Realms - At A Glance

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10th Oct, 2017. Page created.

  • Data entered - up to 3rd of way through Trait Table.

Realms

This system for creating fantasy realms is for everything from a tract of wilderness (such as a forest), to towns and cities, baronies and up to empires. It can even be used for small groups such as a goblin tribe or organisations such as religions and guilds.

For some realms you simply omit or ignore certain entries throughout the process of creating. The size of the realm tends to determine how many different aspects you roll.

Everything on this first page sets up the basic size and traits of your realm that helps guide further rolls in the other steps.

The many tables and ideas that follow are not only a system for creating a realm, but a list of references that you will find helpful when determining aspects of a realm on the fly.


1. NAME

Give the realm or organisation a name.

If you are going to use some of the charts below to determine name randomly, then you will have to determine Type of realm first (and possibly level/size, race, and the terrain).

References with Ideas

Ultimate Toolbox (Ibach, Ibach & Pinto, AEG Publishing)
Arctic (+Water) p44; Badlands p45; City p57-8 +81; Civilised p52; Desert p45; Dwarf p53; Elf p53; Evil Realms p45; Exotic p53; Forest p46; Goblin p53; Lowlands p47; Marsh p48; Mountains p48-9; Plains p46; Planar p292; Ports p173; Town p57; Tribal p52; Village p56.


2. SYMBOL OR FLAG

Place a picture of the symbol alongside the name of the realm – or simply describe.

References with Ideas

Ultimate Toolbox (Ibach, Ibach & Pinto, AEG Publishing)
Flags p103


3. TYPE

Usually you will choose the type of realm, as this is the very thing you are creating. If you wish to create a realm completely at random then roll on the table below. This should form the basis for all decisions made later and is an overall ‘template’ for the realm. Descriptions for each type follow the table.

Roll Type Description Game Mechanics
01-10 Borderlands Borderlands’are exactly that – regions that lie on the edges of civilised realms, separating them from each other or from the wilderness, be it on land, in the sea or underground. It is often a lawless area where the strong rule and everyone knows how to fight for their lives. It is the home of exiles, frontier-folk, explorers and adventurers, that are often stubborn, hard and uncompromising. -2 Law; -2 Society; -1 Economy; +2 Danger
11-30 Civilised Civilised realms typically refer to settlements or regions settled or claimed by intelligent and social races. This includes all villages, towns and cities, as well as duchies kingdoms and empires. +1 Law; +1 Society; +1 Economy; -1 Danger
31-40 Dungeon/Ruin This realm is a complex that was once civilised but has fallen into ruin or has been overtaken by new-comers. It may also be a settled cavern complex or underground dungeon carved for a specific purpose. +1 Danger
41-55 Organisation This realm refers to a group of like-minded people that have come together to form an organisation. Includes: guilds, religious sects/churches, arcane orders, thieves guilds, mercenary companies, merchant houses, knight orders, etc. +1 Society; (Nature of the Organisation should also provide a further +1 to the most relevant modifier. Eg’s: Thieves’ Guild +1 Crime; Church +1 Piety, etc)
56-60 Planar/Magical This is a realm that is magical or planar in nature and as such may not fit the other categories. It could be a fey forest, spirit-haunted wastes, an isle shrouded in mist, a completely elemental-warped region to another plane (or part of plane) +1 Arcane Attunement; (+1 Nature Connection if a Fey realm)
61-75 Tribe A group of people that share a common culture and way of life that are not highly civilised as far as technology and buildings go. +1 Society; +1 Nature Connection
76-95 Wilderness A region of forest, swamp, desert, mountains, open ocean, or unexplored natural caverns all fit this type. Intelligent races may exist, but the region is not civilised; there are no formal borders, nor roads linking settlements. -1 Law; -1 Arcane Attunment; - 2 Society; -1 Economy; +2 Nature Connection; +2 Danger
96-00 Other Unique realms that don’t fit other categories. Vessels, such as ships can be written up as a realm. Varies

4. SIZE & LEVEL

Under size are some suggested names and populations for the specific types of realms determined above, but these are simply guidelines. If you have a Barbarian Horde (Tribe) of 2 million then go ahead and create that.

Level Size Approx’ Upper Population
1 Thorp / Small Local Organisation or Guild / Small Tribe / Average Vessel 80
2 Hamlet / Typical Tribe / Large Vessel 400
3 Village / Large Local Organisation / Large Tribe 900
4 Town, small / Small Regional Organisation 2,000
5 Town, large 5,000
6 City, small / Large regional Organisation 12,000
7 City, large / Tribal Confederation 25,000
8 Metropolis / Major Kingdom-Spanning Organisation 50,000
9 City-state, small 100,000
10 City-state, medium / Barony 200,000
11 City-state, large / County / Tribal Horde 500,000
12 Kingdom, small / Duchy 1,000,000
13 Kingdom, medium / Principality 2,000,000
14 Kingdom, large 3,000,000
15 Kingdom, huge 4,000,000
16 Empire, small 5,000,000
17 Empire, medium 7,000,000
18 Empire, large, continental 10,000,000
19 Empire, spanning continents 15,000,000
20 Empire, spanning planes / Major Plane-Spanning Organisation 20,000,000+

Level

This is a general indication of the power and influence of a realm. A low level realm is likely to be a small, localised area or group and a high level one could span a continent.

