Lords51: The Maps

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Maps are central to the game play of Lords of the Earth. They show the locations of the regions and cities, the terrain, builds, and which nation controls the region. The maps in Lords 51 are created with Campaign Cartographer 2. A piece of software specificly designed and used for map creation by ProFantasy Software.

The maps feature relatively evenly sized regions that divide up virtually all of the landmass of the whole world. Each region contains a name, a terrain symbol, a race indicator, a Gold Point Value (GPv) and a Regional Resistance Value (RRv). The two values will be enclosed by parentheses and separated by a slash, with the GPv to the left and RRv to the right. The tables in the following sections display the various symbols that you will find on the maps.

See also the Example Map Section.

Regional Symbols

Besides Terrain, Race, GPv, and Resistance, each region can contain a wide variety of other symbols representing just as wide a variety of resources, improvements, and hindrances amidst the landscape. Cities, Fortresses and Ports represent concentrations of population within a region. Trade Centers, the various Trade Routes and the Arctic Fur Line represent locations of unusual economic value. Roads and Monuments are valuable constructions.

Table 4-1 . Regional Symbols


Each region in a normal campaign can potentially contain a city. Specific to Lords 51 a region may hold up to its GPv in cities. So a 3 GPv region could hold 3 cities of various levels. But, the sizes of those cities will invariably differ. On the maps the relative size of a city is denoted by one of a number of symbols. The size and type of city will have an impact on what units can be constructed. The three types - Village, Town, and City up to size 10.


Each region can also potentially contain a fortress. Sometimes the fortress is surrounded by the region’s City and in other cases the fortress is in a different location, separate from the City. A fortress surrounded by a city is denoted by the combined fortress-city symbol (as shown in Table 4-1), while a stand-alone fortress is denoted by a triangle. See Building Fortresses for more on Fortresses.


Cities built along coastlines of sea zones or navigable rivers may also have port facilities. Ports permit the construction of navies and act as bases for the nation’s merchant fleets. Cities sporting port facilities will have an anchor noted next to their city symbol. The position of this anchor symbol will also show which Sea Zone the port is placed on. A port may be placed at the junction of two Sea Zones, thus adjoining both of them, or at the confluence of a River and a Sea Zone, allowing access to either.

Only light transports can be based at port cities on rivers for the purposes of supporting msp. See Ship Unit Classes and Effects.

In rare circumstances an anchor may be noted next to a body of water in a region that does not contain a city, or in a region that contains a city that is clearly situated inland. This is known as a Port Area.

A Port Area does not count as a Port for purposes of tracing a trade route from capital to capital. For that, you need a port city.

All port facilities aid troops in embarking to and debarking from ships. See Load/Unload Ships for more on Loading and Unloading ships.


Roads can be built to hold the far-flung expanses of an empire together. Royal Roads will extend the King’s Command Control Radius and the Homeland Build Zone, improve troop mobility into the hinterlands, and can improve the mobility of your merchants (thereby improving your International Trade income). Postal Roads will extend the King’s Command Radius, but do not provide mobility improvements or extend the Homeland Build Zone.

Royal Roads are denoted on the maps with parallel lines extending from city to city, city to region center, or region center to region center (RoyalRoad.JPG). Postal Roads are single lines that extend in the same manner. See Royal Roads and Postal Roads for more information on the construction and uses of, respectively, Royal and Postal Roads.


On occasion, nations will build monuments to commemorate an important event or the passing of a great leader. Sometimes these monuments are memorials to past great leaders and others are built to impress locals and foreigners alike as to the power and wealth of the nation. Given sufficient time and notoriety, these monuments can potentially generate a small income due to tourist traffic as well.

Since these constructions can vary widely in purpose and form, the symbols that represent them may also vary. Some show up as a pyramid (Monolith.JPG). See Monoliths.

Special Trade Regions

Trade Regions are specific locations around the world where trade activity is high, due to central locations, precious metals, furs or any of a number of other reasons. Trade Regions, as a group, include Trade Centers, The Silk Route, and any region along the Tree Line (The Arctic Fur Trade).

