Recent comments

  • How to Construct Valid Geographical Entities   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Robin

    As Peter has said, the old 1” to 1 mile (1:63360 scale) maps were replaced by the new (metric) 1:50000 series. The 6” to 1 mile (1:10560 scale) maps were replaced by 1:10000 scale maps. In the past 10 years these maps have been digitised and are regularly updated by the O.S. using satellite surveys. The map I’m looking at (at work) shows a housing development which was only approved 3 years ago and shows the partially finished roads and completed dwellings.

    Neil

    - "Pardon me for living, I'm sure."
    - NO-ONE GETS PARDONED FOR LIVING.

    -- (Terry Pratchett, Mort)

  • How to Construct Valid Geographical Entities   6 years 39 weeks ago

    The text is certainly nice and I'm really looking forward to the completion of Chelemby (and I'd love to learn more about Hurisea), but I'd buy the V&R maps as stand-alone products. I can make details up as I go along, but despite my love of cartography, I can't make a decent map to save my life . . .

    More releases along the lines of the Atlas Kelestia Folio 1 (E5 and 6 through H5 and 6) would be great!

    ----------

    Old style heraldry: Sable, the pale argent.

    New style heraldry: Oreo, resting on edge.

  • How to Construct Valid Geographical Entities   6 years 39 weeks ago

    I'll hack a bit and see if I can come up with something to show you.

  • How to Construct Valid Geographical Entities   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Auran createda fairly low res 256 greyscale elevation map (from which they rendered those nice landscape postcards... although there was a substantial exageration on their mountains... several miles high and whatnot).

    Greg had a 1 metre / pixel (and probably more than 256 level) map planned... but, sadly, never actually got it done.

    I have experimented with 'shading/elevation' software packages, but, frankly, when working from scratch, I have never found a 'usable' interface.

    One possibility, to which you allude, is some clever kind of scanner that can read my V&R (vegetation and relief) maps *as if* they were satellite photos and produce shaded gradient maps (and eventually full 3D renders and topographic maps).

    Another possibility is software that could read the pixel density on my various layers and calculte an approximation of elevation from that.

    But, these seem like dreams for a future that is growing shorter.

    Here's the good news. I have completed the V&R mapping for all of Hârn all of Shôrkýne, about half of Ivínia and a sixth of Tríerzòn. If I push hard enough I might get a few more regions at least mapped out as far as I can...

  • How to Construct Valid Geographical Entities   6 years 39 weeks ago
    DEM

    I can't imagine anyone drawing such a map from scratch either, Robin. Terran cartographers have the advantage of a physical planet to work from, which makes the task possible, but even then I wonder how some pre-computer topo maps ever got drawn.

    I have, however, toyed with the idea of writing some sort of algorithm to generate digital elevation models given a set of spot heights and certain things like watersheds to work from. In fact, didn't Auran have something of the sort in the works at one time?

  • How to Construct Valid Geographical Entities   6 years 39 weeks ago

    You certainly struck a chord of reason.

    To actually draw a map with 300 contours would be a task of such horror that I would not consider it, not even for obscenely huge piles of cash. To undertake such a task 'by hand' even using one's computer to do all the 'work' would take thousands of man hours... and I'm quite good at drawing contours when I want to be. For someone who is not as 'familiar' with the concept, the task could well be fatal (to him or, more likely to the map).

    And this is why, in the end, together with the other reasons, I'm not including contours on these maps.

    :)

  • How to Construct Valid Geographical Entities   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Hi Robin,

    Yes, the OS maps are all redone in metres/KM now...I agree, a monumental task but no doubt computers made it...well possible if not easy!

    My OS map of the plymouth area (UK) is 1:50 000; which is 2cm per kilometre, about 1.2 inches per mile. It opens out to about the size of a broad sheet newspaper and covers an area of about 24 miles by 30 miles.

    This means it covers about half the area of the maps you presented I guess...

    The contours on this scale work very well, even on my welsh maps (on which they laugh at 300 contours being too much!!!!) which cram them in as you would expect. I am of the opinion that to double the area covered would not create a folly of presentation (one could use 20m increments and it would solve any further cramming); but it would present a folly of endeavour!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    In essence I dispute that relief maps show more than contour maps on the scales presented.

    However, on much larger scales I think relief maps are the only way to present things; much like in the much loved world atlasses of my youth. To put contours on 'nation' or continent depictions would be folly...

  • How to Construct Valid Geographical Entities   6 years 39 weeks ago

    I grew up on OS maps... I loved them as a child growing up...

