Monday, June 18, 2012

[Free Map] The Northeast as a Fantasy Kingdom

This is a hand-painted map I created c. 2004 for Northern Crown, showing the Great Lakes, Lower Canada, and New England in the style of an antique map. This is an unlabeled version -- think of the possibilities for turning it into a fantasy RPG map -- or even for a post-apocalyptic setting. Where would you put the cities? The elves? The dwarf mines? Go nuts with this one and post your ideas!

14 comments:

  1. I've wondered if more art from Northern Crown would become available. Thanks for posting this!

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    1. I've got tons of Northern Crown art and will keep posting it.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I live on this map, so I am biased. My 8th grade NY state history class told me where all of our natural resources are and what they are. My college history and anthropology classes told me how humans settle an area at least, and how their settlements grow. For the record, I am at the East end of Lake Ontario, so I know how the weather is going to affect settlement too.

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  3. I've called this particular map "The Birch Lands" in my campaigns since about 1985.

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    1. Does your campaign use a map of North America? Is it a fantasy campaign?

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  4. What program was used to map this map? I would love to try and recreate it

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    1. No program. I drew it and painted it from scratch.

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  5. Hi Doug! Big fan of NC, here, glad to find this blog and see you're still thinking of it. I actually remember happening upon it in the pre-publication days.
    I'm planning to try to get my gaming group to play some NC, so lovely resources like this are a big help :)

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  6. During a long drive four years ago I amused myself by speculating about a fantasy setting that combined the physical map of North America, a hydraulic despotism based on mana instead of water, and the different time scales of the typical fantasy races.

    I thought of a fantastic North America dominated by a handful of great houses of Elves, each centered on a mighty river from which they drew mana via the equivalent of hydroelectric dams: the Manicougan, the Colorado,the Arrow Lakes, the Columbia River watershed, Niagra Falls, and the Tennessee Valley. (GURPS has a spell named "Draw Power" which provided mechanics for the idea.) These houses dominated the continent, and enforced a "non-proliferation agreement." Do not spread the Draw Power spells. They also had weather control magic, which maintained a balance of terror after prior use ended the last glacial period five Elf generations ago.

    Lesser Elf houses sans "mana-dams" and "weather weapons" controlled large estates by feudal arrangements with the Halfling shires (Mississippian), Gnomish freeholders (Appalachia or Ozarks), or enslaved humanoids (Atlantic Southeast). Smaller Elf holds or bands might hold territory anywhere on the continent.

    Great Plains centaur tribes followed bison, watching the sky for giant eagles or dragons, trading meat and hides to hidden Dwarf fortresses in the Rockies for metal and horseshoes. Young stallions and mares served Elf Houses as mercenaries.

    Rocky Mountain Dwarf kingdoms envied the longer-lived and more powerful Elf houses. Their rock-roofed halls could withstand Elf weather
    control, but an all-out weather war might again move the glaciers as in the Dwarf sagas (only twenty generations ago). Dwarfs had no Draw Power spells, no rivers, and the best coal seams lay under the great Elf houses. Dwarfs traded precious metals and jewels to Elf houses, who could charge gems as powerstones.

    The Carribbean Sea held islands of small Elf holds, friendly to, trading with, or warring on each other and the undersea kingdoms of mermen and fish folk in the tame and settled shallows. In deeper seas of the Gulf of Mexico or the North Atlantic dwelt Sharkmen and worse.

    The Elf dominion didn't include the desert Southwest which they
    deemed powerless land. Almost anything that could live there,
    would--for a while. The last survivors of the prehistoric reptile
    civilizations dwelt there among the ruins of their once great cities: Lizard Men, ambitious young dragons, and perhaps one or two older wyrms. Florida swamps also held such prehistoric ruins, amphibian instead of reptilian. Rumors told of a much decayed and decadent remnant of the Snake People far to the south.

    Odd monsters existed throughout Elf lands. Lesser Elf houses experimented with sorcerous hybridization a generation or two ago, after the glaciers retreated and the best river valleys had been claimed. Elf wizards made all the humanoids and the lesser giants, (some say even the halflings, centaurs, and gnomes) as well as owlbears, giant eagles, griffins, and other chimeras.

    North past 60° or so had "Here Be Monsters" written on it. Tales told of lycanthropes in the north woods, fantastic mineral wealth, giant fur-bearing animals, six-legged wolverines, selkies, talking otters, beaver towns, surviving dire wolves, cave bears, and sabretooths, and so on.

    Farther north still lived ice giants and their storm giant lords riding the north winds in sky castles. Older dragons lived even farther north, with their young heading south to feed and breed, Elf explorers wrote of lands where sands shed burning blood, riverbeds sparkled with gold dust, and the father of all dragons dwellt under the mountain.

    I really didn't give much thought to the Great Lakes, though.

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  7. IS THAIR AN UDDER VERZHIN OF TIHS TAHT IS MOAR COMPLETE LIKE ALL TEH WAY OUT TO NOVASCOSHA AND MORE SOUT THOWARDS FLORADA? I ARE THINK DROP A NUMBERED HEX MAP ON TO IT AND GO WILDRELANDS OF BEING HI FANTASY STYLE WITH IT!!!1

    -NUNYA

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  8. Compared to many other maps I've seen in my day, your skills are very impressive! I was wondering if you had an unlabeled version of the Appalachia map or even Florida and the Caribbean maps for use in a Northern Crown campaign, like this one you posted here:

    http://blueboxerrebellion.blogspot.com/2012/06/free-map-northeast-as-fantasy-kingdom.html

    Shown here in these PDFs:
    http://www.atlas-games.com/pdf_storage/NCGazMasterMap.pdf
    http://www.atlas-games.com/pdf_storage/NCwestappalachia.pdf
    http://www.atlas-games.com/pdf_storage/NCeastappalachia.pdf

    Would you happen to have a spare image to post or send?
    Thanks for your hard work and efforts!

    IJG

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    1. Hi Joe,
      I don't have scans of those maps without text. Several moves and dead computers later, those files are lost for good. I've still got the original artwork I painted back in 2004, but scanning them is a major big deal and I can't spare the time.
      Have you looked at Skull and Bones from Green Ronin for a good map of the Caribbean?

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