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Lyiat
Learned Scribe

91 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2014 :  07:28:29  Show Profile Send Lyiat a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Does anyone have a decent way to calculate relative distance between two places in Faerun, as well as the travel time between? Say like between Waterdeep and Shadowdale or Myth Drannor.

"Stand and deliver, that my hamster might have a better look at you." ~ Minsc

dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3978 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2014 :  08:43:25  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The old 1st edition sourcebooks have more details on travelling between regions. Admittedly it is focused on the north but using the maps you could extend those rules to the Dalelands without too much trouble.

Try the 1e campaign setting page 11 of the DMs book. Then use any map with a scale to work out the distance in miles and the terrain.

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Delwa
Master of Realmslore

USA
1246 Posts

Posted - 05 Nov 2014 :  18:15:00  Show Profile  Visit Delwa's Homepage Send Delwa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've gotten this to work on Windows 7 easily enough.

Forgotten Realms Travel Calculator

- Delwa Aunglor of Tangled Trees
I am off to slay yon refrigerator and spoil it's horde. Go for the cheese, Boo!

"The Realms change; seldom at the speed desired of those who strive, but far too quickly for those who resist." - The Simbul, taken from the Forgotten Realms Campaign Conspectus

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Lyiat
Learned Scribe

91 Posts

Posted - 06 Nov 2014 :  03:58:06  Show Profile Send Lyiat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ok, that's cool, but what about distance? I have a little trouble just judging by a map how exactly far 'point a' is from 'point b' unless I'm going in a direct straight line. Following roads start screwing me up.

"Stand and deliver, that my hamster might have a better look at you." ~ Minsc
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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1249 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2014 :  13:12:43  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
At continental scale its probably more important to look at what type of transportation the party is using. The fastest way to travel on this scale is by sea and river.

So from Waterdeep to Shadowdale would probably look something like this.

23 Kythorn: leave Waterdeep, near three days of travel by galley to Baldurs Gate; arrive in Baldurs Gate at the early morning of 26 Kythorn (500 miles)
27 Kythorn: Baldurs Gate to Iriaebor, about seven days of travel by longship on the Chiontar river (500 miles); arrive midnight in the lower docks of the City of a Thousand Spires at 5 Flamerule
6 Flamerule: Iriaebor to Easting (25 miles), an easy ride along the Traders Road by horse, half a days worth of travel
7 Flamerule: Easting to Prospur (100 miles), a rough two day ride along the beginnings of the High Road, arrive at midnight of 10 Flamerule
11 Flamerule: Prospur to Arabel (350 miles), as this is a mountainous trek its probably best done safely on foot; arive at Arabel after 15 days of travel midnight of 26 Flamerule
by 26 Flamerule: Arabel to Tilverton (100 miles), a dangerous two day ride along the Moonsea Ride; arrive at the night of 28 Flamerule
29 Flamerule: Tilverton to Shadowdale (300 miles), another dangerous six day ride along the North Ride; arrival at the night of 4 Eleasis


So all in all 36 days intill arrival, with 5 days of rest and resupply. Travelling starts relatively safe by galley and longship rides, but some is through pretty dangerous parts of Faerun, like the Stormhorns and the Desertmouth Mountains by foot and on horseback. I'd advice against joining other travelling groups during this timr, especially those with carriages, as large parts of the roads are in bad condition and can easily lead to spending time on troubling repairs to wheels and such.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2014 :  13:28:34  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was trying to avoid this topic. I had quite a bit of discussion awhile back with a a much-loved designer about it (discrepancies in both time and distance depending on the product and edition).

So basically, the only correct answer is 'it depends'. In good weather and perfect conditions (no monster attacks... Yeah.. RIGHT..) it might actually be better to cut cross-country and avoid the roads. However, most of the time, the roads are safer because they are 'clear' and aren't as badly affected by weather (and once again, it depends on severity - there are times when half of Daggerford is underwater!)

So, time of year (weather), direction, humanoid and other monster-activity in the region, what maps you are using, road conditions (if any), barbarians, bandits, angry elves, what you are riding (if any) and how good that mount is, who's writing the story (I've seen cases where characters are traveling a hundred miles a day!), magical regions (some areas have a time-distortion affect), wild, plagued, and dead magic zones, etc, etc, etc...

So there is no one single 'right way' to calculate time and distance. It changes, each and every time, and has to be hand-tailored to your specific journey, weighing-in all the factors. You just have to break out the ruler and do the math.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 07 Nov 2014 13:29:15
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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
211 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2014 :  09:28:31  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

...it might actually be better to cut cross-country and avoid the roads. However, most of the time, the roads are safer because they are 'clear' and aren't as badly affected by weather...

