15-square wide regional maps

maxbaud's picture

Kelestia decided to make regional maps 15-square wide. Published maps of Hârn, Ivinia, Shorkyne and Trierzon are all 14-square-wide. The published Lythia and Kethira master maps contradict your own Venârivè master map. Do you have an explanation? Besides the "printing error on the original map" b.s., that is.

Jack's picture

New to the forum?

There's technically no "tone of voice" in written communication, but the tone of your post was lacking all the same...

1) Game worlds evolve.

2) Creative minds change occasionally.

3) The "published maps" that you refer to were published by the former publisher of HarnWorld material using 1980's technology.

4) The newer maps published by Kelestia have been reworked using N. Robin Crossby's input (before he passed) and notes (after he passed) using 21st century technology.

5) There's a reason why there's a current and a former publisher of HarnWorld material, and the failure to incorporate NRC's ideas properly is a part of it according to what I've heard.

Did I mention that the tone of your post was lacking?

- Jack (Just Another Customer of Kelestia)

rbs's picture

Not a whim

KP's decision to produce 15-square-wide regional maps was not made on a whim. There was a major conflict in the old (1980s) maps that needed to be corrected. Making the new regional maps 15 squares wide was the easiest way to fix the matter.

So the old printed regional maps were 14 squares wide, which means 350 leagues (14*25) wide. However, a close examination of the old Lythia world map and the regional grid superimposed upon it, along with the canon statement that Kethira has a diameter of about 2875 leagues, indicated that the regional rectangles should be 375 leagues (15*25) wide. (There was no discrepancy with the height.)

How this goof was committed in the 1980s I don't know. But that the way to fix it was so conveniently simple (adding an extra column of squares) makes me wonder if someone simply screwed up entering a number into a calculator. Or perhaps Robin or a contributing writer tried to be too clever and no one else was checking the math. There were other errors of the kind made back then, such as the goofy astrophysics of the star Nolomar.

This map topic was hashed over and rehashed on the Lythia.com HarnForum ten years ago. So in addition to not being made on a whim, the decision was made in the open with Harniacs having an opportunity to provide input on the best way to fix the problem. And as Jack indicated, the final say on this was Robin's.

maxbaud's picture

15-square wide regional maps

Thank you, rbs, for at least one b.s.-free answer.

Any representation of a sphere on a flat surface will distort distances. At 0.9 Earth size, the original regional maps' width would be:

latitude 60N = 30° = 1487 km = 372 leagues;
latitude 50N = 23°20' = 1504 km = 376 leagues;
latitude 40N = 19°40' = 1504 km = 376 leagues;
latitude 30N = 17°30' = 1514 km = 378,5 leagues;
latitude 0 = 15° = 1500 km = 375 leagues.

(Ivinia 50N-60N, Hârn and Shorkyne 40N-50N, Trierzon 30N-40N)

We all agree that regional maps should be 375 leagues wide. A purely rational but extremely impractical solution would have been to reapply the 15-square grid unto already existing maps of Hârn as they were. This solution would have contradicted (quite extensively) the printed material. My solution in the 90's was to chalk it up to the East-West travelling distance distortion (5 hexes to cross a square North-South or 6 hexes to cross it East-West.

You chose instead to add an unmapped square on each end of the printed maps, causing a distortion in every other global map. *Vox populi vox Dei* or *My community will never agree together on an error*, especially if prophet Robin says so. I can live with that.

OTOH, geometry, math, geography, cartography, even navigation are all relevant skills here. Technology has jack to do with the issue. Eratosthenes of Cyrene calculated the Earth's circumference to .016 with a stick and a hole in the ground.

Tempest13's picture

15 squares diatribe

You do know that the old way was an error, right?
You do know that the "distortion" you speak of only happens 2-3 regional maps east of Harn, right?
Should we just keep using Erastothenes calculation even though we can now map the earth from space with satellites that leave a margin of error less than a centimeter.
And in closing you do know that being polite will get you a better reception on these pages, right?

Puster's picture

a margin error less then a centimeter?

I fear that as long as we remain in 2d we will always have a larger error then a centimeter on regional maps, and nothing can change that - unless Kelestia becomes a mighty bit larger or plain (both would be hard to rationalize, though).
As for gameplay, being added on the edges of the "known world" the difference is neglectible, and as far as I am concerned: more Hârn is better, and 15 is more then 14 :-)

Tempest13's picture

Margin of Error.

Puster, you misunderstood my point. I was not saying that Harn mapping has anywhere near that clarity. I was merely pointing out that any advancement in clarity of mapping the terrain is a good thing. My comments were directed at the individual who seems to think that changing something, even for the better is bad, bordering on blasphemy - or at least that is what I took away from his comments.

pokep's picture

The fetish for precision is based on a false notion.

"Eratosthenes of Cyrene calculated the Earth's circumference to .016 with a stick and a hole in the ground."

This is true only in elementary school textbooks. In reality, we have no idea how accurate Eratosthenes really was, because we don't know just what "stadia" he used. Indeed, it is absurd to even make the statement that he measured the Earth's circumference to within two percent when he didn't have the means to survey any open distance to within two percent!

I bring this up for a reason. This discussion regarding the accuracy of the regional maps is entirely artificial. The difference between the two maps cannot be detected in-game by player characters. The astronomical instruments are not precise enough to detect the deviations, nor has any large area been surveyed with sufficient accuracy. Only the GM can possibly know the "truth".

In my opinion, the purpose of the game world is to support a game. An issue that can't possibly affect the game is not worth getting worked up about.

maxbaud's picture

Back to square one

1. This is true in any university textbook. Eratosthenes of Cyrene (city belonging to the kingdom of Egypt), chief librarian at Alexandria's famed library (in Egypt) probably used Egyptian stadia. I have read only ONE serious research article (Engels 1984) proposing the Attic stadion, and he simply ditched the burden of proof.
Think of the following:
An America-born chief librarian from the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. may reasonably be expected to use American satute miles rather than Roman miles. The burden of the proof lies on the person wishing to demonstrate the least likely scenario.

2. I strongly agree : the purpose of the game world is to support a game. You are essentially rephrasing my initial interrogation: Why change the grid since it can't possibly affect the game?

3. Why ARE they getting so worked up? The use of words like *blasphemy* and *canon*, the apparent personality cult around NRC, all that gives off a vague smell of cult membership.

rbs's picture

Point 2: Because there was an

Point 2: Because there was an inconsistency in the published material and producing further regional maps (which unfortunately has been much delayed by Robin's death) required that the consistency be resolved.

Point 3: Because consistency seems to be one the features that Harniacs prefer about the world, even from fanon. If you want to debate that topic further, I suggest you take it to the Lythia.com HarnForum where you will find more people willing to respond.

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