My campaign setting so far! :)

So, I’m building a world for my ACKS campaign.

The starting empire-sized kingdom has a population density of 3,000 families per 24-mile hex, and claims about 800 hexes.

It’s got a total population of about 2,400,000 families and a largest city/capitol with 24,000 families in it.

Map here:

I feel like that without inland roads and faced with a really dense forest, the kingdom would claim the east mostly in name alone, which is in keeping with the “gradient of civilization/danger” concept introduced in the core rule book.

I have other kingdoms across a whole continent on my world map:

I’m assuming a global population of something like 40-50,000,000 families. Since all of the land on the continent is “claimed” by various civilized kingdoms or nations, it seems like I could apply the west-east gradient of civilization/urbanization to the whole continent.

I think I’ll put something like Mt. Doom/Mordor in central or eastern Kalast, and fill it with the biggest, baddest, most evil monsters possible.

It’ll be like a big factory of adventure and danger!

I already decided that Kalast should be “ruled” by dragons in a very laissez-faire fashion, and I might also decide that the nastier the monster, the nastier it tastes. Therefore the dragons prefer to snack on herd animals, then herdsmen, then beastmen, then other monstrosities, in roughly that order. That way the herdsmen have an incentive to keep sufficient tasty treats around for the dragons, and the dragons have an incentive to leave a bunch of monsters wandering around the place.

What do you guys think? Sound fun? Any ideas or suggestions?

(Oh, and as this is my first post: thanks, Alex. Your system is great, and inspired this world!)

Shane, this looks great. I think your "global gradient" concept will work really well. 

Also, kudos on your world map. It looks very "real", oozes plausibility.

Would mind sharing how you made those maps? I’ve been trying for the last week or so to make something that looks passable, but I’m not having any luck. I would appreciate any help you might be able to pass my way.

Thanks, Alex!

benjpeters: Gladly!

You will need just two things:

  1. GIMP Image Editor
  2. A fractal world map generated here:

Well, those plus some time to play around with GIMP. I just used various layers and filters to get the look I wanted.

The geographic map I started with looked like this after I used layers to add various climate zones:

After learning GIMP a little better, I was able to separate the continents from the oceans as objects, then move the continents around as I liked to get the political verson you see above, which actually started out like this once I applied a color threshold to remove the “terrain” colors and colorized the resulting map:

There are tons of GIMP tutorials online for specific effects and functions, and I found it easiest to just think of what I wanted to do and google accordingly.

The Cartographer’s Guild is a great resource:

And so is r/worldbuilding:

Once you’ve played around with GIMP a bit, if you’re still having trouble getting the look you want, I’ll be happy to offer any help or advice I can from here.

What method do you use for calculating climates? Do you just kind of eyeball it or do you some deep analysis involving wind, moisture, and latitude and altitude?

I just decide which countries and places I want to be colder than others, and the planet magically attains the appropriate distances from the sun and rotational inclination. :smiley:

More seriously: for the geographic map, I cut the map in half to place the equator, then I found the distance of the Arctic Circle from the North Pole, which is roughly 1,600 miles. On the geographic map you’ll see I placed red lines 1,200 miles from the top and bottom of the map, so that’s in the ballpark for the Arctic Circle on an earth-like world.

As savvy cartographers will notice, though, this world is first and foremost a flat square, and would be distorted a good deal if someone mapped it onto a sphere.

I’ve considered just declaring my world a cylinder to keep a constant geographic area.

I kind of like the idea, but I’d have to think about the cosmology of that a bit first…

Wow! Thanks for the information. I really appreciate the help. I will take a look at all of these resources and post if I need any help. Thanks!

I updated the look of my world map (with GIMP again, still WIP):

And I’ve uploaded the first draft of my setting pantheon to my new blog:

This is my first time trying to make a pantheon based on the law/neutrality/chaos alignment scheme, and I’m pleased with how it’s turned out.

Great stuff, it's enjoyable to watch your campaign come together.