Kara-Tur map

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Kara-Tur map

Post by Big Mac » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:43 pm

Does anyone know which Kara-Tur products contain a good map of the area?

Do any of the maps show the Malatra Plateau?
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Re: Kara-Tur map

Post by AuldDragon » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:12 pm

Big Mac wrote:Does anyone know which Kara-Tur products contain a good map of the area?

Do any of the maps show the Malatra Plateau?
The following have the best maps of Kara-tur as far as I know:
The Kara-Tur Trail Map
The Kara-Tur Boxed Set
The Forgotten Realms Atlas

The trailmap is what was used to make this composite image of Toril.

I don't know that anything shows the Malatra Plateau; partly because looking at the FR Atlas (by Karen Wynn Fonstadt, and one of the absolute best FR books ever made, IMO), there's really no place FOR a large, remote, unknown plateau. However, there does appear to be a a large plateau (about 250-300 miles wide) in the vast jungle southwest of Malatra and directly south of a city name Patayang, in what that book refers to as the Warring States. Are there any maps or listed dimensions of the plateau?

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Re: Kara-Tur map

Post by night_druid » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:09 am

If I'm not mistaken, Malatra IS the big plateau in the center of the jungles of far southern Kara-Tur. I don't think much outside the RPGA is known about Malatra; it was the setting of their "African" rpg campaign. I vaguely recall seeing a website giving more details, but that was ages ago. I'm not sure the setting was terribly huge or anything.
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Re: Kara-Tur map

Post by AuldDragon » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:48 am

night_druid wrote:If I'm not mistaken, Malatra IS the big plateau in the center of the jungles of far southern Kara-Tur. I don't think much outside the RPGA is known about Malatra; it was the setting of their "African" rpg campaign. I vaguely recall seeing a website giving more details, but that was ages ago. I'm not sure the setting was terribly huge or anything.
I stand corrected. Malatra IS the whole area; I looked through the boxed set PDF I have and skimmed the section on Malatra. It doesn't say anything about the plateau, and the maps don't really make it clear that it's the whole area. The natives are made up of three major tribes; I'm not terribly familiar with real world ethnicities in that region, but I'd guess they're similar to Indonesians, possibly Khmer or Thai, and probably Viet. There's about 6-8 pages about the tribes, cities, culture, etc.

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Re: Kara-Tur map

Post by Big Mac » Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:48 am

AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Does anyone know which Kara-Tur products contain a good map of the area?

Do any of the maps show the Malatra Plateau?
The following have the best maps of Kara-tur as far as I know:
The Kara-Tur Trail Map
The Kara-Tur Boxed Set
The Forgotten Realms Atlas

The trailmap is what was used to make this composite image of Toril.
Thanks, Jeff. Not only do you tell me what to buy, you show me the general layout of the area...including where Malatra is.
AuldDragon wrote:I don't know that anything shows the Malatra Plateau; partly because looking at the FR Atlas (by Karen Wynn Fonstadt, and one of the absolute best FR books ever made, IMO), there's really no place FOR a large, remote, unknown plateau. However, there does appear to be a a large plateau (about 250-300 miles wide) in the vast jungle southwest of Malatra and directly south of a city name Patayang, in what that book refers to as the Warring States. Are there any maps or listed dimensions of the plateau?
The word Malatra appears on your map, to the lower right side of the Kara-Tur area. It is just before the map turns dark green.

I suppose I could take that map over to the Jungle Tales team and ask them for more information.
night_druid wrote:If I'm not mistaken, Malatra IS the big plateau in the center of the jungles of far southern Kara-Tur.
It is a big plateau. The word Malatra is on Auld Dragon's composite-map, but that bit does look more like desert than jungle. If the area is supposed to be "invisible" to outsiders, then I think the plateau is either in the middle of the jungle or surrounded by mountains...probably the former, IIRC.
night_druid wrote:I don't think much outside the RPGA is known about Malatra; it was the setting of their "African" rpg campaign.
It isn't Africa. I just found out (and it is in the [Malatra]Anyone use Malatra? thread) that Malatra is based on "Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam". When I first heard the name Living Jungle, I did think "Living Africa" myself, but it turns out we are both wrong. As for the actual races, here is what the Living Jungle Campaign: Player Information Guide says:
Living Jungle Campaign: Player Information Guide, page 3: History wrote:The current human inhabitants of the Malatran Plateau are decended of two separate human races: the indigenous humans of southern Kara-Tur, and an ancient spelljamming race from a distant crystal sphere.
The Ancient Nubari (the spacefarers) used their powerful magic to raise up a plateau in the middle of the jungle and surround it with powerful magical devices that have a hallucinatory terrain effect. (It is just possible (from the writeup) that they are related to the people who did the same thing on the near-side of Selune.) The current Nubari have interbred with the Kara-Turan locals, but the original stock only had four fingers* on each hand.

