Location is Everything: The Worldbuilding Thread

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Location is Everything: The Worldbuilding Thread

Post  ZamuelNow on Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:45 pm

Many of us have created new cities or expanded on the ones from the show that haven't been given focus.  Creating this thread as a collaborative sharing spot for when campaigns need more places within them.

Caballuston, Equestria:
Vaguely based off of Charleston, South Carolina, I created it due to the lack of Equestrian cities that represent the southeastern USA. It's located south of Horseshoe Bay and coastal.  Designed to be a quieter, "historical" city known for museums and research. The main museum (and a number of parts of the city itself) are owned by the Equestrian Expedition Keep, a privately funded group that collaborates with museums and researchers throughout Equestria.  My current campaign plays up the angle of great ancient secrets but any number of mundane plots can be implemented with it.
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Re: Location is Everything: The Worldbuilding Thread

Post  A1C Bronymous on Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:09 pm

My game is based in the City of Neighagara Falls, a bit north of Canterlot, built next to the Landmark Waterfall of the same name. It is a semi-rural town at the base of the mountains. It is not modest in size, and divided into four sections- The Northeast Atrium, home to shops and services; the Estates, a wealthy neighborhood of the "upper class" of the city; the Town Center, featuring the city hall, as well as other businesses; and the Outskirts, the less wealthy housing district.
Neighagara's river is its primary industrial line, providing irrigation to the small farms outside the town, as well as transportation A locally based lumber company has a yard just to the north of town, and uses the falls and the river to transport its product down to the coastal cities and shipyards. The company pulls its lumber from the Living Mountain Forest, located nearby, which is also home to a (mostly) peaceful tribe of deer, who are slowly being displaced by the logging operations.

There is a little in the way of ancient secrets and modern conspiracies, but mostly the old ritual sites for long dead civilizations, based in the nearby mountains, are nothing more than landmarks and Predator dens nowadays.
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Re: Location is Everything: The Worldbuilding Thread

Post  Zarhon on Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:46 pm

The setting I've designed, one that started off of improvisation initially, has somehow bloomed into a strange mix of D&D and Discworld.

The current action is going around the town of Fezaris, a metropolis with many guilds and institutions, both legal and less-legal. Almost all sapient/intelligent races are welcome, so long as they abide by the rules of neutrality and other rules of common sense. Some races, however, as is common for many places, still hold a certain degree of stigma and mistrust for each other. Humans, the initial settlers, are the most abundant, followed by Dwarves, Half-Elves, Deva, and Half-Orcs. The less-common races include Kobolds, Dragonborn, Thieflings, Hawklings, Orcs, Drow and other pure-blooded Elves, as well as other varying 'monstrous' races. The only exemption to this are any and all form of undead - necromancy is a capital crime within the city, one that can lead to a lynching if the guards don't act fast enough.

Its history is remarkable mostly for the fact that it was invaded by Zilean the lich and his undead armies in its early settling years. He proceeded to rule with an iron fist, taking over the city for his own purposes, and partially fortifying it to establish himself further. This did not last, as he was eventually beaten by a band of heroes and had yet to be seen of again until recent events took place. One of the heroes, their leader, that fell in battle with the lich, is now revered as a saint, as fitted his paladin occupation.

The town isn't particularly renowned for magic, with exception for its temple, where clerics, priests and paladins with their holy spells are abundant, particularly those that fight off the undead. The real focus of magic is located outside the city - there is a magic academy outside the city walls, somewhat secluded for obvious safety, financial, and snobbery purposes, as well as the lone tower of a 'notable' Archmage.

Gods and worship follow most of the D&D pantheon (Pelor is popular within the city), with a few "fitting" Discworld elements added in, as a result of the current party's misadventures. Most races worship their own usual gods.

Major events of the town include market days and festivals, most notably that of the anniversary of the town's liberation from the undead.

A number of Guilds are present in the city, and operate much like those of the Elder Scrolls, or Discworld versions. Some are more or less popular than others. The current known guilds include the Merchant's Guild, the Tax Collector's Guild, The Finder's Guild (a guild which, much like a coin, has a legal and less-legal side to it).

The current campaign is focusing around a resurgence of the original lich from the city's past.

The outside of the city consists of lush fields, farmland, and forests, and a large lake, half the size of the city, outside of the walls. There is no port due to lack of a coast, however there are several roads to local villages and other bustling cities, with which trade relations are made. There are also designs and plans in place for a revolutionary transportation system by Dwarven craftswork, though it is largely unfinished and will be for many years.
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Re: Location is Everything: The Worldbuilding Thread

Post  Pingcode on Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:46 pm

Oooh settings? Sure, I can contribute a setting!

