Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The lands of my Ultima

I'm finally writing content for the first setting book for my Ultima RPG. My Ultima game focuses on the Age of Darkness, but there's a problem with that - in all 3 games, the land that the player is at changes! Here's an overview of Sosaria as seen in the Age of Darkness games.

In my game, I decided to account for this as follows:

  1. There is one known land mass – Sosaria. I compressed the 4 continents of Ultima 1 into one (mainly to make the merging of elements between Ultima 1 and Ultima 3 consistent). I assigned the ruler of Castle Rondorin in the Lands of Feudal Lords to the city of Montor. I assigned Shamino over the lands surrounding Fawn. I moved the White King (from the White Castle in the Lands of Darkness and Despair/Serpent Isle) to become the ruler over the NE area which contains Grey. There are other lands to be discovered! I just haven’t created them yet.
  2. There are some changes from the Ultima 1 Lands of Lord British - I left the original Mt. Drash in place between Britannia and Grey. I exchanged positions of “Death’s Awakening” and “Dungeon of Montor”. I also renamed the “Mines of Mt. Drash II” to “Mines of Montor”.
  3. The world exists in the situation as presented at the beginning of Ultima 1. Mondain threatens Sosaria with war as he seeks immortality. Lord British and the other four Lords are the most powerful forces against Mondain. Minax is currently his student and lover and together, they are already working on Exodus.

When I first created the books, I created a map of Sosaria matching the computer "grid" from Ultima 1 with hexes:

From this...

... to this!
It worked out fairly well! The problem was determining if these were 5 mile hexes or 25 mile hexes. After some noodling around with distances and my own feelings about exploring Sosaria, I decided that the hexes would be of the 25 mile variety. This means that Sosaria is roughly 1300 miles wide by 1100 miles tall - 1,462,500 (miles squared) = 3,787,857.61 kilometers squared. That equates to roughly the size of India, so I am satisfied that this is a fairly large enough land mass to play on.

The Lands of Sosaria are divided in 5 regions, each roughly equal in size. Each region has a main city and castle and many other locations within it. North is to the top of the map. Clockwise from the NW corner:

  • The Peninsula of Perinia 
  • Dragonsreach and the mountains of the Serpent’s Spine 
  • The Lands of Montor 
  • The Dark Forests 
  • Britannia (center)

With that all decided, I could now start focusing on the regional areas - first we would look at the Peninsula of Perinia. That is what I'm working on presently and will post musings about here.

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