Wednesday, April 20, 2011

P is for Paper

(I'm a day late! 8-)
            I like paper... (slaps forehead) and O is for Origami! Oh, well...
            I fold paper, write and draw on it, rescue scrap paper to use it, make journals and project booklets with a three-hole punch and using the wide printer paper for a cover... they read right to left because I'm a lefty and tend to write on the back of hard-copy, so the hand-written margin is on the left when I punch the three holes. This was written on Monday's O is for Old School RPGs, including sketches I can't include here, where I was trying to talk myself through describing the exploded 20-sider map-making process below.
            I make origami, and prefer 3-D, puff-up folds, including rabbits derived form 6-sided water bombs. You are supposed to use squares, but I make a point of finding a way to use regular 8 1/2 by 11 'found' paper, folding the extra back out of the way. I fold it into isosceles triangles, too, to trace out 'exploded' icosahedron SF world maps, the sort made famous by Traveller. If I'm in a hurry, a hand-drawn oval will do, with fanciful land-masses. When I'm done, I turn the sheet upside-down and draw the compass; I seem to get better results, somehow.
            There are two ways I create Traveller-style flattened 20-sided globes. One uses most of the paper, but leaves the map on a slant across the sheet, which is an effect I like, but may not be for everyone. The other puts a smaller world map at the top of the sheet, with room to write the details below and on the back- hydrographic ratio (guess-timated from what you drew 8-), size, gravity, atmo, mean surface temperature, and other details, like whether the local biota are compatible with Earth-life, what the population is, agriculture, industry, economy, religion and government... all the good stuff, plus adventure hooks, people, places and factions of interest!
            The secret to making isosceles triangles is to fold a square or rectangle in half, vertically, then open and fold one bottom corner up (or top corner down) to the center line (the fold sort of hinges on the opposite corner). Then fold the top corner down, or the bottom corner up, turn over, and you will see that the center line crease forms the base of an isosceles triangle. Open and fold the other side the same way and you now have two isosceles triangles, setting base to base...
            I honestly don't know how to tell you the folding process for either type of map without a diagram; I'll give it another try tomorrow, or rather, later today!

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