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Rakumi

Have you ever mapped out a town (on graph paper or mat) in playable size?

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I have for so long wanted a gaming mat or map that displayed a pretty large town with many small homes (4x4) to create a very busy small town with many little paths between all the many buildings and just really busy looking in a small amount of space.  I bought many GF9 mats and they are awesome but never gave me what i wanted.  I even bought a few paizo mats which let me know the scale i wanted could be done but never had the setup i wanted.  Paizo had a city scene but it was not open roof tops unless you bought a card expansion to place the cards over the home structure.  I wanted open roof tops, single floor design.  I even downloaded a huge pdf of a cool town with no way to print it and it would not come out right without a mapping software to make it graphed with open roof tops.

 

So things brings me to gaming paper which i bought a while back and finally came around to creating the city I always wanted.  It came out to my liking very much so.  I am not a great drawer but it is basic shapes and gets the job done.  It is on a 29x42 sheet i cut from my roll.  This was such a fun process.  I tried to look up common structures in fantasy towns but had little luck.  Not all structures are perfect squares (nothing round though) but most of the houses are 4x4 or 4x5 and have a common space and either 1 or 2 bedrooms.  It is not a rich town but not too poor either.  There is a town hall (8x8), a bank (3x4), a jail (4×8) with 2 cell areas that are 3x3 each, a black smith (4x4), a shop (4x4) which will hold gear and even magic items if they get a shipment, a inn of course (5x8) which has 7 2x2 rooms, a tavern (about 10x10, odd shape) to get your drink on, a house of worship (3x5) for confessional or minor spiritual guidance, and a event hall (about 8x8, odd shape) for various events.  Some structures have not been named yet or given rooms.  I am considering a hospital (4x5) which would hold about 4 beds in an open design.  Also considering whether or not to make one of the bigger houses (4x5) an officials home below the mayer... hmmm.  In total my town has 23 structures.  All that was not mentioned are residential.

 

Note:  Start here if you want to skip my rambling.

 

So I would like to know have any of you drawn up a town of your own, how big was it, about how many structures did it have, what were some of the unique structures.  Thanks all a d enjoy.

 

Edit:  work in progress photo in link

www.dpreview.com/galleries/7473931624/photos/3182742/ 

Edited by Rakumi
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Typically, I'll draw out only the parts of a town I need at a given time, very roughly, as I don't need a lot of detail in a small house, unless a PC decides to duck in there.  I've found that Paizo's map packs are really useful for a quick tavern/town hall, but a basic house is pretty easy to throw down quickly.  

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Now hearing you speak Josh, this is probably common place stuff... It is my first time drawing out a map/town and it just seems so cool to me because I have the layout i always wanted.

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I once drew a map on normal sized graph paper for my brother, who then had it blown up to be 1 inch sized graph paper (he worked at office depot). It ended up HUGE.

 

I have some questions about your spaces though. In a practical, historical sense, the labor needed to erect a large building was immense, so a hall for "event spaces" which would remain empty for significant amounts of time would not exist. Instead, such a function would be filled by a town hall, a lord's hall, the church, a tavern, or a large clearing. Likewise, hospitals did not exist as they do today. People stayed in bed when they were unwell, and if large numbers of people were unwell, they were usually quarantined in one of the above listed large spaces.

 

In a setting where all the labor is manual labor, the expense of building a stone building, or even a wooden building, is much greater, in terms of time and effort for size, than it is today. Especially when you have to cut down, hew, and plane the lumber by hand or with simple tools. With that in mind, consider sharing some of the functions of your buildings. ^_^

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Red,

I considered this as far as joint locations like using the town hall for "church" gatherings being that the house of worship is small and for less grand events.  The event hall will also be used as a source of money for the town.  It will be rented out but also used for town functions like dances.  So right now the town hall will have a double function and the event hall is multi functioning.  The medical location is to keep those with illness away from the health.  It is small reflecting as you state, no need for a huge location.  If i made the town smaller, i would eliminate many structures.  Maybe i will make a second smaller village but this place is large enough for a mayor.  ;)

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Now hearing you speak Josh, this is probably common place stuff... It is my first time drawing out a map/town and it just seems so cool to me because I have the layout i always wanted.

