/wbg/ - Worldbuilding General

Colonies Edition

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Thread Question:
Are there colonies in your setting? Who or what races colonize the most? How do they handle natives? Why do they colonize? And what do they build first
? Etc

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Anyone have info about double crossbows, repeater crossbows, and other strange projectile weapons in medieval times?


Yes. This needs a bump.

Chinese had crank-operated "repeating" crossbows.
Double crossbow would be feasible too, though nobody really bothered making one because crossbows were not knights weapons. And nobody would waster fine engineering on anything lesser than knights.

My main setting features Elven colonies. Inspired by the Norse Vikings, my Elves frequently raid other races, and then settle near them in exchange for trade and not raiding them anymore.

They kill the natives until the natives can pay them off, and then as rulers they slowly assimilate into the dominant culture.

They colonize in order to get away from their homelands, which are inundated with Fucking Fey Courts. It's a real nightmare.

>balls deep working on a 270 x 216 inch map

I need to see this monster.

selection is 8"x10", basically just got started. not sure whats going on in the north there, its basically blank for a reason

Looks cool though. What sort of setting is this? I immediately got a Bronze-Age Egypt vibe from the map, but since it isn't finished...

It's a sort of Central Asia, high steppes and mountains kind of deal. Inland sea with no outlet and marshes, like the Aral before it started to evaporate. Low-ish fantasy, early dark ages. Lots of bandits, warlords, trading caravans. But also a lot of mythical creatures, and a bad problem with necromancers, to the point where there's a steady trade in bodies. Not a whole lot of magic beyond alchemy and raising the dead, unless you're really willing to put some work in.

This is the core of what I've done so far, just the mountain pass into the area really.

Does anyone else feel constant dissatisfaction with their worlds???

>age 13 I make my first D&D world
>it has a load of autistic names including one city suspiciously close to being called "cunt"
>but despite not having much interesting, I do develop shit for it
>run an 8 year campaign in it
>join a new group when I turn 18 as well
>run adventures in another part of that world
>but I never really worldbuilt much, I just made maps and wrote what the kingdoms were like, instead of interesting details
>a couple years ago, I draw out a huge map on a sheet of printer paper with 328 labeled cities
>get this retarded idea I'll create the whole world
>start campaign in this world
>start dragging my feet and hating the setting
>world seems too big and developed like there is nothing really for the characters to change
>want my world to be affected, so I make something much more sparse and low-powered
>hate those settings too
>decide to "clean up" my original setting a bit since that one at least has an identity
>my ideas are spread across three different settings and some of the kingdom names and ideas I liek are stuck in one, so unless I cannibalize it and destroy a world I am currently running a campaign in, they will be doubled-up.
>really want an OSR hexcrawly-type world with a lot of frontier shit, btu most of the ones I make suck
>so many worlds I've seen just feel real because of how messy they are yet mine just feel like shit

I don't know what to do anymore.

Holy shit. You're me. I did that exact setting once! Never got to play it though, as my players basically start throwing feces at the wall if we don't play Forgotten Realms.

But it still sounds exciting!!! Is it a human-only setting?

I actually haven't decided yet. I'm leaning towards yes for this region, no for the world as a whole. I wanted to do a backwater and build the rest as I go. It's kind of the same thing with the magic, like what if it was crazy impressive that some guy can shoot fireballs?
But at the same time, who knows what's out there in those mountains.

Mmmmmm. I love the small-town vibe. The idea that wondrous adventure lies just over the next hill (which no one from the village has crossed in a generation), and if it weren't for the damn harvest needing to come in, you could almost walk over to it.

What do you mean by Early Dark Ages? Are we talking something like RL Fall of Rome? Charlemagne? Or do you mean Norman keeps, chainmail and shield walls?

Generally goes like this
>feel map is too small
>add new land
>don't fully detail everything
>feel map is too small
>add new land
>don't fully detail everything
>map now full of placeholders and super unfinished areas
>feel map is too small

Now it's big enough that it will always grow faster than it can be detailed. I'm not too upset about that anymore though, it's in constant improvement.

Talking like post fall of Rome, but pre-Marco Polo Silk road. There's this trade route that used to see some good traffic, but things are fucked on both ends so it's just fallen into lawlessness. But at the same time, its not like civilization ever really took root here in the first place.
Basically, I wanted to make a world that's still figuring itself out. There was some semblance of order once, but its gone. I always find myself making these huge worlds with these long histories, but this time I figured, why not just start from the beginning?

