Almagra: South Pole Overview

I just fished this new overview map of Almagra’s southern hemisphere. The map shows all the keep parts of the southern polar regions including the primary D&D BECMI region known as The Sea of Mystaros. The areas south of the Icedark Sea are considered a separate region from that of the main D&D BECMI region. The regions beyond the Giants’ Gulf toward the Valley of the Immortals and The Endless Valleys are also aeparate from the core D&D BECMI region, although the connection is stronger since those areas aren’t as cold as the “Antarctic” regions. As the map moves north (downward on the map) from the Known World, the Sea of Mystaros region gives way to Almagra’s primary D&D 5E region — called Seas of Forever. All of the lands surrounding those seas are for D&D 5E even though many of the names are inspired by Mystara.

North of the massive mountain range known as World’s End Mounts is a region that is influenced by both D&D BECMI and AD&D 2E. This borderland region divided the Seas of Forever from my primary AD&D 2E region, which is known as The Lands of the Darkened Sea. Besides the Sea of Mystaros, the Lands of the Darkened Sea have had the most work down for it. I have hex map overview of the region, which I’ll likely post next once I’ve added some details to it. The lands surrounding The Darkened Sea are dark and foreboding. Imagine Ravenloft in a tropical rainforest with constant mists and tons of rain. Add to that the lands at higher elevation filled with unforgiving wilderness and cold mountain valleys.

Note that parts of this map shows the primary regions for AD&D 1E, D&D v.3.5 and D&D 4E; however, very little of those regions can be seen on the map.

The other campaign region of note on this map is the one for Arcana Unearthed. The lands around the Sea of Thrones is collectively known as The Throne of Trees; however, the region is actually divided into several distinct throne lands. Besides the Throne of Trees, which stands as a bastion of elven power in the region, there is also The Giant Throne, which is controlled by the Giant race from AU. The Dawnthrone Kingdoms are human lands. The Ruined Throne is a fallen land now filled filled with hostile forces. The Throne of Ice and The Throne of Wind and Wave don’t have hooks, yet, beyounf the names given to them. The region north (upward on the map) of the Sea of Thrones ins known mainly as The Wicked Wilds. It is a border region that divided The Throne of Trees from the world’s primary D&D v.3.5 region — The Galelands. The division isn’t as hard as that between the primary D&D 5E and AD&D 2E regions since AU is and OGL ruleset.

The map also shows regions for Castles & Crusades, Fate, Pathfinder, and RuneQuest II (new).

Almagra: The Southern Regions

Almagra: The Southern Regions

Moons of Almagra

I had two groups on Facebook that had content for Almagra. Originally, I had created a catch all group called “Otherworlds” but I then created a group specifically for Almagra. Along with my old AD&D 2E group, there was too much redundancy. so, I’ve deleted the AD&D 2E group and the second Almagra group. Now, there is only one Facebook group for Almagra and Otherworlds.

As part of the move back to one catch-all group (not including Time of Ages or World of Kulan, however), I’ve moved all my maps for the Moons of Almagra into a album on the group. There are maps for four of the seven moons in Almagraspace — “Burning Moon” (3rd), “Ice Moon” (6th), “Small Moon” (4th), and “Strange Moon” (2nd). While I don’t have true names for the moons of Almagra yet, the descriptive names give some idea of what each moo is all about.

I have decided that “Strange Moon” will use D&D v.3.5, so that I can use templates to twist the PC races into what I want them to be for the world. As well, “Burning Moon” likely will also use D&D v.3.5, so I can build the setting around the sourcebook Sandstorm. “ice Moon” will be a AD&D 2E sub-setting and will be tied into using the classic version of Spelljammer. I haven’t decided anything for “Small Moon” yet. I could go off the map and pick a non-D&D ruleset since the world is very small — OSRIC, maybe, or another OSR game.

