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The Iron Dynasty, DeLaRose Role Play Group » Trash Archives of Old Things » The Library, Information About Role Play » Maps for adaption in role play

Maps for adaption in role play

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1 Maps for adaption in role play on Wed Oct 26 2016, 22:37



Maps in general are a very useful tool that can be referred to throughout the entire process of going through the different storylines that one may come across. For starters, it will help in judging the distance from one place to another and how long it will take. Now, with that being said, one does not have to use a map of our world, it can come straight out of the imagination, and in my opinion, gives it more sustenance to the story in general. A map can be of anything, from the layout of a certain structure, to the entire world as a whole, but if not done properly, can be detrimental to the role play.

When creating a map "from scratch," it is important to include the lay of the land, from the terrain to cities and the like. I have made maps in this way for about 4 years with a simple peice of paper and a pencil, then adding color to it. It is not a neccecity to put in colors or even use minute detail, but in my experience, the more detail the better. For the purpose of this article, I will be focusing on this style of a map, and use my way of creating the terrain as an example, and an island as the land mass.


When creating the landmass of a map, I use a pencil and draw it lightly. It does not matter what the shape is, so just draw something, making it "shaky" so that the coastline is not straight at any point in time, though if some parts are, that is perfectly fine. The point of drawing it lightly is because it will let you change different parts of it as the map progresses to completion. Once the main island is complete, feel free to create some smaller landmasses around it to further use the page. Once all the land has been drawn, you may then create your rivers, streams, lakes, and other bodies of water, and make sure to change the coastlines as needed. Once all of that is done, I normally input bridges wherever I would like. When i draw those, I simply put 2 lines extending past the either side of the river/stream. At this point, I come across the first time consuming part of the entire process, which is to create the darkened version of coastline. I normally take a black pen at this point and make a series of short, close together lines all the way around, and also around the bodies of water. Once finished, I normally pick up blue pen and creat a ring around the different landmasses parralel to the shoreline to create the water breaking area where the waves would begin to crash.

Ok, so now is the fisrt part where you have to plan things out, where the cities, villiges, and the portals, if you choose to use them go, and how many to have. I use boxes for the cities, a 5 triangle (4 for a box and 1 on top) configuration for the villiages, and a circle with an x through it for the portals. You can place them wherever you like, and as close to eachother as you want them. Once finished with that, you can then move to the next step.


- Trees/forest= circles (dark green)
- Grassland= lines (light green)
- Mountain= ^ (carrots) (brown)
- Marshland= small pools of water and x's (blue and brown)
- Ice= blank areas (white)
- Desert= dots (yellow)

Ok, that is my list of the usual terrain features on a map that I would make, though yours may be much different. When planning the features of the terrain, you can do this in a number of ways: from lightly drawing up the borders of each type, freehanding, or a blend of them. You can plan this step however you wish, just make sure that each area, has a definate main feature, and the villiages and porals etc. ha a border around them so that they are not lost. This part of the process is the most important part, it will either make or break the map, you do not want to make it too busy, but at the same time you do not want the map to seem bare. Finding that line is different for everyone, but I find that it makes it easier to make the symbols for each feature smaller, thereby giving more room for detail, and it can give a better sense of distance.

Once you have finished with all of the terrain, you have a choice, you could go back and put in names of areas and places, or if you are like me, you can leave that part blank to leave room for the roleplay and add them in later as you see fit. Now, with the way that I make my maps, I complete it in 8 steps, completing each part of the process in full before moving on, that way, once I get done with the desert areas, my map is complete. For me, the time it takes to complete a map, from start to finish, takes about 4-5 hours. If this is not something that you are into as much as I am, feel free to get in touch with me and I can get the particulars from you to create one to your specifications. The following is link to my most recent map I created.

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