You.. You're not joking, are you? I'm not trying to pick a fight. I'm just gobsmacked by the notions presented there.

In WWI & WWII, Allied and Central/Axis power offenses ground to a halt because of the inability to use roads during periods of inclement weather like rain and snow. If modern armies and supply corps couldn't effectively tackle the situation in well developed countries using highly trained mule-teams and powerful trucks then what would things be like in the realms? Roads are little more than clear dirt unless there was some massive road paving work that I missed in the books.

Cutting straight across the wilderness is little better in that, yes, it is a shorter distance and there is less likely well used ground already stripped of its natural traction; however, there is greater likelihood of getting lost, the uneven ground is slower travel than the road during good weather, and the need to find provisions such as water and shelter offer potentially fatal dangers. Horses need provisions as well (apx. 10lbs of feed & 10 gallons of water per animal per day) and grazing takes up a considerable amount of time. Unless one is traveling through well populated areas that have plenty of foodstuffs to purchase then one needs to bring plenty of food and water and be prepared for the long haul.

Sure, a human can run 30 miles in a few hours over flat ground like a road and a rider on a horse can run 10 miles in an hour through open (but not level) terrain but both are dangerously spent in that distance and neither is laden with anything more than the bare minimum. The pony express deemed it unsafe to push a horse to gallop more than an hour and changed their horses every 10-15 miles. Historical military movements show rates of sustained travel whilst carrying the accoutrements of living and equipment for war.
http://officialponyexpress.org/pony-express-quick-facts.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/academic/history/marshall/military/mil_hist_inst/m/march2.asc
http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/gabrmetz/gabr000a.htm
http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?394622-Marching-speed-of-cavalry

Moving at speed is moving unaware. Highway bandits as well as evil humanoids use the roads as convenient traps for their selected prey. The Trade Way in canon is unguarded through large sections and at one point has to be rushed at top speed during daylight to avoid being overwhelmed by trolls that gather there to feast on the slow and unwary. If such a major artery of trade is so dangerous then what of lesser roads? Those side jobs offered to adventuring PCs to guard caravans and merchants while traveling have a basis in a real threat to those business and people on even "safe" roads.

And now I've found out about a marathon pitting humans against horses over a distance of 24 miles (500 runners and 40 horses in 2004 with a human winning the foot/hoof race! ). The things I learn when researching stuff that comes up in a forum... to 1:30 in the morning. I really gotta' stop looking at the internet after 10pm.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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Lyiat
Learned Scribe

91 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2014 :  09:40:39  Show Profile Send Lyiat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon
And now I've found out about a marathon pitting humans against horses over a distance of 24 miles (500 runners and 40 horses in 2004 with a human winning the foot/hoof race! ). The things I learn when researching stuff that comes up in a forum... to 1:30 in the morning. I really gotta' stop looking at the internet after 10pm.



On that subject, it actually turns out that humanity has some of the most solid endurance of any animal on the planet. Most creatures can beat us in a solid sprint, but we can operate longer than anything else. We designed actually designed a unique way of getting food around that. We can track prey for miles and miles, effectively exhausting it to the point of no longer being able to resist. Only humanity does this.

"Stand and deliver, that my hamster might have a better look at you." ~ Minsc
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_Jarlaxle_
Senior Scribe

Germany
542 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2014 :  11:13:38  Show Profile Send _Jarlaxle_ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just be a mage and cast teleport
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2014 :  13:11:48  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmmmm... and here I thought I used the 'insert word here' thing way to much.

You completely misinterpreted my use of the word 'clear'. I will now make sure my normal 500 word post will be up to 10,000 words just to make sure people completely understand what I mean.

And YES, even with your more specific meaning (that was lumped into the broader one I meant), roads are more 'clear' because stuff travels over them routinely, unlike walking through 4' drifts cross-country. You seem to have gone-on and then explained more precisely what I DID mean. So much for brevity.

I also included 'less banditry', have inns to stay at and other services, are patrolled (vs monsters), etc, by 'clear' (perhaps I should have said 'more accommodating').

