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  #301  
Old 02-12-2018, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
I was pretty sure you meant Calvin when you first mentioned it.
Your prize is a Tyrannosaur in an F14. Enjoy!
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  #302  
Old 02-12-2018, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Day 202 – Toluca Lake, Silent Hill
Many people find New England a charming and idyllic location to visit. The forested countryside, the picturesque towns and villages that appear to be Rockwell paintings made real, the history that seeps out of every street name, manse, and white steepled building you see. New England can be charming. Sadly, that isn’t usually what I see. Those forests? Are the same which terrified America’s forefathers, their dense, nigh impenetrable branches harboring godless heathens and even the devil himself. Those sleepy small towns and villages? The breeding grounds of grudges, xenophobia, and self-righteousness. That history? The acting out of those petty grudges, hangings, pressing, and spiteful mobs imposing their will upon the powerless and afraid.

These are the pleasant thoughts that fill my head as I look out on Toluca Lake as the fog comes in for the night. Billowing out and rolling over the white steeples, clapboard storefronts, and sagging Doric columns of the homes and buildings of Silent Hill behind me. I am told that Silent Hill’s tourist district has a hopping night scene by those who have visited the town during the season. I have also been told not to go out at night, into the fogs, by those who have made Silent Hill their home.

I will be staying in tonight.
#35 (tie) Silent Hill (Silent Hill series)
80 points, 3 votes, highest voter: Doctor Nerd (6)


Silent Hill is a Japanese survival horror video game series created by Keiichiro Toyama, developed and published by Konami. Silent Hill is set in the series' eponymous fictitious American town. The series is heavily influenced by the literary genre of psychological horror, with its player characters being mostly "everymen. "

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  #303  
Old 02-13-2018, 12:59 AM
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Aw man, yes. Had it at #7, and I specified the SH1 town as favorite location/subsetting.

I fell in love with the town ever since I played the demo of the first game at a relative's (Still think the original has one of the best beginnings for a horror game, period, up to when you have free rein to explore for the first time). The town in the original for me had a je-ne-sais-quoi, a charm, a feeling of authenticity, of being lived in that I didn't ever get with the latter sequels (at least the ones I got to play even if it's only a bit, up to 4. Haven't tried much of the rest).

It felt... cozy? welcoming? Monsters notwithstanding, of course. In fact I fantasized for a while about a game in which you could freely and safely explore a Silent-Hill-1-SH-like abandoned town, the horror coming just from yourself wondering what might have happen for everyone to vanish suddenly. But that's another story.

Later SH's might have been great horror games (SH2 is indeed the masterpiece it's famed to be) but the town itself felt more increasingly... generic with each game. Game-y. A set of needed dungeons interconnected by some streets, definitely not as real.

Mandatory PS:
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  #304  
Old 02-13-2018, 05:51 AM
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Silent Hill lacks coherence as an actual setting, but that's kind of the whole point. It's basically a purgatory that molds itself to torment whoever happens to wander there. Interesting choice.
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  #305  
Old 02-13-2018, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Day 211 – The Great Salt Lake, Esthar
Strange that I find myself looking out again on another ‘lake’ so soon from the last one. But this one could not be different than Lake Toluca. The Great Salt Lake in Esthar is more the memory of a lake and the folly of Man.

Salt pillars and accretions build upon each other to form fantastic bluffs and cliffs out into the distance. Along what was once the shore thin blades of salt fan into the air, motionless in the breeze. Throughout the sodium formations are the bones or fossils of monstrous beasts that once inhabited this area.

But, there is no living thing here now. Just as it is with the lake only the memory of living things. There is nothing here but the salt, ghosts, and regrets.

#34 (tie) World of Final Fantasy VIII (Final Fantasy VIII)
83 points, 3 votes, highest voter: Solitayre (4). Notable locations: Esthar


Final Fantasy VIII is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation console. Set on an unnamed fantasy world with science fiction elements, the game follows a group of young mercenaries, led by Squall Leonhart, as they are drawn into a conflict sparked by the sorceress Edea. After defeating Edea, the protagonists learn that she was under the control of Ultimecia, a sorceress from the future who wishes to compress time.


