log in or register to remove this ad

 

Building a new world and I want your input

Amazing Triangle

First Post
I am building a new world and I have worked up a new map. There are 25 islands all are very small with only enough room for 1 to 2 towns. There is one large island with between 5 to 10 towns. The thing about the world is that I am unsure of what to do for cities. I have decided that once named the island needs a theme. I am a bit dry in the idea department. I have written 2 full campaign worlds in the past 5 years, so I feel I have done it before. So I beg the community to help me build a new world that will keep the PCs on their toes. Naming the islands is also on the agenda and any help in choosing good names would help.
[sblock=Islands]
1- Heavily Forested Area (Elven Kingdom)
2- Volcano Mountain (Dwarven Forge City)
3- Savage lands (human/reptilian lands)
4- Desert Island (Wild wild west human island)
5-
6-
7-
8-
9-
10-
11-
12-
13-
14-
15-
16-
17-
18-
19-
20-
21-
22-
23-
24-
25-
[/sblock]
Please I ask for any help and I will add anything that is given within reason.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Nonlethal Force

First Post
Honestly, I think this would be a campaign where metal would need to be severely restricted. Islands small enough to only hold 1 or 2 towns aren't likely to be rich in ore deposits. No ore, no steel. At least as far as beleivability goes, I would automatically discount any such world that had any standard issue medium armors or heavy armors. Hide armors are fine, of course.

And of course that also means that quartestaffs will probably be the weapon of choice, because a lack of steel means pretty much no swords, daggers, etc. I could see flint axes and the like, but flint makes a poor sword!
 

Deekin

First Post
It's fantasy, you can have an island made of iron. Plenty of metal there.

As for island suggestions-
Rajrin: The Dreamy Isle. Its tales have served
as building blocks in the creative unconscious
of society. However, this island of the mind is
more than just a mythical construction… it has
appeared in reality, and brings with it a vast
wellspring of untapped potential…

An Island full of psionics.
 

Nonlethal Force

First Post
Deekin said:
It's fantasy, you can have an island made of iron. Plenty of metal there.

Yep, you can. But my guess is that most people check out immediately. An island made of iron doesn't support like. No grass will grow in iron. No animals to feed off the grass. No food for the people to live off of.

Yep. It's fantasy. But not a very believable fantasy. My experience is that an element in the game which can only be magically explained is cool in small doses (like a force field or prestidigitation type effects) but when the system becomes reliant upon magic to explain the survival of life that it has gone too far. Of course, that is if it is to be a serious game.
 

Bardsandsages

First Post
Nonlethal Force said:
Yep, you can. But my guess is that most people check out immediately. An island made of iron doesn't support like. No grass will grow in iron. No animals to feed off the grass. No food for the people to live off of.

Yep. It's fantasy. But not a very believable fantasy. My experience is that an element in the game which can only be magically explained is cool in small doses (like a force field or prestidigitation type effects) but when the system becomes reliant upon magic to explain the survival of life that it has gone too far. Of course, that is if it is to be a serious game.

I can't agree more. The "kewl factor" of a completely unbelievable concept solely on the basis of "it's fantasy so its OK" will destroy a campaign. Great fantasy works, not because it is believable, but because it is presented in such as way that the reader (or gamer) can suspend belief to follow the story.

These islands are either terribly tiny or completely unexplored. What kind of game you run depends on which they are. If they are terribly tiny, chances are they rely mostly on the sea for sustanance and engage in trade with some mainland. Also one good hurricane could wipe them out, so there aren't going to be a lot of permanent dwellings. The fact is, if they are that small there isn't going to be a whole lot of questing opportunities.

If they are just unexplored, then the obvious question is "why?" What has prevented the people from expanding? This gives you more questing opportunities. Someone finds the ruins of a lost civilization. A mysterious race emerges from the jungle. etc etc.

But you need to have some basic idea of how the population sustains itself, defends itself, what sort of government it has, etc etc.
 

Sound of Azure

Contemplative Soul
Do you really need all 25 islands to be different? I'd have the island in small groups or chains, with variations on the same theme (a group of volcanic islands, some desert-island types, a group of forested islands with warring elven tribes, etc), then work on the differences from there.