The other moons don’t have maps, and I’m not sure I’ll need them for a while. I do know that “Death Moon” will use either AD&D 2E and/or D&D v.3.5 depending on how I tie the villainous inhabitants of the moon to the other moon settings. Almagra’s 7th moon will be designed as an classic AD&D 2E Spelljammer air world. The super-world’s 1st moon won’t be a setting. It is a lifeless moon that is important more for the societies and religions of Almagra and “Strange Moon.”

"Burning Moon" of Almagra

“Burning Moon” of Almagra

Regions of Almagra

Here is a breakdown of all the core regions for Almagra: World of Worlds. A lot of the world will be dominated by D&D BECMI, AD&D 2E and D&D v.3.5 since those are the rulesets I prefer. Note, also, that there are regions for Monte Cook’s Arcana Unearthed and Iron Heroes, as well as Castles & Crusades, the Fate RPG, the Pathfinder RPG, and Savage World. The Galelands is the core D&D v.3.5 region, Lands of the Darkened Sea is the core AD&D 2E region, and The Sea of Mystaros is the core D&D BECMI region. Now that D&D 5E is out, I am going to look to develop the 5E region, which I’m now calling the Seas of Forever. It’s the only D&D 5E region, so far.

The AU setting, The Throne of Trees, will have some crossover into The Galelands, which is why I’ve added The Wicked Wilds as a buffer between the two regions. I don’t have a hook for the Iron Heroes region known as The Rime Territories, yet. These territories will likely be influenced by the D&D v.3.5 sourcebook known as Frostburn. There are now four regions that are specific to D&D Frostburn and two of them are north of The Rime Territories. Castles & Crusades has one region called Empire of Ælekandra. Fate has one region called Horned Vales. Pathfinder has one region called Mountdawn. And Savage Worlds has one region called The Valley.

Since Almagra is such huge planet, there is room for even more regions with different rulesets. For example, I don’t have a OD&D region, but it wouldn’t be hard to fit such a region into an area around the Sea of Mystaros or near one of the AD&D 1E regions. As well, I could imagine a Mutants and Masterminds 2E region based on the Warriors and Warlocks sourcebook, but it would be a longshot for me to seriously consider that ruelset for Almagra. I’m more likely to look to OSRIC or another one of the OSR games I own for the campaign world.

The D&D 4E region, Shattered Shores, has shrunk from its previous incarnation on an old version of this map. The AD&D 1E region known as The Mythlands has moved south and taken over much of the territory I had allocated for D&D 4E. There is also a new buffer region between The Mythlands and The Galelands — the Rivenlost Realms. It will be for AD&D 1E and/or 2E. I’ve added two new AD&D 2E regions — The Greentrees and Romanos. More AD&D 2E regions are very likely and some of the regions around the Sea of Mystaros are likely to end up being for AD&D 2E instead on D&D BECMI.

Of course, nothing is written in stone and never will be.

DM’s Note: I should mention that when I say BECMI, I mean the Rules Cyclopedia, although I do have all the books for the various boxed sets.

Regions of Almagra

Regions of Almagra

Almagraspace

Here is the layout for the Crystal Sphere for Almagraspace. Almagra sits at the center of the crystal shell and the sphere’s primary and secondary suns orbit the World of Worlds. The primary sun/fire body orbits in the fourth position, and it is larger than Earth’s yellow sun. (I’d say at least 1-1/2 times the size.) The secondary sun/fire body is a huge red giant that has slowly begun to dim. It’s energy isn’t strong enough to reach Almagra, but it does appear in the night sky as a semi-bright red star.

  • Almagra (Primary)
  • First Moon (Moon-like, no native life)
  • Second Moon (“Strange Moon”)
  • Third Moon (“Burning Moon”)
  • Yellow Sun/Fire Body (Larger than our Sun)
  • Fourth Moon (“Small Moon” [primitive])
  • Fifth Moon (“Death Moon”)
  • Sixth Moon (“Ice Moon” [half the size of Earth])
  • Seventh Moon (an Air World/Gas Giant [largest planet-moon])
  • Red Sun/Fire Body (Huge [burning out])

The third moon will not be habitable by normal life. It will be the domain of elementals (and maybe genies). The fifth moon will be a dead world overrun with evil undead walking its wastelands and nasty aberrations living in domed cities. The seventh world will be an airy, heaven-like planet that is in risk of dying alongside the red sun. Its inhabitants are trying to refire the old red giant, which could have consequences for the rest of Almagraspace.

