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.
WB03.1 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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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
- 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
- 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
- Roll 1d4 for length of gorge.
- Usually found in hilly or mountainous terrain, rarely fund in flat terrain.
- 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.