Tuesday, March 10, 2015


The maps and setting material in Gamandria are intended as a starting point, but one thing I realized after its release is some folks think the details provided are supposed to be final. I want to go over the maps from the book and show some of the material from one of my own campaigns to explain what we intended with scale, details and mapping. 
Varian Sea Region Map

To the right is a regional map of Gamandria. This is the version available in the PDF. As you can see it is a whole section of the main continent and the purpose here is to give a broad view of the setting. This is not assumed to be everything there is. It is more like when you see a regional map of the Roman Empire or Imperial China, they usually don't include every city and site. If you ever have seen a map with every Roman city on it, you realize just how much blank space there is on such a map. 

So one of the aims here is to give the GM the parameters but allow them to flesh out the spaces in between when they prep their own campaigns. 
Gashta Forest Book Map

To give an example here is a close up of the Gashta Forest section of the above map. As you can see there are not a large number of details here. Some sections of the map are not this sparse, because they are more civilized with lots of important cities and sites. Gashta Forest is less so, but there are still numerous forts, villages and other details suggested to exist by the text of the setting entry. 

So here is how this gets fleshed out in my own campaign. This map was still in an early stage, I added more after taking this scan. So you can see how much more is assumed to be present in those hexes. 
Gashta Forest Campaign Map

The intent was to give GMs a good skeletal structure to work with but to allow them to flesh out details to taste. It is a broad stroke map and setting where we hope that GMs will be inspired to invent additional material. 

We certainly did go into some detail for key areas. Caelum for instance has several pages devoted to it. The purpose here was to provide examples. So while some entries have pages, others get little more than a line or two. There was a two-fold purpose to this. 

First we wanted to make the book easy to reference mid-game. So while the important places require you sit down and read several pages before the session, most of the individual cities and less significant places you can catch the main details with a quick glance. 

The second, which I've already mentioned was to give examples of different scales of detail so the GM could easily extrapolate. 

Had the book been one thousand pages instead of five hundred, we may have taken a different approach. But because space was also a consideration, if every section of the map resembled the campaign maps from our play tests and personal sessions, we would have needed hundreds of more entries in the Setting section.  

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