Monday, February 14, 2011

Wiki, February 14, 2011

James C. suggested last week that the end of my maps might not be such a bad thing, as it might lead to my posting things he would find more useful to his campaign.  That's fair enough - obviously, the maps are limited in their immediate-use value, if you don't run the Earth as a setting.

The difficulty is that the good-looking material I have "ready to go" is, mostly, the maps.  And lately I haven't all that much time.  Still, I've dug up a few bits and posted those to the wiki ... things worthy only of a quick glance, but hopefully inspiring.

To begin with, a probability chart for the 4d6 method of rolling dice.  It occurs to me now that I should put a 3d6 chart up next to it - I'll try to get that up by the end of the day.  Also, my personal druidic level advancement table, and a rewrite of some spells I use in my world, which differ from the traditional books.

I still have maps to post, mostly area which are prepared for me to later fill.  Have I mentioned yet that I know the elevation statistics on every hex everywhere in my world?  I do.  They are laid out on more than a dozen excel files ... and this is then transferred to the hex maps as I need them.  I could make hex maps for everywhere, but transferring numbers gets somewhat dull after making a map or two, so I tend to create them only as I need them.

I realize they're not very interesting as they are, but they will be filled up over the next several years (yes, years), step by step.  This last year, without much time to work, I've created Norway, Italy and the Low Countries - but non-European areas are much easier to produce than European.  The latter are very detailed, whereas much of the rest of the world is marked by large, empty spaces - such as the Sahara I posted last week.

This week I have finished maps for the Empty Quarter, the large southeast desert of Arabia; Oman, and the very empty Arabian Sea.  Parts of India, further east (parts I will be filling up in the next six months), include Gujarat, the Deccan Plateau and the Eastern Ghats.  They've been made precisely because I hope to work on India.  Someone very familiar with the geography of these regions would be able to follow the ranges and valleys from the elevation numbers posted on each hex.

A fine thing about the wiki is the number of views per visit ... for over half the viewers, three or more page views per visit is the rule.  For one in 20 readers, seven or more page views - and for some, dozens and dozens of views.  That is very heartening.  It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the numbers say that in three months - we launched three months ago tomorrow - we have had some effect.  There's no telling what another three months, or three years,  of continued posting will accomplish.

I will continue to call for others to step forward and bravely contribute.  The Wiki's purpose is to make a better game for all players ... not just to dramatize or bring attention to your particular world, but as James says, to provide materials that other DMs can use.  Without question there's a lot that can be done to improve this game, more than I can think of.


Oddbit said...

One thing about your maps which is probably not as useful globally but on a smaller scale beyond use as a literal representation of earth, is what I first used when I seriously made maps with any thought of believability. As a representation of logical organization of terrain features and more importantly with yours, civilizations.

Echoing interesting features lends a bit of 'realism' to the environments. My first inspiration for my maps was a giant and very high level atlas and looking at mountain ranges, coastlines and deserts. (A little too young to interpret any other biomes)

Anonymous said...

Please don't get me wrong Alexis. I've always been impressed by the maps, the work behind them and the posts you've made on creating them have given me lots to think about. But yes, unless one plans to run planet Earth of the late middle ages as their setting, the actual maps are less useful than your actual rules, some of which I use every session.

I hand my hands full as you went about the business of posting on XP recently, so didn't contribute there, but those XP rules have been a godsend and all of my players love them. I modified your system slightly, but it's still essentially your creation.

Alexis said...

Believe me James, I did not take the advice sourly; on the contrary, I took it very much to heart. I scoured through rewrites of spells to pick those four. I hope to add others weekly for awhile, as long as that supply lasts.

Cygnus said...

I like the idea of giving players some feel for the probabilities when rolling up ability scores. I just posted a similar table screencapped from the current draft of my in-progress old-school RPG. :-)