About ‘Maps and More’

Maps and More is the place where I document my professional and hobby work related to maps and gaming in general. I have been doing freelance work in the rpg hobby industry for several years, and Mapsandmore.com remains the central information platform for my services. Lately my time for individual map commissions has become sparse, due to involvement in larger, ongoing projects. Feel free to still contact me about such work, but don’t be disappointed if I can’t accommodate you.

About me

My name is Ralf Schemmann and I am living in Germany. I have a degree (German M.A.) in history, computer science and applied linguistics from the University of Siegen and I also studied for a while at the University of Stuttgart and the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada).

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Ralf Schemmann,

    I am a web-designer/board game designer and have a number of prototype games under development, some of which have map/playing area elements.

    The main hold-up in their development is the lack of an art department. Would you be intested in any commissions to create the artwork for these games and approximately what do you normally charge?

    Yours Sincerely

    – Ian

  2. Hey Ralf,
    Thanks for the link.
    I wonder if I can ask your advice. I’ve been reading/studying/writing about Tolkien’s Middle-earth since 1978. A few times over the years I’ve tried and failed at running a tabletop RPG set in this theme at various times (TA 1640, First Age, Second Age, etc) and each time run straight into thematic issues. So, my question: how do you overcome or side-step this issue? Does it even come up in your games? I find myself just slowly losing interest in trying to run Middle-earth despite my great enthusiasm for it. How do you do it?

    • Hm, I don’t really have any good hard advice, only “don’t sweat it”. I’ve run several campaigns in ICE’s TA 1640 setting with Rolemaster rules back in high school and university, and we never bothered too much about getting very close to Tolkien. I guess the last of those got closest, and it took place in the Greater Harad setting, having hardly anything from Tolkien’s books in it. Only the basic ingredient of true black & white good vs evil, with a distant menacing dark overlord in the background (one of the Nine in that case), and some closer villains with true faces that the players loved to hate. We last played that in the late 90s.

      The new campaign I’m running now is much closer in content and feel to Tolkien’s books, and that’s mostly thanks to the great material provided by Francesco Nepitello (for the rules) and Gareth Hanrahan (for the setting). We’ve also matured as players since then (yes, most of the players are still the same) and quite instinctively follow Tolkien’s themes. I still take liberties (dwarven ghosts recently, which doesn’t fit the lore much), and it’s the PCs’ story, not Frodo’s, Gandalf’s nor anybody else’s. The future of this Middle-earth is unwritten for me, we’ll see what happens.

      So I guess my basic advice is, don’t strife too hard to make it as close to Tolkien as possible. Let it flow, and it matches that vibe, great. If not quite so much, you can still end up with great fun and a wonderful story of the heroes.

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