Posts belonging to Category Places

Purpose-Based Location Design

(Yet another for RPG Blog Carnival.)
Locations don’t come naturally to a lot of people. Sure, they might have one feature they want to play with, or a very vague idea of outline, but the rest is the geographical equivalent of a probabilistic haze. Honestly, that’s normal. We don’t have to know everything. But we can [...]

World-building: Some Travel Questions

One of the nice things about the modern world is that we can take travel for granted, and never realize how much it helps us. There’s a lot more impact to what’s available than you might think—even owning a car vs. taking mass transit can be the difference between a half-hour trip to get groceries [...]

Thought Exercise: Fantasy World Weapon Control

Most cities in fantasy worlds have a vested interest in people not getting into fights to the death at the drop of a hat. It isn’t that different from the real world in that respect, after all. And one of the easiest ways to do this is to limit access to weapons. So that got [...]

Reprise: Writing/Worldbuilding Exercise: Three Things You Can Find in a…

The reruns continue. This one was originally posted on March 30, 2009.
One of the things that makes a world seem more like a world and less like a static backdrop is the presence of things that are suited to the location and aren’t directly relevant to the action. In some cases, this [...]

Reprise: Epic Scenery

Reruns due to Finals Week continue.
Originally posted November 18, 2009.
Into any story, a little epic scenery seems to fall. Okay, not fall exactly. More come crashing down into view at just the right moment to make everyone use it and take the audience’s breath away. Either way, it’s pretty much a staple of stories in [...]

Design Questions for Ruins

Yesterday, I talked about how nifty ruins were as a feature of a setting. But what does it take to make a good ruin? I’ve already talked about building, aging and abandoning cities in general, and these serve as a pretty good stopping off point. On the other hand, it might be that we’re going [...]

Why Ruins?

Ruins are awesome. We’re all in agreement, right? We go tourist on them (at least, until some fool starts vandalizing the plinths or screwing under the altars or attempting to Life Imitates Action Movie through them, and then we can only admire them from a distance, not that it keeps us from trying), we write [...]

Abandoning a City

This week, we’ve already talked about young cities and older cities, so let’s move on to the next common spec-fic city: the abandoned, most often ruined, city. After all, abandoned cities give all the architecture without any of the potentially intimidating politics (though if you can organically slip politics into an abandoned/ruined city somehow, I [...]

Aging a City

Yesterday, I talked about getting an overall visual appearance for young cities. Let’s face it, though, everything ages—and cities have a lot of time to age and a lot of factors to age them with. Think about these things:
Has it been changing hands? I’m not just talking about another group of entirely different people riding [...]

Bones of the Young City

Even in fantasies that read like a travelogue and science fiction that spends most of its time moving out in the black, cities tend to stand out. And why wouldn’t they? One needs to go there at some point. That’s where the supplies are, where the interaction is, where the political powers meet. Some stories, [...]