Overmaps, GPS, Maps, Sight, and Positioning

Yes, I get this idea adds another system that would require coding. But I had the thought and figured I’d suggest it and see if there is any interest in it. I also will want to discuss various levels of complication of this.
So right now as long as you have your mini-map it doesn’t matter if you can’t see an inch in front of your face. You can always navigate where you need to and never get lost. Part of the danger of being in forest or unfamiliar terrain is losing your way. In the middle of dark night in a town, even one you know like the back of your hand, it’s possible to lose track of your position. My suggestion is to change this. Trying to keep this as simple as possible while adding depth. There would be three things of importance.

Your current vision of the terrain.
Knowing your location.
Knowing the terrain.

  1. Terrain Vision
    I feel your vision of the terrain should be more restricted at times like night or in the forest. If your character is unable to see into the surrounding squares then you should not show them on the mini-map. This could be based on whether you can see any of the squares of the mini-map tile at all or a certain percentage of them. Your vision of the terrain could help you very much so Know Your Location.

  2. Know Your Location
    Knowing your location can be based on a number of things. Your Knowledge of the Terrain helps. Your Vision of the Terrain helps. A GPS or smart phone with a GPS app could help as long as the GPS system is up. My most complex idea would have a cartography and navigation skill added to the game while my simplest would be to simply restrict terrain vision in poor vision situations (aka at night and in forests). These would add a little depth to navigation in those circumstances while not affecting things too much. The main part of this would be to give the mini-map two views. Terrain View and Map view. Map view would show you everything you’ve explored but without your current position, while your terrain view would show you only what you can see. When you have a full up GPS system running with maps you would simply combine the two back to the current system.

  3. Knowing the Terrain
    Know the terrain falls more under the department of the more complex parts of this suggestion. It has too many tie ins to other sections so I’m simply going to move onto a list of ideas that is exactly that. A list of ideas and not supposed all be implemented together or something.

Skill: Navigation
Skill: Cartography (or combination of the two)
Creating maps with paper and writing utensils (or bark and a knife) or even digitally.
Every time that you move and see new terrain have your character stop and take time to add to your map. (toggle this off for combat and or faster movement)
Memorized terrain could be a thing where you are so familiar with this terrain that you no longer need a map of the area. This could be an in game thing or simply let the player simulate it by memorizing areas manually.
Finding maps that you can use.
Inaccurate map information. From a distance you see a forest tile. Update close you see a bunker.

yawns falling asleep. Will add more later.

I do think it would be interesting for a character to be able to get lost in a forest or on a dark moonless night.

What’s posted does seem to be very complex (though reasonably well thought out in my opinion). A simpler system may work a little better though. We already have survival skill, and wilderness navigation often falls into that area.

(for an example I recall a Mythbusters episode where Adam And Jamie both tried to get to a destination separately through a forest. Jamie, who actually has a small amount of wilderness survival knowledge for the most part managed to keep the correct heading. Adam on the other hand spiraled around uselessly, I roughly recall Adam ended up even farther from his destination than he started.)

Could we simply have survival skill be the determining factor for how well you know where you are when in a forest or at night in unknown territory. And simply keep track of how often the player has visited the area for the knowing the terrain side?

May be able to simplify the map as well. Instead of having two seperate map modes. How about when the player could be considered to be lost instead of showing the player symbol on the map it just shows another symbol repeated over an area to indicate that yes, you are lost, but you know (based on your survival skill, ambient light, and how many times you’ve been to the area) you are somewhere within this area indicated by the symbols.

After all if I jumped over my backyard fence and started wandering around in the florida jungle back there (no easy feat). I would know that A) I’m somewhere west of my house. B) I’m north of [street name redacted] because I didn’t cross it, and C) I’m east of the highway, because again, I didn’t cross it.

That could still be an area a few dozen square miles. Especially since I don’t know exactly what’s north out there (there’s another road of course, but it’s some distance away.)

That kind of system still allows for navigation items as well. If you choose to make a map when in an area you could have the game consider you to always fully familiar with an area a few maptiles from where you drew the map, as long as you have the map in your inventory. As well as a big bonus to familiarity even without the map. Writing something down is great for memory, even if you don’t keep the writing.
Something like a compass could just give a large bonus to survival skill when it comes to navigation checks (since we inherently know where north is), binos could similarly give a smaller bonus to that check (you can use those to identify distant landmarks better), and a functioning gps system simply removes the check altogether, as long as it’s powered.

EDIT: I just realized I may have completely rewrote the idea. Sorry about that, I tend to get a bit overzealous when I see a good idea and have thoughts on how it could work.

I don’t see a good reason to ever limit player’s perception of the terrain like that. It would be easy to get around it outside of the game, meaning that it would only amount to tedium.

One use of survival I’d see here would be some sort of extended action revealing nearby overmap tiles (not seen at the moment), for example by climbing a tree.

to be honest i feel like this will just add tedium