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Thread: First go at worldbuilding

  1. #11
      Garanth is offline
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    Update. Added some cities, named them, and fixed up the mountains

    Also did some extra texturing on the background, which I'm not sure if i like. It looks quite drastically different on my PC than it does on my laptop (where I made it vs where I'm posting it)... I think I may need to fix the colour settings on my PC's monitor

    What do you guys think of the text? The more I look at the curvature on country names, the less I like it. The city text I kind like, but the font is wicked hard to read.

    Does anybody have any advice on a grassland/swamp/forest symbol/texture?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First go at worldbuilding-ancient-paper2.6-w-cities-.jpg  

  2. #12
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    I think the text is fine though I prefer the more brown-tan background you initially had.

    As for grass/swamp/forest symbols I suggest you check the tutorial forum (if you haven't already), I'm fairly sure there are a couple of things in there that can help you.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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  3. #13
      jezelf is offline
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    hey - looking good.

    I like the shapes of the continents and general world layout. The 'composistion' of land masses to look 'cool' is something I often have hassles with, but you've done a great job.

    thanks for sharing.

    Jez

  4. #14
      ravells is offline
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    I really love the terracotta colour! Very unusual and it works really well for me from an artistic point of view. Repped for originality!

  5. #15
    Guild Artisan Greason Wolfe's Avatar
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    Is that a hint of wood grain I see?

    I'll second what the others have said. Very nice and the coloring works very well for the style. Out of curiosity, though, there is an area east of Khurash that has some orange sort of striping. Is that something signficant? Or did I just miss it in the original post?

    GW
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  6. #16
      Garanth is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greason Wolfe View Post
    Is that a hint of wood grain I see?

    I'll second what the others have said. Very nice and the coloring works very well for the style. Out of curiosity, though, there is an area east of Khurash that has some orange sort of striping. Is that something signficant? Or did I just miss it in the original post?

    GW
    I mentioned it, but didn't elaborate.

    The hazard-striped area contains the core of the predecessor kingdom to Khurash and ?Aztlan?, centred around the old capital of Ghea-Kuul. Something evil resides there and is twisting the inhabitants of the jungle. As the evil influence spreads, it is slowly suffocating out the human residents of the jungle, pushing them into the cities in ever increasing numbers.

    What that evil is I haven't fully decided, and probably won't unless my PCs decide to set out to destroy it (most likely a super adventure that will last nearly a tier, since it would take months to trek through such a dense and unfriendly jungle).

    It will probably be a "ancient ritual causes a rift that allows a powerful demon to cross into this world," though that demon might be the worldy incarnation of a god (none of whom are particularily friendly as each has his/her own fatal flaw). No point fleshing it out much more though if my party decides to avoid the area entirely. There will probably be a few more hazard areas, like the Yuan-Ti and LizardFolk kingdoms, and perhaps some of the Duergar kingdoms.

  7. #17
      Garanth is offline
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    UPDATE:

    I printed out a copy of my map, and have been doodling around with some rough borders while procrastinating on writing a paper today.

    I was hoping that Perhaps I could get some help/feedback with kingdom ideas?

    edit: plea for help has been put into the next post, and this one reserved for backstory. I would greatly appreciate any feedback on kingdom/culture/race ideas, as well as critiques on my backstory.

    To help, I'll give you guys a quick run-down of the backstory.

    For millions of years, the world was ruled by dragons. They slowly developed the arcane arts, developed ties to divine magic, and carefully bred the species of the world to best suit their needs.
    At first, these creatures were little more than lesser copies of themselves, pretty much resembling dinosaurs and all other manner of reptillian creatures.
    Then, a great disaster struck, plunging the world into an ice age. Struggling to survive, the dragons crawled into caverns and lairs to hibernate. When the ice age finally ended, and the dragons all awoke to reclaim their kingdom, they found that the world was now populated by an intriguing new species: man.

    Finding man to be a particularily suitable servant race, they quickly set about conquering and enslaving the species. Their new-found slaves proved themselves to be extremely useful, and the Draconic empire was quickly vaulted into a golden age of prosperity. Great monuments, vast wealth, and powerful magic soon flowed throughout the world as never before.

    It was then that the Great Plague took hold. Perhaps the dragons, in all their hubris, delved too deep into the arcane arts. Or perhaps they managed to earn the ire of some powerful deity, whose influence seeped into the material world. However it happened, the plague rendered the entire species infertile.

    Faced with the extinction of their entire species, the Draconic society devolved into chaos and war. Rival factions sprouted up, each blaming the other for the plague, and bitterly at odds over how and whom should solve it. This was known as Ragnarok, the war that ended the world. The titanic might of the clashing Draconic Legions tore the world asunder, and forever changed the face of the planet.

    After centuries of war, and still no closer to a cure than they had been at the beginning, a tenuous truce was called. A war that had been fought over preserving their race had very near destroyed it. With their numbers so diminished, the draconic civilization dissolved entirely as each dragon again burrowed into the earth, each desperately and selfishly seeking to prolong their own existence by hiding themselves from all dangers.

    The truce-day marked the beginning of the new calendar for the dragon-spawned races left behind, and many millenia have passed since. Each has carved themselves out a sliver of the once might empire, though man has again shown his incredible adaptivity and once more covers much of the planet.