As for an island idea...
The Island closest to Heaven

A rift to the positive energy plane floats above this low-lying atoll. The area within 5 miles of the island has the minor Positive dominant trait. A pillar of light descends from the rift, providing constant illumination (equivalent to moonlight), and creating an area with the Major Positive-dominant trait. The rift is slowly growing, as is the area of the Positive-dominant trait.
 

Nonlethal Force

First Post
Bardsandsages said:
These islands are either terribly tiny or completely unexplored. What kind of game you run depends on which they are. If they are terribly tiny, chances are they rely mostly on the sea for sustanance and engage in trade with some mainland. Also one good hurricane could wipe them out, so there aren't going to be a lot of permanent dwellings. The fact is, if they are that small there isn't going to be a whole lot of questing opportunities.

Ultimately this is the sticking point for me as well. I can suspend belief regarding an archipelago so long as the people are not mineralogically developed. [Here would be an excellent reason to remove "steel" from the game and insert psionic crystal, for example. The crystal could be found off shore as a part of a reef system. You could have it be a unique type of corral, or such] That is believable fantasy.

Or, I could go along with larger islands that are unexplored and thus the civilizations are small. But there needs to be some kind of reason.

In the end, it really doesn't matter what the world looks like. But the implications of a given land formation should make believable sense (even if it departs from reality a bit).
 

Ed_Laprade

Adventurer
Well, the OP has a Dwarven forge island, so it looks like the no iron idea is out. (If it were I'd advise sharkskin armor and obsidian for weapons.) However, I like the idea of a small chain of volcanic islands so they can maybe get other metals. Hmmm, diamond studded clubs anyone?
 

Amazing Triangle

First Post
Wow I am sorry.

I was thinking I could make my largest island have mining and in that regard they could trade. I agree that some islands would not have minerals and might have leaf armor (races of the wild) or Chitian Armor (Savage Species or Arms and Equipment). I also was thinking the some of the smaller islands would be unexplored by a large kingdom. This could lead to some cool adventures in my mind.

Could not the mines for steel be deep under mountains on some of the islands? This is why I wanted ideas and for each to have their own flavor.

Sound of Azure said:
Do you really need all 25 islands to be different? I'd have the island in small groups or chains, with variations on the same theme (a group of volcanic islands, some desert-island types, a group of forested islands with warring elven tribes, etc), then work on the differences from there.
This would work too allowing some Darwin slight variations across a section of islands. I just don't want them all to be the same.

Bardsandsages said:
If they are just unexplored, then the obvious question is "why?" What has prevented the people from expanding? This gives you more questing opportunities. Someone finds the ruins of a lost civilization. A mysterious race emerges from the jungle. etc etc.

But you need to have some basic idea of how the population sustains itself, defends itself, what sort of government it has, etc etc.
For clarity I meant small by comparison to normal "the island is the world" island that most DM's make. The text I quoted is the kind of thing I had thought of. It could simply be that not many people could afford to just explore a new island. Think Christopher Columbus who only got a grant to explore because they though he could go to China. A mix between Hawaii, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Cuba, Cape Verde, Puerto Rico, and New Zealand. These islands even have metal for swords and such.

Hope this clears things up....Thanks to the two so far (Dreams, Heaven)
 

Nonlethal Force

First Post
Amazing Triangle said:
Could not the mines for steel be deep under mountains on some of the islands? This is why I wanted ideas and for each to have their own flavor.

Again, I wouldn't buy it on truly small islands. But it appears that your definition and my definition of small are not equivalent. [See below]

Amazing Triangle said:
For clarity I meant small by comparison to normal "the island is the world" island that most DM's make. The text I quoted is the kind of thing I had thought of. It could simply be that not many people could afford to just explore a new island. Think Christopher Columbus who only got a grant to explore because they though he could go to China. A mix between Hawaii, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Cuba, Cape Verde, Puerto Rico, and New Zealand. These islands even have metal for swords and such.

I'm glad that you clarified this. Because I would not consider most of these islands as small. Most of these islands are large enough to sustain civilizations of many cities/towns/villages. But, if this is your idea of small, then yes, there could be mountains, mines, etc. You just need to justify why on an island the size of cuba there are only two or three towns. But there have already been several examples of that.

