Almagra: Vrocian Campaign Map

It is finally done!

This map is shows the region for the new startup AD&D 2E campaign I’m setting on Almagra: World of World. The Kingdom of Vrocia is one of the various kingdoms and empires of the Mountain Valleys Region, which is a subset of the primary 2E region known as the Darkened Seas.

The Mountain Valleys Region exist quite some distance from the core area of the AD&D 2R ruleset region. In fact, the peoples of the Mountains Valleys Region have little to no contact with anyone outside of the colder valleys of the homelands. Few in the western valleys have ever traveled east of the forested elven land known as Quessir Taureandor.

The Kingdom of Vrocia is the home of the PCs. It is a very rugged land with only two cities (Ilfrey and Kalchith), which are both in the southern half of the kingdom. The Striskian Province in the heart of the kingdom while in the north is the Ifrorian Province. The largest community in that province is the large town known as Ifor, which sits in a hilly valley on the other side of the Wrijyax Mountains.

The campaign will start in the Ifrorian Province in the town named Kara’s Vale, which sits on the shores of Lake Hireta. It is one of the few larger communities that sits on the shoreline of a lake since the entire Mountain Valleys Region is hit every spring with massive floods as the snows melt. (Most of the region’s lake shore communities are built on stilts.) Kara’s Vale sits on a high hill at the edge of the lake and the Thralwash River flows around the hill before emptying into the lake.

Some important DM Note for my players: 1) Northwest of the Ifrorian Province is the rugged land known as Elligira. While the peoples of Vrocia are known for being tough, the peoples of Elligira make Vrocians seem civilized and soft in comparison. The only way to reach Elligira is either through Frostling Pass or west from the village of Northpass into the Sadrea Province of the Ailaithian Empire. Neither is advisable.

2) To the west and southwest of the Kingdom of Vrocia is the massive Ailaithian Empire, which is ruled from the Imperial City of Kluanburgh in the Zevalon Province. The empire once controlled much of the southern lands of Vrocia but that was ages ago when the empire was at its height. Relations between the empire and Vrocia are cool at the best of times. While the empire isn’t truly in decline, it is diminished after several defeats at the hands of its enemies in the distant west, as well as the powerful elven forces of Quessir Taureandor.

3) Quessir Taureandor is a massive elvish empire that rules an ancient land to the east of the Kingdom of Vrocia. The river systems in those lands are wild and unpredictable and humans fear the unpredictable nature of the massive forests and its dangerous denizens. The elves of Quessir Taureandor do not like human, but they have come to tolerate, if not respect, the less ambitious citizens of Vrocia. The King of Vrocia, Ottó Martin Gereben, has proposed peace with the elves, much to the chagrin of the Ailaithian Emperor.

4) There is a area of the northern province of Ifrorian that is considered a semi-independent land. It is called Ardocar. At its heart is a ruined city known as Oneohgan. The city is considered to be ancient, but scholars don’t know if its origins are elven or giantish. What is know is that the mountains surrounding the ancient city are extremely dangerous with all sorts of monsters. Rumors abound of ice demons in the twisted forested hills and mountains of Ardocar.

5) North of the Iforian Province is the impassible mountain range known as the Northern Icemounts. These mountains eventually become massive glaciers that extend far to the north. There are the Icelands of the Roaring Giants to the northeast while directly north of the province is the tip of a massive sheet of ice known as the Shield of the Ice Goddess. These mountains and glaciers are full of dragons, giants, and other dangers that can freeze a man’s body and soul in seconds.

Vrocian Campaign Map

The campaign map for my AD&D 2nd Edition PbP game that will be run on The Piazza

World of Greyhawk

I’ve been a fan of Greyhawk since the AD&D 2E days. The boxed set known as From the Ashes is my favorite Greyhawk product (with the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer a close second). Recently, The Piazza added a new Greyhawk sub-forum for the Chainmail setting. In the forum is a discussion thread (started in 2011) regarding the Southlands of Western Oerik and asks: why do official maps depict it as all desert?

The post that caught my eye is a short one line post by ripvanwormer. He links to a map of Oerth created by Duicarthan that substantial reduces the desert lands. It is a map I’ve seen before, but seeing it again made me think, “that would make a great Hexographer map.”

