 pm

As a Mystaran Fanatic, and a Geographer [almost, not official yet], I am speechless.......

Also, I'm pleased to know that I was not the only one who spent days pouring over atlases as a youth.
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Andaire » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:30 pm

BTW, I really regret I was never able to put my hands on the Trail Maps, they sound awesome. Very hard to find though :(
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Havard » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:37 pm

Andaire wrote:BTW, I really regret I was never able to put my hands on the Trail Maps, they sound awesome. Very hard to find though :(


Eastern Trailmaps was harder to get than Western, but I finally managed to get both. Personally I would have preferred it if they had released them in 24 mphex so we could have had one for the Known World/Norwold and one for the Alphatian Sea. Or even better stay with the 8mphex, but released a dozen of them, which I guess is close to what Thorf will be doing 8-)

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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Andaire » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:37 pm

Maybe we'll be able to get ideas from RW atlas book and atlas web sites on how to proceed with the size issue.
BTW, I love the huge poster map of the (real) world I have, it's even plastified that's great (too bad that map is quite old now - still has the USSR; my map of the EU on the fridge also is EU-15...). It would be great if we can someday print the whole map on such a poster-size! It would probably be somewhat expensive given the unusual size and the small quantity, but hey, imagine the grin of rapture on the face of fans at a Mystara convention :mrgreen:
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Thorf » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:40 pm

Andaire wrote:Sweet!
I love geography, history, and geopolitics, and I too have pored at length over both RW and Mystaran maps.
That is a wondrous project indeed.
Here's a first question, just to be sure: You plan on having historical maps, but the main course is set in AC 1000, Gazetteer era, right?


Yes, the main atlas is 1000 AC, as you probably have guessed from all my updated maps so far.

But... I will also be mapping the future, as well as the past. :) The exact time periods to be covered really depend on what the sources require, but I imagine the bulk of future maps will be 1004 AC and 1010 AC, with a few around those dates to cover other developments.

The basic theory is that once we have the maps for 1000 AC, it's not all that hard to go back and tweak them to fit another time period. Of course, the further in the past or future we go, the longer it will take to make the map. In the same way, the further we stray from 1000 AC the more speculative the maps will become, but I don't see that as a big problem.

Havard wrote:OMG!!!

I hope you realize we have been waiting for this for three years Thorf! :)


And do you realise I've been sitting on this for even longer? Wow, the restraint it took me to keep it all secret!! :lol:

I think the whole roll-out of my project back at the start in 2005 was really quite wonderful. I have great memories, and I'm proud of the discussion it created just as much as the maps it produced. But now things have changed, both for the project and for me: the project is no longer really something I can do by myself, it has progressed beyond that point; and I no longer have nearly so much free time as I did back in 2005. So while I would have loved to do something similar, I think it was high time I brought it into the open.

I still want to strive to post new stuff on a regular basis, and create some sense of anticipation, but the time for secrecy is over.

One suggestion that immediately comes to mind: As you said, completing the project will take a long time. I suggest aiming for releasing multiple editions of the atlas. Each edition would include only what you have completed at that point, yet perhaps it could be edited in a way so that it appears to be a complete product, even though you have plans for next years edition. This will give us something to look forward to (like the Almanacs and the FGaz'es) and keep the community more involved with the project.


That's a very good idea. There are certainly lots of parts that can be published on their own, and partially completed too. The maps are the most obvious example, but it's true with the text sections too. Also, the map threads in the Stage One sub-forum are effectively just excerpts from the appendices. I hope that they will eventually be a resource for improving those appendices - my intent for mapping has from the start been to make an effort to document all sources.

As for the size of the maps versus print friendliness, would it be possible to do both? While I normally like to view Mystara maps on my screen, I have recently obtained a fairly high quality printer, so I would like to take advantage of that and get more maps printed, if they come in a format that allows this (chopped up if neccessary).


You make a good point here, too, Havard. I guess the easy answer is that the individual maps will always be available as individual files (PNG and PDF), so for the atlas itself it would make sense to do a paginated version.
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Hugin » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:53 pm

*And the angelic hosts sing 'Hallelujah'"! :D

I'm in! In particular, I'm very interested in working with people on the historical maps sections. Also, if things work out, my dream of creating an account of the development of Mystara's religions and philosophies could possibly be done as a supplement to the atlas (i.e. being fully compatible with it's information).