* = With the Juna only (seeming) to have three fingers, I wonder if someone at TSR has a "less fingers = more brains" rule! :lol:

Anyway, what this gives us is that the plateau is inspired by Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Spelljammer!
night_druid wrote:I vaguely recall seeing a website giving more details, but that was ages ago. I'm not sure the setting was terribly huge or anything.
I don't think Living Jungle was huge, but I did find out that it had 20 official RPGP adventures, yesterday. They must provide a lot of information that could be extracted and used to work out more about the area. I'm not sure if people generally value RPGA canon, as highly as canon produced for the general market, but all of those 20 modules seem to have gone through TSR. I'm not sure what Forgotten Realms Wiki's policy on RPGA canon will be. It is good enough for me anyway.

You might have missed the [Malatra] Other Malatra Websites (& Free Downloads) thread that I also posted, just before this question about the Kara-Tur map. That has a link to the (dead) TSR page, Dulsi's Living Jungle archive, Jungle Tails and will also get anything else that I can find on the setting.
AuldDragon wrote:
night_druid wrote:If I'm not mistaken, Malatra IS the big plateau in the center of the jungles of far southern Kara-Tur. I don't think much outside the RPGA is known about Malatra; it was the setting of their "African" rpg campaign. I vaguely recall seeing a website giving more details, but that was ages ago. I'm not sure the setting was terribly huge or anything.
I stand corrected. Malatra IS the whole area; I looked through the boxed set PDF I have and skimmed the section on Malatra. It doesn't say anything about the plateau, and the maps don't really make it clear that it's the whole area. The natives are made up of three major tribes; I'm not terribly familiar with real world ethnicities in that region, but I'd guess they're similar to Indonesians, possibly Khmer or Thai, and probably Viet. There's about 6-8 pages about the tribes, cities, culture, etc.
Malatra itself has a high dinosaur population. The plateau is somewhere in the middle of this, but I don't know where. There is a map of the plateau itself on pages 14 and 15 Living Jungle Campaign: Player Information Guide. I don't know if anyone over at Jungle Tails knows of a context map. It is a safe bet to say that the plateau would not be anywhere near the edge of the jungle. The scale of the map is on page 15, so you might be able to do a screen grab of both pages, stick them togther and shrink them down to the scale of your uber-map to see how tiny they would be.
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Re: Kara-Tur map

Post by AuldDragon » Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:56 pm

Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:I don't know that anything shows the Malatra Plateau; partly because looking at the FR Atlas (by Karen Wynn Fonstadt, and one of the absolute best FR books ever made, IMO), there's really no place FOR a large, remote, unknown plateau. However, there does appear to be a a large plateau (about 250-300 miles wide) in the vast jungle southwest of Malatra and directly south of a city name Patayang, in what that book refers to as the Warring States. Are there any maps or listed dimensions of the plateau?
The word Malatra appears on your map, to the lower right side of the Kara-Tur area. It is just before the map turns dark green.

I suppose I could take that map over to the Jungle Tales team and ask them for more information.
The Living Jungle Plateau is ~1400 miles wide according to the map in the PDF on the Living Jungle page. That would take up a HUGE chunk of that southern jungle. A HUGE amount. I can't emphasize that enough. Based on a rough calculation, that horizontal mountain range (the Himasla Mountains) in the jungle is about 700-800 miles long for comparison. This would not be a "remote" location, and directly covers parts of the three Malatran tribal areas as stated in the Kara-Tur boxed set.

