Thursday, December 11, 2014

Building a World, More Nuts and Bolts: The Patchwork Lands

Part I in here
Part II is here

  Since I have my Big Ideas that Drive Things and major locations for weird and for plots (see the previous two posts) I want to nail down local geography in the main campaign region a bit more.

  The broad brush history outline is that a large human empire collapsed under outside attack long before the time of the campaign start and that the main area, the Patchwork Lands, survived because of serious natural barriers. So I roughly sketch out a peninsula isolated from the main continent by forbidding mountains.

   [Cut me some slack - I am no artist and this took about 90 seconds]
  I will have it be East-West oriented with a north to south of about 300 miles north to south and 300 miles east to west plus the longer peninsula on the southern edge. The total area will probably end up being about, oh, 100,000 square miles, or roughly the size of South Korea/Iceland/Colorado and about 1/3rd the size of Italy.
  While the world is vast I do want to start on a slightly smaller scale to drive into the players that they are small fish in a rather large ocean, so this is good. Plus, as I have mentioned before, 300 miles is a very long way in a fantasy world.
  As you might be able to see, I have already labels the northern physical border as the Golden Hills and the southern physical border as the Marches. I will get more local names later, but in the meantime I want to get some local gee-whiz names and places. First, the region east of the barrier mountains will be called the Vast Forest. This will be about a million square miles that looks like:


  With no cities, a few outposts of elves and such, and otherwise - howling wilderness full of things you build large campfires to scare away.

  North of that is the Sea of Grass, a vast plain 3,000 miles or more east to west, 2,500 north to south with just a few rivers breaking up grassy prairie twice the size of all of Europe.

  East and South of the Vast Forest will be other collections of small nations who, like the Patchwork Lands, are recovering from the vast war that destroyed the empire that once ruled this area.

  West will be an archipelago with a small number of city-states in a nod to Vance's excellent Lyonesse series.

  Now that I have 'filled in around the edges' I am almost ready to start filling in the regional map. But first! I will need to drill down and add more detail to races.

  That is for next time.