Maps have been inextricably linked with role-playing games since the very beginning. most role-playing games take place in some kind of world and often the world needs a map. Even if it’s this world with a twist, the map sure comes in handy.
Very often maps can be very evocative and give us a real sense of the world. While they aren’t altogether necessary, they can make things very concrete and bring our shared imagination into sharper focus.
If you’re like me, you like Maps but you are terrible at making them. fortunately there are a number of maps you can find online as well as map generators. However, one of my favorite things to do is to use an existing map and change the details. Not only is this convenient, but it can make things very easy to remember. I once ran a short-lived campaign using my home state of Connecticut as the map of the surrounding territory complete with rivers, mountains and cites that had their names changed. While this was a bit silly, when we mentioned a city everybody knew exactly where it was.
I’ve seen some great maps of the world where you realize that it’s just been turned upside down or rotated 45° there are some very neat post apocalyptic maps like that.
However, one of my favorite maps that I have never actually got to use what I have created a good chunk of the world for is called inversia. http://www.worlddreambank.org/I/INV.HTM is a link for one of the worlds you can find on Planetocopia http://www.worlddreambank.org/P/PLANETS.HTM.
I stumbled upon this website some years ago and inversia really grabbed me because essentially it is our world with the oceans and landmasses reversed. Pretty cool stuff and very evocative. I always get inspired when I look at that one. Hopefully one day I get to use it in an actual game. I wonder if I’ll let the players know, or just have them figure out one day “hey this looks familiar!”