Today I stumbled on a very old post of his called Urbancrawl Rules for Slacker DMs. Sometimes RPG blogs have really interesting posts (hint, hint), but I digress. Anyway the Urbancrawl Rules are a way to run an urban sandbox "hex crawl" without any real prep other than the cool map which is not exactly a map. He starts by spelling out the numbers ONE through TEN in huge letters clustered together and somewhat distorted on a page. The letters are linked and the lines of the letters become the major thoroughfares. [Check out the pics on his post and you'll see what I mean.] But the problem is that once you have the city "map" underway, it's still obviously the words for one through ten. Cool when you first look at it as a concept, and a cool tool for DMs, but I think the final map will look dorky and preschoolish to anyone else.
Ah, but what if you used the Chinese characters for the numbers instead of English words? Well first let's take a look at those characters:
Hmm, not too bad. Of course to me it still looks like a jumble of Chinese words. But to someone who doesn't know characters it's probably a random oriental collage art thingy. Next is to put a piece of tracing paper on top (yes, there are paint programs, but I like hands-on art) and trace and extend the lines, making sure to trace each character in a separate color.
I'll get to that in a later post.