Sounds pretty good. I went with an Elven Alexander analogue, bringing the whole world under one flag before dying suddenly and having the whole thing fall apart. A coup among the gods leading to Nature becoming Overpowered didn't help matters much, leading to a world where the evidence of ancient empire still stood, but was slowly crumbling before an approaching ice age and a sudden upswing in megafauna.

Hence the giant skull-spider in the map I drew. :3

Forgot to mention: Rome to Marco Polo is, like, 900 years apart. Seems like a long, long ass time to fill. Just saying.

Nice, the whole megafauna and steppe thing go well together I think. Warlords riding mammoths, that kind of thing.

It's just in the sense that there was this trade route that really isn't getting that much traffic anymore. Europe and China pretty much forgot each other between the fall of Rome and then, and it took the Mongol invasion to open things up again. This is just kind of inspired by that lost period in between

It's not like there were significant technological development in this period, you can just go with typical chain mail and lamellar armor and that's it

Gotcha. I was just saying that 900 years covers a lot of distinct areas and time periods. It would be a good idea to read up a little on some of them.

I got inspired by a real world time and place but the setting has taken it's own direction at this point. I'll look at historical events for inspiration maybe but this is a world filled with liches and manticores, they've got there own shit going down at this point.
For sure, this is a world that's been static for awhile, which makes that time period perfect.

There is an inevitability of feeling jealous or insecure about your map after you see others. Like at first glance I really like and how large and varied it is. And it makes me self conscious of mine. However without meaning offense as I really do like his map, I can start to consider that it's a bit too fractal for me and too island-y (depending on the scale of the map). So I tried to follow more of the earth world model in my case.

But that doesn't mean his map isn't realistic - if you look at terraformed mars it's basically a single continent that has no separation from the north (or south) pole. If you look at terraformed venus it's the fractal island sort you see in his map.

And like that guy said, make your map and world big enough that you can always add to it. That could be in the form of leaving part of it off-map (Like barbos there), or if he's focused on Mashiadanu's region for a story then he could easily change SW Makkal/Zynakazin dramatically in the future without worry.

Also always bear in mind that the map serves the story, not the other way around. If a story is good people don't really give too much of a shit about the map being off or fakey or just a ripoff of Earth. The most popular contemporary fiction right now has two continents at a fucking 90 degree linear angle.

> the map serves the story, not the other way around
Wish I could think like that. I can only start to go more deeply in a story if I first autistically spend weeks on at least the continent were said story is set

If you're feeling insecure about your map, you should know that you know just as much about Zynakazin as I do, I haven't even noticed it for weeks. It exists only as a geographical shape and a name. Eventually that shape and name will inspire more (most of the map is developed starting with placeholders in the same method), but I couldn't give less of a fuck about Zynakazin at the moment.

No worries, it's something of the same way for me though I'm at a stage where that is the case for pretty much all my states or ethnic groups. But that's entirely okay - you do not need nor should you (or any of you) feel a need to chart out every little intricate detail of every thing state or ethnic group or whatever in your world. It's more a case of triaging priority based on geographic proximity or relevance to the main theatre of your setting/story/gming. Ideally one wouldn't neglect the periphery like say GW and the other humans of the fantasy warham world but if your story is of say the crusades then details on your version of India or Ethiopia or Vietnam is of minimal necessity.

Mine right here being a WIP in placing the ethnic groups or polities and since I expanded the map I have to edit Arazala and others but a similar deal where I have just a vague concept of a historical parallel/inspiration/reference that may only go so far as visual or wargamey.

It is easier said than done, I mean it more in an end-goal sense. I haven't begun to think of the story because I need the political map done as I operate from a international affairs kinda of mindset and doing so will shape development of religions and trade and so on. But again, that concept of triage and level of detail necessary. I just mean to caution to not worry about filling in every single detail geographically or informationally about peripheral states or entities which won't be relevant to the story you're going after.

I mean technically I'm being hypocritical - my map is literally defining my story, but that's because I am weak in storytelling. But once the map has set the foundation, it takes a subordinate role. I won't bother hashing out every little intricate detail of states/regions until they become relevant to the main story. So over in Niravahnam if I end up having Dhvasya being the dominant Niravahni entity I'll start to flesh out political and cultural features

How's the style of this one look to you anons? Is it clear? Distinct? I like to make a map early in my process so I can best visualize the setting, so I don't have too much beyond this and some general feelings and ideas.