For what it is worth, when you were talking about a small island I was thinking along the lines of Jekyl Island off the coast of Georgia. For a premodern civilization, that is a small island. Japan, Cuba, New Zealand, etc is no small island! :)



Okay, enough of the term confusion. Allow me to help:

Darkluck Island: The land here is mysteriously unique. Magic (and psionics) fail to work by anyone who is in contact with the ground. [Creatures able to fly or levitate are able to have their magic abilities return to them once they are airborne.] Even Spell-like Abilities do not function here. However, supernatural abilities that do not mimic spells will function. Wands, rings, staffs, and rods will not function. The writing on scrolls vanish, however once the owner's feet completely leave the ground of this island the writing comes back.

For the purpose of the island, the term ground applies to any surface built onto the ground. THus, if a person builds a house on stilts, the house is still a part of the "ground." Magical abilities return at the beginning of the second full round in which a player/creature has not been in contact with the ground (Surprise rounds do not count as a round unless a creature begins the surprise round not in contact with the ground).




The Underwater Spirit Forge: This is an island that is almost entirely submerged under the ocean. The only part above the ocean sea level is a long dead volcanic plume that measures fifteen feet in diameter and rises a slight twenty feet above the ocean surface. Anyone adventurous to descent into the dead volcanic plume finds themselves entering a simple dungeon in the shape of a ring. Alcoves constantly branch off of the circular tunnel froming the ring.

There is a secret about this ring forge. Rumor has it that the circular tunnel and its various alcoves are controlled by an ancient beholder. The alcoves are the homes of those whom the beholder has been able to convince join it or dominated. Of course, beholderkin thrive among the alcoves as well. Yet, it is said that if anyone can defeat the ancient beholder that a magic forge can be found. The forge is not for metal, it is a forge of reality. Any who directly has a hand in the beholder's destruction (Game Mechanic: Cause at least 1 point of HP loss in the beholder's defeat) is allowed to alter their very essence. (Game mechanic: the player may change any aspects about the character including race, classes, feats taken, skill point allocation, etc about their character. However, the player must illustrate that the new selection would have been a viable selection at the level of change. Thus, a player could not give their fighter Weapon Specialization at 2nd level even under this circumstance)

At sunrise the day after the beholder is killed, the beholder rises anew. Each time the beholder arises he is granted more power. (Game mechanic: advance the beholder by 3HD)
 
Last edited:


Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Nonlethal Force said:
Again, I wouldn't buy it on truly small islands. But it appears that your definition and my definition of small are not equivalent. [See below]

Groot Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpenteria (Northern Australia) is 960 sq miles and feature two villages and a huge mine (manganese in this case) so even small islands having a supply of ore doesn't really stretch credibility too far. I agree the set up may be resource poor overall but that doesn't preclude a ready source of metal ore

Anyway
isolated population of cannibalistic white kenku who will attack and devour any potential food that comes into their midsts

1. Blackport: Obligatory pirate stronghold, a den of inquity where escaped convicts and jimmyed seaman look for whores and drink away their sorrows

2. Deadmans Landing: This island appears to be fertile and idyliic with lush forests and flowing streams and yet noobvious settlements are visible along the coastline. The reason being that the island is cursed by a plague of ghouls who dwell in the thick of the jungle during the day but emerge at night to feed

3. Whitecliff Island: Whitecliff is named for the towering white cliffs that seem to rise directly up from the sea giving no easy landfall to those approaching. The only way to land is by climbing the cliffs themselves which on investigation reveal themselves to be dead and whitened coral for Whitecliff is a makatea an uplifted coral atoll. The top of Whitecliff Island is a desolate windswept desert and half of it has collapsed in upon itself to reveal a semi circular lagoon. It is here that the inhabitants of whitecliff dwell, gigantic tubeworms (Riptide Horrors) that will attack and devour anything that enters their midst

4. Flame-Tooths Island: This is a double island the larger islet is an old volcanic peak bedecked in thick forest and smooth beaches, the smaller islet is a newly erupted volcanic which is still very active. Between the two is a volcanic badlands of still warm obsidian, sulphur pools and geysers. The new volcano is said to be the home of a Half Elemental Ogre (Magma) who calls himself Flame-Tooth. Although Flame-tooth still sleeps he has gathered a devoted following of goblins and ogres who are proclaiming him a god and who wish to sacrifice a virgin to the magma god in order to awaken him and have him klead theminto a golden age of conquest...
 

mythusmage

First Post
Are we talking about volcanic islands, or continental islands? The Seychelles north of Madagascar are the remnants of a bit of cntinental fragment, and so have granite boulders.


