What skills would everyone use for someone that specializes in Mapmaking. Would that mostly be Profession: scribe? What other skills would you add?

I am looking at making a character with a focus of map making and creating maps of magical locations.

When you look at period maps, sometimes you wonder whether Profession: Storyteller might be appropriate. :laughing:

But seriously, I would simply go with Profession: Mapmaker (or Cartographer).

EDIT: It might be covered by Artes Liberales, although that ability is already so wide that I would be loathe to use it for a specialist.

It would be its own profession, and a rare one at best.

True dat. Some used the Bible as their primary source material. So helpful.

In Europe, the "science" (and I use that word loosely) of cartography was in its infancy, and that may be generous. So anything like what we understand to be "a map of the land" would be anachronistic, so you're already in uncharted territory. At best, you could assume Player Characters understand "maps" as the Romans did - period mapmaking had lost a lot since then. But even then, they were often more a matter of guesswork and arbitrary cobbling together of smaller maps and verbal descriptions than anything like "surveying" for accuracy. Many "coastal" maps were simply more or less straight lines with landmarks on them. A map of the British Isles concentrates on the coast, and while the inland is recognizable, at the same time it's laughably so.

(Some scarce Arabic maps and mapmakers and their techniques, were much better, but usually limited to the Levant, the Med, Arabian Ocean and African coast. They had (re-)discovered a coordinate system (Ptolemy?), but were still figuring it all out. But many of these were secret, and, of course in Arabic. )

Be sure you look at period maps, esp "T-O maps" and such. NOT as useful as anything today, nor even remotely close.
Ptolemaic (Roman) maps

Note - those links and images rang a distant bell: See also: - this thread has more complete examples and full comments.)

YEah, I wouldn't expect to be anything as accurate as modern maps. More like landmarks and directions as seen from a birds eye view and then draw illustrations like that. Profession Scribe covers illuminations Ithink for books but maybe profession mapmaking.

Idea is a Eagle Bjornaer InVi specialists trying to make maps of magical things spied from the air for finding the way back. Afterwards.

My Bjornaer eagle has Art of Memory (from The Mysteries) and uses Exactly to Scale (HoH:TL 139) to dump these memories on the page. It takes a couple of rolls but medieval google maps is fun. All of his maps have two tiny grogs in the corner who hold his ink and scroll stuffs. :slight_smile:


A powerful enough Intellego Terram spell with a Rego Requisite could make scale maps on a sand-table (or any other material, really, depending on your chosen requisites). Doing all of Europe at once would take a pretty large amount of +Size magnitudes, though. It could be done with Creo requisite instead of Rego to create a scale map. Such a thing would surely be considered a wonder, especially if it could self-update via fixed arcane connections. Sounds like a big'ol Hermetic Project.

I don't see any reason why maps drawn from actual survelliance like this shouldn't be fairly accurate.

All the "medieval world maps" are drawn by people who couldn't see the thing that they were drawing. Or at least, not in one panorama, so they were drawing from imagining how the information they did know (like directions and travel times between towns) should all tie together (with perhaps a bit of moving around so that it all fits on the page, and they might have some errors in the directions and distances they thought they knew). Also medieval maps tend to be route/connectivity maps rather than literal maps of terrain, in the same way that the typical London underground map is about clearly showing routes and interchanges rather than fidelity to the physical terrain.

If somebody cared to draw a map of, say, what could be seen from the castle battlements, then it should be fairly accurate (within the limits of their technical skill to get perspective and distances right, etc). It's just that such maps don't seem to be preserved (much if at all) from the medieval period (to my knowledge) --- probably because anyone who wanted to know what could be seen from the castle battlements would find it easier to merely climb the castle battlements and have a look.

I agree.
However, if you go for a purely "academic" approach of map making, Artes Liberales (Astrology) would be tremendously useful to mimic Ptolemaic work - at least to measure and record coordinates. Let's face it, "real cartography" requires a lot of calculation and math, and the appropriate skill covering that is Artes Liberales. It also requires you mage to travel on said location. Alternatively, he can send somebody skilled in Astrology do some coordinate recording on his behalf.
Building a compass and other magical tools describes in Celestial magic could be useful too - altough not to make horoscope :smiley:
To draw the map, you could go with Profession: Scribe, or even Painting.
With your troop approval, Profession: Mapmaker or Cartographer could include both the drawing skill and some rudimentary mathematical skills to estimate distance. Up to your troop approval if it goes as far as including the ability to use stars navigation and Ptolemaic coordinate.
Having Area knowledge cannot harm (possibly more for small scale map, to include interesting local details like rumored infernal caves, haunted forest and whatnot).

A Virtue like Inventive Genius would be nice way to explain your modern (and unique) approach to mapmaking. If you combine that with Free Expression, Faerie courts might be looking for you to draw their ideal home or scene to set a story.