As for endurance, about 6 years ago I got stuck 30 miles from home with no wallet and no cellphone, and I walked home. It took me 10 hours, with only a few brief rests, in 90+ heat. I am FAT and old, and I did it. The alternative would have been to just lie down where I was and die - humans can do what they have to, when they have no choice. People in more 'primitive' times were in much better shape (for the most part) and were used to walking everywhere, so I am sure much greater distances per day were possible.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 12 Nov 2014 16:16:56
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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
211 Posts

Posted - 10 Nov 2014 :  21:53:54  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Hmmmmm... and here I thought I used the 'insert word here' thing way to much.

Sorry, that was probably me just reading it too late at night and I do have a biased mindset because most of my FR games are set in areas where the PCs have the greatest impact (wilderness and weak civilizations otherwise known as Western genre High Fantasy). You are very much correct that nations with dedicated resources to road maintenance and repairs would provide conditions of packed roads that properly drain into prepared ditches on either side of roadwork and patrols that would discourage constant predation by robbers.

I am glad you brought up the 30 miles in a day because of the historical precedent in the state of California. "To facilitate overland travel, the mission settlements were situated approximately 30 miles (48 kilometers) apart, so that they were separated by one day's long ride on horseback (or three days on foot) along the 600-mile (966-kilometer) long California Mission Trail... would provide much-needed rest stops, where travelers could take lodging in relative safety and comfort."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_missions_in_California

30 miles in a day by foot is not unheard of but the caveats pile up.
  • Not having to be concerned for one's own safety,
  • not having to provide one's own sustenance,
  • having prearranged shelter,
  • having a well marked path to follow,
  • having the path of least resistance to movement (premade road),
  • having ideal weather for movement,
  • being of good health (fat is better than skinny),
  • being physically fit (young is better than old),
  • and don't expect to continuously do this.


When figuring out overland distances traveled I've used a 30/20/10 rule to be modified as conditions warrant. 30 miles in civilized & patrolled areas where shelter and food can be bought along the road (all nations would have small inns, stead farms, and posts along their major roads). 20 miles on roads, paths, or trails in uncivilized areas. 10 miles across wilderness. Assumed conditions are moderate encumbrance or less, good health, physically able, outfitted for travel, flat ground, firm ground, good visibility, adequate tools, and good weather. Any of those assumed conditions change and movement suffers as footing becomes difficult, arduous travel requires more frequent breaks for rest, additional stops are needed to assess one's location and direction, and backtracking is required when a wrong turn was made or the terrain ahead is too difficult to expediently pass.

Travel by water is faster, secure enough that there are established sea lanes of trade in spite of the risks, has established navigation protocols, has built in provisions & defenses, and usually has only the weather to determine speed to destination by ship type.
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Journals/TAPA/82/Speed_under_Sail_of_Ancient_Ships*.html
http://www.iro.umontreal.ca/~vaucher/History/Ships_Discovery/
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?466330-Travel-times-of-a-laden-medieval-merchant-ship-no-coconut

I wonder how difficult it would be to create a google map equivalent for routes on a FR map.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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Sylrae
Learned Scribe

Canada
306 Posts

Posted - 12 Nov 2014 :  08:41:47  Show Profile Send Sylrae a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm.

Just my 0.2c.

What I do is pull up a HD map of Faerun (typically the 3e map - distances are much larger in 2e, so go with whichever version you're using) in photoshop (or some other image editing program.

I take the section I intend to use for my game (which will be like, just the dalelands section, or just the sword coast, or just the heardlands - whatever will actually be used in my campaign) and if a new unexpected region comes up, I do this again. Anyways; I grab a chunk sized to fit on an 8.5x11 piece of paper (for convenience) but I could also see cause for an 11x17 sheet which I then fold in half. The important part is the proportions, not the scale or resolution (I'll go for the highest resolution I can manage) The important part is the ease of being able to keep it with my notes.

I might rotate the map as well if it makes what I need fit on the page better. If I do, I rotate it as a smart object, and make a note of the angle it was rotated (so I can include a compass that points north).

So; Once I've got my section worked out, I then copy paste the distance scale from the large map to my smaller section, and I use it to figure out how many pixels is how many miles. I then proceed to lay down a bunch of gridlines on my map so I can track distance, marking the distances on the bottom. Since I know the physical size my map will be, including figuring out how close to the edge of the page I can have it, since I won't actually have 8.5x11 of usable print space with most printers, I also label the scale on my map (such as 1 inch=500 miles) or whatever. I've also tried using specially sized hexes instead. I'm not sure which I prefer. Then I go to a copy place and have the map printed in color on high gloss, heavy stock paper. You never know when it might come up for a future campaign.