And are we talking about real-world islands? Might they be the sort of islands found in many a voyage of Wonder. As found in the stories of Sindbad and St. Brendan?
 

PwrMnky

First Post
New Islands

1) Twin Islands:
- One island lays on the water, the second one hover directly over head as if a mirror image. The tallest mountian on the bottom one, dirrectly points at the tallest mountian of the top one. So with one jump (permanent reverse gravity) you can be on the top island. (or fly, or other means)

2) Island of the eater:
- An island with lots of temptation. Lots of fruit trees, lots of gems, treasures, abandoned boats ... REVEAL: the island is actually an organism that is eating people that visit it. As the campaign runs, it actually resembles a gigantic demon armadilo.

3) The Ayelahnd (of the beetles):
- kind of your typical island. Not a lot of vegetation. Lots of barren sand areas. Lot of minerals, and magic items are automatically maximized. All inhabitants sleep a lot more (CON check). Lots and lots of bug, and big bugs. REVEAL: it's actually a crashed space ship, where life has begun to thrive on it's hull.
 

Amazing Triangle

First Post
mythusmage said:
Are we talking about volcanic islands, or continental islands? The Seychelles north of Madagascar are the remnants of a bit of continental fragment, and so have granite boulders.
And are we talking about real-world islands? Might they be the sort of islands found in many a voyage of Wonder. As found in the stories of Sindbad and St. Brendan?

Answer 1: Yes, it can be either one.
Answer 2: Sure if you remember/know of real-world islands or fantasy ones that I could use I would love to see the ideas.


Note: The more ideas I get the more choices I have for the 25. So there is never too many submissions!
 
Last edited:

Andor

First Post
The greater your water to land ratio the more important your water is. Figure out which aquatic races (mermen, mer-elves, locanths, sauguin, etc) live where, and who they trade with for what. Figure on some underwater adventures once the PCs have the ability to survive underwater. (Which can come pretty quick for some classes. 5th for druids, 1st for totemists.)

The Island of Temples

This island is usually uninhabited and is considered a holy place and taboo most of the year. It is covered with grand and beautiful temples made of marble and more exotic stones and metals, one to each god and many more unrecognized ones. Nothing lives here but rare and sacred animals. Each year every sect journies to the island to carry out their most secret and sacred rituals in the temple of their god. Sometimes rival sects meet but the peace of the island is sancrosact and neither the darkest of evils or the most righteous of paladin dare break it. None knows who built the temples or when.
 

Land Outcast

Explorer
See that island there son? No, it ain't a big chunk-o-rock that's atop it, 'tis the greatest prison around... that's where bad, bad, wayyyyyy bad people are taken... and also other things, things that can't be killed, and some say if you have the coin you can allocate someone there for some time... why do the islands trust it? 'cause they're "independant agents"... bah! mercenaries... they lose trust once, they lose it forever, and therefore, those who are sent there permanently never, ever feel the salty breeze again.
 

Amazing Triangle

First Post
Islands as of now:
Heavily Forested Area (Elven Kingdom)

Volcano Mountain (Dwarven Forge City)

Savage lands (human/reptilian lands)

Desert Island (Wild wild west human island)

Rajrin - The Dreamy Isle. Its tales have served
as building blocks in the creative unconscious
of society. However, this island of the mind is
more than just a mythical construction… it has
appeared in reality, and brings with it a vast
wellspring of untapped potential…

The Island Closest to Heaven - A rift to the positive energy plane floats above this low-lying atoll. The area within 5 miles of the island has the minor Positive dominant trait. A pillar of light descends from the rift, providing constant illumination (equivalent to moonlight), and creating an area with the Major Positive-dominant trait. The rift is slowly growing, as is the area of the Positive-dominant trait.

Darkluck Island - The land here is mysteriously unique. Magic (and psionics) fail to work by anyone who is in contact with the ground. [Creatures able to fly or levitate are able to have their magic abilities return to them once they are airborne.] Even Spell-like Abilities do not function here. However, supernatural abilities that do not mimic spells will function. Wands, rings, staffs, and rods will not function. The writing on scrolls vanish, however once the owner's feet completely leave the ground of this island the writing comes back.