>Name Pending
>The world was once a magical place, until it wasn't
>There were once empires of incredible might and majesty, until there weren't
>Like Middle Earth, Magic in this world suffers one-way entropy as a function of time, and the world is old indeed
>What little magic is left will hold out for...who knows? Maybe forever, though considering what the Ancients could do...
>Most of the old peoples are no more
>The Dwarves got with the program centuries ago and made peace with Humans
>The Elves pushed their luck too far, and now there's almost none of them left
>Sure, Half Elves still exist, but what do you expect of immortal mules?
>And the Orcs survived. Of course they did. They survive everything, except grapeshot to the center of mass
>The Sixth Age of the world is beginning, promising those who can survive within it a world of wonder, and oblivion to those who cannot

What I am essentially going for is a soft-apocalypse world. A place where magic has all but left, though means of gaining it are by no means absent. You just have to cut a deal for it. Be it with GOD, the Devil, or something in between, the only real avenue left for spellcasters is to sign up with something from beyond the limited universe.

The setting would vaguely look like the 30 Years War. Knights and Arquebuses, Pike and Shell. The Old World and the New, Feudal and Modern. I don't want to limit it to those things specifically, but those are things which spring to mind most readily.

Since the magic is the most developed stuff so far:
>The Church teaches a form of magic that draws from their Deity (or his dimension, it's a contested philosophy) and seeks to moderate and balance the world. These mages called Adepts are like a cross between traditional Clerics and Wizards. Religious Scholars and Spellweavers of the highest degree.
>Practitioners of the Old Faiths draw upon the vestiges of their Old Gods. They believe they are tapping into the native mana of the world, and that the loss of magic overall is simply a cycle and that things will recover naturally in time. These Witches are usually hunted down by the Church, who worry about the universe truly falling apart with so much magic usage when "the well has run dry". These guys are Druid/Sorcerers.
>Magewrights think both sides are idiots, and simply manipulate trace elements of magic still within objects and people to work their skill. They are an educated, professional guild similar to pure Wizards in some fantasy. Nobles like they because they aren't automatically beholden to the Church, and they are the best at crafting items (magical or simply higher quality than mundane).

Question to bump the thread:

What sort of motifs and visual elements can I add to this setting to give it the "Dying Magic" feel for my players?

Would cyberpunk work in space? It seems that 'naturals'vs enhanced' seems to be a key theme but that doesnt feel like it would really apply in space

You could try adding in historical elements that hint at magical knowledge being lost, like maybe a kind of Library of Alexandria incident that many practitioners of Magic refer to. Such as a wizardly college or archive of tomes on how to use greater magics than we know of now being destroyed because the wizards that lived there wouldn't side with either party of some conflict, and didn't have the magical power to fend off the army sent to destroy them.

Which could also be the catalyst for people no longer believing Magic to be a force to fear. Like in the times before this age, knowing there was a Mage in the enemy's ranks would be terrifying, but having your own would double your army's might, but now having even a whole cabal of mages is seen as inefficient when you could potentially bring another group of cannon to the field.

I'm trying to run a West Marches game, and I'm planning on giving each PC a rumor they've heard about the town that will be their base of operations. I want to be delicate about using them to tie characters into the world and add flavor without imposing too much on backstories and characterization and the like. What do you guys think about the list so far-- can you get a good feeling for the setting from the questions alone?
Here's some for the races, next comment will have some for the classes.
Human: Your brother was also an adventurer. All you know is he volunteered for an expedition beyond Fort Shallows and never returned. Apparently, he left you in his will the rights to all his worldly possessions, including his magic helmet Vaktmester. He had been wearing it as he rode north.
Elf: Your ancestors are said to have been born into this world far to the north, and there may still be remnants of their civilization on the ice. On the way, you hope to see the storied Summers without Night, and pray that you’ll be done before the Darkness without Respite.
Halfling: You know the Yeghiyan Kings brought disgrace and destruction upon your people through their decadence, but you don’t know the specifics. If you can find their ruins, maybe you can find the true origins of the curse upon your people.
Dwarf: The Court Geologist of Kaybakh offers a 500 gold crown stipend for life for the first Dwarf who discovers a viable sapphire mine in the Northern Woods. You intend to collect.

>Paladin: Your chivalric order’s former leader, the Lost Lord Torgov of Skea, disappeared in the north on his final pilgrimage.
>This was over five hundred years ago, but knights still go “searching for our Lost Lord” if they wish to cleanse a great dishonor.