I hate to say it, but honestly, I don't think they tried to make sure it fit canon. It kind of strikes me that they designed it without a real idea of where it was located, and then just glanced at a map and picked a spot that "seemed remote" without reading up on what was actually there and whether the map they made could fit. :P

(This is obviously just my opinion, and I'm not trying to tell other people how to run their campaigns. If you are only running events in the Plateau, the canon of Malatra doesn't matter, and vice versa.)
Big Mac wrote:
night_druid wrote:If I'm not mistaken, Malatra IS the big plateau in the center of the jungles of far southern Kara-Tur.
It is a big plateau. The word Malatra is on Auld Dragon's composite-map, but that bit does look more like desert than jungle. If the area is supposed to be "invisible" to outsiders, then I think the plateau is either in the middle of the jungle or surrounded by mountains...probably the former, IIRC.
That's not desert. It's plains/grasslands. Malatra according to the Kara-tur boxed set covers those plains there up to the red border with T'u Lung, the jungles east of the word to the coast, and the mountains and jungle south of T'u Lung and Petan. There are three tribes (none of whom seem to be mentioned in the Living Jungle PDF, at leat from a quick skim), one of whom lives primarily in the central jungle and had a kingdom there some 600 years ago; the ruins of the capital city are at Parmahana (you can see it on the map in the vertical mountain range near the east coast).

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Re: Kara-Tur map

Post by Big Mac » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:57 am

AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:I don't know that anything shows the Malatra Plateau; partly because looking at the FR Atlas (by Karen Wynn Fonstadt, and one of the absolute best FR books ever made, IMO), there's really no place FOR a large, remote, unknown plateau. However, there does appear to be a a large plateau (about 250-300 miles wide) in the vast jungle southwest of Malatra and directly south of a city name Patayang, in what that book refers to as the Warring States. Are there any maps or listed dimensions of the plateau?
The word Malatra appears on your map, to the lower right side of the Kara-Tur area. It is just before the map turns dark green.

I suppose I could take that map over to the Jungle Tales team and ask them for more information.
The Living Jungle Plateau is ~1400 miles wide according to the map in the PDF on the Living Jungle page. That would take up a HUGE chunk of that southern jungle. A HUGE amount. I can't emphasize that enough. Based on a rough calculation, that horizontal mountain range (the Himasla Mountains) in the jungle is about 700-800 miles long for comparison. This would not be a "remote" location, and directly covers parts of the three Malatran tribal areas as stated in the Kara-Tur boxed set.
I suppose that given that the "control mechanism" of the Living Jungle is a techno-magical Hotel California effect, they are going to be forced to make the campaign area large enough to justify the players not being able to stomp out all the dinousaurs to "make Malatra" safe. With the area large enough, anything you wipe out, can come back in from another area (for more random encounter), but if the area is too small, then there would be a more fixed number of creatures of each type and players could realistically aim to make one of them extinct.
AuldDragon wrote:I hate to say it, but honestly, I don't think they tried to make sure it fit canon. It kind of strikes me that they designed it without a real idea of where it was located, and then just glanced at a map and picked a spot that "seemed remote" without reading up on what was actually there and whether the map they made could fit. :P

(This is obviously just my opinion, and I'm not trying to tell other people how to run their campaigns. If you are only running events in the Plateau, the canon of Malatra doesn't matter, and vice versa.)
You may be right. The (apparently unnamed) areas to the south of Tu Lung or Petan would have an easier fit. Or, they could even have located Living Jungle in the west of Petan or Tabot and made it into a land lost between Al-Qadim and Kara-Tur. Pick the right spot and you can have an inaccessible spot that is almost in the middle of Kara-Tur, Al-Qadim, The Hordelands and Faerun. They could have made a Thuder Rift for Forgotten Realms that was hidden in plain sight. People all around would have seen 1,400 miles of mountains and not realised there were people living in a hidden land, on what should be jagged mountain tops.

But how about that big green, unnamed, area next to Malatra? Is that available?

