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Old 03-31-2023, 03:01 PM   #101
apoc527
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Default Re: Completed Ytarria Hex map with terrain added

I was thinking about the towns/villages/hamlets as well, particularly in Cardiel and al-Wazif.

I also think it would be fun to include some "magic did this" features...like a jungle in the middle of a small forest or something totally bizarre like a floating inverted mountain top...

I also think it would be worth taking a good hard look at Cardiel and seeing if there are any places you could fit some woodlands. I find it hard to believe that there are *no* significant woodlands in a country that side, but I admit I haven't been to Europe and could be biased living in the Pacific Northwest.

But the idea is to look for places on the map using the distances mentioned upthread to find areas that should be VERY sparsely populated (and as we've already discussed, there should be a lot of them), which could be home to monster lairs, bandit camps, and wannabe lords.

But...if I'm truly honest...the thing I would love THE MOST is a map that added borders for the various duchies, counties, earldoms, and baronies in the various countries that have those. That would be so useful!
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Old 04-01-2023, 03:28 PM   #102
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Completed Ytarria Hex map with terrain added

Thinking more about canals and other human modifications to the environment.

1) Henges and similar structures. They could be left over from before the Banestorm or they might have been constructed by "barbarians" somehow plucked by the Banestorm from Iron or Bronze Age Europe. Add weird, powerful magical effects to taste.

(The idea of one Banestorm that affected all of time and space for a certain distance backwards in time from the Middle Ages as well as forward from it allows for all sorts of fun stuff for the GM. Celts, Romans, Ancient Greeks, Ancient Egyptians, Mayans, Ancient Near Eastern civilizations.)

2) Any place you've got a major peninsula or isthmus with a narrow point to it, it's highly likely that you'll get some means of transporting small coastal vessels overland (later you get canals, but that's a lot of Shape Earth spells). For example, the Ancient Greeks had a portage across the Isthmus of Corinth, while the Ancient Egyptians had a portage from Gaza to the Red Sea.

One obvious place for such a portage/canal would be the neck of the Sahud Peninsula, starting just north of the Tower of the Eyes of Heaven at Kinkaku and going overland to Kaga. That allows coastal ships from Southern Sahud to go directly to the north coast of the Sahud Peninsula using the relatively sheltered waters of the Koriryu No Umi rather than having to brave potentially treacherous currents going around the peninsula.

Likewise, there should be a canal/portage system going from Quatredec up the River Baran to its highest navigable point, then overland to the unnamed Megalan settlement on the north coast, possibly paralleling the existing trade route. (Its existence would also explain the presence of the Emperor's Wall and the fights over the isthmus. It's not just territory, it's control of trade routes.)

3) Post roads, watchtowers, tollgates, and coaching inns. Especially in Megalos, you're likely to have Roman-style military and courier roads. They might also be open to civilian use as toll roads. Where you have toll roads, you also have tollgates which also act as police stations and customs enforcement.

Watchtowers, aided with things like powerful Continual Light spells and Hawk Vision magic items might be present along all Yttarian borders both as border patrol and military communication relays akin to 19th c. heliographs.

Coaching inns, possibly subsidized act as places for couriers and coachmen to swap out tired horses and for passengers to get food and rest. They'll be present at about 5-10 mi. intervals along any well-kept toll road.

Similar buildings exist for canals, with lockkeepers' houses or weigh stations present at every lock. Inns, boat building and repair shops, and similar services will spring up nearby. There will also be "basins" every 20-50 miles along a canal where boats can turn around or be docked when they're not in use. Feeder canals - diverted from local streams and rivers - often replenish canal water at these points. Since boats are often laid up for winter in basins, there will be at least one canal boat repair and building business as well as related businesses catering to boatmen and passengers.

These ideas might be to "fine-grained" for a 24-mi. hex map, but they might be helpful in laying out minor settlements along major roads/canals.

Last edited by Pursuivant; 04-01-2023 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 04-01-2023, 04:20 PM   #103
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Completed Ytarria Hex map with terrain added

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Originally Posted by apoc527 View Post
I also think it would be fun to include some "magic did this" features...like a jungle in the middle of a small forest or something totally bizarre like a floating inverted mountain top...
Absolutely. Magical changes might be more subtle, too, like areas of weird vegetation or smaller versions of improbable terrain like the acid swamp in Caithness.