>Barbarian: Your blood-brother sent you a letter from Shallowtown saying that he had discovered something truly terrifying in the marshes to the east of town.
>The letter was dated from last year and you haven’t heard from him since.

>Ranger: A friend of a friend came back rich from bounties on goblins.
> You hear than northerly Halfling communities give you fifteen gold crowns for live ones.
> That may sound like a real fortune, but goblins don’t come quietly, and they make you work for those coins.

>Rogue: You hear that there is a really tempting complex of tombs to the north of Shallowtown. >Maybe you could nick some high quality china, bronze or art, and send it back to the city?

>Fighter: Your grandparents are from a village that was said to be somewhere south and west of the confluence of the Synetucko and Torgov rivers.
>You’ve always wondered why they refuse to talk about what happened to it.

>Bard: Some truly beautiful songs have been sung about the old peoples of the world.
>Many of these make reference to a fallen people in the north.
>You’ve collected all the research you can about them, but to know any more you’ll have to find their ancient ruins, rumored to be somewhere north of Shallowtown.

>Wizard: At your college, you remember seeing a truly ancient, decrepit map of the Synetucko river with a number of marked towers in the far northwest.
>You believe there to be ancient mage towers along its banks, though the river may have shifted quite a bit since then.

>Cleric: To the west, especially to the northwest, are a number of ancient tombs and settlements.
>The few who have been that way claim that horrible creatures warped by mad magics make them home, and that the dead rest no longer.
>You have taken it upon yourself to restore the order of being.

>Druid: The spirits of the land are strong here, malevolent and benevolent alike.
>You hope to encounter the latter, and to find the old Elven shrine to your god which is said to lie to the north of Shallowtown.

>Monk: A great imbalance
>dreams of death, greed and valor
>fire flooded mountain

>Sorcerer: You have heard many tales of dragons and their tyranny, and of their capacity for terrible and awesome magic.
>If there is any place that dragons live unbeknownst to man, it is to the north of the Kingdom of Kaybakh.
>You marvel at what they could teach you.

>Warlock: You have heard the screaming in the early hours of the morning.
>It comes from the north, somewhere far away and barely audible, but it’s there every night.
>No matter how far south you went, it never dimmed...
>But now, as you turn to the snowkissed northern woods, they seem to be growing stronger.
>You must quiet those restless souls!

>The most popular contemporary fiction right now has two continents at a fucking 90 degree linear angle.


That map's fuckin awesome, friendo.
Yeah I think in my case it's a mix of "map feels too small, add to it, map feels too large"

But anyway, here's the map from teh campaign I'm running right now. I am trying as we speak to detail Rovanlor to be a bit less autistic. I feel like removing a lot of the villages will help with that.

I assume he means Westeros from ASoIF. See picture.

Oh yeah that is a bit awkward looking. Especially from the thumbnail. Thanks for clarifying

that map is pretty off

what the fuck

>Are there colonies in your setting?
There are.
>Who or what races colonize the most?
Goblins for sure, elves used to do that in the past, but their enormous colonial empire came crashing down.
>How do they handle natives?
Like dirt. They look for ways to exploit them, and if there's no apparent way to do that, they exterminate/resettle them and invite goblin settlers.
>Why do they colonize?
Because they like being wealthy and don't like working. It also makes them feel better than everybody else.
>And what do they build first?
Uh, forts? Are there any other options?

Yeah I meant it. Also Westeros itself is ireland and scotland or ireland and Britain made vertical. Your map wouldn't be so bad, but it is more like Similarly the stupid layout of mountains in Hyboria doesn't impact people's enjoyment of it.

That seems like a fine idea. I'd post what I'm thinking in that regard, but I'm on my phone.

Considering that most wars between romans and sassanians were directly or indirectly caused by these same trade routes, you're just full of bullshit.

I'm sending my characters to "discover America" (although geographically it's closer to be Asia) and into a rush race with a rival power to reach a distant empire before them so they can't block trade via east like they did in the west. They bring some militarymen and civilians with them and may be the starters of a prosperous colonial empire.

Purely in space or from planet to planet?
I feel like megacorps would buy up entire star systems, asteroid clouds and monopolies on hyperlanes, along with everything that comes with it.

One question to you all: In region where human settlements are dotted all ove the place (kinda the "beacon of civilization thing Forgotten Realms has/had too) and the setting is medium to highish fantasy, how would you rationalize that humans wouldn't form raiding parties to eradicate small monster settlements (let's say... goblins) close to them which attacks them from time to time?

