View Full Version : General Mapmaking Questions

04-13-2010, 06:22 PM
Let's say that I'm making a map for a fantasy world that I completely made up.
Does it matter if I follow geographic rules - That is, such as that mountains are formed by tectonic plates, rivers don't flow out of nowhere, deserts are formed when a mountain blocks precipitation, and so on?

Edit: Aaaaaaand I just realized that I posted in the wrong forum. Can someone move this?

Greason Wolfe
04-13-2010, 06:52 PM



It really depends on how "fantastical" your world is going to be. If you want something that resembles reality, then you will probably have to take those geological factors into consideration. If, on the other hand, the "gods" crafted the entire world and then created the folk that inhabit the world, you can pretty much do anything you want with it, though it would be a good idea to have some sort of mythological/magical reason for why some features don't follow the "rules." If you take time to look through some of the maps posted in the various sub-forums, you'll find that they run the full range from completely fantastical to realistic in terms of geographical rules.


Steel General
04-13-2010, 07:26 PM
I pretty much second what GW said.

04-13-2010, 07:56 PM
You need to know what you are trying to accomplish before those questions can be answered.

How much is this world like earth? Do you care about enhancing the believability of your world to the kind of reader who understands something of geology, or are the laws of this world so different that these things shouldn't be expected to work the same way. Or is it a lighter, more humorous world where believability is not a goal?

Also some of these things are more obvious to more people than others. Few might notice that you didn't take tectonic plates into account, but many people might notice a rivers doing impossible things.

04-13-2010, 08:46 PM
Edit: Aaaaaaand I just realized that I posted in the wrong forum. Can someone move this?

So it shall be written, so it shall be done.

-Rob A>