Geomorphic Cartography

In a Nutshell

Revolutionize your approach to creating maps by dynamically generating an infinite variety of easy-to-use maps with zero preparation time. Useful in any traditional RPG session, to easily generate your own solo adventures, to plan complex campaigns out in advance, or as its own quick and fun game of creating maps.

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What is it?

Geomorphic mapping is an approach to dynamic mapping where you create map tiles with entry/exit points that are designed to line up when multiple tiles are placed next to each other.

This is not a new concept.

Geomorphic Cartography extends the notion beyond the useful simplicity of just having mix-and-match-able map tiles.

There are several new things Geomorphic Cartography does that aim to revolutionize this approach to mapping.

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#1: Terrain Types

Geomorphic Cartography supports over a dozen different terrain types. Forest, traditional dungeon, volcanic dungeon, jungle, swamp, desert, mountain, sewers, plains… if it’s something you would expect to encounter in a roleplaying game, there’s a set of map tiles that will be available for that terrain!

Shown here is a left/right comparison of a Desert tile set and a Forest tile set. The structure of the map itself is identical, and mirrored; the content of the tiles themselves grants the different flavor.

Also innovative for this approach is a set of Connector Tiles: tiles that “transition” from one terrain type to another seamlessly and gracefully, rather than the jarring “here’s forest and all of a sudden here’s desert” that you see in the example here.

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#2: FlexTale Integration

The FlexTale Encounter Generator (or “FTEG”; free sample here) is an immensely powerful gaming aid that allows the dynamic generation of endless adventure content in real-time, with zero prep.

Geomorphic Cartography integrates with FTEG in two key ways.

First, you can use the tables in FTEG to dynamically generate maps that make sense.

Second, you can use the tables in FTEG to dynamically generate content (monster encounters, social encounters, traps, treasures, etc) that is appropriate to the map tile in question.

Third, you can use Geomorphic Cartography with the FTEG Solo Adventuring Toolkit to create complex, endless maps on the fly. Dice and tables are your GM for infinite adventure!


#3: Built-In Content

Every Geomorphic Cartography map tile is more than just a simple image. Physical tiles come printed with a GM side and a Player side; digital versions come with multiple image file versions.

GM map tiles are annotated, marking

Each terrain pack contains not only a diversity of map tiles for that terrain, but a PDF/hardcopy booklet with a ton of additional content.

Each map tile has pages of information about how to use it, what sorts of encounters might play out there, and even some “setpiece” encounters pre-defined. You can ignore all of this, of course, and just have a simple T-intersection of dungeon paths.

The booklet also contains some ready-made templates for how to arrange the map tiles in a predefined adventure context. These “prefab” arrangements accelerate the pace of play even more.

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#4: Adventure Planning

Whether you’re planning a complex adventure in advance as a GM, or you’re spawning one in realtime as a solo player, the Adventure Planner has your back. In the Adventure Planner approach, each Geomorphic Cartography map tile has a 1/2” x 1/2” cardboard chip equivalent, which can be arranged on an Adventure Planner map board to design enormous maps at macro scale.

Shown here is a comparison of the 8” x 8” large map tiles arranged in the same manner as the smaller map chips on the Adventure Planner.

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#5: Hexcrawl Toolkit Integration

Geomorphs aren’t limited to square maptiles: at a macro, country-spanning level, it’s often more useful to travel by hex.

The upcoming Hexcrawl Adventuring Toolkit book will support its own hex-based Adventure Planner, either to plan our your large geography as a GM, or to dynamically generate one as a solo player.