Monday, January 7, 2013

Traveller Map Making

That copy of Mongoose Traveller that I got for Christmas has kept me very busy for the last several weeks.  I sat down and generated a lot of subsectors, worlds, and characters.  I guess I am easy to entertain, - just me, two six sided dice, and some hex paper.  Heck, it's even kept me away from the Internet quite a bit - which is saying something.

Some of my Stars Without Numbers players took offence to me saying they couldn't handle a game without character advancement, so they are wanting to play Traveller.  (Actually, I discovered that Mongoose Traveller does allow for skill advancement, but I'm tossing that rule.)  So, I decided to run a bit of this new Traveller to see what it's like.  Which meant A LOT MORE WORLD CREATION.  Woo!

I did, for a bit, think of running a standard Third Imperium Spinward Marches game, since I've read so much of the setting over the decades.  And the galactic map here is just so awesome.  But, in the end, Creating the subsectors myself provides me with a much more intimate knowledge of the region I'll run.

I found a bunch of nifty tools on the internet for mapping.  My favorite subsector creator so far is at  Oh, and somebody made a really need randomized world mapper from world codes over here.

After you've got your subsector or sector generated the way you want, there are lots of ways to map it, but I found a nifty backdoor api in the Traveller Map site, and the POST page here.  It take a bit of getting used to, but it's pretty powerful once you get the hang of it.  It does image files, as well as PDFs.

Below are some examples of what you can do, followed by the simple dataset I used.

Poster 128

Print 128

Atlas 128

Candy 128


@SUB-SECTOR: Spindrift SECTOR: Frontier

#PlanetName   Loc. UPP Code   B   Notes         Z  PBG Al LRX *
#----------   ---- ---------  - --------------- -  --- -- --- -
Byōdō-in      2511 E887999-6    Ga Hi              323 Im
Jōruri-ji     2514 C574953-B    Ga Hi In           325 Im
Yoruba        2517 D3009EF-A  S Hi In Na Va     A  423 Im
Cesare        2612 B67667C-8  N Ag Ga           A  102 Im
Pollock       2613 D4668AB-6  S                    311 Im
Fontainebleau 2614 B548521-A  S Ag Ga Ni           110 Im
Daikaku-ji    2616 C69688A-3  S Lt Ga              323 Im
Lucrezia      2711 C313620-7    Ic              A  902 Im
Bellange      2714 C764887-5    Ga Lt Ri           700 Im
Champaigne    2715 A85A989-B  N Hi Wa Cp           100 Im
Sanaa         2718 C421545-B    Ni Po              100 Im
C-G711        2720 E744210-7    Ga Lo Ni           124 Im
Medici        2811 C3008DA-8    Na Va           A  502 Im
Kongens Have  2812 X669663-3    Lt Ri           R  815 Im
Purgatory Rho 2814 C7C3637-8    Fl                 725 Im
Sainte-Marie  2815 E665241-6    Ga Lo Ni           300 Im
Atlantis      2816 C98A433-A  S Ni Wa              912 Im
Dürer         2817 D462541-5    Lt Ni              421 Im
Gehenna Tau   2818 B9E3889-7  S Fl                 402 Im
Zanzibar      2820 C537357-A    Lo Ni              101 Im
Tortuga       2911 C200542-8  S Ni Va              720 Im
Serengeti     2912 E87AA87-B    Hi In Wa           122 Im
Honingraat    2914 B10078A-B    Na Va              121 Im
Audubon       2916 E763631-6                       904 Im
Dustbowl      2917 E360635-8    De                 324 Im
Blue Prairie  2920 C444789-4    Ag Lt              404 Im
Klimt         3012 A52858D-E  N Ht Ni              400 Im
Dogon         3015 B410650-B  N Na              A  702 Im
Vegaspan      3020 BA7A201-E    Ht Lo Ni Wa        414 Im
Marrakech     3113 A321300-B    Lo Ni Po        A  325 Im
Kilimanjaro   3116 C124101-A  S Lo Ni              114 Im
Okavango      3118 E5298AD-7                       404 Im
Carousel      3119 A000363-C    As Ht Lo Ni        302 Im
Velázquez     3120 D310200-8  S Lo Ni           A  212 Im
C-S875        3212 B314211-8    Ic Lo Ni           303 Im
Triplehorn    3214 D97A546-6  S Ni Wa              302 Im
C-D467        3219 E123210-A    Lo Ni Po           501 Im


<Subsector Index="H">Spindrift</Subsector>
<Route Start="2413" End="2612" />
<Route Start="2612" End="2714" />
<Route Start="2714" End="2914" />
<Route Start="2914" End="3012" />
<Route Start="3012" End="2911" />
<Route Start="3012" End="3113" />
<Route Start="2714" End="2715" />
<Route Start="2715" End="2616" />
<Route Start="2616" End="2517" />
<Route Start="2517" End="2416" />
<Route Start="2914" End="3015" />
<Route Start="3015" End="3119" />
<Route Start=3119"" End="3319" />

For this particular set of maps, I used a scale of 64 for the little map up top, and a scale of 128 for the larger maps.  The particular subsector shown is H, though you can map a whole sector.   The rest should be self-evident.  Well, mostly.

If you have any questions, I might could answer them.  Or maybe not.  We'll see.

Happy mapping!

- Ark


  1. Fantastic! Of course, I used the same Traveller site to map my own Star Clans sector... I even created a sector poster just to see how it would print out at Kinkos! Haven't played Traveller since August, but my players asked about it last night after I ran them through my OD&D game for the second time this weekend.

    1. Thanks Dave. You just had to mention Kinkos. Hmmmmmmmm . . . :)

      - Ark

  2. Dude these are beautiful!

    I have variant versions myself for my upcoming Spica Sector campaign but I will not be posting them until the are completed and probably only the ones the players will see (in case my players check my blog and it reveals too much info).

    Really nice work man.

    1. Thanks BA. Not really my doing, though. I just threw the data in the hopper.

      I'm wonder what you consider too much info? Everything that I see on a standard subsector workup would, I think, be available to your average player with access to a datanet. Well, except Pirate Bases. And the odd bit of data that the scouting service got wrong or had changed since the last update.

      - Ark

  3. I don't know why, but everytime I open a Traveller book, I want to start coding on my computer.

    1. I know! I completed building a database schema for UWP before I realized what I was doing and stopped myself.

      - Ark

  4. There was a site on the net where you could view Sector Maps that looked like that top one and now, for the life of me, I can't find it. Can anyone help a fellow Traveller fan?

    1. BA - ?

    2. Those maps are ugly as sin. Unless there is some area of the site I am missing I can't find the ones that have the black background and white or blue planets, red stars for Naval Bases, etc. I am simply viewing the site incorrectly?

    3. OK, I think I figured it out but it still gives it in a format that kind of stinks. Is there a way to get a whole sector at once on pdf?

    4. Ahh - I think you may want ->

      It is a lot more technical and fiddly - but it's capable of quite a lot. Give it a look over and if you need any help with it, just ask.

      - Ark