Mapping Hyperborea with Worldographer

In preparation for a Hyperborea campaign using Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea I've been working on getting a more detailed map. I've a bit of lead time as we'll be doing character generation and then some adventuring in Khromarium but at some point I'd like to unleash a bit of hexcrawling.

AS&SH has a very nice fold-out map and the upcoming version will have a color one. However, the scale is a bit too small, at 24 miles per hex, to truly facilitate hexcrawling. Most examples of that go for a 6 miles per hex scale.

The new version of Hexographer, also named Worldographer, is currently in Beta. I recently purchased a beta of it and have been making use of it to develop my own hex map of Hyperborea. While I generally prefer mapping using Campaign Cartographer 3, Worldographer works very nicely for hex maps. A nice feature of it is it allows for 2 lower levels under the main one. It labels the three layers World, Continent, and Kingdom. It allows for automatic creation of lower levels.

I've been first working on tracing the main Hyperborea map into the World layer, matching the hexes with the 24 mile hexes from the AS&SH map. I made the hex sizes fairly gigantic to make lining up the hexes easier. I've also decided to abstract the coast lines, choosing to not make partial hexes filled with both land and sea. What I intend to do is realize the subtleties of the coast lines and smaller islands on the lower levels, starting with a 6 mile per hex levels.

What I'm producing won't be artistic and it won't be a perfect match for the official map - but I'm going for utility.

I'm also getting a feel for the new Worldographer product. It's still in beta so I'm hesitant to give it an "official" review. Overall I like it for what it does. It provides a nice way to make quick hex maps. There's two main criticisms I have with it. The first is I find trying to make aspects that don't precisely correspond to hexes a little tricky - thinks like rough coastlines. Secondly, I'd like a few utilities to assist in tracing images onto a hex map. For example, it would be nice to be able to click on a place on the traced image and make it correspond to a point on the hexographer map. I do find it an overall smoother experience than the original Hexographer. The ability to break the maps into lower levels is rather handy for an old school school campaign.


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