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"Project/Review:1977 D&D Outdoor Geomorphs Set 1: Walled City" Topic

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Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2022 3:05 p.m. PST

D&D Outdoor Geomorphs Set 1: Walled City, for $3.95 USD, as of this posting date, for the PDF download.

I am a huge fan of the old Judges Guild map books: villages, islands, castles, etc. However, these are books of static maps, which you flesh out for your campaign -- Most Excellent, IMO! But, they are short on larger cities. I have my homebrewed world, with plenty of cities dotting the maps, but the JG books will not suffice for every city I may need to map out, sooner or later… I am aware of the city map generating dice, but they're tiny, and my eyes are not as good as they used to be. I sat on the fence trying to decide if I should buy this (c) 1977 product, or not. I finally pulled the trigger.

They are rather good, IMO. My plan is to print them out, apply the printed sheets to peel-n-stick vinyl floor tile pieces (12"-squares, for <$1.00 per tile), cover the printed paper with Clear Contact Paper (translucent vinyl shelf liner from Wal-Mart), cut them to shape and size, and then arrange them into city maps, photograph those, then print them out, as necessary. This way I do not have to worry about IP rights, nor am I limited to what someone else designed -- I can make the maps as large, or small, as I need to.

The maps are in light blue ink (can be edited with any image editor program), and they're drawn on standard graph paper grids. Each geomorph section is marked in the corners, where the edges for cutting are located. Some of the pieces are square, others are long, narrower pieces. I am excited to make them up on the vinyl floor tiles so I can make some interesting city maps. The graph paper appears to be around four squares per inch, so they are not too small to really work with, drawing in details, as desired: building numbers, names, interior rooms, etc.

I suspect the blue ink they used, will not photocopy well; early copier machines would not copy the blue ink used on traditional graph paper, which is why they used that blue color: you draw your designs on the graph paper, copy it, and the graph grid disappears. I believe the intent is that you draw in black, over the tops, assemble, and then photocopy your finished maps. I may need to do just that, using water-erasable markers, for my scanner (B&W mode should allow the blue ink to drop out of the images).

To be honest, though, I will likely copy them in color, to keep the blue ink grid, for making measuring that much easier… I'll play with them to see what works out the best for me, and my needs.

For the product's age (45 years!), it is still useful, and surprisingly good! But, I am old-school. It really trips my trigger, as a world/city designing DM. YMMV. When I get the tiles created, I'll come back and post some photo's to share. Cheers!


As a DM, and as a Player, I really enjoy seeing a map of a fantasy city, even if we only see it once, and never re-visit it again.  I have a severe, chronic case of wanderlust, both in my RPG's, and in real life, so maps of cities really set my imagination on fire, and I enjoy the heat…  Cheers x 2!

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2022 8:58 p.m. PST

So here are some images:

* A collage of all 11 geomorph pages

* The incredibly useful vinyl floor tile, with Geomorphs burnished to the glue side of the 12.

* Clear Contact Paper applied, over the printed pages, before cutting them out, to size and shape.

* I recommend a utility scissors, over a razor blade, for cutting these out. The Razor Blade will dull, quickly, leading to tearing of the printed paper, as well as the Contact Paper.

* I laid out a smaller city, using the tiles, onto my laser printer/copier, and I printed a page in B&W. It is not perfect, rather it is wholly organic, and old-school. There is no school, like Old School.

Bear in mind that if you are making a photocopy, or taking a photograph, the copier/camera will flatten the image. You can stack the vinyl tiles on top of one another, for even greater variety of designs.

I am just getting started. I have only mounted two pages of tiles onto two floor tiles -- I have nine more pages to mount, just to get one copy of each page! This will be quite a project, when I am done…

Also note that this inexpensive vinyl floor tile has rather delicate edges. Catching an edge can lead to the layers of the tile splitting, or breaking. For this reason, I applied matte Scotch Tape, wrapping around the edges, applying it to the print side, first. By doing this, the tiles will be much more durable.

I will say it again: for a 1977 product, this is still quite useful, some 48 years later. I just wish I had bought this product years ago. Cheers!

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