Saturday, August 6, 2011

Cartography IV

Here's the final map for Zhongyang Dalu, the world of the Flying Swordsmen RPG.  Now that I've got the map done, I feel like I can get to work on detailing the setting.  The goal is to just provide a bare-bones setting, maximizing opportunities for conflict and adventure, rather than present a likely boring socio-cultural overview of what's basically China with magic and monsters.  If anyone playing the game wants to bone up on Chinese history, culture, and all that, I'll be providing a "recommended reading" section in the appendices.


  1. I dig that map. The islands and coastline are pretty interesting. Did you draw inspiration from a real world map? Do you have any map-making or coastline drawing tips to share?

  2. Actually, I may make an entire post about it, as there's really a lot I could share.

    Basically, though, I've always loved maps. Just looking at them, imagining all the places I could go, stuff like that.

    With this map, I basically set out to draw China as if it were around a Mediterranean type sea, instead of a large landmass with a long coastline, it's a series of peninsulas.

    As for the actual coastlines and islands, I took inspiration from real coastal features in general, but did everything freehand. Basically, drawing, redrawing, and finally when I had it the way I liked, inking it.

  3. Love the map. I have a weakness for maps and a real weakness for hand drawn maps. I myself have never had any luck in the hand drawn map arena so Kudos on a great looking map!

  4. Gorgeous! Flying Swordsmen is on my OSR wish list and really looking forward to seeing the finished product.

  5. I like this a lot. From a historical standpoint, the geography forms an impediment to long-term periods of unification. There's a lot of coastline there, naturally dividing it into kingdoms much like Europe. There's all kinds of room for you to take this and detail the hell out of the setting. I mean, man, I was getting ideas just looking at the finished product. Way cool, man.