    The Dragons, either through magic or breeding, altered many of the creatures of the world into the races that exist today. Their creations, amongst others, include dragons, orcs, tatsuo (dragonborn), giants, dwarves (and duergar), yuan-ti and lizardfolk. Elves will find their place too, though where exactly they fit in I haven't decided

    During Ragnarok the dragons largely split into east/west factions:

    In the east, their creations tend more towards imposing their own image onto man, making reptillian-appearing creatures (Trogodytes, Lizardfolk, Yuan-ti, Dragonborn).

    In the west, they tended more towards perverting man, creating Orcs and giants.

    The western dragons will also likely have created halflings, gnomes, and other humanoid races, while the eastern may have perverted some elves into the gith. Elves will likely have either been an "upper class" of dragon-slaves, or have skirted enslavement entirely (or partially, thus explaining the gith). Dwarves and Dragonborn may pre-date the war, and thus exist in both kingdoms, though may be split (dwarves/duergar, and racial-variety dragonborn).

    The overarching theme of the split is that neither side was "evil", and thus none of their creations are intrinsically "evil" either. Morality in this world is composed of varying shades of gray, with each "good" trait tainted by some opposing "evil" trait.

    For example, Marduk is the most common name for the god of order and justice. His followers adhere strictly to law and principle, and vigilantly seek to stamp out corruption, criminals, and agents of chaos or disorder. However, they are unwavering and close-minded on how those notions are defined, which almost always leads to prejudice, disproportionate punishment or retribution, and collateral damage. To followers of Marduk, the ends often justify the means, and many injustices are committed in the name of justice.
    Alright, not so quick run-down at all I suppose.

    The tl;dr version: Dragons used to control the earth, but now they are almost entirely dormant. Before they left, they created nearly all the races of the world. There is an east-west split, mirroring the two rival dragon factions, with human-like creatures in the west and reptillian-like in the east, with a healthy spattering of humans everywhere.

    I've incorporated those concepts onto the attached (paint edited) version of my map:
    In the west, we have the Orc Khanate (still to be named), that will be loosely based on the early mongol-tribes. A single Khan has risen to lead the warring tribes, and has either been recently, or will be soon, crowned Khagan (or Khan of Khans). There will be no cities, other than perhaps a temporary settlement where the nomadic tribes meet annually (with a temporary binding peace agreement).

    Also on the west is the human kingdom of Sinae/Cinae (placeholder name), which will be (quite obviously for those history buffs out there) based off of ancient china. This will be a strongly centralized, civilized, and highly beurocratic imperial state ruling over a populous and highly advanced society. In the mountains, however, will be highly tribal district resembling a more feudal japan, that is only loosely ruled by the central government. I didn't really want two disparate kingdoms for japan/china, though I wanted somewhere distinct for Samurai and Ninjas to come from, thus the reasoning for lumping them together.

    The eladrin (high elves) have been temporarily assigned to the marked island, though this is so ridiculously cliche I'm considering all alternatives.

    Lizardfolk/yuan-ti have been marked, and will be largely hostile, though their kingdoms and races will be named (trying to get away from WOTC IP, just in case I decide to write a book instead or as well as a campaign).

    Myr is another island-nation that exists at a natural crossing of trade routes from north to south, east to west, as they skirt the dangerous and unpredictable (and unnamed lol) sea between the League of Delios and Azahrim.
    Last edited by Garanth; 02-10-2009 at 05:36 AM.

  8. #18
      Garanth is offline
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    What I need help with:

    Splitting this into two posts for those who wish to avoid the WALL OF TEXT in the previous post but still want to help

    I need inspiration for the various areas I've marked in grey (or i think its grey, damned colourblindness lol). On the north of the western continent will be a few kingdoms of more European inspiration, that I'm entirely at a loss for what to do about. I'm not sure whether to perhaps do a "French"/English split, parallel all the European states individually, or simply carve up the area into a few, or many large more generic fantasy states. Personally, I'm leaning towards small "generic fantasy," meaning a blend of all medieval european influence with different distinguishing key features than parent culture (which my players would be more likely to appreciate).

    I'm also at a loss for what to do with the islands (particularily the one south of myr), and the entire southern half of the eastern continent. Perhaps African theme? Could throw in some cat people as well? Who knows.

    I would also love to know what those who (many apologies) put up with my excessive wordiness in the previous post thought of my world's backstory, and what a suitable name might be for said world? I used to think that dragon-ruled worlds seemed silly, though the idea quite suddenly grew upon me, and came to shape the fluff.


    edit: d'oh, here's the map
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First go at worldbuilding-rough-outline.jpg  
    Last edited by Garanth; 02-10-2009 at 01:16 PM.

  9. #19
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    I think the back story is fine, but where is the version of the map you are referencing. Either I'm being a bit dense (very likely )or you forgot to post it.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



  10. #20
      Garanth is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel General View Post
    I think the back story is fine, but where is the version of the map you are referencing. Either I'm being a bit dense (very likely )or you forgot to post it.
    I'm unable to give testament to whether you were being dense, but I'm quite able to attest to MY being dense

    I uploaded it at some point, but I guess just not on an occasion where I actually posted something lol. It's ^^ now.

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