So, I began the process last week. I turned Duicarthan’s map into a PNG file and imported it into Hexographer. I traced it the best I could and added a few elements to the map myself. I used several official Greyhawk maps to eyeball the river system for the Flanaess. (I was less exact for the rest of the world and didn’t add rivers on every landmass.) It came together quickly and I’m now done with it (see below).

I will now begin the process of heavily modifying the map for my own use. It will be tentatively be entitled “My Greyhawk.” I’m not sure what will will change but it will be substantial. I’ll likely completely redo all the river systems even those in the Flanaess. Of course, like with all my secondary projects, My Greyhawk will take a backburner to World of Kulan.

World of Greyhawk

World of Greyhawk


“I have always had a love for catlike races. The rakasta from the Mystara campaign setting. The tabaxi, as well. Anyone who has studied my Kulan campaign world knows that I’m a bit obsessed with the various catmen of D&D. One of those races, the catfolk, isn’t as prominent in that world, so I figured I’d use that generic race as the lone catlike race for Tarras.” – RPB

The catfolk are an enigma on Tarras. In the opinion of scholars, the race’s history doesn’t truly exist. The catfolk just are. They’ve been around for centuries but no one can say where they came from. The catfolk don’t even know. Their oral legends speak of an “otherworld” where their divine master created them. This Lord of Cats is a mysterious figure and its demesne is an unknown star on an unknown plane.

What is known is that the catfolk are everywhere. The race is prolific and highly adaptable. Yes, they are more comfortable in the world’s warmer regions but that hasn’t stopped them from living all across Tarras. They are drawn to both rural and urban environments equally and tend to be excellent rangers and rogues. They excel with ranged weapons and their best warriors can shoot arrow for arrow when challenged by humans (and sometimes elves).

Catfolk are as common as half-elves and half-orcs, and they often receive similar treatment as those two half-bred races do by humans and savage humanoids such as gnolls and hobgoblins. Elves treat them with dignity but rarely do they form strong bonds with the short-lived catfolk. Dwarves consider them flighty while halflings consider them almost kindred.

Catfolk tend to get into trouble, a lot. They are very curious, which often leads to misunderstandings. If it wasn’t for their uncanny luck, they’d have died out long ago. Having a catfolk companion always leads to new, and often dangerous, adventures. For their part, catfolk tend to leap before they look and see a new obstacle as a challenge to overcome. And they’re more than willing to drag their closest friends along for the ride, willing or not.

Catfolk Traits
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Charisma score increases by 1.

Age. Catfolk are fast to mature — typically reaching adulthood at the age of 16. Mental maturity often takes longer. Regardless, Catfolk youngsters often leave their parents protection before the age of 18. Catfolk can live to be 70 to 90 years old.

Alignment. Catfolk are chaotic in the extreme but they also tend towards the moral path of good deeds. However, a catfolk’s sense of right and wrong is often at odds with the ideals of other races, especially those of dwarves.

Size. Catfolk range from under 5 to over 6 feet tall and have builds similar to humans and half-elves. Females tend to be more lithe. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 35 feet.

Darkvision. Accustomed to night on dusky plains, you have superior vision in dark or dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Keen Senses. You have proficiency in the Perception skill.

Lucky. When you roll a 1 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.

Stealthy. You have proficiency in the Stealth skill.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Feline. Catfolk use the Feline language amongst their own kind, but they are quick to converse with other races in Common or some other language. Feline is an abrupt language full of growling and hissing sounds. Catfolk don’t like long-winded conversations. The catfolk word for ‘debate’ is the same as for ‘bored’. Catfolk that choose to learn other languages other than Common often choose the languages of gnolls and halflings.

Subrace. TBD.

“Heroism is good, but danger is more fun.” – a catfolk proverb/joke

The Second World

The Second World (AD&D 2E)

The Second World (AD&D 2E)

The primary civilizations of this world are gathered around the huge central sea. And while the other sea is just as expansive, its surrounding shorelines are wild and relatively unexplored. The Inner Sea’s human civilizations are at odds with each other and are at the Bronze Age of development.

Halflings and orcs live alongside humanity while elves, dwarves, and gnomes have their own, older, kingdoms in the deep forests, expansive mountain ranges, and deep valleys in the more trackless parts of the world. The elves use wooden and bronze armor and weaponry with some additional silver items while the dwarves use stone and bronze armor and weaponry with some additional iron items. The gnomes prefer to use wood and stone; they have a more primitive way of life.

