World Creation

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bookish
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World Creation

Post by bookish » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:36 am

Hi All,

I wanted to build a complete world for myself, one that I could use as my standard campaign world. I was using some computer generated maps (fractal world creators), and when I finally got one I liked, I decided to find a hex map template that I liked. I found this:

http://www.enworld.org/forum/rpgdownloa ... oadid=1237

These hexmaps have a nice set of scales from World to Continent to Kingdom to Province to Township scales. I was starting to work out how to block in the map I generated, but then I decided to just go a different route and develop rules for building my world from scratch. I am tyring to create a system that creates an Earth-like world (part of the idea is to use this as an educational tool for late elementary/early middle school ages, so I am trying to base the world creation on a basic understanding of geography, plate tectonics, climate, etc.) Would anyone be interested in playtesting the phases of my world development? I would appreciate it if people would be willing to download the hex pdfs and work from macro to micro to block in major planetary features using dice and charts, and zoom in ultimately into one reagion where a campaign can begin.

I have the first few steps doped out, and I would ask people to help me test this one step at a time.

A general overview of the process as I currently conceive it is:
1. Find continental scale land and water masses
2. Find general continental plate motions to identify where highlands and low areas might be
3. Create mountainous regions first
4. Determine ocean current trends
5. Determine global wind traits (this and the previous will help to develop biomes and regulate sea travel if I get that far in a game)
6. Pick a continent and determine average altitudes from mountains outward

At this point, one could create biomes of the whole world or start to zoom into one continent, and then zoom in again and again until you have developed completely one province with a general idea about the major features of the kingdom, the continent and the world. If your characters get the opportunity to travel, then you have general areas that you can develop and fine-tune, "discovering" your world with your characters.

Alternately, you could continue the world development by randomly rolling on origin points for races and creating tables that describe how the have migrated to populate the world.

Other ideas include randomly determining the placement of magic items in the world based on populations and age of the world (randomly determined by dice and charts, of course), whether or not there were any races or ages before man (and what they may have left behind, how deeply this detritus is buried and where), and rolling for current populations in these Medieval times (I am thinking DCC "Judge's Rules" as inspiration) and what percentages of populations' alignments are (to develop world pantheons later).

Long term goal? To have several modules of world creation tools, each one containing educational points that reference science and history of Earth.

Thanks for reading!

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GnomeBoy
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Re: World Creation

Post by GnomeBoy » Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:26 am

The whole thing is a laudable undertaking. Not least of which I know I'd never sit down to create a world in such detail from scratch myself.
bookish wrote:2. Find general continental plate motions to identify where highlands and low areas might be
I pull out this quote, because it struck me as where I would differ, were I to undertake the same job. My world would be shaped by unexplainable forces that would follow no parallel on Earth. For example, I have been slowly building up a city for a few years... One of it's salient features is that it is cleft in two, as if a godling's giant axe came down on it for one mighty strike. No one can definitively say why, it was so long ago. But nonetheless there's a big crevasse in the middle of the city...

I'm sure my continent building would follow a similar pattern, with 'unnatural' events generating weird results. Anything to arrive at a "We ain't in Kansas, anymore" feeling.

But that's my two cents. What you've got going sounds interesting...
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bookish
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Re: World Creation

Post by bookish » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:21 pm

Thanks for the reply, Gnomeboy. I take your criticism to heart, and was thinking about just this thing today. I think that there will be negative modifiers to roll results on biomes and features where they differ from what is likely to have been formed "naturally" on earth. The caveat, though, would be an admonishment to then make those realms magical for the reason that they don't follow reason! There will be some non-natural options.

I would like there to be an educational aspect to this project. The choices I make in design are based on research so I can get a better handle on how to quantify these things in the first place. So, v. 0.01 will have a strong push for "realism." Which is to say, arbitrary choices (for the sake of having rules based on random rolls) made with the nature of the hex grids I have chosen to work with in mind. Sets of criteria that are meant to apply natural processes to dice rolls is where I am starting. There's yet a whole history for individuals to develop that will leave its mark on the landscape. That could be the final stage on a macro scale ("x number of magic or extraplanar events have happened in this planet's history. Roll on the following table to determine effects and locations").

