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Try one of THESE Settings:

Here are links to four rather odd maps:

DanMeth’s Fantasy World Map [1]
XKCD’s Online Communities map 1 [2]
XKCD’s Online Communities map 2 [3]
ENWorld’s Interactive RPG Map [4]

All of those maps are a little silly, but fun.  What I propose is that for a campaign, you use those maps. Of course, you can’t exactly send your PCs to Farmville (unless you’re playing in cyberspace I suppose) so instead, loosely interpret the theme, feel or content of the area in question, and convert it into your game. Here are some examples:

Running a horror game set in the Fantasy World map, we can interpret Narnia as a land with weird extra-spacial pathways, populated by crafty half-men and wicked spell casters, but the most dangerous aspect is an unearthly lion with strange powers of teleportation and clairvoyance that can only be driven off, banished or eluded temporarily.  Similarly, we can re-envision Sodor as a  smoggy steam-punk era city-state with malevolent enslaved clockwork automatons haunting the dim gas-lit streets. Even better, Kadath and the Dreamlands can be left mostly unchanged.

If we adapt the Interactive RPG map for our fantasy campaign, we might turn Dumpshock and Shadowrun into the ruins of an ancient high-tech empire, with futuristic devices available for those who can wrest them from their timeworn robot guardians. Obsidian Portal might turn into a magic warped landscape of volcanic glass, dotted with unstable portals to a nigh-infinite number of alternate realities, and Gnomestew might become a fey-populated forest with wizened gnome overlords who have an opinion about everything your PCs do.

For our Sci-Fi campaign we could interpret the Online Communities 2 map as a dystopian mega-city atop a war-fractured atoll. We might re-imagine Farmville as a massive collective of vat farms that supply the majority of food to the region. Happy Farm, on the other hand, is a similar region, but manned by mind wiped drone hostages.  Skype may house the communications network,  while MMO isle could hold huge tube farms of unconscious bodies, selling much of their brain capacity as processing power in exchange for the money to live in their shared virtual reality.

Do you know of any similar maps? How else could we make use of these types of resources? How would you re-imagine one of your favorite regions?

7 Comments (Open | Close)

7 Comments To "Try one of THESE Settings:"

#1 Comment By Paul Thornton On July 6, 2012 @ 4:01 am

I have a whole book of cool cartography stuff, most based on real world places, but there’s some great stuff in there. My favourite has to be this one though.


#2 Comment By Roxysteve On July 6, 2012 @ 8:58 am

[6] – Yeah, I liked that one until I thought it through. Seabed=land, so R’lyeh now above the water and everyone is dead. And insane.

Way to go “Mr Cartographer”.


#3 Comment By Roxysteve On July 6, 2012 @ 9:00 am

[6] – Would you care to share Title, Author, Publisher, ISBN of that cartography stuff book?

#4 Comment By Gamerprinter On July 6, 2012 @ 9:46 am

There’s always the Cartographers’ Guild for ready to use maps, mapping software, map tutorials and lots more. It’s the best source for RPG mapping.


#5 Comment By Joe Wetzel On July 6, 2012 @ 11:23 pm

How about this isometric dungeon map of RPG game systems…
(Full disclosure: a project of mine.)

#6 Comment By shortymonster On July 7, 2012 @ 4:30 am


The book on Waterstones website. I’m sure you can find it other places too, but since I work for this particular bookseller, I thought I’d give it a shot 😉


#7 Pingback By Fantasy City Building: 14 Suggestions | Evil Machinations On July 14, 2012 @ 6:03 am

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#8 Comment By John Arcadian On July 17, 2012 @ 8:28 am

These are great! I love the idea of twisting the setting ideas around like that.