Kinny
Theme: Arriving in Ekaterine - Republic the Revolution
The Kinny region is one of the oldest and largest of the autonomous satellite regions of Equestria, first colonised by pegasi to watch the cold regions behind Canterlot for any sign of the windigos’ return. In time, it has become a region in its own right, administrated by a council formed from prominent citizens. In spite of their official semi-autonomous status Kinny’s council traditionally retains close ties to Canterlot and in times of crisis its citizens are often recruited in droves - and in turn Kinny is often among the first to receive consideration from the capital. Kinny’s population remains predominantly pegasus and earth pony, with a small but growing unicorn minority.

Careful management of the weather is required in the Kinny region, with less sun meaning the  proper allocation of daylight hours is critical, with failures being expensive at best. As such, the region is tended to by a weather patrol second only in size to the flocks of Cloudsdale itself. In comparison, earth ponies are a somewhat uncommon sight to visitors to the cities, being more in demand in the outlying villages - it is not uncommon for an earth pony talented in non-agricultural fields to instead take up a life as a farmer in a village, where they are gladly welcomed by the community. Many of Kinny’s wealthy elite are from old earth pony families, though for many it’s often a toss up whether the current head is an earth pony or a pegasus. Rarely if ever is a unicorn amongst the social elite, though as with the general influx of unicorns to the area, some highly placed families are starting to make their way in.

Cities:
Kinny is the capital of the semi-autonomous region of the same name, and unsurprisingly plays host to most of the higher government officials in the region. While historically Kinny has had little traffic from unicorns, the establishment of the Kinny Academy of Internal Sciences has resulted in a influx of natively Canterlot scholars through aggressive recruitment campaigns, and it is rapidly becoming a common sight to see groups of unicorns wandering through the streets discussing some topic or another on their way.

Owing to the region’s overall cold climate, food production is far short of that needed to support its population. As a consequence, Kinny also acts as the distribution hub for food supplies purchased from other, more fertile regions of the country - as well as occasionally from griffon fisheries, when harvests are not so good. More than a dozen bulk transport companies make their home in Kinny, ever jockeying for position as they import grain and fruit by the wagonload to feed the vast herds in the two cities of the region. Today, the quarterly food bazaars in Snow Wing Square are a sight to see, stalls and scaffolds climbing to elaborate cloud boutiques appearing overnight in anticipation of the first wagonloads of food from all over Equestria and the world. Sheep spruik alongside minotaurs and the city is a symphony of a thousand blended pidgins where travellers, city ponies, and villagers all come together for a chance at the first pick of the wares before the wagons finally move on to distribute what’s left throughout the region.

Celestopol is a bustling coastal city in the Eastern Kinny region of Equestria, close to the border with the Griffon Kingdom. Uncharacteristically warmer than most of the Kinny region through dedicated campaigning by the city council, Celestopol has a brisk tourist trade both from pegasi looking to brave the nearby wild zone and holidaymakers from the area. Celestopol’s permanent populace is predominantly pegasus, thanks to its strategic importance, and the days are filled with the constant buzz of pegasi in and out of the famed Canta Flight Reserve building, with its grand landing plazas and ever-shifting network of cloud apartments. While historically it has been closed to the public, with the establishment of the new radio-equipped Celestopol Central Response Centre, tours have recently begun of the historic building - though non-ponies are viewed with suspicion all the same.

Far off the shore lies the Trotlesk Memorial Platform, named for the young pegasus whose tragic demise spurred the construction of the large platform to serve as a search and rescue base for those lost in the zone. Most Celestopol pegasi serve at least one term on the platform, and it is a testament to its efficacy that the number of young foals lost during their service in the half-decade the platform it has been in operation can be counted with hooves. Asides its overt purpose as a search and rescue platform, the powerful receivers necessary to interpret radios through the worst storms also make it an ideal location for a listening post to monitor the more warlike griffons, and it plays host to a full time staff of Royal Equestrian Signals Bureau operators. As a result, besides the steady stream of rescues, access to the platform is typically granted only by the express permission of the captain, though generally youths looking to ‘do their shift’ make it through with little issue.

On Fish:

Sun Gazer slammed the table, sending tokens flying into the air and attendants scrambling to reassemble the map. "The nerve of those griffons! Commander Snow Wing, assemble your formations. We're going to teach them a lesson." Snow Wing said nothing, simply nodding to her lieutenant. He quietly excused himself, then returned with a simple wooden dish. Sun Gazer's snout wrinkled with disgust. "What is this?" she demanded, pointing with a hoof at the preserved fish. "It is tradition in Kinny that in times of war, the leaders must be the first to eat fish." replied Snow Wing. Sun Gazer gave the pegasus a look of disbelief. "I must?" "If you want the soldiers to do as you ask." The unicorn frowned, then took a bite of the fish. She chewed slowly, and shuddered as the meat slid down her throat. "And this is every day?" "For as long as the war lasts, yes." Sun Gazer stared sullenly at the remainder of the fish. Finally, she looked up again. "Perhaps the griffons will be willing to talk one more time." - Kinny Folk Tale

Kinny's incapability of feeding its populace on agriculture alone has won it a reputation for a rich culinary tapestry, but in times of crisis it is all too common for the ponies of Kinny to be forced to supplement their diets with fish. As a result, fish occupies a bittersweet place in Kinny culture, a symbol of both strength and hard times.