    There were 1":mile and 6":mile. Wonderfully detailed.

    Yes, at these scales you use much tighter contour intervals. Hmmm... 10 metres sounds a lot like 33' ?

    Did they redo all the OS maps in metric measurements? That must have been a task and a half.

    Let me think... the grid map of the Aleath district is um... 62.5 miles across and um the square (at full atlas scale) would be 9.8 inches across... that's 0.1568 inches to the mile?

    I'm beginning to forget where I'm going with this, but it seems like you couldn't really do a meaningful OS map at these scales?

    So we have to look elsewhere for contoured maps at this scale... (and, frankly, they are hard to find).

    The assumption I made about contours is this: that for mapping all of Harn at this scale you first consider how high you have to go... that's about 10,000'. Then you think about how many contours you can cram into the mountainous bits (the only bits where you'll need to use all the contours in close proximity). So it's pretty hard to have more than 10 or twenty contours so show a few mountains (in fact even at 10 or 20, you could end up with solid brown bits).

    In order to show a hill in the 'flatlands' you need to add contours. The problem is that every time you add a contour to the flat bits, you also have to add it to the mountainous bits too. (Although some maps have taken to using a different contour interval in the mountainous bits than the flat bits... these tend to be overwhelmingly confusing, since the 'moderately' flat bits may have more contours than the mountains.)

    In other words, if you want a 33' contour (for example) in the flat areas (like around Aleath), that means you need to have more than 300 contours in the mountains (well, the biggest mountains anyway)... and that won't work at all.

    Even with a 33' contour interval, I can *still* show more detail with relief!

    And BTW, while it is theoretically possible to demonstrate the sheer folly of this many contours, it's a lot less work to leave it to your imagination ;)

  • How to Construct Valid Geographical Entities   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Hi Robin again,

    This contour interval of 500 or 1000 feet...where is this from? On my Ordnace survey maps the interval is 10 meteres...although they would be a different scale.

    I would like to see a comparison of the same area done contour style versus relief style..even if only to show that a smaller contour interval was, well, unreasonable.

    I agree that if the choice is no contours versus relief; relief is better.

  • How to Construct Valid Geographical Entities   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Sorry, I was being 'clever'. The map on the left is has very little relief and no contours.

    The reason for this is that the contour interval is either 500 or 1000 feet, and there is no land above 500 feet anywhere on the map.

    I was trying to illustrate the point that, if you select a 'reasonable' contour interval for the whole island, then you can barely show any topographical detail at all, whereas, with relief mapping you can show a great deal of detail regardless of the local elevation.

    Sorry about the confusion :)

    I suppose part of the problem is that I have designed several completely different mapping systems now, and only one or two of my maps (local maps) have ever shown any contours ;)

  • How to Construct Valid Geographical Entities   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Hi Robin,

    It is clear from reading this that I do not know what a contour map is! I thought a contour map was a map with contour lines on it!

    The two maps you provide as comparisons look very similiar to me at first glance; but on closer inspec there are subtle differences as you say. What exactly is a contour map and a relief map..I have already paraded my ignorance on contour maps, so here goes with relief...is it where there is shading to indicate height?

    Yours awaiting enlightenment, Peter.

  • How to Construct Valid Geographical Entities   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Thanks for taking the time to write this, Robin. As someone who was drawn to Harn (25! years ago) by a love of maps, it's wonderful to read your thoughts on this issues.

  • Life is Fun, Death is Peaceful.   6 years 39 weeks ago

    My thoughts go to you and your family.

    Your world will live.
    And I hope you to will. There are still hope.

  • Life is Fun, Death is Peaceful.   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Well, bugger. It grieves me to hear about your health tribulations. Keep your pecker up and give it your best fight.

    I would just like to say that since 1983 Harn has given me hundreds of hours of pleasure. . .such a gift is priceless. Thank you!

    May you soon be hale and whole.

    ~Kevin

  • "Tech" level   6 years 39 weeks ago

    That's pretty close.

    Articulated plate being rare all over, and there not really being much higher tech than mail.

    Yep, you just about nailed it. :)

  • Berema, Emelrene   6 years 39 weeks ago

    It's a sprawling city with narrow alleyways and broad boulevards. The engineering is impressive with sweetwater and underground drains and sewers (all properly separated). The place 'feels' old, older maybe than it actually is (although who knows how old that is?).

    There are lots of impressive buildings, but hardly anyone knows what they are.