Trade Centers

Trade Centers represent areas of high trade activity for less specific reasons than the a special Route or the Fur Trade. Such regions are noted on the maps by a TradeCenter.JPG, and exist in numerous locations. They have no direct GP value, but they do increase the nation’s International Trade Value.

Each region that a Nation controls at a status of Tributary (T) or higher that contains a Trade Center will increase the Inter-City income by three (3) and the Inter-Nation Trade rating by one (1)

Table 4-2. Trade Center Types (not used in 51)

Trade Routes

The Silk Route was an ancient trading link between the East (as in China) and the Levant. It is marked on the maps as a dotted line (……) running from central China west to Baghdad in Mesopotamia. In Lords 51 such land routes can be fashioned or stumbled upon by exploring nations. And so we have two types.

  • Established or Existing Routes (Silk Route effect basically)
  • New Routes - Start Up Routes

Established Routes

Each region that a Nation controls that lies on an Established Route, regardless of the GPv of the region, produces one (1) additional GP which is added to the nation’s Regional income. If a Nation has control of any region along the Established Route, its Inter-City income is increased by three (3) and its Inter-Nation Trade Rating is increased by one (1). This addition is only applied once, regardless of the total number of Established Route regions controlled by the Nation. Information flows from greater distances and allows otherwise landlocked nations to trade.

Start up Routes

There will be times when Routes may be created by multiple nations across Geographic Zone borders. The primary impact is to allow for trade to far flung nations. Be it above or below ground. After a period of time a Route will become permanent.

Note: A Random Event or a better route could potentially put the dampers on the whole route, or a specific section. In the case of Earth and how it relates to LOTE terminology. Direct sea trade was established between a Nation in the Middle-Eastern Geographic Zone and a Nation in the China Geographic Zone making the Silk Trade Route a thing of the past.

Border Terrain

Impeding your movement or protecting your nation are natural features on your region’s borders. Beware however that certain races find these barriers nothing more than a nuisance.

Two quick examples, there are others.

  • Rough, mountainous terrain isn't nearly as great a challenge for Dwarves, but may slow another folk down to a crawl.
  • Lizardmen wade through rivers as if they did not exist.


Rivers are the smaller of two watercourse types used in Lords 51. Rivers change elevation at points significant enough to create a hazard to ships. This is indicated on the maps by a thick black line running 90 degrees to the River. These navigatable systems are also large enough to create problems for land units, crossing one costs an extra Action Point.

Only those Rivers which are capable of waterborn traffic of some significant form are shown on the map. Each River section is considered to be a Sea Zone by Light Warships and Light Transports.

Table 4-3. Border Terrain Symbols

Medium and Heavy Warships and Transports cannot move along Rivers. See Ship Unit Classes and Effects.

Examples: The Great Snake in the Americas consists of two sections – The Upper Snake and the Lower Snake. Each is considered a sea zone. An army moving between Michigamea and Quapaw would pay one extra Action Point to cross the river.

The Wisconsin River in North America is an excellent example of what a River system is in Lords 51


These represent the largest river systems in the world. Waterways are not subject to elevation changes, are slower moving, deeper, and are capable of carrying larger classes of shipping. See Ship Unit Classes and Effects.

These systems are more than large enough to create problems for land units, crossing one costs an extra Action Point.

Examples: The Mississippi in North America and the Amazon in South America are two Waterways.

Ditch Section

A Defensive Ditch is an extensive earthwork in the form of a dry moat and mound combined. It creates a significant high point for defenders to hold their ground more easily. They run the length of a border. The ditches cannot be constructed in Mountaineous terrain.

The Ditch multiplies the combat value of the defending army that is behind it by 1.25. By itself it has no defensive strength, so it must have an army or garrison behind the Defensive Dike to be effective. Field Forts may garrison a Defensive Dike segment. A Defensive Dike can be built to front a Great Wall segment to enhance its effects.

Great Wall Section

Great Walls are massive border-length defensive fortifications that, historically, were used by the Chinese to demarcate their northern border. By itself the structure does nothing. It must be manned by a defending army. Field Forts can be incorporated into a regions defensive strategy.

