Sunday, January 29, 2012

Jalamere 1

We're going to make use of Rob Conley's excellent How To Make a Fantasy Sandbox checklist and several of Telecanter's equally useful and inspiring posts such as his matching couplet on Simple Sandbox Design (Part I, Part II) and especially his Sandbox Pinch Points article in developing our OD&D/S&W setting of Jalamere. We'll also be referring to Mr. Conley's very handy series of articles on A Fantasy Sandbox in Detail (Starting with Part One) in the course of building our maps and suchlike for Jalamere, at least where his advice and guidance applies.

You see, Jalamere isn't a standard planet. It's intended to be a Fantasy Setting, not a simulation of some world derived from late Seventies science-fiction. We're thinking more along the lines of Tanith Lee's Flat Earth Cycle and Clark Ashton Smith's The Abominations of Yondo. In short, we aim to have a rim or edge that you can fall off of. Literally.

Like so.

It's a beginning. We'll start going down the checklist and making changes and adjustments as we go and then once we have something we're happy with, we'll slap down a better hex-grid with numbering on the thing. Then we begin Keying and Stocking the thing. Should be fun.

"I think like much of old school philosophy the secret to success lies in how we utilize randomness to our advantage but without fetishizing it. So maybe, as long as using some randomness lets me loosen up and actually create a world without needing to know every single detail in advance, that's a good thing. But it also doesn't mean I have to go completely random, with things falling onto the map without rhyme or reason."


  1. I'm very interested in the nature of that edge, and the bands of colour, and in fact the whole setting given it's one of yours. Useful links too, and even a clever use of the logo..!

  2. @Porky: We're compiling encounter matrices that use the Edge and some other terrain-types. Gull-riding goblins and harpies seem to be fairly commonplace along the Worldrim, at least in the vicinity of the one city-state that we know about so far...

  3. Hadn't seen the Telecanter posts, excellent especially the one on pinch points. Like Porky I look forward to seeing what y'all do with this.

  4. Extremely cool. Given the historical reverence to shorelines and conjunctions of elements, I'm curious to know how the meeting points of land and *void* inspire.

    What's life really like on the edge?

    Beautiful map, BTW!

  5. Okay then, this post has finally made it back from the digital wilderness. Jalamere is a fun environment precisely because it is not a spherical ball of matter, not a planet. The edge runs off into the haze for thousands of miles in either direction--this is a BIG place. We'll be doing some special closer-in sub-hex maps and getting into the nitty-gritty of the Edge-spaces as this series progresses. Right now we're going to roll out a new Jalamere installment every Sunday.

    Shorelines are super important both from a cartographer's viewpoint and from history, and the parallel is very apt here. Having such a dramatic on-going exposure to the gaping, vast void just a little ways out from everywhere makes things take on a different texture, a sense of dread and desperation among some, and an exhilaration and vibrancy among others. Beauty and terror walk hand-in-hand in this place. The meeting place of land and void is a fertile, wondrous environment filled with possibilities and Powers. And anyone making their way downwards along the Edge, the very Rim of the World, will find that things get even stranger as there may well be some truth to the old tales that Jalamere is but one disk among many, all of them held aloft by cyclopean beings of immense size who are wading in what appears to be some sort of shallow ocean...or maybe that's all just a lot of fancy-pants bullshit peddled in cheap taverns by maimed and deformed adventurers seeking to get a free drink off of the gullible...

  6. Your imagination knows no bounds, apparently. :) I'm looking forward to seeing this develop; It's got some fine inspirations.

  7. Thanks Trey, This has been a fun experiment, and it has been a lot of fun to explore this setting through the development-process as outlined in those other blogs. We'll be adding-in some of Jeff Rients' 20 Quick Questions into Jalamere and probably Wermspittle as well.


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