Size

A general guideline, using the community names from 4E Dungeon Master's Guide (Wizards of the Coast) or Pathfinder Game Master Guide p205 for the first 8 levels. Realms of 11th level or higher are treated as having five divisions (four compass points and a central) for purposes of where troops and structures are placed. These larger realms must also choose which division holds their seat of government. This is where their leader(s) typically reside and is usually the central region.

Approximate Upper Population

The populations given for the communities are merely a guide to choose the level of a starting realm. They can be used as a guide when assigning levels to non-community realms too. So a small forest with a population of around 500 elves would be considered a level 3 realm (having a population equivalent to a village). Populations are not needed for any of these rules, however, and a GM is free to assign a level according to their own visions of the realm.

References with Ideas

Ultimate Toolbox (Ibach, Ibach & Pinto, AEG Publishing)
Realm size p54. Boundary p54. Settlement Size & Population p89.


5. MODEL CULTURE(S)

This provides the overall frame work for the realm. Most of the ideas below are for human cultures, but they can be applied to non-human ones too, such as Egyptian-like dwarves. This, combined with the actual type of realm, forms the framework. It may produce some interesting results, such as a high-magic North American Indian realm. That is the aim. Culture here is for the basic outlook of the people. It could also give the GM an idea of the appearance of the people.

D100 Culture Type/Number
01-50 Standard: Use normal (Medieval Europe) for humans or standard racial culture for non-humans (as set out in the core books).
51-90 Roll a specific culture on the table below.
91-00 Roll 2 specific cultures on the table below and combine them.

Once a general culture is determined you may also determine a specific culture as a model or may just use a melding of all the example cultures to create a general feel for the realm.

(Adapted and added to from 2E D&D World Builder’s Guidebook, p43).

D100 Culture Specific Ideas / Examples
01-06 African Middle Age ivory kingdoms, ancient Ethiopia, ancient Egypt, ancient Zimbabwe, Mali Empire, Nyambe CS
07-11 Alternate Race The people have adopted the culture of another fantasy race. (Roll a random race from the ‘Races & Populations’ charts)
12-18 Ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian, Greek (inc Minoan, Ionian), Holy Land, Ur
19-22 Arabian/Persian Arabia, Persia, Zakhara CS
23 -24 Central Asian Mongols, Tartars, Uighurs, The Horde CS
25-32 Dark Age European Germanic Tribes, Celts, Vikings, Arthurian, Picts, Eastern European
33-42 Fantastic Dinotopia, Dragon centred, Planar, Arcane, Creature-focussed, Divine, Primal, Martial, Psionic
43-60 General Campaign Setting (Will need to determine specific realm from the setting). Eberron, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Kage, Dark Sun, Talisanta, Kalamar, Golarion, Red Steel, Diamond Throne, Jarkandor, other generated settings
61-65 Indian Medieval India
66-71 North American First People Arctic (eg Inuits), Subartic (egs Cree, Chipewyan), Northeast (egs Algonquians, Iroquois), Southeast (egs Shawnee, Cherokee), Plains & Prairies (egs Sioux, Cheyenne), Great Basin (egs Ute, Shoshoni), Northwest coast (egs Chinook, Tlingit), California (egs Hupa, Pomo), Southwest (egs Puelblo, Apache)
72-81 Oriental/East Asian Korea, Feudal Japan, Ancient China, Wuxia, Southeast Asia, Kara-Tur CS, Rokugan CS
82-88 Renaissance Europe France, UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, Gunpowder age, Sea-faring, Mercantile
89-94 Roman/Classical Europe Republic, Empire, Fall, Expansion, Byzantine
95-98 South American First People Andean, Incas, Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecs, Amazonian, Maztica CS
99-00 Tribal/Stone Age Australian Aboriginal, Neanderthal, Early/Ancient America, Islanders (egs Maori, Tahitians)

6. TRAITS

Like a character’s personality, this section is for any other traits that help to define the realm. Like Realm Type, it would be best to go through and select any obvious Traits for the realm you have in mind first and then roll any remaining.

Realms typically have 1-3 Traits +1 per four levels.

(Obviously, if these Traits do not gel with other factors determined ignore them).

