Maps: The Cartography of Kaldori
Maps in Kaldori: The Second Age are essential to the sandbox structure of the module. They help both the players and Dungeon Master visualise the areas they are in, but also act as a guide to inform the players of where they can go and how they can get there - a vital part of what makes a sandbox so open and free.
World/Continent Maps act as a visual representation of where the players are in a greater sense and present the general layout of the main four realms of Kaldori. Kingdom/Realm Maps provide a better view of placements of the cities, towns, villages and other points of interest, and give the general lay of the land for the players and dungeon master. Province Maps shows more explicit information, such as the roads, hamlets, the rivers and the even more specific points of interest, such as docks, dungeons, ruins and recent battlegrounds.
Maps bring the world to life, whether they’re of the wilderness, winding dungeons or bustling cities. In the Dungeon Masters Handbook for Kaldori: The Second Age, you’ll find a map of every city, town, and village, as well as every known dungeon, place of interest, and possibly even a map for every significant building. There’ll also be maps for strongholds and other fortifications (as well as manors) that player characters can own and maintain, either collectively or by themselves, as well as the accompanying rules on how these work.
Maps, though important, are a work in progress. We're still in the early stages of designing the style of them and have already gone through multiple iterations of how they should look and how they should work. We want the maps to be a useful tool, not just for combat gameplay and world traversal, but also for puzzles, exploration and worldbuilding.
For those of you who use Roll20, we’ll be releasing a series of animated tile-sets for D&D to be used on the gaming service. Though, you’ll also be able to purchase them from the store if you wish to circumvent the Roll20 cut of the purchase, or if there is another way you’d like to use them. We make them available this way due to the recent events that have surrounded Roll20, and we would like our consumers (you, the players and dungeon masters) to be able to still have access to our content on your terms.
As you can see above, the Province map of the Terian Caldera uses a hex grid, which isn’t used on the Kingdom/Realm map of the Realm of Teria. The primary reason for this is that the Province maps are used to closely track the movements of the party, compared to the Kingdom/Realm maps, which are used in a greater sense of showing where the party is in the Realm. There’s still a few tweaks that need to be made to the Province map, however; for instance, the measurement (0.5 Miles, written just above “Boiling Sea”) is too dark and not particularly easy to read, and the colour of the water is wrong compared to the colour of the water on the Kingdom/Realm map. These tweaks are important as the maps need to be both practical, but immersive too. We’re all about role-play, but we don’t want to sacrifice too much practicality to achieve a quality result.
Above is the recently updated map of Kaldori. If you had seen the previous iteration of the map, you’d notice that this one is larger, significantly more detailed and also has many more places of interest, which means more quests, loot, puzzles and exploration. The map, however, still isn’t finished. Each “capital” city of the kingdoms and empires will have the relevant flag on its icon, as well as a few other tweaks. We’re hoping that after these fixes, this will be the final version of the map though, which means we can move onto doing all the province and city/town/village maps.
Don’t let this make you believe the written work is on hold though. We’re hard at work writing quests, designing NPC’s, and adding to the expansive lore of Kaldori.