That is very cool. It's a great experience to try some aspect of your hobby that is new and exciting to you, for the first time. Thanks for sharing this!

 

I'm a model terrain guy, myself, but I did go through a long period where I was making full color 3D maps in Bryce and Photoshop, top-down, and we were playing on those. I did make entire dungeons (and spent a bundle laminating them!), but never made a whole town. A few buildings here and there (mostly taverns and inns), some trees and paths, but never a full town. I have, of course, made smaller-scale, hand-drawn maps of full towns for handout to my players.

 

We typically don't use a grid. We just measure distances with rulers or eyeball them. But sometimes we grab a grid when we're in a hurry, and then I'll draw maybe a section of town. On occasion, I have drawn some buildings on big sheets of foam core I had lying around.

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Thanks Bruun,

Yeah, i have tried to use a sheet of foam like material before but i had to make the grid myself and it was maybe a 20x30 sheet or so and i used pen and the grid was just too dark.  Grid/gaming paper is pretty cool because it has the grid of course, but is foldable and cheap price wise and you get a lot of it.  It is not thick but if you take good care of it and store it well, it should last.  I have wanted a town since forever.  I am sure you have made dungeons as large is this town though, lol.  Maybe after i add all the little details like beds and furniture, i may decide on another town.  Maybe a smaller one for people passing thru.  Hey, do you know how to post photos on here?

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This part of the forum does not allow image uploads. You'll need to upload to someplace like Photobucket or Flickr and link instead. (Use a BBCode link for a live image.)

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I did a D&D town map once. It had about 30 named places / shops. Pencil and graph paper. 10 foot to the square. Small unrealistically compact. Might have been a mountain village as an excuse for how small it was.

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On a gaming grid? No, they're just too darn big.

 

On graph paper? All the time. Each square is 10'x10', and a typical "city" takes up about 36 or 42 pages of 8.5"x11" paper (6x6 or 7x7). The largest I made took up 144 pages (12x12). They basically just get new names when I start new campaigns, unless I'm running in the same campaign world for several campaigns in a row. I have a stock of 10 "hamlets," 20 "villages," 10 (or 11) "towns," 8 "cities" (3 of which are ports), 3 "metropolises (metropoli?)," and the mega city that I mentioned. 

 

1 city, 1 port, and 1 metropolis have their own sewer maps (the port city has a map that leads from its sewers to the Underdark, even!), as well. Plus the maps of some of the structures within the cities. Most of the structure maps are mutable, though, and I just make them up on the fly, but some are set in stone.

 

Of course, during the course of play, things in the cities get named, and the inhabitants created (all by the players). Each city has a box of 3x5 cards that goes with it. The hamlets have 2 boxes for all 10, the villages have 5 boxes for all 20, and the towns have 5 boxes for all 10 (or 11) of them. The mega city is still at a single box, but no party has ever explored the whole thing, so they haven't finished naming things yet. I have a feeling that it will end up at three boxes by itself.

 

 

ETA: I may need a life.

 

I also have Fat Dragon's Ravenfell, and Dave Graffam's Rake's Corner.

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Dsmiles, sounds pretty cool, and massive.  I may decide to map out a few more of these towns i have done.  I am curious to know why you say gaming paper is too large but it seems you made a large scene when you placed it all together.  My gaming paper town is pretty much a small town setting which is smaller than what you have designed as far as actual size of locations distance wise.  I just wish i was better at drawing furniture.  Lol.

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Dsmiles, sounds pretty cool, and massive.  I may decide to map out a few more of these towns i have done.  I am curious to know why you say gaming paper is too large but it seems you made a large scene when you placed it all together.  My gaming paper town is pretty much a small town setting which is smaller than what you have designed as far as actual size of locations distance wise.  I just wish i was better at drawing furniture.  Lol.

I say that because 0.25"=10' is much smaller than 1"=5'. Much. Smaller. There's no way I could map that out on a full-sized grid.

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Dsmiles,

I guess i was trying to ask have you ever thought about making a small village/town or whatever you would call it of a smaller size like 20 or less small structures on gaming paper?  

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