I mean... humans have superior technology and therefore better armour/weapons, better food supply because of farming, are better organized military wise and have at least similar magical prowess. Shouldn't be *that* difficult to do when you are stronger in so many regards.

Planet to planet. So megacorps with monopolies on space mining and shipping and station security, fucking over people to make profit, since one of the themes of my setting is a space cold war then corporations have some degree of pull with the space states as they could be the guys producing weapons, ships, drugs etc. on behalf of their patron nation.

Money? its cheaper to pay some random dude to go nick some candles from the kobold mines, doesnt mean villagers/commoners wouldnt.

Imagine a soft sci-fi setting with the following parameters:
>Faster-than-light travel is possible but is a highly destructive process. Massive generators are required in order to sustain the protective measures for the duration of a journey at FTL speeds. This means that all FTL-capable ships are large and expensive.
>Despite this, being on board a ship going at FTL speed is hazardous for mundane humans. The symptoms are similar to that of severe decompression sickness and it's almost always fatal. The only away around this for mundane humans is heavily shielded cryonic preservation. The procedure of preparing a person for this sort of preservation takes a little over a week and the process of (safe) resuscitation takes up to a month, making it highly inconvenient.
>An expensive form of in utero gene therapy allows for the development of humans that are able to withstand the exposure to the elements involved in FTL travel, experiencing little more than vertigo. In addition, their physiology is adapted for interfacing with ship systems. They are vital on board FTL-capable ships that cannot rely on the decision-making of AI and require human input, such as military vessels, science vessels and cargo vessels that carry valuable contents. Attempts to breed with mundane humans always fails and never produces a live birth. They are capable of breeding with each other however, creating dynasties of pilots.
>FTL-capable ships are very expensive and someone that is able to pilot a FTL-capable ship without dying horribly is either a long-term investment and expensive or it's hereditary. As a result, you end up with bloodlines of pilots that act as the faces and the swords of isolated communities, putting them in a position of power as the sole couriers, merchants and warships of their colonies and habitats.

Is this an adequate method of creating a situation similar to feudalism in a soft sci-fi setting?.

that sounds cool my dude.

Is this supposed to be Bizarro German? Cause it sounds like it.

Yeah, in terms of "why do adventurer exist, instead of a military, to kill monsters" that's my solution too. Basically they're are mercs.

But my problem here is another one: once to monster "spawning points" are eradicated, humans would doinate the area and have an even easier time to keep it that way. Civilization would spread fast and cohsive kingdoms/nations would be all over the place and monsters pushed to the inhabitable areas whre humans wouldn't want to go anyway. Adventuring would be unnecessary within a few generations.

Any small monstrous creature that hopes to compete with humans will need an edge. Goblins and kobolds are clever, cunning, and outnumber nearby humans 10 to 1, minimum. Closer to 100 to 1.

>Uh, forts? Are there any other options?
How about houses, piers and a fence like in the real world?

Have your monsters live in swamps, mountainsides, overgrown forests or bushland, or any other difficult terrain that would make organised attacks difficult. Give your monsters some kind of physical or cultural adaption to these environments so they can easily live and move around in them while humans cannot. Look at how real world premodern societies felt with dangerous animals; they might hunt wolves, lions, elephants and other dangerous wildlife, but before the modern age it wasn't very feasible to just wipe them out (which might also have had negative ecological consequences), except maybe in the most advanced and organized societies like Rome or China, but those are exceptional. If your monsters are more humanlike, you can give them cultural adaptions or different social organizations that allow them to occupy environmental niches beyond human reach. Look at the way antagonistic cultures with hugely different levels of development have often lived side by side for centuries; the Anglo-Norman colonists and native Gaels in Ireland, Europeans and native Americans, sedentary Arabs/Persians and nomadic Bedouins/Turks, etc.

There are other ways you could do it too, like maybe have the monsters serve some economic function (maybe the make good metal, or maybe their skins are worth a lot) which makes it unwise to wipe them out, despite their threat. Maybe the monster settlements, despite their small size, band together with other monster settlements when threatened allowing them to fend off human attacks. It really depends on what kind of monsters you're making.

so what does that have to do with what happened afterwards

There are many colonies in my setting, as well as ongoing colonization of new landmasses that had previously been uncolonizable. Colonization is occurring for much the same reason as it did in our world so that countries could gain direct control over valuable resources to help fuel the industrialization that's currently going on.

