For my campaign's fantasy world I want to be able tap into real world knowledge about climate and history without being constrained by it. I'm interested in the Mediterranean. One solution would be to use a map like this, which represents how the ancient Greeks supposedly conceived the world:
I've removed all the place names and added some color to the ocean. Thanks to Jensan's comment I think I'm making the world flat (maybe with another world on the reverse?). Thanks to richardthinks' suggestion I made it square. So, the River Ocean is a strong current but the corners of the world hold more ocean and presumably many islands:
But again, what scale should this be? I suppose I should add a hex layer for my DM map to facilitate ocean hex crawls.
Nice! Yes, you should absolutely add a world on the backside (the "hell" of the world?); an inverse of the front, every good man on the front has his bad on the other, and every crooked criminal has his kind-hearted mirror on the other.ReplyDelete
If you want to use real-world climate and history, it might make sense to make the central area approximately the same scale as it would be if it really were Greece.ReplyDelete
Absolutely add an obverse world! I was going to ask you about rimfall. I'm also curious why the land remains circular inside the square: makes the world seem industrially produced: stamped out.ReplyDelete
There's been a lot of talk about finding "other Mediterraneans" amOng historians, pretty much ever since Braudel wrote his big book on the long history of (half) the region, more intensively since The Corrupting Sea: other meds include the Java sea and the Sulu Zone in SE Asia. Worth a look.
...scale: I'd go with whatever feels gameable, which is v likely smaller than life: I don't know your "period", but in the 12th century Arab traders would do 1 round trip to Sicily a year, whether from Morocco, Spain, Tunis or Egypt. Ibn Jubayr took 2 years to sail from Spain to Alexandria to overland across Egypt and then Red Sea to Mecca, overland to Jerusalem, to Aden to Sicily (where shipwrecked) and back to Spain, and he kept his traveling pace pretty brisk (at least in comparison with Sindbad or ibn Battuta, both of whom took jobs and wives for extended periods along the way). I suggest that few adventuring groups would consider a trip of 2+ years unless the need were very pressing or the interim rewards very tempting (like the hajj).ReplyDelete
(I'm assuming you're mapping the world because you think the PCs might visit some big part of it)
I see on Wikipedia he traveled pretty much the length of the med (Andalusia to Alexandria) in 1 month: that was a very good run, travel times could easily vary by 500%.ReplyDelete
One problem I always had with the concept of a flat world was there would be no curvature of the earth. The horizon would just keep on going on and on and on. It was kind of hard to get my head around, but I tried. Communication by light would be much easier, since distance wouldn't be a determining factor, only brightness and air quality. I'm sure there are a lot more things that would be different, but it's been 25 years since I thought about it. :)ReplyDelete
Hmm.. yes.. though you could always handwave that air moisture will cut off visibility sooner or later. So if you try to look out to 25 miles (or whatever) you can't, because everything at that distance is just a grey smudge.ReplyDelete
Yes. And on days of truly exceptional clarity you can get an Olympian view. I think that's a selling point, actually.ReplyDelete
@Rubberduck - Let see - Twenty-five miles might be a good average. Per wikipedia . . ."In extremely clean air in Arctic or mountainous areas, the visibility can be up to 70 kilometres (43 mi) to 100 kilometres (62 mi)." So visibility ranges wouldn't be entirely crazy.ReplyDelete
@richardthinks - Yes, but image the real estate prices then!!! :)
Hey, great comments. I never heard about the alternate takes at historical seas richardthinks, thanks. As far as the punched out look, well it is a square world, which sort of looks industrial anyway.ReplyDelete
@Jensan: I was thinking it might be a Sumerian dusty land of the dead, but I like your idea of opposites of the players. What if returning back over the edge doesn't return you home, but a different alternate world? But that may be going to far.
@Ark: I think some great mage put a spell on the world that makes it seem exactly like a sphereical world. Odd, that :)
You folks don't even need me to have a good conversation, haha. (Slinks off to train more Spartans)
...I know the horizon issue is resolved, but it occurs to me that the Olympian Clash of the Titans view implies exactly a thin, uniform low-lying haze. Anything that got you above that layer would facilitate cartography: rocs, birds+ shrinking potions... So now my Royal-Vizieral Cartographic Office is supplied with catapults and parachutes.ReplyDelete
have you seen this one-page roundup of flat earth ideas? I'm particularly delighted by St Augustine's thinking the Earth might be a sphere, but still one with a universal up direction, so the underside of the sphere ought to be rock, or something else that can't fall off.ReplyDelete
This right here is my sea of O'sr, with Antilia's 7 cities of gold and St. Brendan's isle right in the middle between Europe and Japan (Cipangu). I'm thinking that when I ever get a game going again, I'll do a composite mythic world of 1500, with Prester John up the Congo and a hole at the pole per ibn Majid and an Australia Incognita bound tight to Antarctica and Faerieland off the coast of the San Andreas fault (accessible, like Hy Brazil and the land of Ukiyo-e, only through mystic mists).