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GnomeBoy
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Re: World Creation

Post by GnomeBoy » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:29 pm

Thanks for picking up the drift of my gist, and not taking it as a negative. :wink: It certainly wasn't meant that way in the least.

One more 2¢ thought: I've made charts with more outre results as options, where the "normal" results were say 1-6 and the 'bizarre' results were 7-8, or 7-10, or what have you. Meaning, if you want to stay within the 'normal' boundaries, you just roll the smaller die. If you want the more unusual stuff in the mix, just roll a larger die. I suppose it could even be set up to roll a smaller die plus a fixed number if you *only* want the weird stuff...
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Fenris Ulfhamr
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Re: World Creation

Post by Fenris Ulfhamr » Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:53 am

I love this idea, as grand an undertaking as it sounds. I'm a biology major and think in terms like this, also I have an OCD-esque aversion to the spontaneous/arbitrary (which DCC is helping to cure!). If large swaths of your world follow conventional scientific laws, the places where they don't will scream to an observant player that supernatural forces are at work (like in our own Bermuda Triangle). Of course, I'd give Aereth a LOT more of these aberrant sites than Earth!

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bookish
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Re: World Creation

Post by bookish » Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:03 pm

GnomeBoy wrote:Thanks for picking up the drift of my gist, and not taking it as a negative. :wink: It certainly wasn't meant that way in the least.

One more 2¢ thought: I've made charts with more outre results as options, where the "normal" results were say 1-6 and the 'bizarre' results were 7-8, or 7-10, or what have you. Meaning, if you want to stay within the 'normal' boundaries, you just roll the smaller die. If you want the more unusual stuff in the mix, just roll a larger die. I suppose it could even be set up to roll a smaller die plus a fixed number if you *only* want the weird stuff...
I *really* dig this idea. I was thinking about trying to figure out some logarithmic scales for the d% that have tiers, where each tier has its own charts. That's just brainstorming the fun stuff, while I am trying to nail down some of the technical stuff to start. Once that's blocked in, the real imagineering gets to go to work!

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Re: World Creation

Post by Gameogre » Sat Feb 06, 2016 4:58 pm

In my DCCRPG game world I made it much more magic oriented.

A Giant Serpent really does encircle the world sea. It is the size of mountains and it is devouring it's own tail. It will one day destroy the world but until that day is one of the forces working to hold back the Last Night. It is also a Patron.

The worlds major northern mountain chain was made when thousands and thousands of years ago the Great Serpent wreathed in childbirth and gave birth to the Dragons.

The Ancient Elven Empire's Capital once ruled the world before it exploded shattering a continent and creating the Maelstrom (the largest influencer on the worlds weather patterns as well as a EPIC Whirlpool/Storm at it's center.

The Lands to the Far East are HOT. As in eventually so hot normal life can't exist. The City of Brass entrance(atop a Giant Dragon Turtle Skeletal remains) boils on a sea of lava.

The Lands to the Far West are COLD. So Cold that none have ever returned from past the Forrest of Frozen Flesh.

The South holds the Summer Isles and Thousand Isles.

To the Far North Past the Serpent Coils lies the Darklands. A vast land forever in the Shadow of the Serpents Coils rules by beings who can't exist in the light of day.

In the center, the Middle Kingdoms rise and fall and mankind and it's allies try and survive.

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GnomeBoy
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Re: World Creation

Post by GnomeBoy » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:16 pm

I want to go to there.
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EldradWolfsbane
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Re: World Creation

Post by EldradWolfsbane » Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:02 pm

My suggestion is to start small. Make one area and then from there expand. Making a world piece by piece is less work at one time and make s a more complete setting, unless you have LOTS of free time.

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Max_The_Judge
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Re: World Creation

Post by Max_The_Judge » Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:58 am

I've been doing the same thing, by hand, no fancy mapping tools. Not because I have anything against them but because I don't know of any. I tend to just update the map as my players explore it. I have no idea what it will look like when it's finished.

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