The distance between Almagra and the first Fire Body will likely be about the distance between our solar system’s sun and Mars, which is why it will be larger. Now, I’m not sure if Almagra’s size would have an effect on how much solar energy the world receives. And my plan for the red giant (second Fire Body) was always to have it at the end of the system. Initially, I think, I had planned for the yellow star to be the primary and have Almagra be where the sun is now and have everything else rotate Almagra.

A friend of mine asked me this question on The Piazza: “A quick question before I go to bed: how Amalgraspace fit into Spelljammer cannon? For example, with Mystaraspace and Mystara having a a presence on Amalgra, would both be able to fit into the same universe? Or would Amalgraspace be in an entirely different universe?”

Here’s the answer: I think Almagraspace would be set in its own universe. It wouldn’t have to be set apart from Mystara, but I’d want to separate it from the official BECMI version. I seem to remember that Mystara doesn’t get much of a mention in Spelljammer canon, so Almagraspace could be an alternate version of the setting set in the core Spelljammer universe.

It definitely isn’t part of my Mirrored Cosmology or my Steampunk Spelljammer Cosmology. It could be the basis for a unique version of Spelljammer where Almagra is not only the center of its own Crystal Sphere but also the center of its own universe.

DM’s Note: World of Worlds will likely have alternate versions of parts of Oerth and Toril on it as well, but the recreations won’t be as substantial as the Sea of Mystaros region. The recreations will be based on the hotter areas of those worlds, so that I won’t have to change as much as I’ll have to do with the BECMI region. (However, there will be a version of the Free City of Greyhawk somewhere on the world [but not a version of Waterdeep — that’s for Kulan and Talus]. For the Toril recreations, I’m looking more towards the Shining South and, maybe, the Serpent Kingdoms.) I’ll probably place the recreations in the AD&D 1E region or D&D v.3.5 region (1E for GH and 3E for FR). I want to create something unique for the AD&D 2E region. Nothing is written in stone, however.


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David Wrote: Interesting problem you have here. Being able to use Spelljammer to go from one world to another is part of the reason why I tend to not want to do a mash-up of worlds.

If you want to have Amalgra and also have the settings from Amalgra in other places, I guess you are going to need some sort of “replication” process built into the history of Amalgra.

There are plenty of stories of communities getting “migrated” from one world to another in D&D history. Mystara has stuff being pulled from the Known World and dumped onto the Hollow World. Forgotten Realms has elves that arrived from other worlds, enslaved humans and Returned Abeir.

I’ve spoken about some sort of process for “cloning” locations on both Mystara and Greyhawk (mostly Blackmoor).

Maybe you need some sort of group that “clones” other worlds.

My Reply: David, your suggestion about cloning is an interesting one since I’ve already used that process for The Transformation for Lands of Harqual on Kulan. It could work here too. I’m still not sure though.

The Moon of Iona

Here’s the main map I’ve created for Iona. (Note that I haven’t added rivers yet.) Beyond the boundaries of this map, there isn’t going to be very much additional development. This is the campaign region for any AD&D 2E adventures set on Talus’s moon.

The largest empire belongs to the Imperial Throne of Shing-ri, although the power of Atl’Tanis and Orhan should not be underestimated. A rising power on the moon are the denizens of the Raellands. These are technologically-empowered race from Tale of the Comet, although these Rael have less powerful technology than the Rael of the the Crystal Sphere’s 7th planet, Kel-Rael.

They are outcasts.

Calimshan, Tethyr, and Amn, will be pretty much as detailed in the Empires of the Shining Sea boxed set. Note that there is a Calimport on this moon and a New Calimport on Talus (near Chult). There are two other Realmsian-like lands on the map. Chauroan and Orcrym. (FYI… Orcrym is an orcish state, which goes against its Realmsian origins.)

