Wednesday, March 4, 2015

[Urbis] Expanding the Cold Frontier Map

In my ongoing Cold Frontier campaign, the player characters have established their colonial outpost in the remote northern wilderness of the continent of Nardhome. As this is a hexcrawl/kingdom building campaign, I've spent a lot of time detailing the initial campaign area - a hex grid of 8 hexes wide and 11 hexes deep, with each hex having a diameter (side to side) of 10 miles. The following map shows the continent as well as where the colonial outpost of the PCs is located (at the red #5).

In the last session, the PCs have decided to lay a claim to all land within 100 miles of their outpost (they have neglected to tell the local natives about this, but they don't use the same legal system so their opinions don't matter...).

Which meant that they also want to take a closer look at the regions to the west and to the east of their initial hex map, so that they can figure out what kind of land they actually lay a claim to. This was a bit sudden, but I decided to prepare and drew a basic map for these areas. You can see the result below - also including the map of the "home area" (click on it to enlarge).

The whole continent has a Pacific Northwest/Canada/Alaska atmosphere. The "western" submap is intended to have steep coastal mountains casting a large rain shadow over a largely dry interior, while the "eastern" submap only has low hills but vast, neverending forests.

But what I need to come up with now are some interesting places and locations the PCs can interact with. As a reminder, the continent generally has the following inhabitants:

- On the coasts, there are the villages of the "Coastal Tribes" loosely inspired by Native American cultures. They have strong cultural taboos against going too far into the interior of the continent, but their villages are fairly wealthy and stable, and while they do not have a unified government they do stay in touch with each other.

- Away from the coast there are the "Inland Tribes", the barbarian descendants of earlier settlements from the local equivalent of Western and Northern Europe.

- For creatures and other nonhuman inhabitants, I want to limit myself to Pathfinder creatures - but avoid beings that are too tightly linked to "European fantasy". So elves, cyclopes, goblins and so forth are out, but adlets and araneas are better suited. Anything from Native American mythology is especially appropriate.

- The continent also has ruins from three earlier cultures that suffered extinction events. The first one (roughly 30,000 years ago) was an outpost by an interstellar mothman civilization, which fought a total war against a rival civilization of xill. The second one was the "First City" culture (think "Atlantis", with a strong focus on magical biotechnology - they were responsible for many of the bizarre "hybrid" creatures as well as many of the humanoid races). The third one was the "Old Native" culture - the ancestors of the modern Coastal Tribes who build their own cities (including equivalents of the Mound Cities and the Pueblos).

So... any suggestions on what to put on these maps?

Note: A list of all Urbis-related posts can be found here.