Sunday, July 10, 2011

fun with maps

These two maps should be in scale to each other.  The Wilderlands of High Fantasy is pretty dang tiny compared to the World of Greyhawk.  Imagine how awesome it would be to have Greyhawk fleshed out with maps at 1 hex = 5 miles, full of Wilderlands style encounters.  That'd be a hell of a lot of work.

This comparison turned out pretty much like I expected.  The Flanaess is mostly a mirror image of Europe with Lake Superior dropped in the center.

Looks like this confirms my suspicious that Indiana is pretty close to one of the 18 Wilderlands submaps in size, just rotated 90 degrees.  Now if I ever run the Wilderlands I'm going to have trouble not imagining that central peninsula as fantasy Illinois.  The Invincible Overlord as Rod Blagojevich.  The Blues Brothers as mysterious dark-clad bards fighting Thule cultists while on the run from the authorities.  Lotsa corn and soybeans in the fields.  Etc, etc.

Here are the figures I was working with, if you want to check my results and/or expand upon them:

Flanaess 4800 miles E-W , 3600 N-S
Wilderlands 780 miles E-W, 1020 N-S


  1. Nice comparisons - I often wondered how big Greyhawk was - but just never figured to compare it with Europe, silly me. Thanx :-)

  2. "The Blues Brothers as mysterious dark-clad bards fighting Thule cultists while on the run from the authorities."

    Swiped. I love how there's always these awesome little tidbits buried or added almost as an afterthought or an aside among posts where you deal with larger issues. Not that I don't enjoy the posts proper, but I wait for these. It's kinda like fishing.

  3. I wonder how much of the similarity we see between a fictional map and a real location is conscious on the part of the creator (of the fictional map I mean) - just a timesaver say - and how much the hand might be guided by knowledge of real-world landforms.

    I'd guess most is just us seeing a near fit. Eli has something on this up at the mo:

    Or maybe the masters of the multiverse just run out of ideasme..?

  4. That 'me' in 'ideasme' is just the first part of the captcha, rather than a megalomania. A pretty big megalomania at that.

  5. You'll also notice that the Wilderlands map fits snugly over the Mediterranean. It sorta looks like the Med flipped on its side.

  6. Anonymous8:26 PM

    Love the Wilderlands, but those long, skinny mt ranges, egads...

  7. This is both an awesome comparison of maps, and an unwitting perpetuation of a very old typo - the Wilderlands maps were supposed to be 5 leagues per hex, but ended up published as 5 miles a hex.

    So Bob's Wilderlands is about 3 times bigger than everyone else's :)

  8. Let's see a comparison of the Forgotten Realms and Canada. Off the top of my head Waterdeep is Vancouver but I'm sure there are other similarities.

  9. The wilderlands is a little puny and claustraphobic at 5 miles to the hex for me. Last I played it was 5 leagues to a hex. The land expands to 2692 miles e-w and 3521 n-s.

    It was easy to figure out movement at 1 league an hour for a party limited to travel by foot.

    The overlords and world emperors are a little more impressive ruling over 11 times as much area as well.