If the colonized race is human, than the predominately human colonizers will leave them alone or attempt to integrate them usually.

If the colonized race is non-human, usually they're either put on reservations or exterminated to make way for human colonists.

Coaling stations are extremely important, and are usually the things that towns are built around when they're first built to lay claim to a territory.

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm looking for. Needed some inspiration for different edges some monsters could have.

>being clever/cunning
Well, humans are petty clever themselves. But giving them the same attribute would level the playing field more of course.

Always a good route to go, especially with small creatures like goblins or kobolds and one which I intend to implement. I just shy away to be bold with that, because if you make the monster population to big, they could kill the humans themselves again. That's a fine balance which could tip very fast.

> any other difficult terrain that would make organised attacks difficult
Great aspect! Of couse it relies heavily on the local terrain. I'll make sure to put monster concentrations in those areas and try to build the bigger, more cohesive kingdoms into areas which don't have many of those. While I'm aware that maps should also serve the story, I also try to build a topography which makes at least some sense.

>Give your monsters some kind of physical or cultural adaption to these environments
Good addition to the prior point, I shall think about building those into their rules a bit.... cultural adaption is more flexible, but will have my attention too.

> before the modern age it wasn't very feasible to just wipe them out
Oh, hitorically speaking that's a hot topic. For example, the impact humans had on the *really* big mammals when they immigrated to North America is still discussed and those were hunter gatherers. Though the discussion moved much more to a smaller impact lately. But I get your point. Especially for less specialized and smaller predators you're right and I guess for more intelligent monsters same would be true.

>Look at the way antagonistic cultures with hugely different levels of development have often lived side by side for centuries
I will do that. Europeans and Native Americans are difficult in that regard for a number of reason, but I'll look for the Gaels and middle east societies.

>economic function
Should work for many types of monsters, interesting idea. Monster getting more organized when severly threatened is a nice approach too and I'm kinda amazed I didn't thought about that myself yet xD.

You two alone gave my some things to think about and work with. Thank you!


>if you make the monster population to big, they could kill the humans themselves again. That's a fine balance which could tip very fast.

Ah. I see. You don't understand then.

Allow me to quote something:
>"Sometimes in history there would come a great villain who just didn't get with the program. The Classical example is the Assyrians. Those bastards went around from city to city stacking heads in piles and levying 100% taxation and such to conquered foes. They became... unpopular, and eventually were destroyed as a people. That's the law of the jungle as far back as there are any records: if a group pushes things too far the rules of mercy and raiding simply stop applying. Goblins, orcs, sahuagin... these guys generally aren't going to cross that line. But if they do, it's okay for the gloves to come off. In fact, if some group of orcs decides to kill everyone in your village while you're out hunting so that you come home to find that you are the last survivor, other humanoids (even other evil humanoids like gnolls) will sign up to exterminate the tribe that has crossed the line."

Simply put, genocide never really happens that often, and when it does it is met with equal measure. Goblins won't wipe humans out, because then THEY would be wiped out. Don't rock the boat.

so i was making a shitty map but i realized it was too small and the coasts weren't detailed enough. I'm making the coasts again and i added some more land but how do i make my map look interesting but not messy

And how do I make my maps look good like ? I just opened paint one day and drew random shapes for the continents and filled the rest with blue

you were pretty close.

Fantasy games need more magic helms, they're all over in the myths but I've never seen one in game.

Which mountains are better? This one ?

Or pic related?

Pic related.

Afraid someone would say that. I went to a lot of trouble mimicking some of the artstyles of older maps. Guess I'll stick to my brushes.

>Simply put, genocide never really happens that often, and when it does it is met with equal measure. Goblins won't wipe humans out, because then THEY would be wiped out.

Aaaah... yes, you're right I didn't really catch your drift there.

Even though I wrote "kill", genocide wouldn't be necessary to create a situation problematic to play in. If the players can't have a civil base of operation, where will they get their tools from, who will be able to pay them, where will they be able to interact socially, etc. So if the centers of civilized culture is "dominated" or "subdued" by comparatively wild/barbaric (speaking in labels here) group of monsters it lready would be quite an issue....




What if, maybe in a more backwater region, the power balance shifted and said Goblins gained dominance but did more than being simple pillaging murderhobos? What if they followed the rule of "don't cross the line" you mentioned?