Historically the Chinese did develop signal fires of various colors, and uses. They could signal over 1000 miles in a single day. It helped keep raiders out for approximately 400 years.

To simulate this use The Age of Awakenings campaign may introduce a reaction bonus for any region with a manned Great Wall section. As of Feb, 07. This will be decided prior to full restoration.

Tsetse Fly effect

What is the Tsetse Fly line in a normal campaign you ask yourself? It is a section of Africa where Cavalry cannot go due to the tsetse fly, and other mitigating circumstances. Any Cavalry force that enters this area is converted immediately to Inexperienced Infantry.

In Lords 51 specicially there may be areas encountered that have a similar effect. The cold, an insect such as the Tsetse fly, and other conditions may limit certain mounts. The most widespread mount available to the broadest range of races is the Horse. Once discovered these areas will appear on the map as a barrier of sorts.

If your nation comes in contact with this more information will appear in your My Lords data.


The Lords 51 campaign uses a very large range of terrain modifiers. Each race will use the terrain and its resources differently. GPv, Agro Production, Tax Multiples, Maximum Status, and Population all change according to the inhabitants. Keep in mind, to see what use the position or people can make of the region it is best to refer to the Racial Chart created for the specific race. A Nu'jree position with Dwarves in a DF1 region may be best to leave alone instead of spending valuable resources on some sort of cultivation project.

These three major kinds of land are displayed on the map in light green, tan and brown. Each of the forms will have a symbol associated for map identification.

Table 4-4 Terrain Symbols Table

Symbol Terrain Type Code
51 terrain g.jpg Grasslands G
51 terrain d.jpg Desert D
51 terrain b.jpg Bog / Bayou B
51 terrain w.jpg Woodlands W
51 terrain h.jpg Highlands H
51 terrain s.jpg Steppe S
51 terrain f.jpg Foothills F
51 terrain tree1.jpg</br>51 terrain tree2.jpg Forest F
51 terrain m.jpg Mountain / Montane M
51 terrain a.jpg Alpine A

The Codes have the race identifier prior to the land type for a unique combination.

EA, DA, and FA for example are all Alpine. EG, DG, and FG are all Grasslands.

See the Terrain Type Descriptions for a brief explanation of the various types and forms.

Table 4-5. Regional Terrain Action Costs (needs more modification)

Racial Type
Alpine 2 3 3 2 3 3 3 2
Bayou 3 2 3 3 2 1 2 3
B1 3 2 3 3 2 1 2 3
B2 3 2 3 3 2 1 2 3
Desert 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2
D1 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2
D2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2
Foothills 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 1
F1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 1
F2 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 1
Grassland 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
G1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
G2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Highland 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
H1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
H2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Mountain 2 3 3 2 3 3 3 2
M1 2 3 3 2 3 3 3 2
M2 2 3 3 2 3 3 3 2
Steppe 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 2
S1 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 2
S2 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 2
Woodland 2 1 1 2 2 1 2 1
W1 2 1 1 2 2 1 2 1
W2 2 1 1 2 2 1 2 1


  • This is the Action Point cost to enter a region of the given terrain.

Table 2-8. Terrain Type Tax Multiples

Racial Type
A 0.5 0.25 0.25 0.5 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.5
B 0.25 1.0 0.5 0.75 0.5 1.0 0.25 0.75
B1 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1.25 N/A N/A
B2 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1.5 N/A N/A
D 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.25 1.0 0.5
D1 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1.25 N/A
D2 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1.5 N/A
F 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.75 0.75 0.75 1.0
F1 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 0.75 N/A N/A 1.25
F2 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.0 N/A N/A 1.5
G 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
G1 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25
G2 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.5 1.25 1.25 1.25
H 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
H1 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25
H2 1.25 1.25 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.25 1.25 1.25
M 1.0 0.5 0.5 1.0 0.25 0.5 0.25 0.5
M1 1.25 N/A N/A 1.25 N/A N/A N/A 0.75
M2 1.5 N/A N/A 1.5 N/A N/A N/A 1.0
S 0.5 0.25 0.25 0.5 0.25 0.25 1.0 0.5
S1 0.75 N/A N/A 0.75 N/A N/A 1.25 0.75
S2 1.0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1.5 N/A
W 0.5 1.0 1.0 0.75 0.75 0.75 0.75 1.0
W1 N/A 1.25 1.25 N/A 0.75 1.0 N/A 1.25
W2 N/A 1.5 1.25 N/A 1.0 N/A N/A 1.5