True steel on this world is a rarity.

There are goblinoids, kobolds, and lizardfolk* as well, and, in fact, any creature described in the AD&D 2E Monstrous Manual has a place on this world. It should be noted, however, that the demihuman subraces are very rare on this world. Also, half-elves are uncommon and half-orcs are rare. There is less animosity towards half-elves and half-orcs, which has to do with the history of the planet.

The legends of the world state that there was a First World that gave birth to this Second World. The First World was a place of advanced mechanisms and powerful arcana. It destroyed itself eons ago. The world nearly died. Its races suffered through a second Stone Age. Nature took back the planet and all the civilizations of the First World were washed away by rising flood waters, buried by earthquakes and landslides, or overgrown by the greenery that now covers most of the world.

The races, initially, were forced to band together to survive. As time marched on, the world’s various peoples either went their separate ways or remained closely united. Regardless, each race passed down its stories of cooperation and respect for the other races of the world. And while some of these tales have been lost to the eons, the stories of the dwarves, elves, and gnomes have survived pretty much intact to this day. The written stories of the humans, halflings, and orcs have become a mixture of the three races original tales.

All of the core classes from the AD&D 2E Player’s Handbook are available for this world. Character kits are also considered core for this setting; however, the kits from the Complete books must be judged on a case by case basis. The historical books, once I reacquire them, will be vital to this world’s development**. Psionics is not a part of this world. Tome of Magic is also a core book for this world, however.

* I’m going to use the 3e monster “folk” names. They sound better to me.
** I do have a few of them such as Age of Heroes.

CC2 export map, from FT3, for The Second World

The Second World (AD&D 2E): CC2 Map

Odyssey World: Lands of Mystery (South)

It’s finally done.

I began working on this map in Hexographer more than a week ago. It didn’t take me long to get the terrain laid out the way i wanted, but I had trouble coming up with names to add my own touches to the Lands of Mystery for Talus. I haven’t thought too much about background for the various kingdoms and independent cities, but I can say that the Forgotten Realms will influence the lands on the western side of the map. The AD&D 2E version of Waterdeep exists on Odyssey World, as does Daggerdale and Calimport.

I’m going to step away from this map for a bit to work on something else. i will let what I created simmer in my mind for a while before delving deeper into the region. I’m more likely to map out the southern half of the “Rainlands” continent before working out the political landscape for this region.

Lands of Mystery (South)

Lands of Mystery (South)

Odyssey World Mapmaking

A while ago on the Facebook group, I came up with a new world concept called Odyssey World, which I’ve already mentioned once here. The world has its own thread on The Piazza, but I haven’t gone back to it in a while. The world of Talus is meant to be an Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition world and it is based on many classic TSR sources including a variety of material from multiple settings. It’s name comes from the ODYSSEY line of AD&D 2E products and all of those products are set on Odyssey World. A complete list of sources for the setting can be seen on The Piazza.

Lands of Mystery

The core region for Odyssey World is based off of Christoper West’s Lands of Mystery poster map from issue #150 of DUNGEON Magazine. I went so far as to import an image of the map into Campaign Cartographer 2 to create my own map. However, I never went back to it to develop it or the other CC2 maps I created for Odyssey World.

I will always use Campaign Cartographer, but I’ve also become a fan of Hexographer made by Inkwell Ideas. I’ve just recently redone my overview map of the Lands of Harqual for World of Kulan. Now I think I’m going to refresh the CC2 maps in Hexographer. It will allow me to layout the world quicker and get to other aspects of the setting’s design.

Almagra: Core Region of the Mountain Valley(s) Region

I’ve been working on this map all week and it is finally done to a point that I’m happy with in order to showcase it here. Note that the larger Mountains Valleys Region that this core area is a part of is located near (well, near for Almagra) to the Lands of the Darkened Sea. In truth, it is considered part of that campaign ruleset-region for AD&D 2nd Edition, but it’s so isolate from the Darkened Sea that it is really its own location. That will likely be true for ALL of World of Worlds ruleset-regions.

The image doesn’t have any names on it yet. Its does have icons, borders, roads, and shipping lanes, however. Each hex is equal to 80 miles.

Almagra: World of Worlds AD&D 2E: Mountain Valleys Region (Core)

Almagra: World of Worlds
AD&D 2E: Mountain Valleys Region (Core)