With the Core Rulebook's release, we've finally got an official map for what Theah now looks like. What does everyone think?
One interesting thing I noticed was that with the map having a scale (hooray!), it looks like non-Europe is quite a bit smaller than the real thing. I wonder why they made that decision.
I'm also curious why Ussura is relatively small compared to real-world Russia. Unless the "Cathay Steppes" are meant to be de-facto part of the nation.
I'm assuming the Cathay steppes are like Siberia, technically speaking you could probably say they belong to Ussura, but at this point in history they're so unihabited that you can't really call them part of any nation.
I am fairly confused why it seems to mostly be mountains. Russia is largely forest at this point in history and steppes are, well steppes, flat treeless plains and tundras. There are the Urals, but beyond that mountains aren't really the most common geography in Russia.
But you guys both realize that this is Not-Earth? So maybe the planet is smaller, or maybe it has more ocean and less landmass overall. Any number of reasons could make Not-Europe much smaller than real-world-Europe. LOL
TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e
And don't forget about the map errata :D
Yeah and personally the mountainous Ussura thing does kind of bug me. Forests are such a big part of Russian folklore (nearly anything interesting that happens in a Russian story happens in the forest) that it seems weird that the place is full of mountains instead.
Plus making the Cathay Steppes mountainous just seems like a misunderstanding of the term "Steppe".
Personally I might say that there are some mounains on their border with other nations, but otherwise Theah's mapmakers are too lazy/scared to actually go to Ussura (undeveloped as it is) and try to accurately map what's actually there. In reality it's mostly forested beyond the mountain range, and the steppes are as they should be.
Cathay Steppes are definitely supposed to be part of Ussura. Note the Kossak Background is based on coming from the the more mountainous far reaches of the country.
As for the continent being smaller than real Europe, I believe it's meant to serve the different regions being much more imminent and accessible than the actual Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was to a 17th Century Spaniard, etc.
I think the shrikage is due to there being less nations than the real world and to give a subtle explanation for why there was aleady so much cultural mixing.
As for why the steppes are depicted as mountains, remember that the map is suppose to look like it was hand drawn. And the artist might not have a good manner of depicting Steppes in a way other than mountainous.
Cthulhu Netobvious "But you guys both realize that this is Not-Earth?"
Are you sure? So, Why I can go from The South of Spain across Portugal and the Vasque Country until the Bretagne?
And all that it's Montaigne... It's really strange. It's like a copy paste of the Real World TM but changing the country. It's like if for the United States you create a sort of "Florida" and you put on it the culture of Texas...
Aha! @WolfflinHuyghen, you have discovered the secret magic formula that worked on the initial American demographic targeted for the 1st edition.
In those early days (15 years ago), the game designers did not understand that an international audience would eventually call them for stealing from real world geography and cultures but mixing them up poorly out of unintentional ignorance.
TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e
Hey! I really like te "Tale"version of the countries.
What I don't like it's that I can regonize few hundred of coasts and a country but they don't match with their "alter ego" in real life (Portugal is now Odisea I think).
But tell me more about 15 years ago...
I see the Cathay Steppes drawings as the land equivalent to "From here be monsters" in sea... It's no longer relevant to the map information, so, its full of generic mountains.When we get to the Cathay Sourcebook and maps I'm sure that the aspect of that area will be different, as well as the Theah section, that probably will have something similar...
I'm guessing that most of the maps will focus on their respective areas, and leave the infor for their neighbouts general and unfocused... At least, untill we see the final World Map...
Actually, having thought about it, contour lines weren't invented until the 18th century. Possibly what the 'mountains' on the map represent are places where the land is much higher than sea level. If it was drawn by someone from a place which doesn't have high plateaus, that could lead to the result we're seeing.
So, in my print copy, the map on page 21 seems to indicate it was drawn up in 1968. That can't be right, can it?
It's supposed to be 1668
Okay, so that's definitely a mistake? Is there somewhere we can submit those in case they want to correct them for future editions?
And that makes Jeremiah Berek a time traveller!
Intercontinental travel via electric trains and porte Gateways?
The new scale is much more reasonable. They released a scaled versoin of the 1st Ed map late in the line: Theah was basically 4x the landmass of Europe.