Encyclopedia of Titan?

Advanced Fighting Fantasy discussion
michaeltaylor
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:53 pm

Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by michaeltaylor » Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:28 pm

So I've seen a lot of 'starts' at a complete index/encyclopedia of Titan, but none of them ever seemed to be finished.

Why not?

darksoul
Knight
Posts: 318
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:15 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by darksoul » Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:02 am

Titannica or the Atalas of Titan have both done pretty good and detailed jobs.

michaeltaylor
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:53 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by michaeltaylor » Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:34 pm

darksoul wrote:Titannica or the Atalas of Titan have both done pretty good and detailed jobs.
I've seen Titannica, but there are a LOT of blank entries.

So far I haven't been able to find the 'Atlas of Titan'! Would you happen to have a link?

thanks!

darksoul
Knight
Posts: 318
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:15 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by darksoul » Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:21 am


Mr Nibbs
Knight
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by Mr Nibbs » Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:49 pm

Mr Nibbs new maps are coming together quite nicely but there are lots of corrections and additions to be done.
Currently (pun intended) working out some oceanography and learning 15th century navigation techniques so you can work out how long it took the heroes to get completely lost :o)
Mr Nibbs' New Draft Map of Allansia
Mr Nibbs' New Draft Map of Allansia
2015 Allansia Sml.png (253.4 KiB) Viewed 4334 times

Mr Nibbs
Knight
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by Mr Nibbs » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:30 pm

michaeltaylor wrote:So I've seen a lot of 'starts' at a complete index/encyclopedia of Titan, but none of them ever seemed to be finished.

Why not?
I think it might be because the early ones were on forum sites which got spammed out. I guess Titannica is incomplete for the same reason we don't have a complete encyclopedia for our own world - we haven't looked in all those awkward-to-get-to places yet. Titannica is a huge effort (thanks guys!) but it is the nature of Titan that much of it must remain uncertain.

Mr Nibbs' in-game explanation is that Chaos, intersecting planes and warpstone keep it in constant flux. He would like to remind the heroes that his maps only go as far as the last tavern on the road and that some of the really dangerous bits were missed out.

darksoul
Knight
Posts: 318
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:15 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by darksoul » Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:51 am

Holy crap that map is beautiful.

Mr Nibbs
Knight
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by Mr Nibbs » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:45 pm

darksoul wrote:Holy crap that map is beautiful.
Thank you for that, but unfortunately this only a dodgy photo of the first scribble - it's the poster map with coloured pencils.

The big trick is the one that you can't see - the map has been plotted using 15th century cartographic techniques - they fit very well with the available info in the books and have knowledge gaps more or less in the right places and feel about right, I think.

Mr Nibbs
Knight
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by Mr Nibbs » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:48 pm

This shows the colours more accurately, but there is more to do...
2015 Old World Draft Sketch
2015 Old World Draft Sketch
2015 OldWorld Sml.png (239.41 KiB) Viewed 4194 times

Mr Nibbs
Knight
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by Mr Nibbs » Thu Jan 15, 2015 5:05 pm

2015 Khul Draft Sketch
2015 Khul Draft Sketch
2015 Khul Sml.png (231.4 KiB) Viewed 4149 times
These drafts will get one more tweak and notes added before being made available for you plot info on and compile your own map sets which, I think, is the only practical way to make a versatile map set using freeware. All maps use the same base as the Titan map in BtP so transferring info across is straightforward.

Mr Nibbs
Knight
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by Mr Nibbs » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:36 am

Here's a detail from the fifth map of Titan...
2015 Irritaria Crop.png
2015 Irritaria Crop.png (198.44 KiB) Viewed 4062 times

Mr Nibbs
Knight
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by Mr Nibbs » Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:21 pm

There's a whole new world out there, this is the first bit... ;o)
Irritaria 01a.png
Irritaria 01a.png (249.25 KiB) Viewed 3998 times

Al Livingstone
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:34 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by Al Livingstone » Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:36 pm

I love maps of fantasy worlds. These maps look great.
Couple of questions.
Mr Nibbs wrote:These drafts will get one more tweak and notes added before being made available for you plot info on and compile your own map sets...
Will you be posting them here, or elsewhere online?
Mr Nibbs wrote:The big trick is the one that you can't see - the map has been plotted using 15th century cartographic techniques...
This sounds interesting. Can you tell us more about these techniques?

Mr Nibbs
Knight
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by Mr Nibbs » Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:24 pm

Al Livingstone wrote:I love maps of fantasy worlds. These maps look great.
Couple of questions.

