Hi all

Don't get me wrong - I love Conan RPG - to the extent I've purchased everything going. Great rule mechanics and flavourful text - but the maps have been mostly a great disappointment.

I love the world map - very nice to look at and detailed. Most of the regional maps are ok - a bit scant in places with air brushed fuzziness.

The local maps - and especially the city maps - are IMHO not very good at all. Shadizar - less said about that the better. Messantia - a blocky mass with oversized numbers - could have been done in CC2 in about a day. Signs & Portents has featured a couple of cities in recent issues - great descriptions but NO maps. Now I know someone is going to say - do your own - your imagination is a powerful tool - blah blah - but I am a relatively crap artist without as much time on my hands as I used to.

I can't help thinking back to the games of my youth - MERP, HARN - where city maps were often quite stunning and brought the setting to life. Most d20 publishers seem content to churn out maps and diagrams that if I was a professional I might be somewhat embarrassed about. Now you can go on about cost as much as you like but the drawing tools are more powerful these days and the products are more expensive than ever - so why don't publishers get this thing right.

Just a thought,

On a semi-related note...

Just out of curiosity, what do you all DO with game maps? I use hex maps to show combat situations, for flanking purposes, etc. But as far as walking through town, or traveling from one country from another, I typically tell my players "You travel north to Vanaheim", or "You go across town to the temple"

It seems to me that bringing out a map would do little more than allow me to point at a spot and say. You were here. Now you're here...?

I know I'm missing something. What is it?

I agree maps are not the be all and end all of it.

I use maps to:

(1) Inspire me with a setting - helps to visualise things

(2) Design scenarios - especially murder - mysteries / urban adventures

(3) Help players to visualise things - especially when a discussion breaks out about who would be first to the Bridge of Wherever and can they really reach the Gate of Lions ahead of the evil baron by cutting through the religious quarter. Now I could simply make it up - but my group prefer things a little more grounded in pen and ink.

I also just make it up like you do.

Fearguis said:
I know I'm missing something. What is it?

Perhaps you haven't played/run many heavily city-based campaigns, e.g., Lankhmar using the TSR map and descriptions? It matters a lot where things are in relation to one another for many reasons, including timing (e.g., "you just heard that the slavers abducted your woman, and plan to depart by sea, you are by the East Gate, what do you do?" - well, you could go to the slaver HQ in the SE, go straight to the docks in the far W, or something else entirely, but your plans might be contingent on distances, etc.), what districts of town you would pass through (e.g., players new in town, leave the bad section, stopped by guards who say they can't bring weapons that way), missions the characters are on (e.g., the thief wants to keep watch on a gem merchant's business, but also needs to check on other matters - how long will he be gone to do so, and what might he miss in the meantime), etc. etc.
I agree. I just got back in RPGing after a long break, and I can't believe how bad the maps are now. Even if the Shadizar map had been correct, it still would have been crappy.
Many maps were painted in the "old time". Now artists use computer assisted design and just add their ground feature like in any video games with map editor (I recall the first one was Lords of Magic from Sierra).
The difference is there: computerized maps can never be as near as good as hand-made creation.
Just because the feeling is not the same and the maps don"t sound true.
love maps one of the strongest things about mongooses slayers guide were the lair maps in most of them which were the thing that first caught my eye as well as quillians brilliant art on the inside cover.maps are important because they inspire the gm and can be his best friend if the group stray from the path you think they will follow so please spend time on the maps it is worth it
How about AtTR maps? They are great!

Just ordered Messantia. Ryhopewood - is "The giant freakin' statue of Argos" mentioned in the text? :)