Thursday, February 25, 2016

Shout-Out to Ben's Nerdery and Myth Setting Musings

So there's this blog called Ben's Nerdery. It hasn't been updated since December 13, 2013, but there's great Myth-related stuff there...specifically, Myth RPG-related stuff.

I must confess, the map I actually consider the most useful in Lamentations of the Fallen Lords is the custom-drawn one from Ben's Nerdery, with all of the roads and new towns and other awesome additional details. I more-or-less consider it the canonically correct map in my campaign, other than my own sparse additions like putting Pembrooktonshire on the map. I would repost the map here, but I'd rather try to contact the owner of the blog first for permission, and I haven't done so yet. You can see it HERE in all its glory at the original website. There's even a version with a hex overlay!

My favorite thing about this map is that it actually includes a scale for distance. If I'm not mistaken, the original games were somewhat inconsistent about distances, so knowing how much space the map is supposed to cover is super handy. Unless I eyeballed it wrong, I think the scale provided would make the known world of Myth a scant 1,000 by 800 miles. Assuming Myth takes place on a world roughly the size of Earth, that gives me a lot of room to add things beyond the borders.

Now if only I could figure some semi-realistic population figures for the setting. I mean, there aren't currently very many cities for an area of that size, right? Maybe the monsters and bandits and lack of arable farmland due to the big magical desert and the big frigid mountain ranges and the Trow-dominated no-man's-land are a bigger check on population growth and wilderness domestication than I've given them credit for. Even so long after the last Great War and after such a huge increase in peace, prosperity, and technological/magical advancement, maybe human, dwarf, and fir'bolg populations have barely recovered for some reason, despite everyone's (supposed) contentment and higher standard of living. That would account for the lack of urban development, I guess, but I'm no sociologist/economist/anthropologist. I could use some help figuring out how this all goes together.

Not that such detail is strictly necessary, but I enjoy it to some extent. I don't need to know the economic details of every little town, or the GDP of the Empire, or the family tree of every politician, or anything like that. I haven't read them myself, but I've heard accusations that the Forgotten Realms setting books, for example, get bogged down by this kind of excessive detail, which is boring to read and has little impact on actual play at the table. I don't want to go that far. I just want a few, basic facts to provide a greater relative level of verisimilitude compared to what I've already established in my take on Myth's world.

Bottom line, wherever you are, Ben, thank you for your awesome maps and ideas for running Myth as an RPG and other assorted Nerdery. Here's to you!

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