Oh! And maybe Gecko's Mystaran Numismatics Project could also be done as a supplement!
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Gawain_VIII » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:59 pm

See y'all? I told you it was a giant paper maché globe! :mrgreen:

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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Zendrolion » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:51 pm

This is the MOST ambitious Mystaran project ever!!!! 8-) :shock: 8-) :shock: 8-)
And you're the bravest of all us to have chosen to lead it! :)

Thorf wrote:If anyone has any contributions, comments or suggestions, please don't hesitate to post them!


I hope I can give you a hand, really.

Do you remember when I wrote you by pm many months (well, years) ago about my "Mystaran Demography, Vol. 1: Known World" project on the Italian MMB? Well, I've finished that project the last year and it's now available in Italian (no time to translate in English still, sorry :oops: ). Together with my friends on the Italian MMB we've long talked about population, races and history. I've written down scores of chronologies about many races and KW (and beyond) countries, trying to put together most (if not all) canon sources as possible. My "Vol. 2: Norwold" is still to be finished.

Right now, I'm doing a work on ancient races (prehistory races, mostly: dragons, carnifex, eldars, giants and so on), which will be included in my "Ethnographic History of Mystara". Perhaps there are some parts of these projects you may find useful, I would really love to help you in your awesome project! :D

I also LOVE also the idea to include RW-scenery pictures in the atlas (that's someting I'd have wished to do in the rewriting of the Gazetteer series). Great idea! 8-)

As your project is so big, it presents some problems, however. The biggest one are the empty areas of the planet - I'm not talking only about those that are really empty, say Pelatan or Tangor, but also of areas like Pearl Islands, Alphatia, or Bellissaria, only some hints of which are to be found in canon sources. How do you plan to fill those areas? Do you have already some very precise ideas or do you plan to talk about them with the community? What about fan material already written (which often presents different versions of the same thing)? :?:

Another thing against which I've fought in my Demography project was the population and surface figures given in the GAZs, TMs and the PWAs - which in many cases seemed to me wrong or unreal.

Anyway, good luck with your project and I hope to be of some help in it! ;)
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Hugin » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:55 pm

I had another thought too that may be relevant - one of my 'unfinished projects' was to create contour maps showing altitudes and that may be something to include in the Atlas.
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Cthulhudrew » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:48 pm

Pretty ambitious project, Thorf, even though I suspected certain elements of it I wasn't quite aware of the full scope of what you were hoping to do. :)

Thorf wrote:Regarding publication, from the start I have been planning to release the Atlas as PDFs. 3 years on and I still don't have InDesign to do that with, but I'm hoping to buy the whole Adobe Creative Suite CS3 package using my newly acquired academic discount within the next few months.


If it helps at all, I do have InDesign, so I can lend some assistance on that score.

Probably not the place to mention this (in fact, I should put this in the thread Herve started...) but one of my goals in my short-lived attempt to redesign the layout of the Mystaran Almanacs was to lay them out in a format so that when they were printed, they'd be the size of the existing PWAs (handheld). Perhaps making smaller maps like that would be the best option for your Atlas.
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Thorf » Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:47 am

Gecko wrote:As a Mystaran Fanatic, and a Geographer [almost, not official yet], I am speechless.......

Also, I'm pleased to know that I was not the only one who spent days pouring over atlases as a youth.


Hehe. :D

So you're a Geographer, Greg? Sounds good.

Andaire wrote:BTW, I really regret I was never able to put my hands on the Trail Maps, they sound awesome. Very hard to find though :(


Yes, the Trail Maps are rather nice. I had them up on my wall side by side when I was in university.

Strangely enough, I had trouble finding the Western Countries - the Eastern Countries was still available for long after the first part sold out.

Andaire wrote:Maybe we'll be able to get ideas from RW atlas book and atlas web sites on how to proceed with the size issue.


They can certainly help, but one problem we have is the hexes, which really should all be printed at the same size if possible to avoid confusion. This limits things somewhat, as we have to decide on a certain size and then stick with it throughout.

Incidentally, you can probably already tell, but a large portion of the atlas plan was directly inspired by real world atlases.

BTW, I love the huge poster map of the (real) world I have, it's even plastified that's great (too bad that map is quite old now - still has the USSR; my map of the EU on the fridge also is EU-15...). It would be great if we can someday print the whole map on such a poster-size! It would probably be somewhat expensive given the unusual size and the small quantity, but hey, imagine the grin of rapture on the face of fans at a Mystara convention :mrgreen:


Actually, that's not necessarily a pipe dream, although as you say it would be expensive. If we could find enough people interested, we may be able to get some high quality copies printed up properly. And as long as it's a private project, I don't think we need to worry about copyright. (That's the impression I get from reading the sites of fantasy artists, who sometimes take on private commissions to draw copyrighted material. But since this would involve a printer, it may be a different case.)

