Posted in World Building

Harmonia map updates for World Building Wednesday

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.

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Posted in World Building

WB03.3 Reginal Continents and Geography ( “Human” Geography)

“Human” Geography

For our purpose this will include demi-human, humanoid or monstrous geography.

There are several basic  components for this:

  • Races
  • Culture
  • Kingdom and States
  • Monsters and Ecosystems

This week will be mainly looking at Races and Culture.

  • Races
    • Identify the kingdom building , intelligent, races with in the region
      • Dominate Races-account for 1/4 or more of the sentient population
        • The region normally includes d3-1 dominate races
      • Major Races-account for 1/20-1/5 of the total population
        • The region normally includes d4+2 major races
      • Minor Races-account for less than 1/20 of the total population
        • The region normally includes 4d4 minor races
    • You can use the table in the guidebook or create your own.
    • Marine and Subterranean Races
      •  Marine
        • Region contains any sizable bodies of water
        • 2d-1 dominate races
        • d3 major races
        • d4 minor races
      • Subterranean
        • d2-1 dominate races
        • d4 major races
        • d6 minor races

 

  • Culture
    • Rough Guidelines
      • Dominate race includes d4+1 separate cultures or sub-races
      • Major race includes d3  cultures or sub-races
      • Minor race can include d2 cultures or sub-races
    • Geographic features often define borders of different cultural groups.
    • Sub-races serve as different cultural groups for the race.
    • If a race has no sub-races it may have cultural differences.
    • Races or cultures tend to have common geographical factors, or settlement patterns, linking their kingdoms and states together.
      • Hydrographical Grouping
        • Coastal/seafaring
        • Inland /nomadic
        • Riverine
      • Favored Terrain
        • Grasslands
        • Forests
        • Jungles
        • Marshes/swamps
        • Scrub lands/deserts
        • Hills/highlands
        • Mountains
      • Favored Climate
        • Tropical
        • Sub-Tropical
        • Temperate
        • Sub-Arctic
        • Arctic
      • Geographical Grouping
        • Northeast quadrant
        • Southeast quadrant
        • Southwest quadrant
        • Northwest quadrant
    • Kingdom, state or tribal federation
      • Each culture or sub-race will include d8-3 
      • Realm size for races
        • Dominate – 6d6 hexes
        • Major – 4d6 hexes
        • Minor – d8 hexes
      • They usually extend out to some natural boundary and follow terrain and geographical features.

 

As with everything this are suggestions and options if you have something developed  adjust your world to fit your needs.

 

 

Posted in World Building

WB03.2 Regional Continents and Geography (Climate, Weather/Terrain/Rivers, Lakes, Seas)

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.

  • Climate
    • 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.

 

  • Terrain
    • 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.
      • Barren
      • Desert sandy or rocky
      • Forest light, medium or heavy
      • Glacier
      • Grassland
      • Jungle medium or heavy
      • Marsh, swamp
      • Moor
      • Scrub/brushland
      • Tundra
    • 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.

Posted in World Building

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.

 

Posted in World Building

WB02.2 Worlds and Planets (Seismology/Tectonics and Climatology)

WB02.2 Worlds and Planets (Seismology/Tectonics and Climatology)

 

After this module you will have  created/generated the gross physical characteristics of your world by generating linked regions of water and land and work out overall climates and prevailing currents and winds.

Plate Tectonics

Continents and seas ride on crustal plates that float on the softer, hotter material of the planet’s mantle. Their movement is almost imperceptible by human standards.  Friction and collision between moving plates can result in earthquakes, volcanoes and the formation of mountain ranges to say the least.
In your fantasy world this can be caused by anything from god’s, elemental panes,  magic , restless Deities etc etc  whatever you feel fits your story and campaign. You can invent how your planets geology functions.

Our earth’s crust is divided up into plates, and all the continents and seas rest on top of those plates. You’ll find that the greatest seismic activity will be at the edges of the plates.

A typical earth sized world would have 4d4 plates, with each plate spanning 1d6 regions on the world map. If using this method and you run out of regions make the remaining regions a single-region plate.

The guidebook has tables for rolling up the following:

  • Mountain chains and Rifts (Trench systems)
  • Adjustments for Gravity World
  • Volcanic Activity
  • Earthquake Activity
  • Geological Activity on Fantastic Worlds

 

Mountain chains and Rifts (Trench systems)

To use the table  choose one plate and roll d% to determine movement and characteristics with the adjacent plate.

Mountain ranges are the best place to find colliding plates, and rifts are the best place to find receding plates.  Mountains tend to form in chains or ranges instead of clumps with volcanoes being an exception.

Adjustments for Gravity World

If your world has higher gravity your mountains will be smaller, if you have lower gravity it will be larger. Check the size/adjustment chart if this is applicable to your world.

On Mars Mons Olympus is 80,000 feet high, compare to Everest on Earth at 30,000 feet.

Volcanic Activity

Volcanic activity is the result of the planets’ seismic stress and heat, or whatever fantastical explanation you created. Other nearby moons, or celestial bodies, can affect planetary stress as well.

If you have volcanoes on your world you can roll to check for type of activity. Roll d% and refer to the table in the guidebook.

