I need an answer to this because I'm trying to figure out the distance between some of the towns for chapter 4. Now, I'm not running this chapter as it is because...well...if it's boring to read it's boring to play. So I'm modifying this HEAVILY, and I want to know the scaling for it so that I can plan and place other events around it. The map is on page 5 with the introduction if that helps any. I'm not all too familiar with the scaling thing and I'm trying to learn to better read maps and produce them in case I want to make my own. I thank anyone for just the straight answer and appreciate anyone that gives it to me, and I would also thank and appreciate anyone that could give me a few tips on how to determine this type of thing in the future!

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    \$\begingroup\$ I am glad that the stack was of some help, but usually you shouldn't modify the question with "thank you" and/or acknowledgment section: see here for some guidance. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 16:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah okay, sorry, was just being polite. May I ask why? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 16:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ No worries! I appreciated that anyway! Because questions are meant to stand by their own, without references to posted answers. Moreover, adding new information about you will proceed may invalidate current answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah that makes sense. I always just feel bad not thanking people for taking the time to read and answer is all, it just feels so rude lol. I'll refrain from it from now on. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 18:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ I already answered this in my first post here. It's proper grammar and APA accurate. Usually you aren't supposed to capitalize small words such as "of" , "in" , "and", and so on, but because this is a questioning title, all the words get a capital. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 18:18

2 Answers 2


The map has no scale

The world of Toril is a planet about the size of Earth. On this world, the Sword Coast in part of the continent of Faerûn. The link goes to an official map for the Sword Coast by Wizards of the Coast with distance scales, so you can measure the distance between cities directly.

For example, the distance as the bird flies between Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate is a little over 540 miles, and the entire map on page 4 is about 1,500 miles North to South, and 1,000 miles East to West.

The map does not have hexes, and the size of hexes is how the DMG defines those scales (p. 14):

For the most detailed areas of your world, use a province scale where each hex represents 1 mile. A full-page map at this scale represents an area that can be covered in one day's travel in any direction
On a kingdom-scale map, each hex represents 6 miles. A map at this scale covers a large region, about the size of Great Britain or half the size of the state of California. That's plenty of room for adventuring.
For mapping a whole continent, use a scale where 1 hex represents 60 miles. At this scale, you can't see more than the shape of coastlines, the biggest mountain ranges, major rivers, huge lakes, and political boundaries. A map at this scale is best for showing how multiple kingdom-scale maps fit together, rather than tracking the movement of adventurers day by day. While the Sword Coast is not a whole continent, and

So technically speaking, the map has no scale at all. But, one can ask, what would be a useful scale to use on this map?

The adventure Lost Mines of Phandelver does have hexes of 5 miles, close to kingdom scale, but that does only cover the North of the Sword Coast, between Neverwinter and the Sword Mountains. So that is too small (you would need 250 hexes top to bottom, which would be very tiny on a typical letter sheet of paper). Somebody has made a 60-mile hex map of the Sword Coast, and you can see (as the DMG says) that this scale is likely too large to be useful for day-to-day adventuring. For practical overland travel, a map of 24 mile hexes actually would be more useful, as that matches the normal travel speed per day, so you can move one hex per day, and would only need about 60 hexes top to bottom of the map.

You do not need hexes to determine travel times, they are just a convenient way to do so, without needing to measure distances, as you can just count hexes. Alternatively, for convenience, you may refer to this table of precalculated travel times between cities in the North.

One final note, as @Eddymage observes, the map given in Tyranny of Dragons deviates from the official Map by Mike Schley linked above, with several cities being at slightly different positions, and the y-Axis appearing to be slightly stretched. As both are published by WotC, neither one can claim primacy (and maybe the one given in the module would be the one to use specifically for the module). You need to decide which one to use. I probably would use the Mike Schley one, that has a scale attached.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, that's why I was asking. It has no scale so I was like how in the hell did they get 750 miles and not give me a scale to measure it by. So I found the stuff in the DMG and was like, well I know it's not a continent because...well a continent is something akin to North or South America. Seeing as it wasn't a complete map of Toril I knew it couldn't be a world map either. So I knew it had to be either a province map or a kingdom map...but when I tried both of those it wasn't working. I couldn't get the 750 miles it takes to get from Baldur's Gate to Waterdeep; I got too low or too high. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 14:59

Strictly following description in the DMG, such map depicts a continent.

The DMG (page 14) reports that a Kingdom scale map

[...] covers a large region, about the size of Great Britain or half the size of the state of California. That's plenty of room for adventuring.

Since the map in the Tyranny of Dragons covers an area slightly larger than 1060\$\times\$680 miles (in the 3rd paragraph below I explain how you can compute this) and the largest dimension of the Great Britain is around 590 miles1, such map should be classified as a Continent Scale map.

Follow the guidelines that best suit your needs.

These indications (Province, Kingdom, Continent) are just indications: you may put the details that best suits your style, your campaign and what you desire to tell. Indeed, in the same section the DMG tells us that you may

Use a scale for your map that's best suited to the level of detail you want.

Search for maps with scale and compare them.

One possible solution to compute distances-and hence decide which type of map employ-is to search for a map that shows the scale, find locations that appear on such map and on yours, and then compute distances in the map with scale and compare them on your map.

At this link you can find a map of Faerun (at different resolutions): for obtaining the above result, I checked the distance between Beregost and Mirabar on the y axis (around 1060 miles) and between Luskan and Citadel Adbar on the x axis (around 680 miles)2. These values are approximative, since such cities are not exactly lying on the same line.

This method could give you a rough estimation of the surface dimensions. Indeed, if you look at the two maps, they do not depict locations at the same exact position: for example, the relative positions of Baldur's Gate and Elturiel are not consistent in the maps, in Tyranny's map the former is northern with respect the latter, while in the official map Baldur's Gate is southern.

1 I used Google Map for this measurement.

2 I used a custom C++ program for computing such distances, but you can use other free software (e.g. Gimp) and/or websites (see the links in this thread).

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think we have very similiar distance results, but the overall dimensions you quote are based on the distance between the extreme major cities, while mine are for the actual size of the map. So the map is about 1,500 x 1,000 miles, and the distances between the north/southmost major city is somewhat less than that, because there is the Endless Ice Sea north of them on the map, Anauroch East, , the Sea of Swords West and the plains towards Amn in the South. Just thought I'd mention this so people do not get confused by the different dimensions we state. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 10:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NobodytheHobgoblin Yes, indeed I wrote that the map covers a surface larger than the measures that I put. I did not take the extrema of the Tiranny's map for the computations since such map is inaccurate: the position of locations, cities, geographical elements do not correspond to the "true" one in the official map. Beside the BG and Elturiel example, you may look at the relative positions of the the High Moor and the Whale Islands. Moreover, Tiranny's map seems also stretched in the y directions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 11:38

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