WIP. As yet unnamed campaign world.
As a budding DM, I have been recently working on a little backburner project to design the entire setting before plunging into a campain, in the hope that this will help end some of the issues I've always had with trying to keep my campaigns consistent and long running. I tend to get into a situation where I'll have ideas for the campaign in my head and very little written down, so I'll often loose track of things like continuity of history and even continuity of local events. Anywho, thats not why I'm posting here. I'm posting here because I'm in the middle of the world design phase, and I could use some advice on where to go next, so I figured, i'd post a screenshot overview and maybe my map file for autorealm and get some advice from more experienced mapmakers.
1) An overwiew of the entire map. This represents the sum of my current progress, where I am deciding on where climate zones might go. This is where I have kind of come unstuck.
2) The mapfile itself. http://www.mediafire.com/file/f63svj...worldwip4.AuRX
Any help you can provide would be very useful. Thank you in advance.
Well Met fellow DM.
I am in the middle of creating my own game world too. My approach was slightly different. i started laying out my Continent names , Races and the cultural concept attached to these, with this i new what i needed in the way of Deserts, forests, mountains ETC. for Example i new i wanted two Desert Regions, a Rolling plain and Highlands just to name a few. as a DM it is sometimes i feel good to never create more then you need as it boggs you down and the game never rolls on, build as it grows around your players. Dont get me wrong im not saying building your base map was wrong just your next step as a DM may be to sort out were your Empires, countries and Races come from.
I'd say that set of zones is a good enough start. How detailed do you want to get? The very generalized prevailing winds you show will get seasonally tweaked by continental highs, the intertropical convergence zone ("heat equator") moving N-S, etc. So some of those apparent rain shadows will get SoMe precipitation from different directions. It's fair to say at least all the places you show as desert would be drier than average, for certain.
West coasts in the dry zone latitudes you show can generate even coastal deserts - think Earth's Atacama and Namib deserts. Per the 'generalized flat continent' graphic Waldronate has put up, that ocean current in the center-north of your map would likely tilt the right landmass's arctic zone more northward on the west than you have it, like Earth's Gulf Stream keeps Iceland & Northern Europe warmer than the same latitudes on east coasts.
That center southern current seems to circle the wrong way. I'd have to figure some, but the main mover of surface currents is prevailing winds. If you have a pronounced low hanging over that ocean a large part of the year, that would be a clearer clockwise vs. counterclockwise effect than the bands you show give.
Altitude will have some effect, beyond the mountain-chain moisture barriers you show. For instance a pronounced plateau could shift biome effects as though an area were tens of degrees poleward. Roughness may matter to you as well - I suppose there are hilly grasslands - think of southern California? But if you want SoMeWhere for horseback nomads to roam, do you need to declare a dryish savannah-grassland tended area to be plains instead of hills? Like Vorhees said, unless you are willing to let Cast-In-Concrete predefined terrain rule your placement, do let where / what kind of cultures you want help steer the climate and physical maps.