Hugin wrote:I'm in! In particular, I'm very interested in working with people on the historical maps sections. Also, if things work out, my dream of creating an account of the development of Mystara's religions and philosophies could possibly be done as a supplement to the atlas (i.e. being fully compatible with it's information).


Sheldon, I've been quietly smiling every time you mentioned your interest in historical maps for the past three years. ;)

My policy on compatibility is to try to make the atlas as compatible with fan-created stuff as possible. The primary way of doing this is to base all decisions on official material, and document the sources (in the atlas's appendices). But I don't want to avoid fan-made material either. So I plan to produce a basic set of maps that are derived from official materials and release them as is (in their undeveloped state), as well as maps using the Vaults as the source, i.e. fan-developed areas.

Oh! And maybe Gecko's Mystaran Numismatics Project could also be done as a supplement!


This is one of the most interesting things about this project: the sheer scale of it means that it interfaces with a whole lot of existing projects (some complete, others still being worked on), and in time I hope to be able to draw on all of these materials.

Gawain_VIII wrote:See y'all? I told you it was a giant paper maché globe! :mrgreen:


:lol: I'd love to do that too but I don't think my wife would approve. She is already unhappy with all my "stuff"! ;)

Hugin wrote:I had another thought too that may be relevant - one of my 'unfinished projects' was to create contour maps showing altitudes and that may be something to include in the Atlas.


Yes!! This is something I am very interested in for the Geographic Maps section. My first priority has always been hex maps, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested in other forms of maps. Eventually I'd like to have the whole world covered in hex maps, with various areas in other kinds of maps.

Another thing I'm interested in is Campaign Cartographer-style symbol maps, but I have found CC to be impossible to get into, so it will probably need to be someone else who makes these. I know Damon was working on some, and he posted his beautiful version of Ierendi.

Cthulhudrew wrote:Pretty ambitious project, Thorf, even though I suspected certain elements of it I wasn't quite aware of the full scope of what you were hoping to do. :)


You can see why I didn't want to announce it before I had something substantial to show for it. I really didn't (and don't) want this project to start with a bang and fall by the wayside. On the other hand, I am fully aware that it's basically a never-ending project. That's one reason why Havard's idea of releasing volumes like the almanacs is such a good one.

If it helps at all, I do have InDesign, so I can lend some assistance on that score.


Great! That makes you an editor, I believe. :D

Though I think it'll be a while yet before we need to start compiling... Maybe in a few months...

Probably not the place to mention this (in fact, I should put this in the thread Herve started...) but one of my goals in my short-lived attempt to redesign the layout of the Mystaran Almanacs was to lay them out in a format so that when they were printed, they'd be the size of the existing PWAs (handheld). Perhaps making smaller maps like that would be the best option for your Atlas.


One uniform size is certainly needed, but I'd rather not make it something as small as the almanacs. The best atlases are generally B4 or even A3 size; the extra paper size allows the maps to be less fractured, and just generally look nicer. Anyway, this is definitely something we need to talk about. If people want to print it, we'll need to take that into consideration. I think realistically B4 is probably the biggest we can get away with, and A4 would probably be the best compromise.

I'll reply to Zendrolion's excellent post after my class. :)
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Thorf » Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:40 am

Zendrolion wrote:This is the MOST ambitious Mystaran project ever!!!! 8-) :shock: 8-) :shock: 8-)
And you're the bravest of all us to have chosen to lead it! :)


I can think of other words that would fit. But thank you kindly. :D

I hope I can give you a hand, really.


I hope so too. :)

Do you remember when I wrote you by pm many months (well, years) ago about my "Mystaran Demography, Vol. 1: Known World" project on the Italian MMB? Well, I've finished that project the last year and it's now available in Italian (no time to translate in English still, sorry :oops: ). Together with my friends on the Italian MMB we've long talked about population, races and history. I've written down scores of chronologies about many races and KW (and beyond) countries, trying to put together most (if not all) canon sources as possible. My "Vol. 2: Norwold" is still to be finished.


I do remember. Thanks for the link - I just checked out the finished product. The look is excellent - very close to the sort of look I have in mind for the atlas, which is to say a slightly modernised version of the Mystara supplements (most notably the Rules Cyclopedia and Wrath of the Immortals).

I'd love to be able to read it, though! :P Are there no budding translators over on the Italian MMB? Come on, guys! You're producing all this great stuff (Marco's Immortal Codex also comes to mind), but you have to share it with the rest of us!

