Monday, August 2, 2021

RPGaDay Challenge 2021 - MAP

I love Maps. I just don't love using them. 

Let me explain...

Maps are, for me at least, a very beautiful but very specific form of art.

They are [generally speaking] depictions of places, ranging from the interiors of buildings to the geological and topographical features of planetary bodies. The most wonderful thing about Maps in my humble, personal opinion is that these places need not exist. Since they are works of art, they rely primarily on the skill and imagination of their creators and therefore may be real or fictional.

This means that while they are certainly a useful tool for determining where one is and how to get where one want to go, Maps are equally impressive for showing use the relationship between several points that need not be anywhere in reality. Images showing us where the Misty Mountains are in relation to Hobbiton and how far Tatooine is from the Core Worlds of Coruscant and Kuat are of just as much interest to me as the GPS that tells me how to get from my apartment to my favorite restaurants in the Midtown Manhattan. Likely more so. 

When it comes to gaming, I don't use Maps for the purpose of showing my players where their PC is standing, how far the opponents is from them, how many 'spaces' or 'hexes' it is to the door or anything like that. My games aren't war games and I usually don't bother with range unless there is some narrative or dramatic reason to do so. 

I use Maps to say, 'Look at this World Building! Look how cool this place is!' I want you to see the setting in a way that intrinsically makes it more real because as Humans we are trained to understand that if there is a Map to it, it must be a place. I couldn't care less if a Map depicts how many weeks of overland travel it takes to get from one adventure to the next but I do want the visual that says, 'This is far. This is going to take some time and go through so spectacular terrain.'

Maps are fascinating to me but distances less so.

Entry 2 - Map

Barking Alien

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