Given its position in Kinny culture, it features heavily in metaphors and expressions. A few of the more common expressions in use are:
Learning to fish - Preparing for hard times
To take your fish - To endure hardship, to consider a course of action carefully
Forgotten the taste of fish - Prosperous, Losing touch
Learned to eat fish - Humility, Great Fortitude, Losing touch

However, the most prominent incidence of fish in Kinny culture is in its military tradition. In the event of war, the food imports that allow the region's citizens to not be forced to resort to meat for survival are inevitably disrupted, compounded by the diversion of the already stretched weather patrol to combat duties. As such, by both official policy and tradition, if war occurs, both the senior military and civilian leadership are forced to eat exclusively fish, and may not consume other foods. As supplies dwindle, the fish diet spreads to encompass progressively junior leadership until severe rationing is required region wide.

This has had the effect of making Kinny's leaders very reluctant to pursue conflict in spite of a high degree of military influence in the region, and its representatives in the royal court are amongst the last to suggest abandoning diplomacy.

Military
Military Organisation:
The Kinny military is roughly organised in terms of pegasi, as is fitting for a vastly pegasus dominated region. The smallest unit of organisation is the wing, consisting of 2-3 Primaries led by a Pinion, along with several secondaries and occasionally tertiaries. Two wings create a flight, led by a Flight Leader. Three to four flights create a Flock, similarly led by a Flock Captain. Multiple flocks create a Fleet, under the command of a Fleet Commander. In particularly large multi-fleet deployments, typically the Marshal will take personal charge - though in the rare occasions where she doesn't, a Fleet Commander is appointed Local Commander.

While civil rule has long displaced the militarised culture of the ancient pegasus tribe in Kinny, the office of Marshal continues to stand as the most prestigious posting available in Kinny, and the office-holder typically enjoys significant influence in all aspects of Kinny life. In this regard the Marshal is something akin to the overall head of state, even if nominally the Marshal is a royal representative and holds no official sway over the council.

Earth Ponies and Unicorns are not barred from Kinny's military, but they are all but universally locked out from senior positions and add 'Ground' to their rank titles to signify their status as non-flying soldiers. For the most part non-pegasi fill out ground support roles where available. Similarly, owing to a strong traditionalist attitude throughout Kinny society, senior command roles are overwhelmingly female, with male Flock Captains being uncommon and male Flight Commanders rarer still (and often accompanied by whispers of cronyism on the part of the High Commander, a post which has only twice seen a stallion)

Marshal Cyclone:

Cyclone is the incumbent marshal of Kinny, appointed following the summary dismissal of Marshal Avalanche in the wake of the Sun's Bounty disaster. A weathermare at heart, she distinguished herself during the brief war of 97 with a mass deployment of the weathermares under her command, forcing Count Gareth Greatclaw to sue for peace when the bulk of his griffons were pinned in by heavy snow and his reserves were routed by the more numerous and mobile Kinny flights.

Under her leadership the fleet has vastly increased both recruitment and the weathermare:pastriteer ratio, pursuing a new tactical doctrine that calls for large weathermare flights to disorient and ground flying opposition, supported by pastriteer wings to combat attempts at interception. She has also been responsible for the establishment of a new commander position, responsible solely for civil defence, including firefighting, search and rescue, and medical operations, previously the responsibility of local commanders.

Due to the much higher horsepower requirements for the new weather pattern centric strategy, whispers have been circulating of plans to reintroduce national service requirements in addition to the standing provisions for a mass levee - a controversial plan even in Kinny.

