The Dragon Pass Renaissance

From: Joerg Baumgartner (
Date: Thu 21 Nov 1991 - 09:56:33 EET

Expanding Dragon Pass

As I have announced a while ago on the RuneQuest-Daily, I am planning to work up some extensions for the Dragon Pass and Nomad Gods boardgame. Well, I've done some work on that, and I want to discuss the results to avoid unneccessary mistakes.

Right now I have "mapgridded" an area which extends roughly from southeastern corner of the Redlands (top left corner of Elder Wilds map) to a point slightly south of the end of the Eastern Rockwood mountains (top right corner), from there straight south to the mouth of the Zola Fel (actually as far into Vulture country as the detail mas from RoC and Borderlands allowed), along the shore of the Rozgali sea to the Vent, north to the western end of the Hydra mountains, and in a zig-zagging line (mostly along the map borders of Griffin Mountain, but interpolating some parts like the north-western shore of the Elf Sea).

I have guesstimated a lot of positions from several maps, often by cross-aiming (what's the nautical term for that?) and positioning the location at the intersection. There were some difficulties in that, because most Gloranthan maps I've seen so far (possible exception: the tiny "Gref's" as in Dorastor, and the Elder Wilds/Balazar maps from Griffin Mountain) have serious distortion towards the maps' borders, i.e. very different distances between two locations (compare the Dagori Inkarth map from RQ3 Troll-Pak with the hex-Grid maps from Dragon Pass and Nomad Gods, the northwestern part is enlarged compared to the eastern part north of Pavis).

Different maps offer different details. I tend to believe any detail give in any map, as long as it doesn't contradict details mentioned elsewhere. Thus I have placed Torkan's Last Fort, Toena, Hender's Ruins, Fort Raus, the Vulture Country ledges etc. on the Nomad Gods map, included a lot of the woodland shown on the Dagori Inkarth map into the northeastern part of the Dragon Pass map (also the flower-wood in the Vale of Flowers), and used all the map information on the Holy Country I could find (that's King of Sartar p.126, the map from the Home of the Bold booklet, which is probably an excerpt form the map of the Holy Country from the RQ Companion I still have to see, the very undetailed maps from G:CotHW, and the maps shown in the RQ2 rules book). Since these extrapolations tend to get inaccurate, I'd like to post my maps in an ASCIIfied version, using a hex-grid like the one below.

As far as areas unchanged from games in print are concerned (at the moment that's only Dragon Pass, and I've heard that that's hard to get, too), I'll only provide a few hexes of overlap to allow seamless adaption to the existing mapboards.

This hex-grid printed in pica is approximately 200% the size of the Dragon Pass and nomad Gods hex-grid. If anyone wants to design their own map, this might be a way to ASCIIfy the results and exchange them via email.

< >------< >------< >------<

 \            /        \            /        \            /        \   
  \          /          \          /          \          /          \  
   \        /            \        /            \        /            \ 
    >------<              >------<              >------<              >
   /        \            /        \            /        \            / 
  /          \          /          \          /          \          /  
 /            \        /            \        /            \        /   

< >------< >------< >------<
\ / \ / \ / \ \ / \ / \ / \ \ / \ / \ / \ >------< >------< >------< > / \ / \ / \ / / \ / \ / \ / / \ / \ / \ /
(Repeat as often as necessary)

Index of example maps:

Example 1: The mouth of Zola Fel and Corflu: (mostly from Nomad Gods)

Example 2: City of Karse, Choralinthor Bay

This map format can convey all the information about a hex within the map, but a very large number of maps would be needed.

The following examples are made on a smaller hex-grid, to allow more area to be covered by one map:

< >--< >--< >--< >--< >--< >--< >--  \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ /   >--< >--< >--< >--< >--< >--< >--<  / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ (Repeat as often as necessary)

This format can serve as overview map. A pica printout comes conveniently close to Dragon Pass hex size. To make better sense of it, I suggest to colour the printout to produce visible contrasts.