Last edited by Falselogic; 02-13-2018 at 12:14 PM.
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  #306  
Old 02-13-2018, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Sensenic View Post
It felt... cozy? welcoming? Monsters notwithstanding, of course. In fact I fantasized for a while about a game in which you could freely and safely explore a Silent-Hill-1-SH-like abandoned town, the horror coming just from yourself wondering what might have happen for everyone to vanish suddenly. But that's another story.
Have you tried Everybody's Gone to Rapture? Yeah, technically an *old* England empty town, but still. And it's literally "cozy catastrophe" genre.



Meanwhile, I didn't vote FF8 as I tried to keep myself to only a few Square entries for once, but there's definitely intriguing things about its settings - even if a lot of it comes off feeling a little disconnected, at least to me.
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  #307  
Old 02-13-2018, 11:59 AM
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FF8 was the first time the series had a world that felt like separate national entities that interacted with each other beyond "bad country tries to dominate everyone else". It wouldn't be until the next console generation that Final Fantasy would feature worlds that felt fully alive, but it was a step in the right direction.
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  #308  
Old 02-13-2018, 12:01 PM
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Silent Hill?

I reiterate my earlier statement.

You are masochists.
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  #309  
Old 02-13-2018, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Kirin View Post
Have you tried Everybody's Gone to Rapture? Yeah, technically an *old* England empty town, but still. And it's literally "cozy catastrophe" genre.
Thank you. I couldn't think of that title for the life of me. After reading Sensenic's post, I was like, "I'm sure that game exists; what was it?"
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  #310  
Old 02-13-2018, 12:34 PM
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Here's a little something to go along with Flawgic's latest vacation spot.



Always liked this track...
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  #311  
Old 02-13-2018, 12:50 PM
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Silent Hill is Cool as Hell. I didn’t vote for it, but I’m glad it made the list.

I do believe I voted for FF8, but who can say. “fake 1998,* but with magic” is very appealing to me. I haven’t played FFXV and I probably won’t but that might have a similar vibe.

Check out this FMV which made getting stabbed with ice spikes seem like coolest, most glamorous thing in the dang world!

Maybe I actually just voted for the World of Edea and this all just rationalization.

When I first saw FMVs from this game I was so impressed; I remember distinctly enthusing to a cousin that they “look exactly like real people.” (he would not go that far)

*FFVIII came out in 1999 and I anticipated its release, so I must’ve known it came out then at the time, but ever since then I’ve always remembered it was published in 1998... because it has an 8 in the title, you know
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  #312  
Old 02-13-2018, 12:52 PM
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D'aww, lookit the widdle Lunatic Pandora

This was one of mine, considering that I chose mine all on the basis of "Interesting and full of history/stories" and "I would probably like to spend some time there." As in, willingly, unlike all those horrific zombie or ice zombie or robot zombie places you people would vacation in. We don't get to interact much with Esthar beyond a few choice locations, but, in my mind, it's the most technologically advanced civilization in FF, surpassing even Cocoon or Bevelle. Even their most utilitarian facilities look like an EPCOT Center fever dream, and their space station is a thing of wonder.

What I like best is that the aesthetics reflect Esthar's advanced technology and magic. It's not one of those either-or type of civilization that fantasy RPGs tend to portray, but, rather a perfect combination. And it's not even an ancient civilization, at that, but a living, breathing society that has only existed for a few decades but still managed miraculous advances in both areas, exceeding Galbadia, Dollet, or even the Centra themselves.

Too bad it all goes to pot when the Lunar Cry casts a red filter over the whole thing, and nothing is actually done about it in-game.

Regardless, I haven't played FFVIII in well over 15 years, and hadn't even watched those FMVs in nearly as long, so... man, I must've been used to that kind of thing in 1998, but damned if the Gardens aren't just sheer awesome in architecture, design, concept, and as storytelling devices. It's very obvious Balamb Garden inspired FFX's Fahrenheit airship, hell, it inspired FFX's entire Zanarkand aesthetic, and I definitely did not give them their due back then and I want to give it now.
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  #313  
Old 02-13-2018, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef View Post
What I like best is that the aesthetics reflect Esthar's advanced technology and magic. It's not one of those either-or type of civilization that fantasy RPGs tend to portray, but, rather a perfect combination. And it's not even an ancient civilization, at that, but a living, breathing society that has only existed for a few decades but still managed miraculous advances in both areas, exceeding Galbadia, Dollet, or even the Centra themselves.
Yes, this is really key to the setting’s appeal.
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  #314  
Old 02-13-2018, 12:58 PM
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Also, goddamn Fisherman's Horizon. Buncha hippies with their gigantic solar farm. Where can I find the brochures to take a cruise there?
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  #315  
Old 02-13-2018, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrenaline View Post
Silent Hill lacks coherence as an actual setting, but that's kind of the whole point. It's basically a purgatory that molds itself to torment whoever happens to wander there. Interesting choice.
Well, on that regard there's the fact that the franchise switched hands with almost every game. XD

