Being sick the last few days and really unable to do any work, I've had a good time to think about how I'm going to build my map system... I've now run into another conundrum with the way saving and loading will work - so it looks like NWjs file control and hard drive access is here to stay, frustratingly.
First steps to a "proper" save and load system is now in the works instead of using state saving. This will be essential for complete freedom on the map, and total persistence of objects between a potentially infinite amount of locations.
If only there was a way to dynamically create a new "layout" during runtime, then state saving would be just fine - but I'm going to have to shuffle locational data in a single layout, hence my pending headache.
So after my 500th attempt at trying to understand the dictionary object, and the way to combine it properly with NWJS file access... I have made a fully workable save and load system - which makes me a happy camper. I would expect things to move along rather nicely from now, as this was really one of my major hurdles in developing the game in the way I wanted it to work... yay for my 2d cardboard cut-out brain.