Terrain Type Descriptions


Regions of land not significantly higher than adjacent areas with relatively minor differences in elevation up to approximately 500 ft. This does not mean that the land is entirely flat but that major obstacles to movement are easily circumvented. Any major geographic features is noted on the map. Broad grasslands, vast swamps, dry deserts, and scrub woodlands are most common.


Areas where food is more easily produced in abundance. Prairies, Coastal Plains, and Meadows are examples. Every race can make good use of these regions.


Areas of land which are covered by a good deal of shallow water in places. It can have deep, soft soil or mud that sinks easily underfoot. Riverbanks, Tidal Flats, and Swamps are examples.


Arid region sometimes covered in part by sand having more scanty vegetation. Not devoid of life, but devoid of easily grown and maintained crops compared to what most Races know how to deal with. The Sahara and Imperial Valley on Earth cite two extreme examples of Desert regions.


Areas where scrub brush and trees of every imaginable sort grow with ease. Larger clumps of trees create Copses and Groves.


On Earth there are a huge variety of geologic features which are lumped together referred to as Hills. They are based upon appearance, method of formation and usually no higher than 2000 feet in elevation. The characteristic they share is that they are difficult to move around but not so large as to impact weather patterns or halt the determined army on grand scale. For game sake we refer to all of the following as Hills:-

Thick forests, dry steppe lands, rolling highlands, scattered pastures & mineral wealth are most common.


Similar to Grasslands upon the Plains in many ways but at a higher elevation. May have scattered natural features which do not seriously hamper the growth of agriculture.


Areas which are not used quite as intensively for the specific growth of food. They may yield other valuable mineral resources or provide excellent pastures.


Regions where trees are left or helped to grow for the various fruits and resources each unique species provides.


More arid elevated landscapes with less vegetation than any of the other types in the Hills.


A natural elevation having considerable mass, generally steeper sides, and a height greater than that of a hill. Clouds may swirl around them, snow may cap them, and in some instances nearly nothing grows. Yet other times the various altitudes, rainfall, and conditions allow for valleys critical to survival in these conditions. On Earth two examples would be Sky Islands and Cloud Forest.

Montane or Mountain

Areas that have serious obstacles to movement but they also have valleys and mineral resources more easily found.


Some Mountains are just too high, weather too harsh, and other formidable conditions exist that support few inhabitants of any race.

Sea Symbols

Sea Zones (also called Coastal Sea Zones) define the seas of Siri, hugging the continental shelves. Each Sea Zone has a name and is demarcated by dashed lines. Sea Zones and Rivers must be explored to navigate them successfully. This allows for the specific knowledge of the hazards associated with a given shoreline or watercourse. Once explored a Rutter appears in your My Lords section. The concept is not new, but is certainly defined in the Lords: Deus Valt Campaign In addition to the regular dashed line border there are special Sea Zone borders, which are described below. Lords 51 uses some Optional Rules for Sea Zones, the normal campaign information is shown here.

Table 4-6. Sea Zone Symbols

Symbol Meaning
FerryPoint.JPG Ferry Point
OneWay.JPG One-way Inter-Island Arrow
TwoWay.JPG Two-way Inter-Island Arrow
OneWayOpen.JPG One-way Open Ocean Arrow
TwoWayOpen.JPG Two-way Open Ocean Arrow
-↑- Monsoon Sea Zone Border
-↑- Strong Current Border
H Hostile Sea Zones

Open Ocean and Inter-Island Arrows

Open Ocean and Inter-Island Arrows must be explored before they can be traversed. Inter-island Arrows are double line arrows and are relatively easy to explore. Open Ocean Arrows are single line arrows and are tough to explore. Seafaring Nations can explore Open Ocean Arrows more effectively, but they can only trade across Inter-Island Arrows, not Open Ocean Arrows.

