Man, maps. As a teenager I spent hours pouring over them,studying areas and worlds based on them. Who was neighbouring who and what areas did they have to go through to get to each other? How many day travels deep is that forest? How few roads are in that area? How many towns per days of wilderness?
I sort of left behind this level of scrutiny in my 20s in favour of more explicit and condensed information but I don't think now that this was for the better. These sort of questions are evocative and immersive. A map says a lot about the kind of setting you are dealing with.
The map of Erce has gone through a lot of evolution over the years. About a year ago I thought I had settled on the map structure, but even now I am making small changes to the continent.
Over the next few weeks, I will discuss different setting maps, how they inspire (and how they don't) and wrap it up with an introduction to the actual map of Erce,it's evolution, why it is way it is, what I like about it in particular and what I don't quite like. I think this is something really missing in the OSR / setting blogosphere that I'd like to help kickstart some discussion on. There is some discussion on the admiration of good maps. And lots of very terse discussion on how to make it realistic. But little on how to construct it to advance its potential as a gaming map and what to put in it to inspire scenes and scenarios for the game.
My map reviews, including of my own map, will try and address this angle.