Thanks for that. Nicely timed too, as I'm just starting to write up my notes. As you probably know, the original maps were designed by Marc Gascoigne back in '86. I did a quick Q&A with him last year which is somewhere on this forum.
Mr Nibbs wrote:These drafts will get one more tweak and notes added before being made available for you plot info on and compile your own map sets...
Will you be posting them here, or elsewhere online?

They will probably be on Mr Nibbs' page on the Arion Games site if Graham is ok with that.
Mr Nibbs wrote:The big trick is the one that you can't see - the map has been plotted using 15th century cartographic techniques...
This sounds interesting. Can you tell us more about these techniques?
There are lots of pirates on Titan so I figured we needed more detailed random terrain and encounter generators for open waters, which can be just varied as the lands. The first priority was to sort out ship speeds and base voyage times for the main trade routes and ocean crossings, taking ocean currents and coastal flows into account. Mr Nibbs insisted on a cruise around the equatorial islands and after that it simply got out of hand.

The Portuguese used similar techniques in the 13th century to produce the basic system I am working with now, adapting it for Titan. Most of the geometry used is the stuff you learn in high school, but its application is sophisticated. Nobody can agree how long a mile (1000 paces) is on land because everyone has different sized boots, but the length of a nautical mile has hardly changed at all as that is measured as a fraction of the planet's circumference.

Most of the "maps" will be adapted portolan or periplus. You can check those on wikipedia for more info. There will be strip maps for coastal regions too, so you navigate by visual landmarks. Basically, there is no complete world map, just a lot of travelled paths that link up, any one of which can be generated randomly. GM's can make players maps which only show what their characters can see, or update them to reveal information sequentially. The system will be an extension to the existing rules and nothing has to be changed.
Terrain types will match those listed in BtP and add a few more, not always on the surface.

For navigation at sea, there is a very different system to those we use now. This is before the first circumnavigation or the discovery of America and Antarctica. The world picture is incomplete and there is no
Cartesian coordinates system yet. Maps of any kind are extremely rare, cost a small fortune and take years to make. Most are compiled from older maps which haven't been checked.

The fun part of working this out is that the scholars of Salamonis tell us that Old World sages believe Titan is set in space and that the sun and moon dance around it, meaning their interpretation of the system is probably geocentric. Luckily, the calendars and the star charts means we can use the rotation of the constellations to consider other options. Mr Nibbs says "I expect the Spanish Inquisition will drop round for a chat about that later."

Mr Nibbs
Knight
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Titan?

Post by Mr Nibbs » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:47 pm

Here's the basic run-through for the new maps method. It starts with the idea of modelling Titan as a globe and measuring that to get a basic model to adapt to Titan. At FFF2014, Steve Jackson said the globe "looked about right" so this is probably going in the right direction.

There are a few assumptions made here and there, but they are fairly consistent. At this stage, the model is a generic sphere, and has not been adjusted to fit any particular planet. It's all vague at present, but that is good, as we need to introduce some parameters for variables later.

THE POSTER MAP
This draft map uses the Port Blacksand > Oyster Bay reference to approximate a scale of 5mm = 100 miles (by sea, in a straight line, it is closer to 80 miles). The map area shows about 11,500 miles x 8,000 miles and, with a 500 mile square grid, has a 23:16 format. For convenience, this is altered to 24:16.

To project a square grid map onto a sphere to compare with the globe I used a sort-of plate carree method. This requires a 2:1 format. This gets a 500 mile square grid in a 32:16 format. The map is placed so the Isles of Refuge are on the equator. The continents have been moved further apart, which sort-of fakes the map as a 2D projection from the globe.

THE GLOBE
It measures 80mm in diameter. There are 12 divisions of approx 24mm width around the equator, which gives a circumference of about 288mm, unadjusted. The map covers about 3/4 of the circumference, or 270 degrees in round numbers.

A nautical mile (Nmile) is measured as 1 minute of degree of arc on a great meridian. In this case, the equator on the globe. This gives the sphere of Titan a circumference of 16,000 Nautical miles.

270 degrees = 11,500 miles. 360 degrees = 16,000 Nmiles.

16,000 Nmiles / 360 = 44.444 Nmiles = 1 degree of arc
44.444 Nmiles / 60 = 0.7407 Nmiles = 1 minute of arc
0.012345 Nmiles = 1 second of arc

A land mile is usually derived from counting steps and paces across open land, perhaps for laying out a town or road. There is probably no common agreement on Titan, but the aim is to make base journey times calculable with a range of terrain detail modifiers, on sea and overland.

In RealWorld, the International mile is 1,609.344 metres and the International Nautical mile is 1,852 metres. Metres exist on Titan (see The Gates, Port Blacksand plan), so now you can work out other stuff with in-game explanations.

Does this work? Is it useful? Does it matter? Comments and alternative explanations would be much appreciated.

Post Reply