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I've made a map for my D&D game. But I forgot to consider its size and how long it would take to travel over it. How can I determine the size of my map? Someone guessed that it might be the same size as Texas.

I mainly need to understand the size of this island. The planet's size is the same as ours. If you zoom into the bottom picture, you'll see a small person figure, and further up a red , star with "Ramor." I feel like the travel to Ramor should take around 2-3 days. But I may be making an error in scale, and it may take a whole week instead.

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closed as too broad by Miniman, okeefe, Please stop being evil, Jason_c_o, LegendaryDude Apr 21 '17 at 12:24

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The proposed area's size could be pretty much anything. Can you provide additional information on what size you're looking for it to be? For guidance, consider how long do you think it should take to go east to west and north to south. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Apr 19 '17 at 21:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ To clarify my earlier comment, you shouldn't consider terrain when determine east to west travel. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Apr 19 '17 at 21:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another thing that could be helpful to answer is if the world map is part of an earth-like planet or if there's something unusual large or small. For example, if the radius of the planet is very large (size of Jupiter) then it will proportionally increase all your land masses significantly. What's the size of Texas could become the size of Asia. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Apr 19 '17 at 21:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ What's about the size of Texas: the area circled in red, the island, or the whole map? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 19 '17 at 21:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ The planet's size is the same as ours. if you zoom in you'll see a small person figure and further up a red star with "Ramor" I feel like the travel to Ramor should take around 2-3 days. but I'm not sure... i know it's really big so i feel that it should maybe take a whole week instead. \$\endgroup\$ – Celia Apr 19 '17 at 21:41
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There's nothing about the geographical features of the map that could be used to objectively determine a “right” scale for either map.

So instead, decide practically: pick two points on the map and decide how long it would take to travel via a given type of transportation. Work backwards from that to determine the distance. Measure that, and translate it to a map scale.


For example, if you decided that travel on foot between Ramor and the crossroads just north of that little person icon in the second map takes half a day, and in your world travel on foot is at approximately 24 miles per day (include rest stops, etc.; see DMG p. 242), then the distance of that section of road is about 12 miles. At ~47 pixels, that gives us a scale of about 0.25 miles per pixel. That makes the continent with Ramor on it about 195 miles north-south, 270 miles east-west, or 330 miles on the long diagonal. To add a scale to your second image, then, draw a line about 40 pixels wide and label it “10 miles”. Then scale up for the world map: since the zoomed-in continent is about 1305 pixels diagonal and it's about 309 diagonal in the world map, your maps have a scale ratio of about 4.22. So on your larger map, the scale marker could be 95 pixels wide and labelled “100 miles”, assuming that you decided that original measurement takes a half-day on foot.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ We did exactly this a few weeks ago for my brother's game world. He drew up a world on graph paper, we asked about scale, he wasn't sure, and then said "from here to here is two weeks." From the standard movement rates in DMG I arrived at 40 miles across each graph square. Since this is D&D 5e, suggest you refer to the standard movement rates in the DMG. The table Is called "Travel Pace" (I have it on page 84 of SRD at the moment) .. normal is 24 miles per day. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 19 '17 at 21:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suggest mentioning we can further compare this to the real world to get a concrete sense of perspective. The whole map is 1450px wide, and at a ratio of 70px to 100 miles, the whole map is ~2,000 miles across. This is about the width of Australia (~2,500 miles), mainland USA excepting Alaska, or the entirety of Europe; the Earth by comparison is 20,000 miles in circumference. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 19 '17 at 21:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Good call! I switched the example up a bit to use 24-mile days (and a half-day initial decision so the numbers are similar); hopefully I did the adjustment math correctly! \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 19 '17 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh god thanks. im horrible at math so it'll take some time before i get some of this down. but keep the tips coming i'll look through them all \$\endgroup\$ – Celia Apr 19 '17 at 21:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener 24,900 and change for Earth' circumference. (Yes, I had to learn that during my first navigation class in the navy ...) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 19 '17 at 22:08
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How long to you want it to take for the characters to travel around on it? Will there be unexplored areas for them to map?

I would suggest something between Texas and Australia in size -- a couple of months travel end-to-end is big enough to hide things in and have exploring adventures, but small enough to get around on.

My campaign operates on a continent about the size of Australia (closely modeled thereupon for climates and terrain). I have a "settled area" on the north third, for characters and adventures in or near cities and political intrigue; a largely unexplored, but settled by other races, area on the south coast for character parties who want to find and contact people, see Amazons and barbarian tribes and animals of the Pleistocene; and a central "outback" for parties who want a real wild wilderness vibe to play around in, with nothing but monsters and hazards.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Mainland USA and Australia are roughly the same size, so "between Texas and Australia in size" can also be considered "between Texas and mainland USA in size". \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 19 '17 at 21:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener for more helpful scaling, Texas is about the size as France. 8^D \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 19 '17 at 21:38

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