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)

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