I have no images JUST yet, Iím currently micromanaging the terrain and climate in FT Pro. Iím nearly at a point where Iíll need some feedback from people who know what theyíre talking about (which I definitely do not), but not quite. If FT decides to behave, Iíll have some images to post by this weekend. Meantime, I wanted to start a thread for the world and give some background.
Lur originated when we realized that for the past many years, weíve been adventuring in a 100% homebrewed environment. It wasnít initially any different from the Forgotten Realms setting, just weíd been inventing the towns/locales we were using in adventures, and thus we had invented local political situations that werenít part of FR either. Eventually our region got a little bigger and our ideas got firmer, we invented lots of cultural stuff, and we realized that we were creating a world that wasnít Forgotten Realms at all.
During this whole time, my husband DMíd. Iíve never tried DMing but Iíve wanted to, and he has great old characters heís been using as NPCís but which really deserve to be PCís in their own right. So Iíve decided to start running games and I want to make Lur a more complete world before I begin.
Unlike my husband, who likes to think bottom-up, I like to think top-down when I write stuff. I start with big ideas and sweeping patterns, then close in on a particular region/theme/situation. Thatís how Iím approaching the world building, too.
So I acquired Fractal Terrains Pro, CC2 Pro, GIMP and Inkscape (and I already have PS and AI). Iíve got the scribbled notes and pencil/paper maps weíve made. And I jumped into world building!
Here is the process I plan on using.
1) Generate a random world in FT that conforms to my very basic requirements: two temperate land masses in the Northern hemisphere that are a reasonably long distance apart (perhaps a little closer than Europe and North America),plus a Southern continent with some areas of a more tropical climate. All other land masses could be random. (DONE)
2) Edit this world to bring it in line with believable climate/terrain patterns. (HAVING HEADACHES BUT WORKING ON IT)
3) Micro-adjust a specific region of the temperate zone of approximately 250,000 square miles with a coastline on the eastern edge, to account for the adventuring weíve already done. This requires a chain of mountains comparable to the Appalachians but running vaguely east-west, a North-ish flowing river descending from them, an area of grassland at least 600 miles South of the mountains, and a desert at least 800 miles West of the mountains. (MOSTLY DONE)
4) Having created an acceptable lifelike world, export a full map of it and in 2d format, combining raster and vector drawing, create a map of the globe in a style roughly similar to earlyish Renaissance European cartography, substituting imagery appropriate for the culture Iím focusing on in my writing. I expect to lay out the map in CC2, then actually create the final product in Illustrator or Inkscape, but I will make these decisions as I go. Here's an inspirational image that's given me some ideas: http://image.sl.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/e...ux/a127;seq=24
5) Build a series of local overland maps and oceanic charts in the same way, varying the markmaking, style, and imagery on each map so they look like the work of different cartographers at different times, and from different cultures.
6) (concurrently to #5) Iíll be creating small local maps, city maps, and dungeon/structure maps as needed for adventures. They wonít all be able to be as outrageously work-intensive as #4 and #5, but they should be artistically attractive. I favor an old-school blue map format I think, but weíll see. Theyíll no doubt vary.
Lur is an old planet. It has some near neighbors, but none that support life. The sun is the creator-goddess, and the closest neighbor stars composing a stunning constellation are also deities involved in creating life on the world. Magic is rare and Iím trying not to add anything to the terrain that must be explained by magical means. My campaign focuses on a region in the temperate zone of mainly human culture, experiencing an Early Modern/late Medieval period of technology and population growth. The two nations Iím interested in are dominated by one religion, the center of which is a massive temple and city located on the northern side of the mountains I mentioned above. There is a land of mysterious desert far to the West; some smaller nations to the East, bordering the coast; a grasslands region South, and at least one major port city on the Eastern shore as well as the (inland) holy city and a secondary inland one South of the mountains. My campaign will take place initially within this secondary city, called Cresden by its inhabitants.
This area of human nations has a long history in the region, dating back to a period when humans were the slave race of an elven nation here. The elven nation has vanished, leaving many traces, and thousands of years of human history have occurred in the meantime. I should have plenty of opportunities for ruins to explore, and the cities I design will have the remnants of older structures beneath and among them. The great temple in the City of Light has its origins so long ago that no human history recalls when it was first built, but it has undergone many, many construction periods since. The central sanctuary devoted to the sun goddess is the oldest part. This should be fun, but highly challenging, to design and Iíll no doubt need lots of advice here at the guild on that subject too!
Anyway, woh! Lots of talking. Enough for now. Iíll reply to this thread with my initial work in FT within the next couple of days. Iím excited to be getting good feedback on it!
Here we are: step 1 complete. I think.
