So, why AM I mapping parts of my world that are totally obscure, anyway? I mean, what for? How does it make any sense? The party is likely to NEVER go out there. In the past I've made a point or two about needing to map trade routes to know distances, and sure maybe that has uses, but a lot of these maps are so gone and out there, they don't have trade routes. So what's this all about?
I just love maps. I started making a map of Russia around the end of 2004, first with 10-mile hexes and then when I decided that was a bit narrow, I moved to 20-mile. The 20-mile hex has always been a bit of a standard in D&D, going back, and its not a bad size to build from. The place I started with was Voronezh, because I was starting a campaign with low level characters and I wanted to be sure they couldn't travel off the edge of what I'd drawn ... and one way to slow them down was to not offer any sea-travel. Voronezh is a long way inland, so I figured I'd have time to add maps before the campaign seriously began to move outwards in whatever direction the party chose.
At first I moved in a circle, and as I did, I began adding adjacent areas. Mostly it was Russia, for a long time, but Russia is stupid massive and I still haven't finished it. I could have, I have most of the research prepared for it, but the party wasn't interested in exploring Siberia so I began working on Lithuania/White Russia, then the Baltic, then down through Greece and Turkey. The party at the time decided they wanted to go to China, so I began working on the Caspian Sea, which meant Iran as well, then Afghanistan and since my maps had Afghanistan and Pakistan on the same page, I did Pakistan too. I was thinking about beginning work on western China, so I did all of Russian Turkmenistan (Kazakh, Uzbek, Tadzhik and Kirghizia) first - and then the party changed its mind and went back to Europe.
So ... I started on Germany, which took a REALLY long time. And then 2009 came, and the recession killed all my journalist jobs, leaving me unemployed for almost a year (on the dole), and around that time I just sort of kicked around Siberia, doing the areas that I've been covering in the Work blog this past week. Then, life improved and I got over my depression and got a job and finished Italy in 2011 and France in 2012. Oh, I also did all of India somewhere in there. Most lately, I've been working on northern Africa, and posted some of those maps last fall.
Why? Because its just fun. D&D is an excuse to do something I like. And doing something I like has rewards. I meet people from all over, and it just freaks them out when I know where Biskra is, or Gilgit, or Vasa. I'd be having a great time if I were in Sochi right now ... or as my world calls it, nothing at all, because Sochi wasn't founded until 1838. That's way after my world exists.
Ah, well. I have more work on maps to do.