Odd Sources of Inspiration: Russian Military Mapping textbook: Post 1: Time

I read a couple of really cool articles a while back, Inside the Secret World of Russia’s Cold War Mapmakers and The Soviet Military’s Eerily Detailed Guide to San Diego (Both by Greg Miller on Wired). These articles directed me to “Russian Military Mapping: A Guide ot Using the Most Compreshensive Source of Global Geospatial Intelligence” (East View Cartographic, 2005), a translation of a Russian military textbook. Based on some of the reviews and comments, I thought this would be an excellent resource for ideas for a DM.

Time: I’ve rarly seen it mentioned that days get shorter in most worlds as you go north and south. When going to the icy north, remember that days will be shorter in winter, and crazily long in the summer. This is something people notice easily; how many times do we talk about how short the days get in winter, despite it happening every year? If you are travelling north rapidly, even on foot, you’ll notice this much more quickly then normal, doubly so if you are travelling north in the fall, or south in the spring.
Also, at high levels with teleport spells recall that time zones are a thing. If the players teleport three large kingdoms over, it could be an hour or two out, depending on the scale of your maps. Easily enough forgotten if clocks aren’t common. But if they start teleporting really long distances, then they’ll notice it was morning when they cast the spell, and evening now. You could use this to add time pressure to a game. The players know they have to stop a plot that happens at midnight, and teleport to the right location early in the morning, and are horrified to discover the stars already in the sky!

I think I’ll keep these posts short, and on one topic, so I’ll leave this one off for here. Until next time, stay geeky.
–Canageek

Published in: on May 9, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Keep on the Shadowfell Maps

Ok, just a fast post: I have the original Keep on the Shadowfell with poster maps. However its a touch too big to scan them. I found a copy of the forest map, however the others are corrupted & distorted. I need a decently clean copy to use in my online game and can’t find one anywhere.

I’ve found about a zillion copies of the inside of the keep: (My players keep out!) but none of the outdoor maps, probably because the outdoor maps came with the original, but NOT the indoor ones. So I rather need a map of the dig site and don’t have one. I’m going to bribe you all with the collected maps I’ve found in exchange for helping me find a copy ok?

Oh yeah, my players? Stay out of the links please and thank you.

EDIT: I was never able to find the map so I made a cleaned up copy myself. It is not great but it worked for the duration of the encounter. This post is now bringing in more hits to my blog then everything else combined, so evidently a lot of people are looking for these maps. I’m somewhat embarrassed that my laziest post is getting me the most hits, but glad others are benefiting from my work. If you find a map I have not linked please leave a comment: I’d like to make this as useful a resource for people as I can. I’m thinking I should like together all the resources for KotS I’ve found at some point given how popular this has been.

Edit 2: I have since found what I think is the best version of the map of the keep. It is listed as one of the best maps on the Cartographers’ Guild forums. Enjoy!

To make it more clear: This is the map I need, but hopefully not quite so messed up with its colours.
Heck if someone could help me clean that up a bit I’ll use it!

Oh found it…without a grid. If someone can help me add a grid I will be very very grateful. Also seems a bit low-res for my needs.
If someone could help me add a grid I’d be very very grateful!

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Maps from here on are what I found looking for the map in the above two links, thought I’d share.

New versions of the outdoor maps.

Edit: There was a link with all of them, but it appears to be dead and not in The Wayback Machine. It pointed to http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?p=16725492 if anyone can find a copy. I believe the individual posts below contain all the same content however.

The Keep Maps 1–5
Level 1 Maps 6–8
Level 1 Maps 9–11
Level 2 Maps 12–17
Caverns 9–11

Don’t like this version as much but its got the dunjinni files…and no outdoors.

I even found a photo of MY copy of the map.

I had some more maps the the keep here, but even after I found the new ENWorld link they appear to be gone. The current link on Enworld is http://www.enworld.org/forum/entry.php?330-Keep-on-the-Shadowfell-full-scale-1-quot-map if anyone has a copy of the maps that were once their.

I found copies of the posters, but they are REALLLLYYYY bad scans (Note: I’ve paid money for these maps AND its now a free adventure, so I feel ok linking to this)

Some nice maps of Winterhaven and surroundings

This guy tells you how to BUILD each encounter in 3D

A different style of map for the keep itself

Finally: Not the best looking, but usable

Edit 2 (Goes with edit 2 above): I’m embarrassed that this post gets so much attention as I have spent the least time on it of any blog post and it contains pretty much no original content. On the other hand if people find it useful I’ve done something good. Anyway, I updated a link to point at the thread more directly. I also found an amazing link that is the best version I have seen by far and will be adding it. Finally I fixed some spelling & grammar I noticed. Anyway, Until next time: Stay Geeky!

Edit N, 2015-7-28: I’ve updated the links as a lot of them had broken when people updated forum software. Some I couldn’t save, but most should be useful. Not that I imagine many people are wanting to run the introductory adventure for 4th edition anymore, now that Pathfinder and 5th edition have displaced it.

–Canageek