The Ancient Nubari did supposedly attempt to pick a location that was not desirable to the natives, so three villages on the doorstep wouldn't really fit in so well with that. But at a stretch, a bit of area, at the edge of Malatra could more easily become the "invisible" area that the locals ignore. Essentially, what I am saying is: can you find 1,400 miles of unused land next to Malatra? If so, we could add that onto the "original" Malatran Jungle and then have the Nubari remove it from play.
AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
night_druid wrote:If I'm not mistaken, Malatra IS the big plateau in the center of the jungles of far southern Kara-Tur.
It is a big plateau. The word Malatra is on Auld Dragon's composite-map, but that bit does look more like desert than jungle. If the area is supposed to be "invisible" to outsiders, then I think the plateau is either in the middle of the jungle or surrounded by mountains...probably the former, IIRC.
That's not desert. It's plains/grasslands. Malatra according to the Kara-tur boxed set covers those plains there up to the red border with T'u Lung, the jungles east of the word to the coast, and the mountains and jungle south of T'u Lung and Petan. There are three tribes (none of whom seem to be mentioned in the Living Jungle PDF, at leat from a quick skim), one of whom lives primarily in the central jungle and had a kingdom there some 600 years ago; the ruins of the capital city are at Parmahana (you can see it on the map in the vertical mountain range near the east coast).
I never could cope with the colour coding of 2e maps. I find 3e maps a lot more user friendly, for some reason.

Anyway, from what I can see, a small number of native Kara-Turans (possibly proto-Malatrans) made their way up onto the plateau generations ago. They have now interbred with the Ancient Nubari so much that they have gained the additional finger that Toril's humans have and their large pointy heads have become more normal. So if the Nubari have changed that much, the Kara-Turan's might also be different from the other tribes around the plateau. In fact those three tribes might even be later migrants to the area.

I wish that Forgotten Realms Wiki had more about Kara-Tur.
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Re: Kara-Tur map

Post by AuldDragon » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:55 am

Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:The Living Jungle Plateau is ~1400 miles wide according to the map in the PDF on the Living Jungle page. That would take up a HUGE chunk of that southern jungle. A HUGE amount. I can't emphasize that enough. Based on a rough calculation, that horizontal mountain range (the Himasla Mountains) in the jungle is about 700-800 miles long for comparison. This would not be a "remote" location, and directly covers parts of the three Malatran tribal areas as stated in the Kara-Tur boxed set.
I suppose that given that the "control mechanism" of the Living Jungle is a techno-magical Hotel California effect, they are going to be forced to make the campaign area large enough to justify the players not being able to stomp out all the dinousaurs to "make Malatra" safe. With the area large enough, anything you wipe out, can come back in from another area (for more random encounter), but if the area is too small, then there would be a more fixed number of creatures of each type and players could realistically aim to make one of them extinct.
Oh, I understand the reasoning. I'm just highly critical of what I consider avoidable inaccuracies. :)

There are other places they could have put it, considering how many continents and islands have no details (and because of that, I wouldn't complain if they vastly expanded or shrank the size of them). That would make it harder to get to, of course, but someplace north or south of Maztica would be better, IMO. If they modeled the land south of the currently detailed Maztica after the real South America, there would be a huge rain forest there, and an idea place to locate this plateau that wouldn't conflict with canon.
Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:I hate to say it, but honestly, I don't think they tried to make sure it fit canon. It kind of strikes me that they designed it without a real idea of where it was located, and then just glanced at a map and picked a spot that "seemed remote" without reading up on what was actually there and whether the map they made could fit. :P

(This is obviously just my opinion, and I'm not trying to tell other people how to run their campaigns. If you are only running events in the Plateau, the canon of Malatra doesn't matter, and vice versa.)
You may be right. The (apparently unnamed) areas to the south of Tu Lung or Petan would have an easier fit. Or, they could even have located Living Jungle in the west of Petan or Tabot and made it into a land lost between Al-Qadim and Kara-Tur. Pick the right spot and you can have an inaccessible spot that is almost in the middle of Kara-Tur, Al-Qadim, The Hordelands and Faerun. They could have made a Thuder Rift for Forgotten Realms that was hidden in plain sight. People all around would have seen 1,400 miles of mountains and not realised there were people living in a hidden land, on what should be jagged mountain tops.