The Underwater Spirit Forge: This is an island that is almost entirely submerged under the ocean. The only part above the ocean sea level is a long dead volcanic plume that measures fifteen feet in diameter and rises a slight twenty feet above the ocean surface. Anyone adventurous to descent into the dead volcanic plume finds themselves entering a simple dungeon in the shape of a ring. Alcoves constantly branch off of the circular tunnel froming the ring.

Robinson's Family Island - Isolated population of cannibalistic white kenku who will attack and devour any potential food that comes into their midsts

Blackport - Obligatory pirate stronghold, a den of iniquity where escaped convicts and jimmied seaman look for whores and drink away their sorrows

Deadman's Landing - This island appears to be fertile and idyllic with lush forests and flowing streams and yet no obvious settlements are visible along the coastline. The reason being that the island is cursed by a plague of ghouls who dwell in the thick of the jungle during the day but emerge at night to feed

Whitecliff Island - Whitecliff is named for the towering white cliffs that seem to rise directly up from the sea giving no easy landfall to those approaching. The only way to land is by climbing the cliffs themselves which on investigation reveal themselves to be dead and whitened coral for Whitecliff is a makatea an uplifted coral atoll. The top of Whitecliff Island is a desolate windswept desert and half of it has collapsed in upon itself to reveal a semi circular lagoon. It is here that the inhabitants of whitecliff dwell, gigantic tubeworms (Riptide Horrors) that will attack and devour anything that enters their midst

Flame-Tooths Island - This is a double island the larger islet is an old volcanic peak bedecked in thick forest and smooth beaches, the smaller islet is a newly erupted volcanic which is still very active. Between the two is a volcanic badlands of still warm obsidian, sulfur pools and geysers. The new volcano is said to be the home of a Half Elemental Ogre (Magma) who calls himself Flame-Tooth. Although Flame-tooth still sleeps he has gathered a devoted following of goblins and ogres who are proclaiming him a god and who wish to sacrifice a virgin to the magma god in order to awaken him and have him lead them into a golden age of conquest...

Twin Islands- One island lays on the water, the second one hover directly over head as if a mirror image. The tallest mountain on the bottom one, directly points at the tallest mountain of the top one. So with one jump (permanent reverse gravity) you can be on the top island. (or fly, or other means)

Island of the eater - An island with lots of temptation. Lots of fruit trees, lots of gems, treasures, abandoned boats ... REVEAL: the island is actually an organism that is eating people that visit it. As the campaign runs, it actually resembles a gigantic demon armadillo.

The Ayelahnd (of the beetles) - kind of your typical island. Not a lot of vegetation. Lots of barren sand areas. Lot of minerals, and magic items are automatically maximized. All inhabitants sleep a lot more (CON check). Lots and lots of bug, and big bugs. REVEAL: it's actually a crashed space ship, where life has begun to thrive on it's hull.

The Island of Temples - This island is usually uninhabited and is considered a holy place and taboo most of the year. It is covered with grand and beautiful temples made of marble and more exotic stones and metals, one to each god and many more unrecognized ones. Nothing lives here but rare and sacred animals. Each year every sect journeys to the island to carry out their most secret and sacred rituals in the temple of their god. Sometimes rival sects meet but the peace of the island is sacrosanct and neither the darkest of evils or the most righteous of paladin dare break it. None knows who built the temples or when.

Prison Island - that's where bad, bad, way bad people are taken and also other things, things that can't be killed, and some say if you have the coin you can hire mercenaries from the island
 

Andor

First Post
The dangerous little island - An extinct volcano covered in dense jungle. It is riddled with old volcanic tube and caves, tight twisting spaces to small for a man to fix properly. The island is home to 3 small races, halflings, kobolds, and goblins. By turns trading and making war on each other through the tunnels and the jungle canopy. Any visitors will be seen only as a resource for the endless fighting.

Maru - The island market. Centrally located and blessed with many natural harbours the densly populated island is the hub of trade in the archipelligo.
 

Amazing Triangle

First Post
Anyone have any cool racial changes that they use for their campaign? I was thinking that maybe a way to keep PC's on their toes is to change their perception of what is 'normal'
 
Last edited:

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top