D100 Trait & Description Game Mechanics Alternative / Opposite Game Mechanics
01-03 ABUNDANT Due to copious amounts of natural resources, verdant fields, magical discoveries, or technological advances this realm has a very high ability to generate and create resources and exceptional products. The crops are plentiful, the groves many, the livestock fat, the stores full and well equipped. Other realms are likely lining up to do trade with this nation, or secretly plan its down fall. +1 Society; +3 Economy. (Possibly +2 Arcane Attunement if this is due to magical discoveries) DESOLATE / LACK OF RESOURCES This area is next to inhospitable, but some hardy folk eke a living out of the barren wastelands. It is completely lacking in resources or what is there is hard to access or not being used efficiently. Once the area may have been thriving woodland, or a great realm in its own right, but now that woodland is petrified or a plain of ash, and the realm a vast expanse dotted with ruins. Surrounding realms may send in expeditions to plunder the ruins that are left. A natural disaster, a massive war or magical calamity could have turned the land to ruin. -3 Law; -2 Society; -3 Economy
04-05 ANCIENT This realm has been around a long time, perhaps even thousands of years. Typically the realm has passed its golden age and its domination over surrounding realms ended generations ago. Feats of the past are history or even myth and the current residents are often resigned to the fact the realm will never be as grand again; though every few generations a confident leader attempts to return to the days of old. Undoubtedly these forays end in failure. +2 Historical Lore YOUNG This realm has just recently been established and is likely still in the building phase. -1 Historical Lore
06-07 ANIMAL/CREATURE CONNECTION The realm places great importance in a particular animal/creature or in animals in general. They may be: sacred, revered companions, exceptionally trained guards/steeds, totems, etc. +1 Nature Connection ANIMAL/CREATURE AVERSION The realm values the hunting of particular creatures and/or they are considered enemies. -1 Nature Connection
08-10 ARCANE CONNECTION This realm places great value in knowledge and the power of arcane magic. It is far advanced over the surrounding realms in the arcane arts. If this isn’t an organisation itself, there are several colleges or cabals where any citizen can learn their spells and one may be expected to do so. Magic permeates all facets of life in such a realm and the residents are rarely surprised by its use. This could be a land of high magic where streets are lit by spells and people often contact each other and travel using magic. The citizens place little importance on the physical body and look down upon those too willing to use brawn to solve a situation. Soldiers can always be hired if needed. +3 Arcane Attunement; -1 Nature Connection ARCANE AVERSION This is an anti-magic realm. For whatever reason the people dislike (or possibly fear) arcane magic. It may be forbidden by law, a sin to use, or simply seen as weak. There are fewer arcane casters in such as realm. -2 Arcane Attunement
11-12 BLESSED The realm is the land/organisation of a patron deity/spirit (determined randomly from the religion worshipped). +1 Piety (and a possible further +1 to another modifier depending upon the deity involved. Eg: a deity of trade +1 Economy) CURSED The realm is the chosen target of a deity that seeks to destroy the realm. -1 Piety (and a further -1 to another modifier depending upon the deity involved and the nature of the curse. Could roll a random modifier)
13-16 CHIVALRIC This is realm that values honour, valour and justice, and fighting a hostile world to bring peace to all people. Laws and codes govern how conflict should take place. Sometimes all neighbours do not agree with the actions of the nobles and knights of this realm, but the realm does not waver from its objective. +2 Law; -2 Corruption; -2 Crime; -1 Danger; +1 Historical Lore BARBARIC This realm is made up of people that, although they may share a common heritage, tend to make war with one another. Raiding and pillaging is normal behaviour and there are few ‘rules of conflict’ other than ‘be better than your enemy’. From time to time a great leader may unite several groups to form a horde and raid into wealthier realms. 2 Law; -2 Arcane Attunement; +2 Danger
17-18 COLOUR AFFINITY The people of the realm prefer to dress in a particular colour or colours. They have a connection with that colour for whatever reason. - COLOUR AVERSION The people may disdain a certain colour, or a particular colour may signify something important such as clans, social status, profession, making it illegal for others to wear it. -
19-20 COMPETITIVE The people aim to be the best at everything and are fiercely competitive. Even the smallest of tasks may be a test of who can do it better. There are likely all sorts of tournaments and competitions to test oneself against others. - RELAXED The people of this realm are never in a rush and are happy with simple things in life. OK is good enough. +1 Society
21-23 DECADENT The realm is known as a home for vice and corruption. It is likely a realm that was once great and clinging to is past glories. +3 Corruption; -2 Society; +2 Crime; +1 Danger GOLDEN AGE For a whole variety of reasons the realm is at its peak. An organisation may have major influence, a kingdom is at its height or a tribe may have risen above the others in a recent epic war. +1 Society; +2 Economy; -2 Crime
24-27 DIPLOMATIC The leaders of this realm avoid conflict at all costs. Its nobles, leaders or ruling government spend much of their time at court or in meetings openly discussing ways to please their neighbours (and in good realms, their citizens). Rarely do such realms invest heavily in magical or military defences. If conflict is unavoidable they would prefer to pay professionals to ‘take care of things without leaving a mess’. -1 Law; +1 Society; -1 Danger MACHIAVELLIEN This is a realm where things are done with subterfuge. It could be a despicable realm of thieves and cutthroats or a free-sharing community where possessions are seen as communal. It could represent a realm where the people have had to resort to guerrilla tactics to fight their enemies, but most likely it is a civilised realm where one strikes at their enemies from the shadows and gains resources through shady deals. Smuggling is rife and the realm boasts many spies in neighbouring realms. Your average citizen or member tends to be secretive and highly suspicious of others. -1 Society; +3 Crime; -1 Nature Connection; +1 Danger
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