Where's that handy diagram...? There:


The first one was very much Keiichiro Toyama's creature, and you can tell if you play his next game Siren/Forbidden Siren, for which he basically kept every concept from SH that he wanted (from the titular siren all the way to a young nurse called "Lisa", guy has a type XD ).
2 & 3 were Hiroyuki Owaku's, & they are perhaps indeed the most consistent aesthtically/thematically of the bunch (with Akira Yamaoka stepping up to be the producer and spokesperson of the franchise from 3 onwards), then 4 was another guy's, then it went west, then.... so yeah.

That being said, the setting was kept pretty consistent between the first 4 games, even if they were getting increasingly sidelined.

Me, I'm one of the rare fans of Toyama's style and the first game over the 2nd (which I loved as well) and onwards (which eeeh...), but I also think it's kinda cool that each different author got to realize their vision/s on the concept of SH, even if that meant making the franchise look loose or incoherent. In fact, I would have preferred it if for SH3 onward they kept the SH2 way and made every game a different take on the concept instead of trying to keep a continuity in there. For this very reason, I find Shattered Memories and Downpour to look like really interesting spins, free of all the accumulated canon, and I've only been able to play them a little bit but would like to get to them in depth some day (SM does indeed the thing where you get to explore the city without worries of being attacked).

And I'll shut up about SH now.

Maybe I'll get to talk about Siren again when its even better setting, which I had at 5, comes up? Yeah right...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirin View Post
Have you tried Everybody's Gone to Rapture? Yeah, technically an *old* England empty town, but still. And it's literally "cozy catastrophe" genre.
I do enjoy walking simulators, and have Gone Home ready to play one day (damn neverending backlog), and I knew about EGttR but for some reason it didn't pique my interest.
Sounds like I should get around to fixing that then, huh. Thx for the recommendation! (yay, more backlog!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef View Post
Regardless, I haven't played FFVIII in well over 15 years, and hadn't even watched those FMVs in nearly as long, so... man, I must've been used to that kind of thing in 1998, but damned if the Gardens aren't just sheer awesome in architecture, design, concept, and as storytelling devices. It's very obvious Balamb Garden inspired FFX's Fahrenheit airship, hell, it inspired FFX's entire Zanarkand aesthetic, and I definitely did not give them their due back then and I want to give it now.
Another game I've played very little of, but everything I've seen of its world is certainly incredibly aesthetically pleasing and inviting.
From the CG scenes you linked in there, though, Esthar looks quite uglier, everything looks like a giant factory. Bring me (to) a Garden, or Fisherman's Horizon any time.

Last edited by Sensenic; 02-13-2018 at 02:23 PM. Reason: them typos and incoherent sentences everywhere
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  #316  
Old 02-13-2018, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Sensenic View Post
From the CG scenes you linked in there, though, Esthar looks quite uglier, everything looks like a giant factory. Bring me (to) a Garden, or Fisherman's Horizon any time.
To be fair, the Esthar FMVs show mostly the conduits that take you from the barrier outpost to the city center, so they start out fairly industrial but slowly give way to crystal and glitz. Once you're in the city proper, it's all about the elevated, transparent walkways, Apple-designed buildings, and shiny gold and aqua decorations. And while a good chunk of the city consists of stacks and stacks and rows and rows of battery-like buildings, they're still pleasantly designed and you can see how, inside the blue canopy, most of those are apartments:



(There's just something about early-to-mid PS1 design aesthetics, especially in FMVs, that unites everyone from Square to Atlus, isn't there?)

Ironically, it's Fisherman's Horizon that looks considerably grungier and factory-like in terms of set design

EDIT: Incidentally, this is an interesting look at FF8's location design concepts, although now I'm depressed that all the non-core Garden facilities at Balamb probably got blown up when the mobile part escaped the missiles:

http://www.espritduo.com/images/Offi...ion%20Artwork/

Last edited by Zef; 02-13-2018 at 02:46 PM.
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  #317  
Old 02-13-2018, 03:57 PM
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I should really watch a re-play of FF8 some day. There's so much of it I've almost completely forgotten.
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  #318  
Old 02-13-2018, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirin View Post
I should really watch a re-play of FF8 some day. There's so much of it I've almost completely forgotten.
Or you could replay it. It's only $12 on Steam.
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  #319  
Old 02-13-2018, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Issun View Post
Or you could replay it. It's only $12 on Steam.
But I'm not sure why you would do that to yourself. (I kid. FF8 is my favorite of the PSX entries. I'm not sure I want to play it again but it was good times.)

