The Parent Trap
by Cherub bobT
This article is presented as an extension of the scenario creation article.
The creation of your parent city map is one of the most important aspects for you to consider when finally getting up the nerve and desire to create a playable scenario. When entering the parent city editor you are presented with a plain map. Lots of barren land with no shape or feel to it. The other thing to note is that the map size is defaulted to medium. I like to change that to enormous for parent maps. By doing this you have a lot more area to work with to create a graphically pleasing map. Remember always consider terrain as a hazard, so a large map does not mean a large area for building.
When first planning your parent city map, remember where you have placed it on your worldview. If the city was placed in the middle of a mountainous continent, it makes no sense to surround your map with water. If your city was placed on an island in the worldview, make sure that the parent map looks like an island.
A few things to remember here as well. All travelers to your city must have some form of land access. If you build an island map, you are going to need an area of land attached to the outside of your map. It is not necessary that this land be attached to your main parent land mass but if it is not, you must provide the player with the option to build bridges or water crossings to get to the land.
Also remember that trade routes you establish in the worldview will be the way the in game trade works. If you planned a parent city on an island and then left all the trade routes set to trade by land, sea trading would not happen on your island. Also once you do have your trade routes established in the world view you will still need to add entry and exit points on your map in order to get traders and population to move through your city. If any of your trade routes were set to trade by sea, you must make sure that there is a water mass located at the side of your map somewhere. Be sure that you set up an entry and exit point for water trade as well.
Adding spawning points, monster points and invasion points is also a very critical part of creating a good looking and feeling adventure. If you decide to use fish as one of your food sources make sure you place your fishing points a little distance away from land areas where docks may be placed. This will provide the player with a little bit more pleasure watching their boats head off to get their catch of the day. Also remember that if you do choose fishing as one of your food sources, you must provide the player with an area of straight land next to the sea where they may place fishing docks. This is also the case with urchins. Make sure the player has access to them.
When doing the set up for your fishing docks, also consider whether or not you want to make this difficult for the player. Adding tidal waves can cause havoc to the cities resources.