1. Robin
    14 February 2016 @ 8:41 pm

    One remark to this
    You keep the curvature in the Polar opening as round as presented on the HW set maps.
    However as I look to polyps, which resemble the shape of the Megalith that Mystara is, these curvatures aren’t thus rounded. They seem more flat like the outer World…
    To resolve this just push in the circle make it more..eh…egg-shaped? …
    whatever..I suppose you catch my drift


    • Thorfinn Tait
      14 February 2016 @ 10:59 pm

      There’s an ulterior motive to keeping these as regular as possible: it will make them a little easier to map. As it is, they’re going to be a big headache, so the less irregularity we can introduce here, the better, as far as I’m concerned. 😉

  2. LoZompatore
    15 February 2016 @ 3:16 am

    I agree with Robin: if you modify the shape of the polar openings you’ll have the opportunity to increase the latitude of their borders to values greater than 66° N (or S).
    The polar opening themselves are not very interestin from a gaming point of wiev: they are just dark, frozen, wind-swept holes covered in magical clouds and filled with anti-magic: really, not much to see and to do there.

    If you like to keep shapes as much regular as possible why not choosing a straight tunnel which ends up into two smaller circular openings? I made a rough sketch here to explain better what I mean:


    In this way you can set the geometry of the openings as you see fit. The circular ending will help keeping mapping and projections a relatively easy task. Outer World and Hollow World landmasses could be arranged so that they do not enter the straight section, which is entierly covered by sea.
    Whit this approach who cares if the straight section of the openings is 500 miles, 1000 miles or 2000 miles long?

    On another matter, IIRC when we discussed the size of Mystara it came out that, if the Mentzer/hexed maps are part of a global equirectangular map then the vertical size of the hexes always represents the same distance, irrespective of the latitude (because latitudes on an equirectangular map are evenly spaced).

    Now, we have an uniterrupted hexes count from the Equator up to Froshaven, which should be pretty close to the Arctic Circle (IIRC PWAIII says that the summer polar ice shelf is 600 miles north of Qeodhar). With this in mind I think that the size of Mystara will come out from this hexes count, irrespective of what the other official supplements say.

    On a final note, if Mystara comes out to be a very big planet then, in order to keep the same size of the Hollow World (whose mapping is more consistent among the various official sources) then the crust thickness has to be increased. This is not a major modification, in my opinion, as it has very little impact on the rest of the setting. Moreover, this is another “pro” point versus the introduction of a straight section in the polar openings in order to avoid too much distortion to the Outer World map.

    Just my thougths, feel free to implement or discard them as you like. 😉


    • Thorfinn Tait
      17 February 2016 @ 10:42 pm

      You’ve persuaded me, Michele! You and Paul Dupuis both proposed this, so I’m going to try it out in my next article. The model I’m using will allow the polar lip to be moved up to 76º in the Outer World.

      I agree completely about the crust — it’s the last thing to be worrying about at this point. Your alternative way to measure the size of the planet is interesting. I’ve already got three placements in the works for the next article, so please look at them and see if any match your idea here. However, I don’t think it’s going to be possible to have Frosthaven outside the Arctic Circle, actually. But I don’t think it should be anyway. After all, Farend is repeatedly said to be at 60ºN, and it’s about 700 miles south of Frosthaven’s southern coast. Surely it must be in the Arctic Circle, and quite possibly even in the polar opening — not very far in, but I think it’s further north than 66º.

  3. Happylarry
    15 February 2016 @ 4:40 am

    Thanks for these – very helpful.
    I’d personally prefer a solution that didn’t push Norwold any further north – would the alternate equator location and a ‘squashed’ Davania help?
    I think the hollow world could accommodate a few extra miles.
    Also – from memory – isn’t the polar area shrouded in fog? in which case an opening of only 65 miles in width might be fine.


    • Thorfinn Tait
      17 February 2016 @ 10:36 pm

      Surely the name suggests it should be quite far north already? 😉

      I actually agree with you. In my next article, I will detail three more placements, all of which place Farend at 57º, 60º, and 63ºN. These are all close to the official latitude (60ºN).

      It seems that PWA2’s equator does indeed help with this, yes. But I will not be squashing Davania. The expansion of Skothar and the squashing of Davania are two of my pet peeves, actually!

      You’re quite right about the polar area. Paul Dupuis pointed out the same thing on Facebook.

  4. Eric Anondson
    15 February 2016 @ 5:28 am

    I have this inner favoritism to the outer surface features and sacrificing the hollow surface.

    Note: I’d like to see the cross sections mark the latitudes for reference.

    Question: could we make the depth thinner?


    • Thorfinn Tait
      17 February 2016 @ 10:32 pm

      You’re not alone, but I’m not going to sacrifice the Hollow World to save the Outer World. 😉 This has also come up before, but I don’t consider the Hollow World to be expendable in the least. Besides, its cartography is much cleaner than the Outer World already! I wouldn’t want to mess it up.

  5. DJ
    15 February 2016 @ 7:07 am

    By increasing the size of the hollow world would that put the shadowlands closer to the Hollow World Lava in the center? I think the cavern of the stars then makes some more sense, especially since the gravity splits closer to the middle of the planet.


  6. Morfie
    15 February 2016 @ 4:44 pm

    I think it’s because you are trying to fit the entire OW land masses into the 90 deg N & S band.

    The HW Maps may assist here, specifically the OW Arctic and Antarctic Caps; 90 deg OW and 90 deg HW do not match up, so you have 30 deg leeway in the Lip to play around with. The 90 deg N OW line should be below the Nentsun peninsula.

    This should save you having to shrink the OW.