Well, that or we all have to learn Italian... ;)

Right now, I'm doing a work on ancient races (prehistory races, mostly: dragons, carnifex, eldars, giants and so on), which will be included in my "Ethnographic History of Mystara". Perhaps there are some parts of these projects you may find useful, I would really love to help you in your awesome project! :D


Yes, absolutely! From the first moment I heard about your project, I thought that it would be a brilliant source for the atlas.

I also LOVE also the idea to include RW-scenery pictures in the atlas (that's someting I'd have wished to do in the rewriting of the Gazetteer series). Great idea! 8-)


This comes partly from my father being a (mostly landscape and wildlife) photographer, which means I have access to his huge photo library. Of course he only has photos of so many different environments - not much in the way of deserts or polar climates, but he's been all over the place so there are lots of photos that should work. It's sort of like scouting for locations for a movie. :)

3D rendered terrain is also quite an attractive option, but looking into it I quickly realised that it's a project in itself - and a big project at that.

As your project is so big, it presents some problems, however. The biggest one are the empty areas of the planet - I'm not talking only about those that are really empty, say Pelatan or Tangor, but also of areas like Pearl Islands, Alphatia, or Bellissaria, only some hints of which are to be found in canon sources. How do you plan to fill those areas? Do you have already some very precise ideas or do you plan to talk about them with the community? What about fan material already written (which often presents different versions of the same thing)? :?:


I already outlined my policy on this above, but in short there will be two versions: one based only on official sources, and others based on fan-developed material. I don't want to limit the relevance of the atlas too much by making decisions on what to use and what not to use from the Vaults.

In theory it's possible to make multiple versions supporting different takes of the same thing, but it might be best to focus on one fan version of each place to start with.

Another thing against which I've fought in my Demography project was the population and surface figures given in the GAZs, TMs and the PWAs - which in many cases seemed to me wrong or unreal.


This is a thorny issue, indeed. I'd prefer to stick with the official figures, since we're probably all most familiar with them, but that may prevent us from taking advantage of fan treatments. I don't have a good answer for this yet, I'm afraid.

Anyway, good luck with your project and I hope to be of some help in it! ;)


Thank you, and I'm looking forward to working with you! :D
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby BardicFire » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:25 am

Thorf wrote:How to fit the maps into an online book is quite another matter: the vast majority are not sized in a way that is friendly to A4 sized books, nor even B4 or A3 size. You can see the result of this problem in the maps at the end of the Rules Cyclopedia. One solution would be to take full advantage of the online format and have huge page sizes for the maps, restricting maps within the text to excerpts that fit the chosen page size. But this would mean printing out is impossible.


I know I'm way late in the game, but I was thinking you should offer them in large coffee table book size (Sorry I don't know proper names) like most Atlases, then offer what's called a Cartographical Portfolio, which is basically just a collection of the full sized maps laid out in a indexed order, with both connected copies (all one image) as well as sheet by sheet copies (breaking the full size into standard 8x11), so that when it's all done we have three sizings to choose from:

Atlas - sized to fit the atlas
Original - original full sizes
Collective - full size broken into 8x11 for easy printing.
Growing up reading Gazetteer modules spoils you for modern gaming campaign resources.
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Re: Foreword and Overview

Postby Robin » Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:11 pm

Thorf wrote:If anyone has any contributions, comments or suggestions, please don't hesitate to post them!


At first I must compliment you with your maps and the project idea. :D

I don't have the programs (nor the PC able to do this ) to make maps as beautiful and near to flawless as you do.
I use Windows paint , work from a basis (often maps of you ;) ), use a legend as cut/paste base for each hex, and after a gazillion cut and paste routines something develops itself, then I add details(population centers, forts, roads etc), height (with is often a very tricky as canon is often seriously flawed in this), and names.

These maps are my contributions if you are willing to use them
http://6inchnails.deviantart.com/gallery/51772050/D-and-D-Mystara
my personal favorite thus far is the Great Pass map.

More will surely come up (mostly I use mapping as a relaxation technique as my RL isn't always easy).
Currently I am working an a Giga map of almost 40 MB of Alfheim in 1 mile hexes, of which I am actually a bit proud.
Like with your work I had to battle with all canon information (sometimes contradictionary) then with fanon information to fill the gaps.

I hope you are content with these maps, as your voice in this means a lot to me.
My Deviantart page; http://6inchnails.deviantart.com/ For Mystara hexmaps and Fantasy art (to see all fantasy art; enter and declare you are an adult...frigging exposure rules)
My personal Mystara Blog;http://breathofmystara.blogspot.nl/
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