Working from a map suggests so many new possibilities.

Only the other day I was mentoring a friend in writing, and I proposed the exercise of describing a fantasy land, the map of which was his actual hand. It’s a good exercise to get the creative juices flowing.

In a way I have done this to myself by throwing up the Titan map and saying that it is the generalised representation of the world in which we might do some future role-playing. That might sound a circuitous way of describing what is happening, but experience has told me that we seldom come back to a setting for more than a couple of sessions, no matter how promising. However, developing the idea is always a fun thing to do, even if it is never used.

So we have this enormous Empire, dominated by these general terrains per province. What lies outside those borders? Sea, course. And beyond that? Nothing. The boiling void. The edge of the world. The place from whence no sailor has ever returned.

Here’s another funny thing about green-field development. I start to work on word plays, just to see what happens. For example, having decided to use the Titan map I was considering the implications of the word. The Greek myths came to mind at once, as well as the implication of sheer size. Then I saw Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone’s Titan on my shelf. Now there is an opportunity to weave in material if ever there was one. I bought that setting donkeys’ years ago and never had a chance to use it. Now I can, and no one will ever know…

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