    • Thorfinn Tait
      17 February 2016 @ 10:28 pm

      I am? Actually I’ve been folding over quite a bit of land into the polar openings pretty much in every map. Remember that 66º is the start of the lip in this model, so shortly after that latitude things start to fall into the polar openings. If you compare my mock-ups (which unfortunately are out of date now — I’m working on new ones), you should see that roughly the right amount of land if falling into the openings.

      The confusion likely stems from the latitudes marked on the Hollow World Set maps. I’m not using those; I’m using latitudes as if Mystara were actually a spheroid. Yes, I know these are not true latitudes, because latitude is defined by angle, so in fact some point shortly after 66º would be 90º. But using those latitudes is useless for our purposes, because it rules out the use of real world GIS software for mapping. On the other hand, if we use spheroid (or ellipsoid) latitudes, we can use software to keep track of everything up to 66º. (The rest will have to be done manually, or by using the 3D model.)

  7. Hugin
    17 February 2016 @ 4:51 am

    Well, we’re back to this topic again, eh Thorf?! LOL

    (Previous discussion referenced above by Thorf found here: http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=7369)

    You are fairly close to what I came up with in that thread; the main differences being derived from using different maps. It looks like the one I was using had the equator placed a little higher and based on PWAII’s placement of the equator. Using the map I did, I came to a circumference of 25,920 miles.

    My solution there was to use 1° = 72 miles. It worked very well with the other map, but your map seems to have more hexes because the Equator is lower. You can see the equator marked on your map at about 5° North, again from PWAII I believe.

    So here is my suggestion: raise the positioning of the equator, let each 72 miles be 1°, count hexes to see where the latitudes lie. Alpha actually ends up being at ~59° N using this scenario and Thyatis at ~33° N!

    I think that re-positioning the equator to the PWAII position is a viable option #4. Additionally, using this method allows the Hollow World to use the 32 miles per 1° latitude and still have sufficient openings for the poles.

    It may not be the perfect solution but it sure works for me.


    • Thorfinn Tait
      17 February 2016 @ 10:21 pm

      Hi Sheldon!

      Hehe, yes we’re back to this one — hopefully for the last time, this time. 😉

      So far, the Princess Ark/Hollow World Set equator seems to be more popular than PWA2’s. But I will certainly explore the idea of using PWA2’s equator in my next article. It would certainly result in a smaller world.

      On the other hand, I’ve never been enamoured of the 1º = 72 miles thing. I don’t really care about 72 mile per hex maps, because hexes don’t work well at that scale anyway. For me, getting the map looking right is more important than the precise mathematics. That said, it’s looking like 10.5 hexes per 10º would make a very nice model.

      But since you’ve proposed it (now and in the last conversation 🙂 ) I will also include it in my next article. I should warn you, though, that since my maps are based first on 8, then 24, then finally 72 mile per hex maps, and since the original 72 mile per hex maps were essentially useless, it’s not going to fit quite like you expect.

      I don’t really want to play further with the Hollow World. Since the official figures seem to work, I’m going to go with them. Another issue is that I really don’t want to shrink it any, as the size disparity is already a problem.

      Great to see you here, by the way! 😀

    • Hugin
      18 February 2016 @ 12:58 am

      Thanks, Thorf!

      I know you don’t like the 1° = 72 miles approach because you’re not a fan of using 72 mile hex maps, but to be honest, the entire time I was exploring this option I was using 24 mile per hex maps. So I don’t think the 72 mile hex maps have anything to do with it, other than the fact that 72 is divisible by 24 and 8, which makes it very simple to use at those scales too.

      So just to reiterate, using 72 mile per hex maps has nothing to do with it. I did most of my counting on a 24 mile hex map, using one hex equals 1/3rd of a degree. If using 8 mile hex maps, each hex is 1/9th of a degree. I just don’t want it overlooked because the 72 mile per hex maps are not the greatest to base anything on (and on which point I certainly agree with you). The size of hex map is really irrelevant. I think you’ll find it works, better than you think anyway, when you use your 24 mile maps.

      I pretty much agree with you on the Hollow World. The official size seems to work well enough even though I came up with a slightly smaller figure.

      I had a diagram drawn up showing a cross-section of Mystara using my figures and it worked very well. Here it is on the Vaults: http://www.pandius.com/mystarastructure.jpg (don’t make fun of my crude, non-techy, pencil-sketching, cave art 🙂 ). There are some errors on that map as well; “Isle of Dawn” is supposed to be “Isle of Dread plateau”, and, “Autumn Solstice” is supposed to be “Winter Solstice”.

      Notice that I also had flattened the polar openings as suggested by others above. However, I understand your hesitation with that approach.

      Finally, this does push southern-most Davania (farther) into the polar curvature. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue though.

      Thanks for tackling all these issues, Thorf! You know we love seeing the work you’ve produced over the years!

    • Thorfinn Tait
      18 February 2016 @ 1:10 am

      It’s not that I don’t like it — I understand that it could be rather useful, and I agree it’s nice to be able to count latitude with hexes. But I’m not sure that it’s worth shrinking the world to enable this feature. (If we were designing a world from scratch, I would absolutely do it, though!)

      I would never make fun of a hand-drawn diagram. I could never do this stuff without my computer, so I have the utmost respect for anyone who can do it by hand.

      In any case, I’m going to try applying placements 5 and 6 from the article I just posted to the 3D model. That should make it much easier to choose between them and the others. I think you are definitely right that PWA2’s equator is the one to go with, because the other one just ends up with a world that’s far too big.

  8. Lining Up Mystara I – Thorfinn Tait Cartography
    19 February 2016 @ 11:56 am

    […] Up Mystara IX, Lining Up Mystara X, Lining Up Mystara XIII, Lining Up Mystara […]


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