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Cartography has been discussed for years within the Pantheon community.  I would venture to say that the majority of players don't want to see the traditional "Press M and a fully drawn out map opens up" kind of experience.  Furthermore, GPS indicators are basically viewed as the plague.  When you combine both of them, a lot of players end up opening their maps and focusing on a little dot that represents their character in the world while they travel or adventure, and will do this for extended periods of time.  Doing so takes away from the beauty, luster, and sense of exploration from the world itself and causes serious issues with the "It's about the journey, not the destination" argument.  I think a fog of war mechanic could be really beneficial for both map-makers, and map-users.  If a cartographer wants to create a map, they must be physically present in the area they are trying to record.  For players that purchase maps, they would start off as a basic shell  --  only after exploring an area will the fog of war dissipate and finer details start to emerge on the parchment.

There is plenty of merit in the idea that having the ability to create player-made maps would be good for immersion, social interaction, commerce, and achievement.  Cartography would be a great crafting profession for explorer types as it would allow them to enjoy a sense of progression that is tied into their preferred playstyle.  After doing some research on the Bartle Study ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartle_taxonomy_of_player_types ) it would seem to me that cartography could be enjoyable for most player types.  Explorers seem like the natural fit, but as an Achiever, I must admit that a feature like this would be really appealing to me as well.  Socializers could also benefit from a variety of cartography-induced scenarios.  Whether it's assisting another player who is making a map or trying to communicate an interpretation of a map in their possession to friends, there are ample opportunities for social interaction.  Due to the nature of how player-made maps could work, bartering would also be commonplace.

I would like to propose a rough outline of how this feature could work.  Feel free to respond with any observations/comments/feedback.

Map Types:

  • Interior:  Interior maps would be used for large structures (Castles, Cathedrals, Temples, etc), Caves, Crypts, Tunnels, etc.
  • Exterior:  Exterior maps would be used for zones.  These would basically offer a birds eye view of any exterior zone.  Markers could be used to notate a POI that might require it's own interior map.
  • Bundle:  Advanced cartographers could create magical maps that transition from exterior to interior when you cross coordinate thresholds.  (These are much more difficult to make.)

Map Resources:

  • Ink  (Drops from NPC's but requires refining from an alchemist before it can be scribed to parchment)
  1. Black Ink would be used to create the outline (outer shell pre-fog of war) for exterior zones.
  2. Blue Ink would be used to shade in tundras, glaciers, or bodies of water that you can swim in.  (Can use multiple shades)
  3. Green Ink would be used to notate forests, grass, gardens, crop fields.  (Can use multiple shades)
  4. Brown ink would be used to identify soil, swamps (can't swim in these), sand, rock.  (Can use multiple shades)
  5. Grey Ink would be used to identify mountains, walls, structures.
  6. Red Ink would be used to describe custom markers (Emblems) as determined by the cartographer.  (Can scribe text onto parchment and create textual references for NPC's, POI's or Perception Triggers)


  • Emblems  (Emblems would be a "skill" for cartographers, perhaps they can only utilize so many per day based on their skill level, method of skill ups TBD)
  1. Stars would be used to notate a POI.
  2. Exclamation points would be used to notate an NPC.
  3. Question marks would be used to notate a possible perception trigger.
  4. Additional Shapes (Waves, Mountain Caps, Trees, tents, keeps, campfires, signposts, steins (taverns!), etc)


  • Parchment  (If ink fades, you can return to your cartographer for recoloring)
  1. Crude Paper would deteriorate after 30 days.  Only black/green/brown/blue inks are compatible.
  2. Standard Paper would deteriorate after 60 days.  Only black/green/brown/blue inks are compatible.
  3. Crude Parchment would deteriorate after 90 days.  All inks are compatible, but red/grey inks will fade.  (Weather can expedite fading)
  4. Standard Parchment would deteriorate after 120 days.  All inks are compatible, but red/grey inks will fade.  (Weather can expedite fading)
  5. Vellum would be permanent.  All inks are compatible, but red/grey inks will fade.  (Weather can expedite fading)
  6. Uterine Vellum would be permanent.  All inks are compatible, and will never fade.


  • Codex  (These would be rare drops from the world loot table and players are free to affix them to their maps as they see fit)
  1. Basic codex would slow down deterioration and any ink fading by 25%
  2. Quality codex would slow down deterioration and any ink fading by 50%
  3. High Quality codex would eliminate deterioration and slow down any fading by 75%


That's about it for now.  I'm not trying to propose a fully fleshed out cartography system, just wanted to get a conversation going.  I know some folks will probably cringe as soon as they see the emblem explanations and that's okay.  I think it's important to realize that all of these things will exist on 3'rd party websites anyway.  If cartography is going to be a meaningful profession, crafters should be able to compete with the world wide web.  I am particularly interested in ideas that could offer them any sort of value that could earn the business of folks who would otherwise be a window tabber as I feel this is the biggest obstacle in making a profession like this work.  Maybe cartographers could trade their emblems to other players (they become no-trade at that point), allowing consumers to mark down their own POI's or references as they see fit.  I'm sure there are plenty of potential conflicts that can be found in this post ... feel free to critique, but kudos to anybody who contributes any feedback or ideas that could improve or expand upon what is here.

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I think it is a common question: How would you make a cartography system that can't be bypassed by simply looking up a map on a webpage? 

It seems like there would have to be some in game benefit.  I guess it could just be tied into the scribe profession and could be used as a way to get skill ups.  What other ideas do you have 187?

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I'll try to post some follow-up material as soon as I can get the rest of the site restored, hopefully by tomorrow.  You are correct though @Philo  --  finding a way to give value to the profession in-game that can't be achieved with out-of-game window tabbing is the biggest challenge for making a profession like this worthwhile.

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