Two FF games made my list. We'll see if they show up eventually.

Edit: Joke's on me. I just logged into Steam for the first time in months and I apparently bought FF8 at some point. Maybe...I mean, maybe I could...play it...casually.

Last edited by four-so; 02-13-2018 at 10:20 PM.
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  #320  
Old 02-14-2018, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef View Post
To be fair, the Esthar FMVs show mostly the conduits that take you from the barrier outpost to the city center, so they start out fairly industrial but slowly give way to crystal and glitz. Once you're in the city proper, it's all about the elevated, transparent walkways, Apple-designed buildings, and shiny gold and aqua decorations. And while a good chunk of the city consists of stacks and stacks and rows and rows of battery-like buildings, they're still pleasantly designed and you can see how, inside the blue canopy, most of those are apartments:

Ah yes, that's much better then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef View Post
Ironically, it's Fisherman's Horizon that looks considerably grungier and factory-like in terms of set design
I was speaking from memory there, remembering essentially the giant solar dish, haha.
Googling up some images I can see that the town looks industrial indeed, but the fact that it's rather irregular and looks more man-made make it feel more welcoming than giant-ass factory Esthar outskirts.

At any rate, an amazing setting (aesthetically, that is, dunno enough to talk about lore.)

EDIT: This made me end up listening to the FFVIII OST. XD

Last edited by Sensenic; 02-14-2018 at 05:57 AM. Reason: FITHOS! LUSEC! WECOS! VINOSEC!
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  #321  
Old 02-14-2018, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Day 216 – Colony 9, Bionis
Any visit to Bionis is a little strange. It doesn’t matter how many times I visit I’m never completely comfortable with the fact that I am walking on the corpse of a giant being. That indeed this entire city is nested in what was once this vast creature’s thigh. It is unnerving. The residents know how visitors feel about this and they go out of their way to make us feel more comfortable if they can, comparing our living on plain dead earth as just as unnerving to them as we find their situation.

But, despite their protestations otherwise, those two things are not analogous. What I can’t argue with though are the vibrant blue skies and stunning views and vistas one is always stumbling upon as they explore the Nine and the surrounding areas. There isn’t any way to describe what it is like to stand on a hill and look out into the sky and across a vast gulf and see another colony nestled into the thigh across from you or up into the troposphere and see another community along an arm.

Unnerving but beautiful.

Almost as unnerving are the Nopon: the round, diminutive, rodent-like sentient creatures who use their ears (?) as arms and hands. These strange creatures are ever present here, their high piercing voices and “pon” affectation takes some time getting used to. They are very friendly though and when I find myself lost in the waterways throughout the Colony one is always ready to help.

#33 (tie) The Bionis (Xenoblade Chronicles)
83 points, 3 votes, highest voter: Positronic Brain (2) Notable locations: Fallen Arm


Xenoblade Chronicles is an action role-playing game developed by Monolith Soft. Xenoblade Chronicles forms part of the Xeno metaseries and incorporates aesthetic and narrative elements from both fantasy and science fiction.

Xenoblade Chronicles takes place on the frozen bodies of two warring titans, the Bionis and the Mechonis. The people of Bionis are in a perpetual war with the Mechon machine race of Mechonis. Key to the Homs' efforts in fighting the Mechon army is the Monado, a sword said to have been wielded by the Bionis.


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  #322  
Old 02-14-2018, 08:45 AM
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I have never Xeno'd a Blade (or a Gear, or a Saga, or whatever else, for that matter), but I can get behind a world built on the backs of giant monsters.
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  #323  
Old 02-14-2018, 09:06 AM
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The Monado!?!?

It's Reyn time! I'm really feeling it!
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  #324  
Old 02-14-2018, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by JBear View Post
I have never Xeno'd a Blade (or a Gear, or a Saga, or whatever else, for that matter), but I can get behind a world built on the backs of giant monsters.
What if the monster wants to scratch its back, tho
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  #325  
Old 02-14-2018, 09:07 AM
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OK I'm a few entries behind at this point but I wanted to share some maps.

