Sunday, July 11, 2021

Using the Real World to Create Post-apocalyptic Maps


1. Pick a city with a cool downtown, museum district, or shopping mall.

2. Print out a Google Map of the area.  You don't need (or want) the whole town, just the place with the coolest buildings.

3. Decide who the local power factions are and how they've split up the buildings.  Who is where, what do they have, and what do they want?  Double-plus good if some of those wants are mutually exclusive and are causing a low level of conflict.  (See Bartertown from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome for inspiration.)

4. With colored pencils, draw in fortifications.  Maybe the whole area is inside a wall, or maybe the different factions hate each other so much that they have individual fortifications for each area.

5. Go to the web pages for the cool buildings and see if they have maps of the interiors.  (This is almost a certainty for museums and shopping malls, though you'll have to go to city records or just make it up for behind-the-scenes areas.)  Outline how these buildings have been repurposed by the current residents.

6. Draw out a shanty town and farms to supply your post-apocalyptic city-state around the fortified areas.  

7. Mark down important resources the players will want to take advantage of in town: shops, skilled artisans, inns and taverns, etc.

8. Go back to Google maps and find some other cool areas that you can turn into encounter sites/dungeons.  Find out what treasures and dangers are there.  Write up a list of rumors that folks in your city might know about these places, and who might pay your PCs to go there and do things.

9. Profit!


JB said...

Right on.
: )

Jon Bupp said...

Definitely using this.
Added to my Blog Database.

trollsmyth said...

Thanks, guys! Great to hear. :D