    That's all I'm prepared to give you for now :)

  • FASERIP style dice resolution system for Harn   6 years 39 weeks ago

    First of all thanks for this very interesting presentation of a classical RPG rules mechanism. Personally, I wasn't aware of column shift systems in general and the FASERIP games in particular.

    I absolutely agree with your view on fate/hero/karma points in role-playing games; for several reasons, a fate point system is the best concept to distinguish player characters (the "heroes" in the sense of "leading characters") from non-player characters. Fate points increase player characters' survival chances without -- and that's the important aspect for me -- making them physically stronger or giving them "special powers". In my gaming groups, we have introduced fate points even where the official rules don't mention them. A pretty good alternative for HârnMaster Gold are the "Luck Coupons" we offer as a free gaiming aid under Downloads. They don't allow re-rolls but the increase/decrease of test results by a fixed amount.

    I don't agree however, that more result types or an expanded resolution chart would do HârnMaster too much good. They would probably add abstract complexity instead of making things more believable or exciting. What I would like to see in a possible future version of HârnMaster is in fact a reduction of tables and charts to a minimum as well as a resolution system that simply calculates the difference between the score and the die roll, i.e. where each single point can mean a different (positive or negative) quality.

    Example: A skill test against a score of 54 where a 62 is rolled has a test quality of -8 (a negative quality).

    In a skill contest (e.g. a combat situation), the opponents' test qualities could be compared to see what happens.

  • Demon in the House   6 years 39 weeks ago

    I really like the heart of it. To me it has a fundamentally male point of view that is really touching.

    My lady and I had a really long and thoughtful talk. She appreciated that I was making an effort to understand her. I've never gotten that from a game site!

    Thanks

    -Sigurd

  • Life is Fun, Death is Peaceful.   6 years 39 weeks ago

    I have been a fan of the world of Kelestia for 10 years. I am very sorry to hear about your health issues and wish you the best possible outcome given the situation you outlined.

  • Life is Fun, Death is Peaceful.   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Robin,
    My sincere condolences on this horrible news about your nasty, brutish oncs. Sending you good thoughts/prayers.
    Regards
    Dan

  • Demon in the House   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Its not a question of will. Thats why I like the story so much - I've been blindsided by requests that seem obvious to her but have never occurred to me. Like the farmer I do them for her but sometimes its a complete surprise. Its important because she is and thats enough. Doesn't mean its easy.

    It is fundamentally easier to do things that aren't real, that I see, over things that are real, that I don't. Do not mistake my honesty and will to change for something dishonourable or combative. A weakness unconfessed is never addressed.

    Sigurd

  • Demon in the House   6 years 39 weeks ago

    I am *so* pleased there is evidence that someone has finally read this story :) I wrote it such a long time ago, and it has elicited narry a comment... 'til now.

    Unfortunately, I am placing an increasing burden on my own lady as I have been unable to do some of my own chores (those that involve bending over). However, it is possible that I will get an 'Indian Summer'... who knows? :)

  • Demon in the House   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Just DO IT!

    It does not matter if it has anything to do with reality.
    After all, she is putting up with your FRP habit...
    ...Where is the reality there?

    (Letting your imagination live: in truth. Writing that can be prose: maybe. Beauty of a world in stories: a belief. Reality: no)

    Council of The Ancient One
    "The man who WOULD NOT be king."

  • Demon in the House   6 years 39 weeks ago

    I'm amazed at the perception of wives. Things of vital importance that I just don't see. For my wife's sake I wish I was less like the husband of this tale but alas....

    For the 'zen' of my lady - for I can't quantify it in my mind - all manner of things must be done. It all seems to me like putting newspaper under the Cuckoo Clock. I do it because otherwise she is not happy. But, like the husband in this story, I can't see it to dedicate myself to it.

    Good story.

    Sigurd

  • Life is Fun, Death is Peaceful.   6 years 39 weeks ago

    It's my favorite comment when things go badly, please feel free to use it.

    You're work has been a beacon of light in an all too often dark world. I must admit I have been one of the collectors; admiring it for beautiful maps, interesting historical footnotes, and completeness of form. The richness of the details and the way the piecies fit together (with their surprising junctures) is always a joy.

    As for the enviroment... The world will survive, even if man makes it uninhabitable for man. It is the lesser beings I most feel sorry for. Ironically the rising price of oil maybe mankind's best hope for salvation, we simply won't be able to afford to kill ourselves off.

    With best wishes for recovery,
    (Hint: Miracles do happen, usually when we need them most.)

    The Ancient One
    (Ten Grandchildren and counting)


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