They could have attacked and steamrolled a couple villages, maybe even a small town, but instead of leaving only scorched earth they chose to leave a good portion of the infrastructure intact so they can collect tribute from the humans?
Basically this is a common role reversal, nothing to fancy but still a different take on the matter. I wouldn't like it to be the norm but could prepare this to shake the usual patterns up a bit. :D

I agree with For one simple reason: the mountains in pic 2 are easier to identify as mountains. In pic 2 they could be anything. If you prefer to use pic 1 then you should colourize it to make it more visible.

That's a good point.

How would this look then? Better or worse than ? Further coloration to follow, of course.

Yeah, that would work AND make sense.

It's a start. Naturally a topographic map needs all the different colours. I know this will take time to do, so keep working :)

>It's not like there were significant technological development in this period


Why specifically feudalism? That sort of shit could lead to megacorps, caste systems, weird new strains of apartheid and all sorts of crazy shit. Why focus on feudalism?

>you can just go with typical chain mail and lamellar armor and that's it
It's obvious I was referring to a more military perspective, and it's generally only what the players care about. During all this period people were fighting with a very similar type of equipement, the stuff that developed during this time frame that could be relevant to the user I first replied is like, gunpowder and maybe equestrian related technology. I doubt he'll be going in depth about mills, and the naval and textile industries

name 10


1000 Ambulance
1000 Bars of Soft Soap
1000 Cauterization
1000 Clothes Iron
1000 Gold Leaf Thread
1000 Grenades
1000 Kayak, Parka
1000 Longbow
1000 Modern Sundial
1000 Pizza
1000 Portable Flamethrower
1000 Thimble
1000 Toothpaste
1020 Parabolic Mirror
1025 Sugar Extraction
1041 Movable Type
1050 Artillery
1050 Mechanical Calendar
1078 Tidal Mill
1092 Mechanical Clock
1100 Buoys
1100 Lead Glazed Pottery
1100 Paper Money
1100 Seven Colour Printing

so for my medieval fantasy setting I've added some anachronistic technology:

>Vulcanized Rubber, rendered from dandelion sap
> lead-acid batteries, medieval people knew of lead, and sulfuric acid (they knew it as "oil of vitriol")

what other materials might these technologies make available? It doesn't have to be in industrial quantities, just enough that they can do something with it.

For a setting based on DC comics, but with more realistic geography (not a ton of places named ___ City), what midwestern/great lakes cities would make good analogues for Metropolis & Gotham City?

I'm leaning towards Chicago/Metropolis & Detroit/Gotham or just Chicago for both. From a worldbuilding perspective, which of these (or your own suggestion) sounds more interesting?

Follow a tutorial. I do not have his, but I have mine without the political blobs I will posti n a moment.

First is the tutorial. Check cartography cartographersguild.com/forum.php for other tutorials that catch your fancy. Check the Tutorials/how to section at the bottom.

Skip the ocean part except for doing the initial cloudy layer and blue overlay. I will explain why in a second

Let me clarify that is not my tutorial. I just used it, I am not the author. You skip the ocean portion where you draw out shelf beneath the sea because of how inevitably you are going to add on and on to the map. You do the ocean part when you are 100% done.


SKIP THE RIVER PORTION IN Otherwise follow his tutorial. Follow this tutorial for rivers, referring to this album for how to do it: imgur.com/a/7mwR8

When it comes to the continent portion, I forget how he advises it but I believe it involves a brush. You can and ought to still do that but another option is:

-Check the river album. See how the white splotches look like islands?
-Copy over a few shapes you like, paste them on a layer separate from your tutorial's land/grass/ect. layers Just a plain blank layer with white splotches. Position them so they form the outline of your continent. Magic wand outside them, select inverse, copy. Go to your land layer, alt left (right?) click the black and white box next to it you set up during the tutorial at and paste.

drive.google.com/open?id=0BwYUexL0zGS_WG9lNHktb0JWUlk - that is my workshop file. If you open it you will see 8 layers.

If you want to do island stuff, you just make threshold 1 visible and make layer 1 or 3 or 4 visible. Then filter - render clouds. Adjust the threshold level in Threshold 1 (double click it, a properties window should open up). Higher threshold and you get more black, less white. Lower reverse.

If you want more shapes that are not edged (where they have a flat 180 degree break) just make the image resolution larger and then regenerate the clouds.

When you see shapes you like, right click any layer and flatten image. Magic wand the white splotches you like.