FT wanted to put a bazillion rivers, which I think is pretty unrealistic given the size they'd all be. That's fine, I'll only put in the ones I want/need later.
This is just the raw terrain with the rivers added. Next I'll trace the continents in vector format and begin drafting the climate pattern. Then I'll add back the rivers as, and where, I deem appropriate.
It's a smallish version of the map, compressed nastily.
You might also notice the crazy vertical ditch into which lots of the rivers insist on falling; it's about midway or slightly left of center. I'm just going to pretend that's not there. It wouldn't edit away.
Can anybody give me some constructive advice on the terrain itself, logic etc? I began trying to draft out plate movement and my eyes started crossing, so I winged it basically.
The small continent on the left right above the equator (the blob-shaped one) is the actual subject of the current campaign. The Northeastern segment of that continent, anyway. I had to edit the terrain to account for the writing that's already been done; to my eye it looks a little foolish to have two mountain chains so close together there, but the Western one is much taller and the Eastern one is more Appalachian. It's actually a pretty big distance too, as the continent's widest point is around 1,800 miles. There's a desert going to happen to the east of the Western mountain chain so some of the rivers in that area won't be there. The north-flowing river that comes from the Eastern mountains is very important, as is the one that flows south-southeast from the same area, other side of the mountains.
I'm going to work on two things after the climate is done: the world map, which will be fun and ornate, and the continent map, which likewise. But the continent map will be more important and immediately useful to me.
I could be wrong, but glancing over your map from a climate perspective, the eastern edge of that NW continent looks to me like it will have primarily a climate similar to that of New England and Eastern Canada, for the most part.
As for plate tectonics, it looks reasonably possible, to me. The central continent in the western hemisphere seems to fit reasonably nicely into the gap Southeast of it, if one rotates the island-continent about 60-90į Clockwise.
The more I look at this, the more ways I see that it could fit together.
There is some strange wrapping in the southern continent, when one maps to a sphere. The polar distortion there is quite severe.
Thanks! I was hoping it would look reasonably plausible. I'm not surprised about the distortion; it was looking a little funny to me, like there's a slice missing from the righthand side. It's not an enormous problem. When I overtrace, I'll try mapping to a sphere and correct anything haywire.
Yeah the NW continent isn't one I've written about yet; if large parts of it are habitable, eventually there'll be story. So far just the two smallish island continents and we've MENTIONED the south-western one.
I'll post my scribbles as I work on the climate and we'll see how it goes! Here's where I no doubt begin to drive myself looney.
Oh! One thing I was thinking about the two continents on the right (the ones that open like jaws around an enclosed sea) was that it could be the result of the creation of Lur's moon; like the "big impact" theory on earth. Y'know, collision with an enormous chunk of something or protoplanet, creating the sea on Lur and blowing matter into orbit, which eventually created the moon.
Ah, I misread your post about where the previous adventures had taken place, and thought you meant the NW continent that's shaped like a T, which is why I said something. The island to the southeast of the T-island's southern peninsula would (I think) be roughly a climate similar to that of Mid-Atlantic and/or Southeastern America. I don't remember my brief overlook exactly, though, and it was just brief, so don't quote me on that.
And I like the moon theory. I don't know much about the current theory for Earth, let alone theoretical applications for other planets, though, so I can't comment much on it, personally.
Also, I almost forgot, but if you haven't already, when you get to the stage of actually producing the in-universe maps, you should look at some of Naeddyr's work and tutorials. He seems to be one of our resident experts in that area.
The composition of the moon and several other factors are pretty good evidence of a major impact event that created the moon during the formative ages in Earth's history.
Looks great! My only (minor) criticism is the rivers in the extreme north and south don't seem to follow the equirectangular distortion.
I think maybe rivers in the extreme north and south seem a little unrealistic anyway. Given likely rainfall amounts. I'll probably be cutting down on the number of enormous rivers quite a lot after the climate is mapped out. Or replacing them with smaller ones that wouldn't be visible on a globe map, anyway.
I've been admiring Naeddyr's work and tutorials already (they make me laugh, too. Is the username a joke as well?)
I hope there's at least an Austria-sized chunk of the roundish island continent that works out to temperate forest. A lot of it will be desert and grassland, I think. If it's not working out I might have to move some stuff around a bit.
Well, I'm not sure what this is going to look like, but here goes. I'm at a secondary stage in laying out the world map. I haven't quite bit the bullet and sat down to do the climate yet; first I thought I'd see what the basic continent outlines are going to look like.
I corrected for polar distortion and output it in Stereographic projection, though the graticule isn't in place yet.
I think it makes a fairly graceful world. Not 100% sure about that southern polar continent; wondering if I should split it into two smaller continents.