Areas of weird terrain might also be magically aspected, affecting otherwise normal flora and fauna in strange ways (e.g., a Darkness-aspected forest where the shadows are exceptionally deep per the Gloom enchantment and where the local animals are permanently affected by Blur or Hide enchantments.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by apoc527 View Post
I also think it would be worth taking a good hard look at Cardiel and seeing if there are any places you could fit some woodlands. I find it hard to believe that there are *no* significant woodlands in a country that side, but I admit I haven't been to Europe and could be biased living in the Pacific Northwest.
Assuming a west-to-east jet stream, Al-Haz, Al-Wazif and, to a lesser extent, Cardiel will be rain-shadowed by the Fence of God (c.f., Eastern Oregon/Washington State being rain-shadowed by the Cascade Ranges). Storms, even cyclones, coming up from the Erythraean Sea might provide lots of seasonal water, however, explaining the existence of the two large river basins in the area.

My "head canon" for the south coast of Al-Haz, et al, is a pre-industrial version of the Texas coast, with salt marshes and mangrove swamps along the coast and seasonal open forests intermingled with prairie. (Transported Comanches turned Islamic ghazi would be truly frightening.)

Cardiel clearly has a Pre-Reconquista Spanish vibe, which could be reinforced by making Cardiel's terrain look a lot like the Iberian Peninsula. Towards the center of the country you get scattered upland forests of cork oaks, possibly managed as woodlots and livestock foraging areas around settled areas. The rest of the area is likely to be arid grasslands, possibly making it a place to drop in some Argentinian pampas-themed goodness.

On the east coast, especially around the Seamist Mountains, you get classic Mediterranean climate, olive and citrus groves, vineyards and better watered forests. Add in your choice of medieval Byzantine, Greek, Moorish, Sicilian, or Spanish cultures, all living in near idyllic climatic conditions, and all ready to turn the knives they were previously using on each other on unwelcome visitors.

Last edited by Pursuivant; 04-01-2023 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 04-01-2023, 04:32 PM   #104
benz72
 
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Default Re: Completed Ytarria Hex map with terrain added

FWIW my preference would be for cities and towns. Things that are obvious adventure locations would be more useful in my mind if they were just labeled as ‘ruins of Langford’ or ‘Old Crick’s Domain’ or Hunting grounds of Kizavexius’ unless they come in a removable layer.
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Old 04-04-2023, 07:02 PM   #105
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Default Re: Completed Ytarria Hex map with terrain added

So many ideas. I need to get my game on.
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Old 04-21-2023, 04:14 PM   #106
apoc527
 
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Default Re: Completed Ytarria Hex map with terrain added

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So many ideas. I need to get my game on.
Has the game, in fact, been turned back on? Super curious to see if you've gotten any inspiration from the ideas above!
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Old 05-03-2023, 10:19 AM   #107
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Default Re: Completed Ytarria Hex map with terrain added

I am trying to get motivated. Still been working crazy hours. I am mainly a miniature painter and that often distracts me from RPG work (having zero players also does not help).

This is not a forgotten project though.
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Old 05-30-2023, 11:29 AM   #108
apoc527
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Default Re: Completed Ytarria Hex map with terrain added

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Originally Posted by darebear View Post
I am trying to get motivated. Still been working crazy hours. I am mainly a miniature painter and that often distracts me from RPG work (having zero players also does not help).

This is not a forgotten project though.
Hope you are doing well, darebear! Curious if you've had any inspiration or time yet or if you are on any of the GURPSy Discord servers! Thanks!
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Currently Playing: GURPS Banestorm: The Symmetry of Darkness

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Yrth--The Legend Begins
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Old 12-20-2023, 04:22 PM   #109
darebear
 
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Default Re: Completed Ytarria Hex map with terrain added

Merry Christmas everyone. I am going to try to continue this project over the new year after a long break. I am open to suggestions. Not sure where to start at this point. I tend to get caught up in ideas from a million other sources, trying to create that "Perfect Campaign World".

I will review the ideas above and see what I can come up with. Lots of good ones there. I have some ideas for the naming of ruins and I will be adding some waterfalls and other major terrain features as suggested above.

I am not 100% happy with Zarak. I am thinking of making that region one large mountainous region vs breaking it up into smaller chains with their associated valleys. Thoughts? Yes, no?