Now the last trick is a bit more complicated, but when you get to doing mountains, if you want a real jaggy look:
-Enable only terrain base and mountains layer in my workshop
-select the BW thumbnail. Filter - render difference clouds. Do it as many times (Control + F to insta-do the last filter you did) until you see mountains you like.
-Press control L to enter the levels screen. In the input levels section - dragging the black arrow to the right will make lower parts of the mountain disappear. Drag white to the left and it makes the highest parts of the mountains get bolder. Grey left or right..does something I can't articulate. Fiddle with it until you see what you like mountain wise.

-Select the lasso.
-make sure you have the feather set to 5px or 10px or anything like that. This is so you have a more natural, but still needing editing, edge to the cropping.
-Select the mountain you like with the lasso.
-Alt left click on the B&W thumbnail for mountains.
-Copy, then have in a separate window have your map open. Go to mountains level. Alt left click the BW thumbnail. Paste yourtransferred thumbnail.

Bear in mind once you click away from the B&W thumbnail wherever the selection is idling over will 'wipe out' that area. So if you move it, the area it had hovered over will become pure black or pure white depending on your palette.

The solution is to paste your mountain selection in a pure black ocean area when pasting it. Then switch to the non B&W thumbnail for mountains. You will still have the mountain selected and can move it wherever you wish. Make sure you turn off feathering when you are done.

Most of those mountains , like 99%, have been done by hand. Just on those northern islands did I paste them like this. So you will want to do the tutorial's advice on mountain building (with a brush) too.

How can I make my space fantasy setting more cosmopolitan? Right now I have world's for some of my races, but it's all very segregated right now.

Well, I'm no chemist, but isn't electrolysis required for refining Aluminum? I have no idea if a Lead-Acid Battery is going to make enough power to refine Aluminum Ore, but it's possible.

Then desegregate. Make planets that have large, multispecies populations. Think Illium from Mass Effect. It's technically an Asari world, since they founded it. But in practice it's an independent Criminal/Megacorp planet.

OK but what sorts of planets does that make sense to be desegregated?

Really wasn't that great in practice. The chinese repeaters were basically too big to be carried, and were mostly used in sieges (defense and offense) as a result.

They did have a "quick-crank" mechanism for lighter or hunting crossbows which is rarely depicted these days, and was sometimes permanently attached, unlike a wheel-crank. It kind of made the crossbow into a lever-action weapon, but there was no "magazine" as is often depicted in fantasy "repeating" crossbows


meaning medieval/renaissance Europeans, I don't know if the chinese had it or not

Where should I put cities other than on the mouths of major rivers?

In forests, on top of hills overlooking plains, mountain sides, coasts, aroud the mouth of a lake.

In the ocean

You have no idea what a fort is, do you.

>Are there colonies in your setting? Who or what races colonize the most? How do they handle natives? Why do they colonize?
Back in a day, TotallyNotRomans (Actually, more Byzantine, probably) unified entire Southern half of the hourglass-shaped continent and decided to venture North. They set up two colonies.

First they went to the Eastern part, populated by nomadic people. They walled them off and brought in their superior agricultural technology and made the land great and fertile. Then they went to the West where they landed on a small island and conquered local TotallyNotIrish population. But before they ventured any further the heartlands themselves were destroyed by zombie orcs.

In the present day, Eastern colony struck a good bargain with nomads, many of whom choose to settle countryside and their leadership becoming military elite, like feudal lords, giving the city dwellers monopoly on trade which turned out to be quite profitable.

Western colony however turned in Apartheid South Africa where small colonists population resorted to drastic measures to protect themselves from natives.

What I've been doing is I'll draw a first draft, sort of what you've got now, blow it up, fix all the edges that got fucked, but then go back in with a one pixel brush and kind of go with the flow. I'll alternate between (in this example) the land and the see, let the mouse do its own thing and kind of go with the flow. It helps it feel natural but also interesting, like sometimes my mouse will get stuck and I'll have this big jagged part come out but then I'll roll with it. That becomes an integral piece. In some cases that's where the map becomes the most interesting. When I'm doing topography, unless it's mountains I try to keep it a lot smoother.

On my current map I'm working a little differently but that's just because of the size. I started with pic related actually and it's progressed to a little bit further than what I have here:
I knew the pass was important to me and I wasn't working with coastlines really so I had to switch it up, so I started with a shitty little drawing, did a little topo work at 8"x10", and gradually worked the canvas size up, tracing what I had with a fairly large pixel brush before working my way back down and tackling it one piece at a time.

Anyone else have any input? Please?

Copper is a good conductor. You could do something with electricity like lightning rods.