All in all the process takes me a couple hours of prep the first time, and then subsequent times (if I kept the .PSD) it doesn't take all that long in the future.

Then, when the issue of distance comes up at game, I can do one of the following:
A) rough-guess, based on the gridlines.
B) measure a straight distance between two points.
or
C) use a tailoring tape measure (turned on its side, and with help from other players) to measure the distance of a winding path.

Sylrae's Forgotten Realms Fan-Lore Index, with public commenting access to make for easier improvement (WIP)

Edited by - Sylrae on 12 Nov 2014 08:43:43
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 12 Nov 2014 :  16:20:24  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I may, at some point, do hex overlays on some of my maps. Not only is that 'old school', but it just makes it easier to figure travel times, distance, and overland encounters. Most of my maps don't even have scales, and thats a major flaw I need to correct.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

Sorry, that was probably me just reading it too late at night and I do have a biased mindset because most of my FR games are set in areas where the PCs have the greatest impact (wilderness and weak civilizations otherwise known as Western genre High Fantasy). You are very much correct that nations with dedicated resources to road maintenance and repairs would provide conditions of packed roads that properly drain into prepared ditches on either side of roadwork and patrols that would discourage constant predation by robbers.
Sorry, as well, for my harsh one... I've been a bit stressed lately.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 12 Nov 2014 16:21:33
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Sylrae
Learned Scribe

Canada
306 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2014 :  02:43:42  Show Profile Send Sylrae a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Something to mention, the map scale given in the FRCS only works if Faerun is a cylindrical world.

None of the maps of Faerun I've seen are designed to even remotely accurately represent a spherical world.

Distances would be less distorted if you projected your map onto an http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/ProjPoly/Img/mp_IcoGnomonic-s75-z-41.1.png Icosahedron or some manner of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldberg_polyhedron Goldberg Polyhedron Unwrap.

Sylrae's Forgotten Realms Fan-Lore Index, with public commenting access to make for easier improvement (WIP)

Edited by - Sylrae on 13 Nov 2014 03:27:51
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2014 :  21:21:16  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Which is why I have a theory that the 3e map was actually 'modern' (circa 1370's DR) cartographers trying to make an accurate map projection, similar to our RW Mercator. This is why on the newer maps (3e), the land looks 'squished' as you go south - thats actually the mapper's (IG) attempt at making accurate distances on a flat map.

So I turned the problem with the FR maps upside down - its not that in 3e the south got smaller, it was that in 3e the north got bigger. Just like our RW maps, its not a realistic representation of what the world looks like. The 1e/2e maps are actually more accurate, but only when viewed 'locally'. Even when you look at just Faerūn there are problems (the equator is just below the 3e map, and Waterdeep sits "slightly above the 45 degree north latitude line").

So, yeah - if I ever go back to a continent-wide map I'd have to do one of those expanding (N/S axis) scales like you are talking about. This is why I think I'll just stick with local maps for now - much easier... or flat worlds.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 13 Nov 2014 23:52:28
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Sylrae
Learned Scribe

Canada
306 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2014 :  23:26:32  Show Profile Send Sylrae a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Clearly Faerun is set on a cylindrical world. Sure, if you keep going east or west, eventually you get back to where you started, but if you go north, thee comes a point where you can't go north anymore, there's nothing there, you'll fall off!

:P

But in all seriousness, I've got a copy of the AD&D Campaign Planner, and it wants me to put my world map on an unwrapped icosahedron. An interesting way to cut down on the distortion.

Which is what had me think of other unwrap options. I could really go for a G(0,3)Icosahedral Polyhedron http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/86/Conway_polyhedron_Dk6k5tI.png/611px-Conway_polyhedron_Dk6k5tI.png or a G(2,2)Icosahedral Polyhedron http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Conway_polyhedron_dkt5daD.png if I could get a decent looking unwrap of it to use as a map surface.

Sylrae's Forgotten Realms Fan-Lore Index, with public commenting access to make for easier improvement (WIP)

Edited by - Sylrae on 13 Nov 2014 23:39:36
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2014 :  00:15:30  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Travel at two miles per hour was an expected U.S. Army rate when I was in service; with a ten hour march day total that amounted to 20 miles in a day, unless there was a force march and then we were expected to cover 30 miles in a day.

THAT however is for large numbers sticking together; smaller groups of us (scouts) could travel much further and report back for physical contact several times in a day.

So a small group of scouts or an individual can cover a much greater amount of distance in a day due to the lack of needing cohesive travel for large numbers.

Just my two cents.

AD&D for me!
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