That's for the non-magical approach.

The magical approach might not require much mundane skill depending on how heavily your mage will rely on its magic.
Intellego (Terram, Aquam or even Herbam for Mountains, Rivers & Lakes, Forest) spells with Boundaries limit can give you a pretty accurate shape of what you are mapping - if your magus is an indoor guy, he might send grogs to collect Arcane connections. You will have a map maker who never set a foot out of his lab!

Intellego Imaginem will allow you to scout large area (again all depends on the spell level & range). Re(In)Im allows you to travel to places and perceive like if you were personnaly there - having it invested in a magical item to maintain concentration will definitely help.
Intellego Animalem will allow you to see the world from a bird (other animals seems less useful for this purpose) - if it is your familiar, you don't need to control him, otherwise a ReAn will do the trick.
Just be mindful on not spying on another Covenant/magus as there could be a case for magical scrying charges.

And to draw the map itself, you can go through various ways like CrIm with Animal/Herbam requisit to create a map from your memories (Animal and Herbam requisit are for the support and the inks) - it will be a ritual for permanent map. ReAq (An/He) to control inks flowing on a blank support (canvas, paper...). Of course, in both case we are talking about Craft magic which requires good Finesse skills.

More cumbersome but more impressive map can be done in 3D by carving wood, shaping clay or sculpting stone. It has the advantage to use only one forms, and paiting can be done quickly afterwards.

Unless you use magic to scout area (and are not limited by the number of time you can cast the spell), you will need good memory. There, the art of Memory can definitely help you.

The first question you should answer yourself here is: What exactly the maps your character makes shall serve for?

There are many different kinds of medieval maps, for very different purposes: storytelling maps like the Ebstorfer Weltkarte, itineraries like the Peutingeriana, 'scientific' worldmaps like those derived from Ptolemy's Geographia (Agathodaimon-maps), and maps for navigation like the early predecessors of the portolans.

  • Mapping limited magical locations might only require draughtsmanship (as represented by Profession: Illuminator from Covenants p.87ff), or Finesse and a spell.
  • Understanding the relationships of different regio layers might require Realm Lores and Artes Liberales (Geometry), or just some moxie - it all depends on the regio and the storyguide.
  • The early portolans need lots of input from the observations of trained seamen, and the mapmaker - in addition to being an illuminator - should be trained both in their methods of observation and in Artes Liberales.
  • Large scale cosmological maps, using the cone projection introduced with the Agathodaimon-maps, need good Artes Liberales to make, and a lot of input from traveling scholars, or rare books.


I think than many times the Area Lore works to make the most "mundane" maps, and Craft: Draw in any just that has been pointed before; and of course Artes Liberales on many of his applications.


In addition to the replies so far, I would note that many medieval maps were intended to be itineraries rather than faithful representations of geography. If a person was travelling from point A to point B, it was more important for him to make sure he was on the right road. He therefore needed to know, when at point A, which gate to leave by, what his next city would be and how long it would take him to get there. Medieval maps were therefore diagrammatic rather than geographically accurate, and depicted roads (or seaways) would be listed in days rather than miles.

From this perspective, I would say that Area Lore + Artes Liberales + Profession: Scribe would be needed to make a map from scratch. You could have a separate Craft: Map Ability which would enable you to copy a map, but this would simply replace the aspects of the aforementioned Abilities that pertain to maps (that is, Craft: Map wouldn't allow you to write if you didn't already have Artes Liberales, but it would allow you to accurately copy the name of a town from an exemplar onto the map).



I am with Mark, but i think than draw could do it, maybe with extra botch dice or more requeriment than just that ability (Artes Liberales and Area Lore of course).

Without addressing each and every comment above, there is a world of difference between a companion who pursues this, and a mage who does (or helps a mundane mapmaker).

Once magic is in the mix, accuracy can approach spy-satellite-quality perfection.

Yesss! Another Saga in a Box, as magi and perhaps other entities take exception to Mythic Google Earth invasion of privacy...

why would I want to paint google earth type maps. That is no fun. Rather paint symbolic maps that show landmarks and relationships, perhaps with elements of riddle to the symbols indicating magical auras and vis sources without making anyone seeing them know exactly where the vis is while anyone that knows the key can find their way to it easily thanks to the map.

Symbol and iternary and such. The only maps she would have seen were this type so why would she make something that modern thought considers maps.

My Bjornaer eagle is very haughty and "above the little people", literally. He feels he's raising them up to his level by showing them what they're missing. The fact that most people looking at his "maps" can't recognize them for what they are only fuels his self-centered-ness. I think that since most people can't recognize them as landscapes is part of the riddle, or perhaps even the clue depending on what you're trying to convey. Showing a "map" to the treasure with a real map may well hide more than it reveals.