The reason I ranked "your own setting" so highly was because I realized how much headspace I'd dedicated to the setting I made for my old school D&D game that I ran from 2011 through 2016 or so.

I'm not a very good worldbuilder. I come up with concepts that seem fun to me and players before I consider its historical context or real-world ramifications or stuff like that. I operate on the "rule of cool."

I drew a world map for my game, but it is mostly flavor, as a lot of you will probably recognize immediately where a lot of the country and continent names came from.



It's mostly flavor because the entirety of the game took place on the little island just left of center, Pargavel.

This is the original map of Pargavel I drew before the game started:



The players were shipwrecked at Kibu (a town on the south end of the island), but woke up with their ship missing and all sorts of confusing things going on.

Here's the larger map I used to keep track of distances and specific locations and so forth.



I ran two campaigns in this setting. The second one took place a hundred years after the first, and Kibu had evolved into a multicultural adventurer hub. Here's a map of the town from that campaign:



The island had a couple other towns, such as Orchalsea, which was run by a retired elven adventurer. He'd built it by looting the old imperial ruins on the north end of the island. I based it on a real-life palace - points if someone can guess which one.



The majority of the second campaign was a megadungeon - a sprawling underground area that was a setting unto itself. I still haven't finished mapping and writing all of its areas. Here's just the first level.



So yeah. Making your own settings. It's fun!
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  #326  
Old 02-14-2018, 09:21 AM
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Woah, great maps!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Egarwaen View Post
The Monado!?!?

It's Reyn time! I'm really feeling it!
What a bunch a jokers!

I ended up bouncing off of Xenoblade eventually because the story and characters got to be too much for me, but I made it through most of Bionis and the setting was easily the strongest part of the game. I didn't include it on my list, but it's a good entry.
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  #327  
Old 02-14-2018, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
OK I'm a few entries behind at this point but I wanted to share some maps.

The reason I ranked "your own setting" so highly was because I realized how much headspace I'd dedicated to the setting I made for my old school D&D game that I ran from 2011 through 2016 or so.

I'm not a very good worldbuilder. I come up with concepts that seem fun to me and players before I consider its historical context or real-world ramifications or stuff like that. I operate on the "rule of cool."

I drew a world map for my game, but it is mostly flavor, as a lot of you will probably recognize immediately where a lot of the country and continent names came from.



It's mostly flavor because the entirety of the game took place on the little island just left of center, Pargavel.

This is the original map of Pargavel I drew before the game started:



The players were shipwrecked at Kibu (a town on the south end of the island), but woke up with their ship missing and all sorts of confusing things going on.

Here's the larger map I used to keep track of distances and specific locations and so forth.



I ran two campaigns in this setting. The second one took place a hundred years after the first, and Kibu had evolved into a multicultural adventurer hub. Here's a map of the town from that campaign:



The island had a couple other towns, such as Orchalsea, which was run by a retired elven adventurer. He'd built it by looting the old imperial ruins on the north end of the island. I based it on a real-life palace - points if someone can guess which one.



The majority of the second campaign was a megadungeon - a sprawling underground area that was a setting unto itself. I still haven't finished mapping and writing all of its areas. Here's just the first level.



So yeah. Making your own settings. It's fun!
YEEEESSSSSS. Thank you for these. I love them.
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  #328  
Old 02-14-2018, 10:49 AM
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Damn, Drac.

That's some good map.
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  #329  
Old 02-14-2018, 11:32 AM
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Digging the maps, Drac.

I really need to play Xenoblade some time. It's sitting there on my WiiU, waiting.
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  #330  
Old 02-14-2018, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Issun View Post
Or you could replay it. It's only $12 on Steam.
I have the original PSX discs still, I just don't have the time. It *would* be an interesting replay, though, since I played it so very badly the first time. Kind of half-assed the junction and card systems that turn out to be key to the mechanics while also accidentally maxing my character level by searching for ultimate weapon ingredients, thus basically making everything much harder for myself. Banging my head against the systems and not realizing how differently it played from previous entries may be part of why a lot of the setting and plot just kind of washed over me at the time.

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Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
MAPS!!!
These are all freaking awesome, so it bugs me that I can't help wanting to nitpick the fact that the rivers on your story island don't follow proper drainage basin mechanics.



As for Xenoblade, I don't have the right system to play it, but the world always did look pretty cool.
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