More extraordinary maps
1. Daniel Cruger did the maps for a bunch of old Middle Earth Role-Playing supplements and now he’s put several of them online. Beautiful, thoughtful stuff – the MERP supplements were a big cut above average in clarity, production values and artistic consistency – and you can really see Dan’s architectural training in the products, coupled with a nice 18th century concern for clarity that makes these maps as unfashionable as they are useful and evocative.
Via Akratic Wizardry.
I remember poring over the MERP map of Minas Tirith (not I think by Dan) and trying to figure out tactical details. Now everyone knows from the movies that it’s this crazy 3D shape like a liner crashing through Brueghel’s Tower of Babel, but back then it was a revelation, and it strongly influenced my own mapmaking.
[another Minas Tirith. I think not as good, but I haven’t given myself eye-strain with it yet, maybe there’s ingenuity in those awkward lines)
Tolkien’s contribution to the Sea of O’sr. Am I alone in seeing something like an Elder Sign in there?
2. Just Plain Cool: plan of Kalamazoo insane asylum, back when they were all the rage (ca 1910 i”m guessing). This is all the asylum/megadungeon crossover I need, thanks Sucker Punch.
Not cool enough? Philip Dujardin architectural “photos” of impossible buildings. For all your Banlieu 13/brutalist megadungeon needs.
3. Even cooler than that: mapping Freya Stark‘s epic wanderings through Afghanistan in the 70s, when she went searching for the Turquoise Mountain. I don’t suppose these maps will be much help with that.
5. Spot the difference between Sarawak (where logging licenses are easy to get and the law is freely interpreted) and Brunei (where environmental protection laws are enforced). Many years ago I worked on a Sim game that drew its data from Sarawak. Nowadays I have some tiny bit more comprehension of how out of our depth we were regarding the subject matter. Still, it did fuel a pre-apocalyptic game idea, set in a world that was being rapidly carved up between GM, luxury furniture stores and Japanese golf course developers. Each cabal had its suits and mooks, its surveyors and bulldozers. You had your villagers, various wandering hippies, tourism scouts and pop stars on photo ops. Thinking back, I have no idea how you were supposed to win.