Minu and Zu are both influenced by the cultures of Northern Asia. Minu will have a bit of Russia in its mix, however. Orhan will be a more a Near to Far East mixture.

Fel-Atha is a half-destroyed Greek land. Aeneavm will be based off the tale of the Aeneid (somewhat). Ibeira and vigoth are full of barbarians. Kangwa is a small homage to Africa. It will be endless jungles with surrounding savannahs.

Foosa will be influenced by Atl’Tanis, Amayn, and Kangwa. Atl’Tanis is to Talus what Atlantis is to Earth, except it’s very real.

Amayn, Corra, Roona, and Rure, as well as the Dragon Shores and the Shikii Isles will be purely fantasy inspired. The Burning Wastes and the Frozen Wastes are dangerous no-man’s-lands full of deadly monsters and environmental dangers.

Moon of Iona

Moon of Iona

Odyssey World [Talus]

World Concept: Christopher West’s Lands of Mystery from DUNGEON Magazine combined with the Maztica Campaign Set and the AD&D 2E ODYSSEY Jakandor sourcebooks. (I ended up tossing in Council of Wyrms too.)

D&D Edition?: I have thoughts about which version of D&D to use. First, it would be easiest to use AD&D 2E since both Maztica, Jakandor, and Council of Wyrms were all created during the 2E era. Second, since this new world will exist in the same cosmology as World of Kulan, it would be logical to use the D&D v.3.5 rules. It’s not a given that this new “World of Mystery” has to use v.3.5 since I already have a Castles & Crusades world in the Mirrored Cosmology. But it would be easier. There is a v.3.5 fan conversion available for Maztica, which could help link Kulan with this new setting. Also, I just bought a copy of DRAGON Magazine #320, which has a great looking article (pp. 36-45) in it by Mike McArtor that allows player’s to create Dragon PCs.

The Decision: AD&D 2nd Edition!
Here is where I’m going with this new world, which is entitled Odyssey World. The Lands of Mystery map from DUNGEON Magazine will be the core region of the world. I’m hoping that most of the standard modules will fit into this region. Jakandor will be beyond this region, however, as will Maztica.

Council of Wyrms will likely be on the other side of the world in the opposite direction of Maztica. The Creative Campaigning book is included for the Lost World of Chanak. While it’s in its own demiplane, it is part of this new world. Perhaps it lies in the center of the world like Hollow World is for Mystara. Or maybe I’ll change its design to put it in the same Crystal Sphere with Odyssey World. Perhaps its red sun orbits Odyssey’s yellow sun at the edge of the system. Chanak’s civilization isn’t aware of Odyssey World, but there are those on the world who are aware of Chanak.

Odyssey World: Lands of Mystery

Odyssey World: Lands of Mystery

More World Background
The Lands of Mystery map will be core region for the ODYSSEY WORLD Campaign Setting. The AD&D 2E adventures Cleric’s Challenge, Dragon Mountain (boxed set), The Lost Shrine of Bundushatur, Reverse Dungeon, Swamplight, and Wand of Archeal, as well as the adventures from the Dungeons of Despair anthology will be all set in this region.

The nature of Dragon Mountain, however, makes it possible to set it almost anywhere, but I’m inclined to put in this region, regardless. Tale of the Comet (boxed adventure) might actually end up being set in the island chain of Council of Wyrms (boxed set). Technology vs. dragons is an interesting scenario.

I’ll have to judge the adventures in TSR Jam 1999 very carefully since each adventure is linked to a specific campaign setting. “Vale of the Dragon Oracle” and “The Return of the Pick-axe,” a Forgotten Realms adventure and a Greyhawk adventure, shouldn’t be to hard to include in the Lands of Mystery region. And the “Blood Feud” adventure tied to the Illithiad sourcebook will be an interesting addition to the world.