Earthquake Activity

Plates can  also cause earthquake activity.  The table in the guidebook can help you determine the strength and frequency of the activity using d%.

Geological Activity on Fantastic Worlds

There’s an alternative if you don’t want to use plates, check the tables on Optional Regional Mountain Placement and Fantastic Mountain Properties in the guidebook. It uses d% for placement and properties.

 

In  my world or current island location I know I wanted mountains and will adjust tectonic plates after their design. Remember these are guides based on real earth like worlds but it’s your campaign and story.

Climatology

This is the last step affecting the entire planet. World climate has, for this reference, five possible categories:

  • Arctic
  • Sub-Arctic
  • Temperate
  • Sub-Tropic
  • Tropic

These five categories create nine distinct bands of climate. Each band can have significant local variations.

The guidebook has two tables on climatology, Planetary temperature  and Seasonal variations.

Planetary Temperature

Planetary Temperature determines the mean temperature which can range from frozen to inferno etc. The mean temp of the planet can cause climate bands to be one or two steps higher or lower then normal. you can roll to determine the temp or perhaps you already have one in mind.

Seasonal Variations

Seasonal variations can be scientific or even something out of Greek mythology. They can range Mild to Extreme or none  at all.

In my current world i’m using normal for temp and variations. Although other planets in my multiverse will be adjusted later on when developed.

Prevailing Winds and Ocean currents

General rule of thumb for earth like worlds: In the Northern hemisphere currents move  clockwise in motion and for the Southern hemisphere it is counter clockwise. Use the equator as a dividing line for anything that crosses over.

For wind patterns Oceans and large land masses  support huge pressure cells that generate weather patterns and prevailing winds. The winds still rotate clockwise and counter clockwise like currents.

 

Posted in World Building

WB02.1 Worlds and Planets

I’ll be breaking the second module, Worlds and Planets, into the following two sections

02.1 Shape/Size and Hydrography is this weeks post

02.2 Seismology/Tectonics and Climatology will be next weeks post

First off, if you already have world components built don’t toss them away, adjust the characteristics you want for your campaign or story.

The guidebook is mostly set up to make an earth like world, complete with real world like physical laws. feel free to sub out or remove any system explanations and create your own.

Shape and Size

Now what is the shape and size of your world or how can you create it?

The world for your campaign or story can be any shape or size, for mine I chose an earth like shape and size to make mapping easier, using existing blank forms. Your world doesn’t even have to be a planet, it could be a dimension, a plane or whatever catches your interest.

Shape

One of the easiest methods is too look at you’re Polyhedral dice,  here’s a quick link on Polyhedrons. See a die shape you like, make that the shape of your world. Want something more along the lines of a plane of existence? take a pierce of paper,  use it as is or make random rips and tears until you find a shape you like.  Maybe you want something irregular shaped,  mutable even….. well grab some modeling clay, play -doh or for artists use a kneaded eraser. What ever is interesting to you for your campaign or story use it.

world-options

 

There’s also world generator sites that can do that for you, a few in the resource section,  or check the NASA links and get inspiration from the universe.

Size

After you have the shape worked out now figure out the size. For an earth like planet it would be spherical, roughly 8,000 miles in diameter and have an approximate 25,000 mile circumference.

Using the tables in the guidebook shows the following

Diameter  8,000

World map hex size  500 miles

Region map hex size  100 miles

They say there are roughly 700 hexes on the blank world map in the guidebook, I’ll take their word on that.  Also it seems to be a 5:1 ratio for scaling as opposed to using a 6:1.  You could also compare your world size to existing planets in the NASA link.  If you have a non-spherical world start by determining the size and number of hexes you want to use. That will give you a miles per hex  for the world and region. For polyhedral worlds divide number of hexes  by the number of faces.

Book example:  a cubical world with 700 hexes would be divided by 6 faces for  116 (116.66) hexes per face. You could round up to make it an even 121 (11 x 11.)If your world hex size is 300 miles then each face would be 3,300 x 3,300 miles each.

Just remember  if you don’t like it adjust it or make another one….

 

Hydrography

Technically it’s the distribution and mapping of water but I’ll use liquid  since your world may not be water based.

So determine what percent of your world is liquid based. As a reference earth is 70% water.  you can roll on the table, randomly pick a percent, roll percentile dice, use  the world hook  to address it  or any other way you feel works for the campaign or story. Since my world was based on yin yang shapes it’s going to be 50%.

Next it’s time to place continents major islands ans inland seas. Feel free to freehand it or use the chart form the guidebook. I already had a shape to determine the placement for my world and you can do that as well. think skull island etc is there a shape or icon that fits your campaign or story? There’s also a few links to sites that have generators for almost anything including terrain.

Not sure where to place what? the blank map in the guidebook has 20 sections(handy)… count up your sections and assign a number and roll or generate a random number.

Well that about covers the basics for this week, I’ll try to create a randomly generated world from the guidebook and post my results here.

Feel free to post comments or tag me if you have questions, recommendations etc on your world or world building. I’ll be updating my world project Harmonia based on this post.

 

Next week we’ll jump into the final sections covering Seismology/Tectonics and Climatology