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Old 11-25-2020, 09:09 AM   #21
ericthered
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Default Re: Background : When did 'Last Cowboy' die ?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Satellite photos might not be the most helpful things though. Ground level photos might work better.

Especially out west. There is some very rough terrain that obscures vision, turns you around, and looks very distinctive from the side without giving you any real idea of what it looks like from the top.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:12 PM   #22
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Default Re: Background : When did 'Last Cowboy' die ?

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Especially out west. There is some very rough terrain that obscures vision, turns you around, and looks very distinctive from the side without giving you any real idea of what it looks like from the top.
Yeah. A witness's diary with some sketches, which I think was suggested upthread a bit, would probably be a lot more helpful than the Last Cowboy trying to find something using sat photos.
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:30 AM   #23
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Default Re: Background : When did 'Last Cowboy' die ?

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Satellite photos might not be the most helpful things though. Ground level photos might work better.

When was the first portable camera available? By that I mean a camera that an amateur could carry around and shoot photos on the fly. I think the Brownie was around by the period. A collection of poorly shot and indifferently preserved photos with a few letters from the last cowboy might be a great set up.
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:49 AM   #24
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Default Re: Background : When did 'Last Cowboy' die ?

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I think the Brownie was around by the period. A collection of poorly shot and indifferently preserved photos with a few letters from the last cowboy might be a great set up.
Brownies were introduced in 1900, which is why I suggested etchings or some kind of professional camp photographer nearby instead.
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It s not actually necessary for one person to complete both ends of the exercise.

If your cowboy is using Eidetic Memory to emulate Absolute Direction his description of how he got to a specific place his recollection (which can be recorded at a time that does not have to extend into the satellite age) will consist of a highly specific if soemwhat arbbitray list of landmarks
I'd still question the cowboy happening to have eidetic memory as too unlikely and too convenient for the story.

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That"s how I do it anywya. at any given time I can easily have no clue what direction North is but I remember how I got to wherever I am now.

This list of non-distinct but specific landmarks might nto help a lot of people after him but soemone in 2020 with a _lot_ of photographs and soem mapping software might be able to reconstruct the route just from the verbal directions.

Satellite photos might not be the most helpful things though. Ground level photos might work better.
But indeed, there are certainly many ways for him to pass on enough clues to find the place, I just question him being able to point it out on an aerial map.

Maybe as they left the mine after the storm passed, they notice the morning sun shining directly down their gorge, or the sun rising from behind a distinctive peak. Otherwise, they remark on how they are directly south of one peak and directly west of another peak, allowing the PCs to triangulate a number of likely locations.
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:57 AM   #25
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Default Re: Background : When did 'Last Cowboy' die ?

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When was the first portable camera available? By that I mean a camera that an amateur could carry around and shoot photos on the fly. I think the Brownie was around by the period. A collection of poorly shot and indifferently preserved photos with a few letters from the last cowboy might be a great set up.
The Kodak Brownie (1900) is generally considered the invention of the mass market snapshot camera.
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:21 AM   #26
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Default Re: Background : When did 'Last Cowboy' die ?

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The Kodak Brownie (1900) is generally considered the invention of the mass market snapshot camera.
But you don't need old photos. In mnay repects you don't even want them. What you want are recent photos with gps data attached.

Then you go through the old diary that says "That night we made camp near a big rock what looked like a punkin' and then the next morning went off and turned down the gully and it was a relief to get the morning sun out of our eyes.".

You might have to go though the photos yourself to find a selection of big rocks that are approximately pumpkin-shaped but then you have your computer see if there are gullies anywhere near them that run north or south. Repeat multiple times.
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