You may have already generated the borders of kingdoms, if not this list is from table 26 Random Kingdom Size. If you already have borders there is no need to regenerate new ones.
- 1d8 hexes on a regional map ( regional map hexes are 100 miles across on an earth size world)
- 10d10 miles approximate diameter
- Small Kingdom
- 3d6 hexes
- 10d10 x 5 miles
- Medium Kingdom
- 4d6 hexes
- 10d10 x 8 miles
- Large Kingdom
- 6d6 hexes
- 10d10 x 10 miles
- 8d8 hexes
- 10d10 x 20 miles
World size and Kingdom size
Medieval kingdoms are severely limited in their maximum size by lack of efficient overland communications and reliable sea travel.
No matter how much land a world has, kingdoms generally remain about the same size. If a world is unusually large or has a great deal of land area kingdoms will generally increase in number before increasing in size.
If you are using a system that has advanced technology and/or magic then this guideline may be irrelevant.
Coasts, Seas and Lakes
First sketch out the coastlines and any major body of water within the borders. Here’s a list from table 27.
- Archipelago-Kingdom is scattered across chains of fairly small islands, each are within a day’s sail 25-50 miles
- Major Islands-Kingdom occupies most of one or two major islands, bordered on all sides by the sea
- Coastal with offshore islands-A major portion of the kingdom border is a coastline, may have inlets, peninsulas and offshore islands under control of the kingdom.
- Coastal, no islands-A major portion of the kingdom border is a coastline with no significant offshore islands.
- Multiple coastlines-Kingdom borders on two or more major bodies of water, with coastlines on several sides.
- Landlocked with an inland sea-Kingdom has no exterior seacoasts but includes a major body of water. The inland sea is 6d8 hexes in extent on the kingdom map.
- Landlocked with major lakes-as above but kingdom features 1d4 major lakes each 4d6 hexes in size.
- Landlocked, no significant water-No major bodies of water exist although minor lakes (1 hex or less) and rivers may be common.
The sections below will be updated later with additional information, there are links to other sections with information on the topics.
Mountains, Hills and Topography
- Mountain Ranges–
- Rolling Hills and Tablelands–
- Depressions and Gorges–
- Plains and Plateaus–
Refer to WB03.1 for more information on geography concerning the above topics.
- Climatology-For more information see WB02.2
- Prevailing winds and humidity-see weather patterns in WB03.2 for information.
- Terrain and Ground Cover–
- Rivers and drainage–
No world building blog post this week just some updates to the Harmonia map for #worldbuildingwednesday
Next up for the world building guide will be kingdoms and sociology.
WB03.2 Regional Continents and Geography
The information is all based on an earth like world. Adjust as need to fit your world, story and campaign.
- There are five basic categories of climates, Arctic, Sub-Arctic, Temperate, Sub-Tropical and Tropical
- On the Polyhedral Region Map each region will include three climate bands, on the Polar Region Map it will include two climate bands.
- You can use the table and roll 1d8 for the Polyhedral Region or roll 1d20 for the Polar display
- Altitude can be accounted for by adjusting the climate bands for higher or lower elevations by increasing or dropping a climate band or two as required.
- Weather Patterns
- Prevailing winds generated mostly by high or low pressure cells over large bodies of water(oceans) that spiral out or in of those cells.
- Mark a circular wind pattern around the oceans perimeter, for large landmasses mark the rotation around the continents edge.
- Northern hemisphere they rotate clockwise and in the Southern hemisphere they rotate counter-clockwise .
- You can also dive the region into quadrants and roll a 1d8 and randomly pick a compass direction the winds are coming from.
- Humid winds, those coming from the ocean, will lose moisture the higher the mountain range is. Medium to high mountain ranges may cause a rain shadow on the far side of the range.
- Very high or extreme mountain ranges change the wind patterns forcing them to flow along the range.
- Use what works best for your story, campaign and world as far as what is producing the winds, be it magic, elementals or whatever you decide.
- Climate bands and prevailing weather combine to create numerous variety of ground cover and vegetation. Ground cover and land forms describe the type of terrain.
- You can freehand terrain onto your map and terrain features will normally continue until they hit the next natural boundary.
- You can also divide the region into quadrants, with each quadrant having 3d4 different terrain areas. Make each area 2d10 hexes long and 2d6 hexes wide.
- Table 18 has a list of predominant terrain types.
- Desert sandy or rocky
- Forest light, medium or heavy
- Jungle medium or heavy
- Marsh, swamp
- Leaving room for transitional terrain on your map between two different terrain types, unless it better fits your world to have abrupt changes.
- Rivers, Lakes, Seas
- Inland seas are generally located in ares of low elevation, never far above sea level.
- A region will support 3d6-3 major inland seas, 2d8 hexes in size
- Lakes can be found anywhere and normally feature an inlet and outlet.
- A region will typically have 2d6 major lakes, 2d6-2 hexes in size.
- Rivers usually follow the path of least resistance, losing elevation when possible.
- On average there will be 4d6 major rivers in the region. Connecting major lakes to the nearest ocean or inland sea is a good place to begin.
- You can also sketch in rivers connecting mountains to a nearby body of water. Rivers don’t cross mountain ranges normally.
- A typical river system resembles a tree, with the mouth of the river the base of the tree and as you move upriver towards the source there are numerous branches, tributaries.
- Canyons and gorges are normally found near the river’s headwaters and are 2d4 hexes in length. Rivers can create canyons and gorges overtime by sinking through softer rock.
- Waterfalls may have rapids extending 1d3 hexes prior, serious waterfalls only occur in hilly or mountainous terrain, but there may be several in any river.
After placing all the terrain feel free to modify as needed or extend areas.
This week we briefing covered placing terrain, climate bands and weather in your world, next week will talk about human geography.