m: marsh
t: tidal flat (New terrain, can be entered only when Blue Moon phase is

        low. Blue moon phase is determined with 1D6, first half of it 
        the flats may be entered. Units caught by the flood may 
        withdraw as usual, if impossible, they are destroyed.
        May also be entered with ships (special kind of herd) which 
        also allow movement on sea hexes.)
f: forest
F: hill-forest
c: chapparal (plains)
C: chapparal (hills)
s: sea
h: hills
M: mountains
q: flower or fungus wood (plain)

Q: flower or fungus wood (hills)
G: glacier or snow field (always mountainous)
#: ridge (upper side)
~: river/shoreline
=: major road
+: minor road

Example 3: Dagori Inkarth's West, bordering on Dragon Pass (The left hand side hexes are the right edge of the board, the top rows are from Griffin Mountain. All Dagori Inkarth features from the RQ3 Troll Pak map. The lower rows overlap with Nomad Gods. I've changed the area arount Tada's High Tumulus as well as the northwestern corner to sut the Dagori Inkarth map. The mountainous region marked with "?" can either be mountain or glacier/snow field.)
This map is slightly off the 70 keys line grid. I've also made another version that fits.

Examples 4 to 7 detail the eastern Holy Country. I provide no worked out scenarios or list of pieces yet. Scenarios I have in mind are:

Wolf Pirate raid:
A beginners scenario with normal troups and ships only, maybe include some heroes. Aim of the game is to hold as many cities as possible.

Praxian raid:
A beginners scenario with normal troups, missile units and heroes. And/or an advanced scenario with magicians, ancestors and whatever Nomad Gods offers.

Chaos invasion:
>From the Chaos Woods in Larnste's Footprint some terrible monsters rise. (A similar scenario could be developed for Snake Pipe Hollow!)

Struggle for succession: 1617 ST
Several parties try to gain the Crown of Heortland. Among the contestors are the Rokari knights of Richard the Tigerhearted and one or two native candidates.

The Lunar Conquest: 1620 ST
Brian of the Volsaxi and Richard the Tiger-Hearted against the Lunar empire. Most of the Lunar counters from Dragon Pass (except the Emperor) could be used. There would have to be special siege rules for Whitewall.

The Lunar collapse: 1624 ST
Tatius the Bright and most of the Lunar troups have been devoured at the site for the Temple of the Reaching Moon. Remaining Lunars, Rokari knights coming out of their Hide-outs, Wolf pirates and King Brian of the Volsaxi strife for the upper hand in Heortland.

Suggestions for pieces and scenarios are welcome.

Note also that the maps I offer are only "first draft", and will most probably be altered. Alterations will include more special sites (where shall I put Black Arkat's temple, described in Troll Gods? Do the Kitori have settlements in their woods?) as well as minor changes in terrain. Unless I can be proved to be totally wrong (e.g. by somebody producing the mapboard of the rumored "Masters of Luck and Death"), I strongly advocate to keep the scale I chose - I already altered it once and had to throw most of my previous work overboard.

Example 4: Eastern Esrolia with Nochet (Note that the top rows are the southern rows of Dragon Pass)

(This area has not yet been developed toward the western edge. Suggestions for continuing into the west are heartily welcome!)

Example 5: The Shadow Plateau (note that the top row of hexes is the bottom row of the Dragon Pass board)

Example 6: Volsaxiland and Footprint (top row from Dragon Pass mapboard, left edge continuing Shadow Plateau map)

Example 7: Storm Mountains and God Forgot Islands (top rows southern border of Dragon Pass, eastern columns from Nomad Gods, to be changed in some hill hexes)

The hills between Barbarian Town and the Storm Montains ought to get some steads (stockades or open towns), some plain hexes, and a minor road connecting Barbarian Town with Swenstown, all this similar in terrain to the surroundings of Swenstown which offer a few strategic decisions.

I have also prepared the southern coast of Prax, but that offers little more than a seaward ridge and a row of marsh hexes in between. One might include some major licks there, to provide some more points for rivalry between the nomads.

The full set of maps is almost finished in the small scale hexes. The printout covers approximately 2 by 2 metres. Printed on my 9-pin printer in draft/pica with exhausted Ribbon cartridge gives an excellent map to be coloured by hand. I have found out though that a lot of printers don't make the > and < signs look appropriately. My final aim is to do a graphic version, but my current machine (an Atari ST with only 2.5 kByte RAM) inhibits me somewhat.


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