Citizens of the Imperium

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gchuck August 17th, 2019 07:31 PM

Planetary Maps
MM has blessed me with CT, a rpg that I dearly love. Genre, setting, adaptability, and background. It's all there for my enjoyment...

How does anybody find their way around the planetary maps!

Is there a 'canned' coordinate system that I have somehow missed since '77?
Cause "Row 4, 13 hexes East", just aint doing it for me.

There has to be an easier method somewhere. And I am devoid of ideas!

aramis August 17th, 2019 08:15 PM

Not that I've seen, but...
80 hexes per circle in the central row...
360/80=36/8 = 4.5
then 36 in the next row = 10 per hex
then 30 in the one after = 12 per hex
then 24 in that following = 15 per hex
then 18 in the next = 20 per hex
then 12 in the next = 30 per hex
then 6 in the penultimate and ultimate: 60 per hex.

Pick your reference, and remember that alternate rows are offset a few degrees.

BRJN August 17th, 2019 08:45 PM

This will help but not solve your problem:
Get a blank world map and number each triangle from 1 to 20. This gives you a region.

You are still stuck with the two problems of figuring out the hexes and dealing with the upside-down triangles. (I would just count them off from the top down or bottom up respectively.)

Want another headache? Copy a completed world map, cut it out, tape it together with the tape on the inside. Leave it for a few days, during which time you forget where you wanted to put the "Prime Meridian" that you never drew in.

timerover51 August 18th, 2019 01:42 AM

I sort of cheat by generating my planetary maps using the Civilization 3 map editor, which does give a bit of different results in terms of view, but also gives a grid coordinate system. I generally do not use the grid system though, but start naming continents and islands, locating and naming cities and towns, along with other major features, which then gives me the ability to locate things on the map.

Now, here is the system I am thinking of to use for the Marooned and Marooned Alone Adventure, for which I have the hard copy book and digital copies. I was thinking about printing two maps using the digitial copies, and leaving one untouched. On the other, I am planning to label various areas, such as deserts, mountain ranges, seas, rivers, North and South Poles, add any additional cities/towns/villages, forests, jungle areas, etc. so that I can orient myself on the blank map based on the notations. The center horizontal line is the Equator, while the two other horizontal lines mark the 30 Degree North and the 30 Degree South parallels.

Then I can say that the group in the life boat landed in the forests just south of the Scylla Inlet on the Sicilian Sea, while the lone adventurer landed in the plains just to the north of the northern tip of the Sicilian Sea, thee hexes east of the Tiber River and Etna Mountains. Now, if I really wanted to do things right, I would pull the map into Photoshop, and add all of the various labels with the text editor.

I have not tried to do this with say, the Victoria map, in JTAS Two, but as that already has a fair amount of names, adding additional ones should not prove problematical. This approach does work best with a planet with a range of terrain features, so it would depend a lot on the planet being mapped. However, by keeping in mind the 30th Parallel lines, designating a Prime Meridian, and an opposites 180 Degree line, preferably each on one of the triangular tips, you can then figure that each tip of a triangle represents a 36 degree shift from the tip of the next opposing triangle pointing either north or south. Then the 45th Parallel will run halfway between the equator and the respective pole. If you designate the Prime Meridian at running along the right hand side of the map as you look at it, then the 180th Meridian will be in the center of the map. Then the tips of the northern triangles would be located at 72 degrees and 144 degrees west, and the tips of the southern triangles would be at 36 degrees and 108 degrees west.

Now, looking at the map of Pagliacci in Marooned, the life boat comes down in the hex at about 48 Degrees South and 175 Degrees west of the Prime Meridian.

What I might have to do is try to get my ideas into Photoshop with a map, and lay them out visually for everyone to see.

JimMarn August 18th, 2019 01:16 PM

I made lots of planetary maps with Fractal Terrains 3. Some of them I have marked capital cities and oceans. Probably about 10 or so.

If I were going to use them for gaming, I would input the map into CC3+ and add political borders, sea/ocean currents, and major trade routes. FT3 exports both a png and a fcw map file that is the default for CC3+ for the Traveller map export.

I hope to do the cities, etc. someday for at least 50 of my Traveller maps.

coliver988 August 18th, 2019 02:33 PM

While I do like making maps, in games they are honestly very little used for the most part for getting around.

Depending on the culture, tech and a few odds and ends, GPS is generally available everywhere. Scouts in MTU use several small satellites for GPS systems on new planets with basically the map box (albeit much smaller). Heck - we're currently dumping out cube-sats like they are candy.

Now, for those brave souls venturing out into the wilderness in a system without all the technology, and they don't happen to have their own systems (even at TL 7/8 there are a lot of portable systems that don't rely on external factors for tracking), I just hope that at least one of the characters has recon or a land-based navigation skill. Otherwise, they do tend to get lost at times.

There are several supplements I believe that cover land and sea navigation - the Gamelord's x environment series covers navigation, and I am pretty sure I've read of a few others (those are available on the FFE Apocrypha CD).

sudnadja August 18th, 2019 10:28 PM


Originally Posted by gchuck (Post 605534)
MM has blessed me with CT, a rpg that I dearly love. Genre, setting, adaptability, and background. It's all there for my enjoyment...

How does anybody find their way around the planetary maps!

Is there a 'canned' coordinate system that I have somehow missed since '77?
Cause "Row 4, 13 hexes East", just aint doing it for me.

There has to be an easier method somewhere. And I am devoid of ideas!

I convert the icosahedral maps into equirectangular maps and just work in latitude, longitude, height or an ECEF variant. If I'm doing my own map from scratch, it's just easier to work in some spherical system (lat/lon) then convert it into a traveller format if needed, but in terms of movement or distance and surface visibility I would suggest just working in a natural mapping system.

you also get side advantages like being able to draw the sky (or objects in the sky) as they appear from a particular point on the map at a particular time:

And it can be valuable for giving a sense of relative area (for example, mapping the edges of the state of California to the globe of Regina):

And you can use regular real-world geography tools and algorithms to support the game:

MarcPolo August 21st, 2019 11:32 AM

Wow, love the spheres with faint hex grids under
Care to share the tools you referenced?

phorner August 21st, 2019 02:00 PM

The Traveller's Aid Society Access Terminal software generates ISS planetary maps for each system main world. It is for MS Windows only.

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