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<   No. 1249   2006-06-28   >

Comic #1249

1 {scene: High up in the Orcrift Mountains, the fantasy party gaze out over the wide plains below from a birds-eye lokout point.}
1 Lambert: Wow, it's a good view from up here in the mountains.
2 Draak: Draak can see whole plain from here to sea.
3 Alvissa: And look, there's the mighty Elusian River meandering across it...
4 Kyros: Making 60 degree turns every 1/sqrt(3) miles...

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I was tossing up two options for showing the view from the mountains:

  1. Photograph the characters against a bluescreen and edit in a photo of a landscape from a high vantage point in the background.
  2. Take the photos with an actual background made of giant poster-sized maps of Greyhawk that I happen to have lying around.
I went with option 2, because it turned out better than I had expected. The blurring is nice because it means you can't make out the large writing across the map, so it looks more like an actual countryside.

Oh, and Kyros is referring to the old convention with roleplaying game maps that always had rivers follow an unnatural course along the borders of the map hexes. If the hexes are a mile apart, the length of each side of a hexagon is (1 divided by the square root of 3) miles, and that's how often the river will have to turn through 60 degrees to maintain its uncanny ability not to cross through a hex of terrain.

2015-12-01 Rerun commentary: Using the Greyhawk maps was doubly appropriate, as they are indeed hex maps. Although not triply appropriate, as the rivers on the World of Greyhawk are plotted freeform and don't actually follow the hex edges as explained above.

And if I remember rightly, the hexes on these Greyhawk maps are much bigger - something like 20 miles to the hex or something.

If you're interested in getting some high quality image files of the World of Greyhawk maps, there are now a couple of good resources online for them: Anna B Meyers' Greyhawk map project, and High Programmer's Greyhawk maps repository.

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