Limitless Worlds

Limitless Worlds

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Washington State as a Fantasy Setting Pt. 1, The Idea

Washington? You mean "Olympia", right?
I was thinking recently how much I love expansive settings in fantasy. I love kitchen sink settings; I like exploring India, Mesoamerica, Germany and so on, allowing characters and locations of all stripes.

However, I hate how large those settings are. They are just too massive; it could literally take in game months to travel to another country, or even real life months. I ain't got time for that. I like condensed settings size wise, but the problem is they generally aren't too diverse.

So I decided to make my own, and instead of a map, I'm using one that exists: the good ol' state of Washington.

"That's dumb," you may say. But to that I say "No!". Washington is the US state with the most varied terrain, the only state in the lower 48 with a rainforest AND its a perfect size for a campaign setting (70k square miles). Characters could walk from west to east in roughly 10 days, but they would pass through mountains, swamps, forests and deserts to do it.

I also have started to become quite fond of Swords and Sorcery, Lost World type settings. I love the forbidden magic, the dark gods, and the epic stories. I'm cribbing from Primeval Thule, where this Washington was real but was destroyed as the glaciers crept in during the last Ice Age.

There are no countries, but 13 city states, each with their own cultural flavor. For example, Agartha is built into primeval, extremely active Mt. Saint Helens, and is based on Greco-Roman and Mesopotamian civilizations. On the other hand, Hyperboria is built high in the Cascades near the Great Glacier, and they are extremely Norse, Scandinavian and Russian influenced.

I'm debating what system to use for this if I run it, but it may either be Blood, Guts and Glory, ACKS, or D&D 5e, or maybe even B&T. If I write this up, which I hope to do, maybe I'll provide mechanics for all those games and more.

Anyway, I'm going to chronicle its creation on here. I'm also gonna go back and work on some of my other "chronicle the setting here" stuff, which I've been slacking on.

Til next time!

1 comment:

  1. As a lifelong resident of Washington State allow me to say: excellent idea!

    [though I strongly doubt even the hardiest adventurer could cross east to west in ten days; the Cascades are no joke. It took Lewis and Clark a month to get from the (now) Idaho border to the Pacific with native guides and gear]