Starting on my main map here and the scale is somewhat messing with me I think. It feels to me like a much larger area than it is, or maybe much smaller. . . perhaps I'm going crazy. Either way, here is my first few hours effort, which basically meant taking the 100x80 or whatever cube of my territory, uprezzing it about 100x and manually repainting the coastlines/lakes.
It'll need some tweaking, but wanted to get a few thoughts before I head back in for a few more hours.
note: Solivan Venardhi IV will be the 'pen name' that will go on all my maps and the drawings that will go with them. A noted scholar from the Orvaelian capitol's Academy of Arts and Sciences who has been burdened with the life-long task of mapping the territory by the Church, who wish to keep him out of trouble by assuring he has no time to make it in.
My immediate seed once I heard about the plague lands was a dark circle of druids, extremists laying waste like to civilized lands... the second seed was (D&D terms here) was something akin to the Far Realms, or if you prefer, a lovecraftian realm where madness and chaos rule, has touched somewhere in the epicenter of the plaguelands... or, you could even spin those two together where the druids unleashed something they couldn't control or contain and now it runs rampant having killed and decimated their would-be controllers...
but since my area is on the edge and not the center of the labled plaguelands, I'll just try to mesh my mapping to whatever effects we finalize on it...
Or they unleashed something they had no intention of controlling. Perhaps they created a nexus where a chaos realm and the normal world are merging. The overlay may or may not be spreading, but its influence is certainly growing...
Thank God that we're mainly in for the mapping. That way we don't have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to setting - most of the suggestions surrounding the P.Lands I think to have heard before.
Originally Posted by delgondahntelius
This is not meant negatively, though. Maybe the world's inhabitants are as uncertain and each have their own version. ;-)
Originality is over-rated, sometimes old tricks are the best tricks, can't teach an old dog new tricks, when in rome... that's all the cliche's I could think of at the moment... :D
Originally Posted by Baziron
Baziron - I'm not sure how to take your comments. IMO you can't do really good, believable mapping unless you have setting. Without setting, it's all meaningless. And I believe (Torq or someone else correct me if I'm wrong) that eventually the project will expand beyond "just" mapping--it will have to if we want it to have any relevance beyond our own little walls.
Further, I dare say that just about every idea out there is old and used--it is the execution of the idea that makes or breaks any creative project.
I look forward, assembled mappers permitting, to doing some of the writing and "world creation" for our shared world once it's gotten further along. [I'm a much better creative writer than I am a mapper.]
I admit... those were not the best comments I have ever given. You're right in all regards, I think I just wanted to say that we're luckliy that we don't have to bother about originality too much since it's a mapping project (for now, as you explained).
Originally Posted by The Cartographist
That all ideas are old and used - as a linguist, I have too agree. For all that we say has been said before, that's why it's understood (short version ;-)).
Shame on me for commenting in such a way, given the fact that I also think of myself as being a better creative writer than a mapper.
This is an interesting area for debate. In the heady days when I was an English major I had the privilege of studying creative writing under one of South Africa's most famous authors, J.M. Coetzee. His course was fantastic and he made us write short stories as part of it. In critting those stories he said the biggest failing of new or would be authors is to attempt to be original at every turn. He believed that most things in literature are derivative and that originality comes from the way you organise those things.
His view, with which I completely agree now that I am older and have taken a few hits from life's +3 slings and arrows, is that writing involves tricks, mechanisms and mechanical contructs that tried and tested by authors since the beginning of time, that hold no magic of their own. These need to be learned and used effectively in whatever genre you are writing. It is the effective use of these techniques that creates originality. To try to be original as the central aim of literature invariably results in disaster.
I dont wat to hijack the mapping project, but would be interested to hear what you all think. Admins feel free to shift this to new thread if you think it should be.
I guess my thoughts are that as this is our first cooperative worldbuilding project, we get on with the mapping first and learn as we go along. If we had taken the route of collectively discussing the setting before putting pen to paper, we would still have been discussing the setting many months from now (which I think is the trap that the CBG fell into in their cooperative project). In any event I think it assists the creation process by drawing a map which in turn suggests cultures etc; it's a dynamic process.
Having a good project manager (that's you, Torq) is essential to keep the ball rolling. We might want to start a new thread on ideas for the general setting from selections of which you might synthesize into coherent and consistent prose so that people drawing their maps know what is set in stone and what is still under discussion - a bit like a 'settings' thread equivalent of the 'map images' thread that Airith posted earlier.
Having everyone pitching in with ideas is great but we still need someone to decide which of those ideas should be adopted if they affect other maps. Might be an idea that we make our own maps as editable as possible (eg. using a lot layers) to make amendments where we need to.
So I figure there will come a time when someone wants to write something up, be it a person or creature, a single encounter, or even an entire adventure, when the question of rules will come up. Are we automatically assuming current d20 rules? While that seems the most logical to me, I'm sure there are others who would disagree.
Personally, I think it would be interesting to see the crunchy bits translated into multiple rules systems, just so the project doesn't discriminate. Of course, not knowing anything about other rules systems, I have no idea how difficult that may be.