The Planescape adventure, “Manxome Foe,” and the Ravenloft adventure, “The Heart’s Final Beat,” won’t be set on the world, of course, but they will be tied to it. The Dragonlance Fifth Age adventure, “Leviathan’s Deep,” won’t be set on “Odyssey World” since it isn’t a AD&D 2E adventure. I don’t know the Fifth Age system, so I’m not going to try to convert it. The Alternity adventure, “Folds in the Tapestry,” will be linked to Tale of the Comet, although it is set on its own planet.

NOTE: I have created a stronger link between the Lands of Mystery and Maztica by adding the 2E version of Waterdeep to this region. I’m not sure where I’d put it, although it will likely be on “The Inner Sea” continent. (The 3E version of Waterdeep exists on Kulan, which is in the same cosmology as ODYSSEY WORLD, but it has a slightly different name.) I have also decided that the Jungles of Chult (FRM1) and Savage Coast lie south of the map — attached to “The Rainlands” continent.

Odyssey World: Jungles of Chult and the Savage Coast

Odyssey World: Jungles of Chult and the Savage Coast

HexWorld

My third Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition world came out of my desire to create a hex-based map, and the world is simply called HexWorld. Unlike my other two 2E worlds, HexWorld will start with regional maps and then expand outwards.

HexWorld is meant to be a shared world and all non-rules portions of the HexWorld campaign setting (including all hex maps) are subject to the Creative Commons license [attribution, noncommercial, share-alike]. The (modified) text below is taken from the Knightfall’s Notes PDF file.

Carolinga Region

The map below is my first creation for HexWorld. While I do not have an overall concept for the region, I will be focusing on the coastal land that I have named Carolinga.

It will be a human-dominated kingdom. Its people will make their living primarily as farmers and fishers, and the land’s king will be a fair and just ruler. Political intrigue won’t be a strong aspect of Carolinga’s society. Instead, the kingdom must deal with dangerous creatures from the Ebon Marsh and Maarmere, as well as the land’s main martial rival, Kherol.

Carolingans are a hardy lot that tend to fight first. Thus, it isn’t surprising that its young people often choose to become adventurers. For now, Carolinga will be my design. Once I have the basic framework done, I will open it up for interpretation by others. Until then, I am gladly giving up the design of Kherol to those who wish to make it their own. The rules for Kherol are that the land must be Carolinga’s rival and be strongly martial with an emphasis on horsemanship. Kherol’s racial makeup is human, half-orc, and goblinoid (especially hobgoblin).

I will try very hard to take a hands-off approach to Kherol. Here are some other guidelines for the map: Daarholg and Daargal — two dwarven kingdoms (bitter rivals); Divve — was once part of Carolinga (ranching is common); Dwellûn — a land of elves, dwarves, and gnomes (Carolinga’s main ally); Krail — an independent trade town (mainly a human community); Shēo — an independent city-state (mixture of races); Sylvair — an old elven kingdom (half-elves shunned); Valestone — a land of mystery (Kherol’s people fear the denizens of this land).

HexWorld: Carolinga Region

HexWorld: Carolinga Region

Caro (pop. – 25,000) [Capital] — Caro is the most important city in Carolinga, and it will definitely be the largest human-dominated city in the region. Caro sits near the center of the kingdom, but its history is firmly entrenched in the western half of the country. Carolinga used to be two countries that were at war with each other. Caro has always been the capital of the western lands, once known as Carolia. (The eastern lands used to be called Linge.) Political tensions aren’t usually a concern between the west and east, but some old rivalries do die hard, especially amongst the nobility. The king*, a fair and just ruler, has done all he can to make Carolinga a kingdom for all his subjects.

Klyn (pop. – 8,500) — Once an independent city-state before it allied itself with Caro, Klyn has rough and tumble seafaring culture. But don’t call the sailors here pirates; they consider themselves to be standouts amongst the sailing men of Carolinga’s naval men. The citizens of nearby Kherol consider them little more than paid privateers willing to raid Carolinga’s enemies.

Western Carolinga

Western Carolinga