Friday, June 8, 2012

My Rekindled Love For Maps - Thanks to the DCC RPG The Blind Can Now see ;)

Back in my first tour playing RPGs, when maps were made with blue ink and very few actually cared about them except for what they were used for in game, I saw them as art. They were definitely an art form I had no illusions of attaining even a most basic skill in, as I had trouble drawing a straight line on graph paper, but they were most certainly art.

Upon returning to gaming, or at least active gaming, I no longer had the same appreciation of maps as art. There are so many mapping programs available on the computer that in most maps, the art that you find has been put there by the original programmer.

The Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG opened my eyes up again.  I've been following a handful of mappers that blog, as they put up some really nice pieces, but I was no longer seeing them as art.  They were just another tool for use in an RPG.  Then I picked up DCC and nearly had my eyes ripped from my skull.  The adventures have maps that are literally artwork.  Goodman opened my eyes so that the blind could see again.  Regretfully, I don't think any DCC maps are online, so you'll have to peek in your own book (or a friends)'s or at the new adventures to appreciate them.  No worries, there are other great mappers out there.

There are a few folks around that do some amazing freehand maps.  Matt Jackson does some awesome pieces.  Some are quite simple, so are very in depth.  They all have a silent beauty to them.
Matt Jackson's Map From Captain's Logs From the Sandbox 2: The Broken Omnicrys

You also have world design.  Sometimes a map that covers a large section of the world can push your mind to new ideas and campaign thoughts.  I'd love to see the following maps as a fold out wall hanging.
Keranak Kingdom Map for Barebones RPG by Bill Logan

My last example is an adventure map, a small location.  This reminds me of a DCC map without all the extra weirdness that accompanies them.  It is a beauty in it's pure simplicity.  I want a print of this.  Then I want a two week vacation on the island. 

Map from Toys For the Sandbox - Pirate Island by Teo TayoboBato
Yep, maps fuckin' rock again :)

1 comment:

  1. Hey there! Just saw this, somehow I missed it when you posted it. Thanks for posting the map, that is actually one of the pieces I am most proud of. I took the job on a whim, not even sure if I could pull it off, I think it turned out rather splendid, glad you do too.


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