But how about that big green, unnamed, area next to Malatra? Is that available?
The maps and the text from the Kara-tur boxed set are a bit vague on what exactly the extent of the land called Malatra is. After reviewing the text, Malatra is at *least* half that southern jungle, from the eastern most point up to around halfway through the horizontal mountains and that hilly/plateau area in the middle. Because of that, I think it is fairly obvious the whole jungle area on the southern part of the landmass was considered Malatra by the authors of the text, since there isn't really any distinguishing physical features to make a full break, nor is there any other name mentioned until you get significantly farther west (and thus, my earlier posts on the topic were clearly in error). The areas defined in the text, however, are the only ones with large, semi-organized tribal groups. Why the maps have the word Malatra located on the periphery of the area is beyond me, although it could be because black text on dark green is harder to read.

Anyway, as to the location of the plateau, the problem is there really isn't space. To fit it in the space not already defined as part of one of the three tribal areas would basically take up most of the remaining east-west space. In addition, it would come extremely close to the Kuong kingdomin in the jungle, Petan to the north, and the southwestern coast. You could possibly fit it in the large Himalaya-inspired mountain range west of Shou Lung and T'u Lung, but again, there are problems. Part is explored, there are trails, and there is even a spaceport. Plus you'd have to re-orient it to north-south rather than east-west.

For reference, 1400 miles is roughly the distance from Memnon (city north or Calimport) to Waterdeep; and in the real world, a straight line from Maine to the southern tip of Florida is about 1400 miles, as is a line from London to Istanbul. Also, each of the squares on the composite map I linked are roughly 2000 miles to a side. A plateau of this size isn't something you can easily hide, IMO.
Big Mac wrote:The Ancient Nubari did supposedly attempt to pick a location that was not desirable to the natives, so three villages on the doorstep wouldn't really fit in so well with that. But at a stretch, a bit of area, at the edge of Malatra could more easily become the "invisible" area that the locals ignore. Essentially, what I am saying is: can you find 1,400 miles of unused land next to Malatra? If so, we could add that onto the "original" Malatran Jungle and then have the Nubari remove it from play.
It's more than "villages"; one is a fairly well defined kingdom, although far less organized and coherent than it was 600 years ago. That one in particular is the closest to any likely area of the Plateau. Also, history shows that humans will live just about anywhere, and while there isn't anything specifically stated abotu the western parts of the jungle, I highly doubt they're uninhabited. Jungles are actually a pretty good place to live from a tribal point of view.
Big Mac wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
night_druid wrote:If I'm not mistaken, Malatra IS the big plateau in the center of the jungles of far southern Kara-Tur.
It is a big plateau. The word Malatra is on Auld Dragon's composite-map, but that bit does look more like desert than jungle. If the area is supposed to be "invisible" to outsiders, then I think the plateau is either in the middle of the jungle or surrounded by mountains...probably the former, IIRC.
That's not desert. It's plains/grasslands. Malatra according to the Kara-tur boxed set covers those plains there up to the red border with T'u Lung, the jungles east of the word to the coast, and the mountains and jungle south of T'u Lung and Petan. There are three tribes (none of whom seem to be mentioned in the Living Jungle PDF, at leat from a quick skim), one of whom lives primarily in the central jungle and had a kingdom there some 600 years ago; the ruins of the capital city are at Parmahana (you can see it on the map in the vertical mountain range near the east coast).
I never could cope with the colour coding of 2e maps. I find 3e maps a lot more user friendly, for some reason.
Those are based on the two Trail Maps products, which are more like 1st ed maps, rather than the 2nd ed maps in later FR boxed sets (such as the Revised FR boxed set). The Trail Maps came out right around the turnover from 1st ed to 2nd ed. Later FR maps use a pale grey-green to represent "clear" terrain rather than the brownish of the early maps. They used the Trail maps for the composite since they were the largest single maps ever made of Toril.
Big Mac wrote:Anyway, from what I can see, a small number of native Kara-Turans (possibly proto-Malatrans) made their way up onto the plateau generations ago. They have now interbred with the Ancient Nubari so much that they have gained the additional finger that Toril's humans have and their large pointy heads have become more normal. So if the Nubari have changed that much, the Kara-Turan's might also be different from the other tribes around the plateau. In fact those three tribes might even be later migrants to the area.

I wish that Forgotten Realms Wiki had more about Kara-Tur.
Does the Living Jungle infomation list a time frame or information on the tribes who came to the plateau before the Nubari? Does it have a time fram for the Nubari entering the scene?

Jeff
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