Improving point crawl maps

As explained in the book, Electric Bastionland basically turns everything into a point crawl or rail network. Draw some routes, place points at their intersections and perhaps a few other locations, and make those points (and their connections) into the game. That might sound like a simplification, but honestly not by much. Of course, other games can and do use this technique as well!

I recently took the time re-read Chris Kutalik’s Pointcrawl Series. Most of the specific advice there had slipped out of my brain, and so the review has given me some ideas. I haven’t used them for very long, but they seem to work so far.

Each point should be colored in some way according to the type of node. Maybe it’s a residential, commercial, or industrial (SimCity still influences me 30+ years later). Or instead you could use icons based on who generally lives there, like humans, mockeries, or a solid mixture. Just add a legend so it doesn’t get confusing later.

Also, for accessibility (and “printability”), I use different sorts of lines such as solid, dashed, dotted, etc. for different routes. Some folks who’ll see the map might be colorblind, or you might want to print something on a monochrome printer.

An example of the latter (albeit not with icons) is my map for The Misty Tracts, a borough I use in my Monday night EB game:

Player-facing map for The Misty Tracts

I should go back and update this before our next session, come to think of it, as the player-facing map usually lags the Conductor version a little.

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