Maps in Achaea appear primarily as two types: layout maps and illustrated maps.
Layout maps, or room maps, are akin to topographical surveys in that they show areas on a room by room basis. They are most often used for practical pace-by-pace navigation within a given area. Layout maps are usually colour coded to denote environment types, up/down exits, in/out exits, and various other navigational elements. Because of this, map keys are often included somewhere on the map to explain its given symbology.
However, rooms are of variable sizes. Layout maps often fail to deliver an area's sense of relative size and distance with regards to its surroundings. For this reason, illustrated maps are created. Illustrated maps generally adhere to a more aesthetic sense, often embellished with such niceties as:
- compass roses - figures displaying the orientation of cardinal directions.
- cartouches - decorative emblems containing titles and general map information.
- labels of terra incognita or "unknown territory," used to denote unexplored portions of land.
Because the purpose of an illustrated map is to give an accurate sense of relative size and distance, these maps tend to cover a wider area. As a result, illustrated maps are of greatest use when applied to the wilderness.
With the release of Seafaring to the adventuring population of Achaea, nautical maps are more commonly seen than before. Used by those specialised in the helm and watch aspects, they allow estimation of distance and direction to a particular harbour from the ship's current position. Skilled navigators are also able to scribe their own maps to distant harbours. Blank maps are sold by Captain Maelstrom. Maps depicting the areas around harbours are most commonly found in use upon ships, stored within a Cartographer's Desk.