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WB03.1 Regional Continents and Geography

WB03.1 Regional Continents and Geography (World Size, Coastlines, Seas/Land-forms)

If you’ve worked through the previous  module, WB-02, then you may already have  the size of your world with continents and coastlines. This module will make it easier to focus on a single region at a time. instead of the entire world.

World Size, Coastlines, Seas

First thing is to decide what part of the region is land and what part is water.  The Regional Hydrography table in the guidebook provides us with a few options.

  • Archipelago-mostly water with chains of fairly small islands
  • Major Islands-mostly water, several major islands, numerous minor island chains
  • Island-continent-One continental mass surrounded by ocean, smaller offshore islands may also exist
  • Coastline with offshore islands-One coastline cuts across the region, may have inlets, peninsulas and offshore islands
  • Coastline, no islands-One coastline cuts across the region with no significant offshore islands.
  • Multiple coastlines-Borders on two or more oceans, with a part forming  a land border with another region. (Continental US)
  • Land with an inland sea-Most of the region is land, large inland sea or several small ones nearby, may also include archipelagos or major islands
  • Land with minor bodies of water-No bodies of water larger then 200-400 miles within the region, a large lake may qualify as a minor body of water
  • Land, no significant water-No coastlines, lakes or seas of note.

In my project, I’m starting on the region that would be considered an Island-continent. Grab what you use for a regional map and start laying out the region.

Land-forms (Mountains, Hills, Ridges, Canyons and Plains)

Mountain Ranges are the most predominant type of land forms.You can look in WB02.2 for information on seismology and plate tectonics or the nitty-gritty on how mountains are created. Or perhaps you have your own creation method.

As a crude guide, mountains tend to parallel the coastline. But you can also place them using the following guidelines:

Mountains

  • Regional Location
    • Roll 1d4+1 to determine the number  of mountain systems in the region.
    • Roll 1d4 to determine the quadrant of each system, NW, NE, SE or SW
  • Size
    • Roll 4d8 to determine the length in hexes.
    • Roll 1d4 for width variance.
    • Roll 1d12 to determine direction they run on the clock face. 12-N, 3-E, 6-S,9-W etc.
  • Lesser Flanking systems
    • Roll 1d4-1 for the number of lesser systems
    • Roll 2d4 for each systems length
    • Roll 1d4 for distance away from the main mass.
  • Volcanoes
    • Roll 1d4+1 to determine the rough diameter of the volcano.
  • Mountain Characteristics
    • Options from table 11 that you can pick from, or roll for, each chain.
      • No Mountains
      • Foothills
      • Low Mountains
      • Medium Mountains
      • High Mountains
      • Very High Mountains
      • Extreme Mountains
    • A few options from table 12 that you can pick from, or roll for, each chain.
      • No unusual Properties
      • Volcanic
      • Icebound or Glaciated
      • Mountains Sink or Rise
      • Gates to another location, realm etc
      • Mountains are living, sleeping creatures
      • Home to other beings.

Feel free to mix, match or use them in anyway that fits your world, campaign and story.

 

Foothills

Steeper and more rugged then rolling hills.

  • Roll 1d3-1 to determine the width of the foothills for each mountain range.

 

Rolling Hills, Tablelands

Rolling hills are not part of a mountain , less rugged the foothills and can be settled and cultivated comfortably. Tablelands are hilly terrain that has been eroded, leaves steep-sided towers or mesas of harder stone.

  • Rolling Hills
    • Roll 3d4 to determine the number of hills systems
    • Roll 1d6 for the length of the system
    • Roll 1d3 for the width of the system
    • Roll 1d4 if needed for quadrant placement as above for mountains.
    • Hills may connect to or parallel nearby mountains

Plains

  • Anything that doesn’t contain Mountains or Hills
  • Variation is based on climate and ground cover.

Depressions, Gorges and Escarpments

Place as many or as few as you like within your region, roll 1d6 for a good average amount

  • Depressions
    • Roll 1d6 for diameter of depression.
    • Inland areas lower then sea level.
    • Large depressions may drain water to the center creating swamp or marshlands or a small salty lake/sea
    • In hot /arid climates seasonal  or vanishing lakes  or salt flats may appear
  • Gorges
    • Roll 1d4 for length of gorge.
    • Usually found in hilly or mountainous terrain, rarely fund in flat terrain.
  • Escarpments
    • roll 2d8 for the length,  1d4+1 for the diameter if circular
    • Marks a sudden change in elevation.

 

So this covers the section and I’ll be updating my project as an example. My island continent was roughly built knowing I wanted to be mostly mountainous.

Next week we’ll look at Climate/weather, Terrain types and Rivers, lakes and seas.

 

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