Rank Structure:

Tertiary - Junior recruit or cadet, usually remains in training and only deployed in critical situations. Equivalent to ‘Rookie’
Secondary - Qualified flyer, forms up main strength of wings. Equivalent to ‘Squaddie’
Primary - Senior flyer. Often in charge of multiple Secondaries and Tertiaries. Equivalent to ‘Corporal’
Pinion - Wing leader. In charge of entire wing. Equivalent to ‘Sergeant’
Flight Leader - Commander of two wings. Many pegasi eventually choose to muster out at this rank if they are unable to secure sponsorship towards a captain's right. Equivalent to ‘Captain’
Flock Captain - Commander of multiple flights. This position is a slightly unusual one, in that it is controlled by a limited number of council warrants which may be bought and sold. As such, most Flock Captains are either noble or enjoy the patronage of a noble family. May be dismissed, at which point the pony is required to sell the warrant to another, sometimes of their choice but oftentimes not. Equivalent to ‘Major’
Fleet Commander - Commander of an entire fleet. Appointed from the Flock Captains by the High Commander. Equivalent to ‘Colonel’
Marshal - Supreme leader of Kinny's military and not infrequently de-facto civil leader, appointed directly by Royal Warrant and accountable to the throne. Usually a Fleet Commander favoured by the previous Marshal, but it is not unheard of for ponies as lowly ranked as Flight Leader to be appointed in exceptional circumstances. Typically the appointment of a non-warranted officer, however, is the result of the discovery of severe corruption in the ranks and the sign of sweeping dismissals to come. Equivalent to ‘Marshal’
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Re: Location is Everything: The Worldbuilding Thread

Post  ZamuelNow on Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:53 pm

Friendship Gardens

Map:
Image drawn by MyLittleEmpath

Inspiration:
In the MLP franchise, the second generation of toys never got a cartoon.  The "My Little Pony Tales" show is based off the first generation of toys and sometimes regarded as G1.5.  However, G2 did have the first videogame of the franchise, "My Little Pony: Friendship Gardens".  It was a sort of raising sim with appearances from the "Core 4" of that product line.  Thinking about how this sole videogame was effectively the only source of animation for G2 it hit me: What if it were updated and expanded to a full location? While the game had the barest of essentials for a location, it had just enough to use as a base for something bigger.  It could also be designed in a way that made it modular enough to drop into just about any RPG campaign or piece of fan fiction.  I didn't directly outline NPCs to leave it open for others though my own use would involve characters based on G2 ponies.

Foundations and Politics:
The parcel of land that would become Friendship Gardens was won through a bet.  The mare who founded the town sought to make a quiet haven that residents and visitors could feel safe and welcome in.  Most ponies are well meaning despite their bad days.  However, she felt no chances were to be taken.  The family line that descended from the founder has bound to uphold this principle and due to that, the town does not hold elections.  Almost like a monarchy, control and ownership of the town is passed down through the family's heirs.  In fact, all land in the town is actually owned by the current "mayor" with housing and businesses on generous leases.  In lieu of a town hall, most meetings are held in the mayor's house since it's the largest structure in the town.

Geography, Commerce, and Culture:
Two-thirds of the town is composed of the farm that bears the town's namesake while the other third is where most of the home owners live.  Separating the two is a shallow freshwater stream.  

Near the barn is a single Zap Apple tree.  Planted with special permission, nopony is allowed to sell fruit or foods made from it, nor can these goods be removed from the town. However, members of the town are allowed to make things to share with each other or visitors.  Surrounding the Zap Apple tree, there is a cluster of Venin Apple trees.  Bearing green fruit with pale markings similar to a cobra's hood, they are naturally poisonous.  However, they do have medicinal and magical uses.  Still farther out are an assortment of normal red apples that have become their own hybrid unique to the town.

The primary crop of the farm are bushmelons.  A transplant from outside Equestria, the vegetable is akin to some kinds of hard skinned squash.  The rind and pulp has a lumpy and irregular texture with a taste and nutritional content similar to sweet potatoes.  Once ripe, bushmelons can stay fresh for almost a year at room temperature if the rind isn't punctured.  While a commonly used food product within the town, it's usually only specialty cooks and members of the royal court who purchase it though its rarity commands a higher price.  Common foods are simply eating it fresh, fried slices, vegetable jambalaya, or sauces for other dishes.

Most labor within the town operates on a barter system with the exchange of bits usually limited to interaction with visitors and a few fringe commodities.  The primary forms of recreation oral stories and hurdle jumping races, both usually held on the athletic field at the farm.  On occasion, the field is used as a safe space for foals to practice magic, flight, or other special talents they may have.

Similar to other areas, Friendship Gardens has a noticeably larger female population, leading to single mares often traveling to other towns.  This, combined with youth who want to seek their way in the world, leads to Friendship Gardens having a regular ebb and flow in the size of its population.  Perhaps the biggest backhanded compliment used against the town is that it's too quaint and comfortable.

Notes:
Venin Apples are a way to pay homage to green apples from the game.  In the game they would make the pony sick but were never noted as anything special aside from being green. This makes them actually something poisonous.

Bushmelons were very briefly mentioned in the G1 cartoon.  This was an attempt to give some sort of description to them despite their one off appearance.
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