No combat can occur on an Inter-Island or Open Ocean Arrow.

Hostile Sea Zones

Hostile Sea Zones are defined, in general, as those places where ships go but do not come back from. For the vast majority of the seafaring nations, anything out of the sight of land is hostile (thus the restriction of Sea Zones to the coast and the use of current movement lines in the open sea). The Sea Zones that are intrinsically hostile are marked with an H. Most marked Hostile Sea Zones are riddled with icebergs, sea monsters, narrows, reefs, and make travel to uninitiated deadly. In Lords 51 a Rutter can make the going easier, but vessels from your nation need to navigate themselves to actually get a Hostile Sea Zone considered anything "safe".

Monsoon Borders

Monsoon Borders are beneficial Sea Zone borders where the prevailing winds are defined by the seasons in a big way. Double arrows astride a sea zone border represent them. A Monsoon border costs Leaders and units only ½ an Action Point to cross. For trade routes, however, crossing a Monsoon Border counts one Sea Zone against its range.

Strong Current Borders

Strong Current Borders can be hindrances to navigation if you sail against the prevailing current. A single arrow astride a sea zone border represents the prevailing current direction of a Strong Current Border. A Strong Current Border costs Leaders and units 2 Action Points to cross moving against the direction of the arrow, and 1 Action Point to cross moving in the direction of the arrow. For Trade Routes, crossing a Strong Current Border counts 2 against its range.

Ferry Arrows

There are a number of points on the map that are indicated by a thin double-headed arrow (Doublearrow.JPG) crossing particularly narrow bodies of water. These are locations where Ferry Arrows operate providing a locally generated means of communications and transport from one shore to the other. Ferry Arrows also act as “land” bridges by permitting Homeland Build Zones, and land-based Inter-Nation Trade Routes to function across the Ferry Arrow as if the regions on either end of the Ferry physically bordered one another.

Ferry Arrow Capacity

Generally, all known Ferry Arrows are considered to start with 10 Ferry Points (FP) that can move up to 10 Cargo per Action impulse (basically a month of time) to the other side. In places New Ferry Arrows may be constructed as exploration and expansion of organized folk take place once again.

The Ferry Arrow capacity can also be temporarily augmented with additional warships and transports whose Cargo value is lent to the Ferry Arrow to make the crossing faster.

Ferry Points are self maintained and repaired, so troop support is not assessed for them. Ferry points may be interdicted by Naval action or by capturing one end of the ferry point and not allowing the ferrying troops to land.

Armies may attack across a Ferry Point, provided that they can pay the extra cost in Action Points to cross.

A neutral province will not allow an Army to cross a Ferry Point leading to the province without attacking.

Crossing a Ferry Arrow

When an army crosses a Ferry Arrow, there may be an extra Action Point cost if the size (in Cargo points) of the army exceeds the capacity of the Ferry Arrow. A Ferry Arrow can move Cargo Points equal to the number of Ferry Points at the Arrow in 1 AP.

If, therefore, an army with a cargo capacity greater than the carrying capability of the Arrow crosses, the AP cost can be calculated by:

Army Cargo Size / Ferry Arrow Capacity = AP To Cross

Any fractional AP cost is rounded up.

Example: 20 Light Cavalry units (Cargo value 40) are crossing a Ferry Arrow which has 10 Ferry points plus 10 light transports (total Cargo capacity of 10 + 20 = 30), they would have to expend two (2) Action Points to get across (40/30=2).
LOTE Symbol Small.JPG

Campaign: 51 Siri - Age of Awakenings
Alternative Campaign Setting

Lords of the Earth 5th Edition, version 5.5 © 1997 Thomas Harlan (Original)
© 2005 JJ Martell (Modified for Lords51)

All rights reserved. Permission was given to modify the content for Lords51. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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