Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Ever Changing Rynath World Map and a Lesson

One of these days I'll settle on a map....

Seriously, I'm beginning to radically rethink my approach to drawing maps and world building.  All of the maps above are different versions of the same place.  And that's only half of them.  My last attempt at a redesign stalled out.  It's time to try something different, perhaps something less careful.  Not sure what that will look like...

The maps above are mostly mountains and names.  Ansagarus, Arbalon, Dawasar, Partusium, Myanthia, Makaria, Sepulvena, etc., cool names for sure, but only ever a vague notion of what they were.  Some areas were fleshed out; most were not.  And I could never decide on the exact shape of the world.  A shape that those who occupy it would never see.  Now, it's just a list of names for me to draw from and use from time to time.  Which is fine.  I'm far more creative now than any time before.

I see it now as too much map up front and all at once.  The unnecessary need to make sense of everything.  Having a "God's Eye" view of the world takes away the mystery for you.  And that is not solved simply by having your map disappear of the edge of the paper.

Start small.  Just one kingdom, wilderness, or wasteland.  Forget about the global politics and grand histories.  Build it as you go.  For those of you who enjoy a good hex-crawl, you already know this.  I'm leaning toward something in this direction.

I hearken back to the more pulpy days of high adventure.  One session our characters would discover a pyramid after being lost in a sandstorm only to find themselves, the following session, exploring some frigid wasteland.  Didn't matter how we got there.  It was simply the latest episode.  And it wasn't always with the same characters.  When all was said and done, an episodic story of a nebulous world was told.

It doesn't have to make sense.


  1. As I get older, I see more value in the Perilous Wilds approach: start with a map of potential places, and flesh it out in-play and with player input.

    1. I've heard good things about the Perilous Wilds. Gonna have to check that out...


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