The Southern Djinn lands might be an excellent location for an African society, with a mix of Muslim and older African Tribal religious cultures. The Djinn of course could be anything you want (my personal vision has always been non-human sorcerer-kings from another dimension). Ruling over the local human inhabitants they worship their own pantheon of strange alien gods while engaging in their own bizarre magical research.

Lastly, I am curious if anyone has thoughts on the Pre-Banestorm world. There is almost no information on that and it always left me, well a little flat. I prefer my campaign worlds, "ancient"...think Dying Earth, where people are living amongst the past glories and ruins of long dead and unknowable civilizations. Ytarria always felt like it was born with no important past to speak of prior to the Banestorm. Most traditional fantasy games have players exploring ruins and other picking over the remnants of past human and non-human civilizations. This feature is particularly absent from the way that Ytarria has always been presented.

My thought was to use the Reality Quake trope: the Banestorm caused massive disruptions in the space-time continuum. Humans and non-humans from both the past and the far future could have been deposited across Yrths Pre-Banestorm timeline, allowing for the addition or features which are "out of place....ruins, monoliths, ect.

Last edited by darebear; 12-21-2023 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 12-21-2023, 08:49 PM   #110
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Completed Ytarria Hex map with terrain added

Zarak covers a lot of ground, it's got several rivers that originate in the mountains and its northern border is defined by the ocean, so it will need more than just mountainous terrain.

Given its proximity to Sahud, perhaps go for a Himalayan-inspired theme.

That means means multiple ranges of high mountains with narrow valleys in between, hanging valleys and deep river gorges with fast-flowing rivers and lots of glaciers.

Add humans of Tibetan origin living in the uplands between Sahud and Zarak. They herd animals, grow crops and do the other "above ground" jobs that dwarves hate doing. Maybe add Yeti as a secret species or monster.

If there are on-shore currents or weather patterns that hit the continent from the northwest, Zarak is going to get a lot of snow in its northern parts. That means extensive glaciation and lots of seasonal snow melt which feeds the rivers. Given their short run from the mountains to the sea, the rivers will be narrow, fast-flowing, rocky and treacherous until just before the coasts.

Coastal areas might look like British Columbia or similar Northern Pacific coastal terrain.

The Djinn Lands are "GM's choice" of culture, with communities of any species or origin working to support a given Djinni's lifestyle and territorial ambitions. African, Amerindian (North, Central or South American) or even Australian Aborigine are all possible. Cultures that are way out of their time another possibility, with Romans, Babylonians or U.S. Western frontier settlements (with or without guns, the Djinn don't care about The Secret).

As another idea, the Djinn Lands are great places for artifacts out of time or in the wrong place. For example, stranded steam locomotives and train cars, crashed airplanes or huge ships stranded in the desert. They were all transported from Earth, or elsewhere, and the fate of their occupants is unknown.

For ancient cultures from the dawn of time, you can't go wrong with evolved dinosaurs or devolved subterranean humanoids. Dark elves could have branched off into Deep Elves who live far below the surface in underground settlements. If you want Dark Elves and scary slimy things, maybe rip off the AD&D idea of the Underdark with Drow, Aboleth, Beholders and other copyrighted monsters.

Really ancient cultures are also a way of introducing one-off high-tech or ultratech devices into the game, assuming that a culture advanced to TL9 or higher, with laser pistols and spaceships, before regressing or dying out due to some cataclysm.

In any case, the whole appeal of an "ancient earth" is its mysteries. That's hard to do on a map. Instead, tease the players with inscriptions in unknown languages on plates made of strange metal and massive incredibly weathered statues carved out of mountain tops. The full truth can only be learned via extensive magical investigation.

You also have to make the really old stuff the really good stuff. Ancient enchantments from millions of years ago are incredibly powerful, if only because the toughest and most useful items survive for so long. Ancient weapons cleave through ordinary steel as if it was warm butter. Ancient artifacts might also be how the Dark Elves blew themselves up, and they might be on the lookout for another ancient item that can reverse history.

On the map, that means highlighting locations of massive and inexplicable things. A city designed for non-humans that was once on land and then sunk beneath the ocean. The ruins of some massive building, made from unidentifiable materials, in the middle of the desert. A perfectly straight and level road which cuts through the surrounding terrain, with perfectly smooth cuts through rock, which ends when it reaches a solid rock face. Force domes in wilderness areas that can't be penetrated and which occasionally produce "monsters" which terrorize the locals.
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