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Varisia: The Pathfinder campaign setting

Paizo have posted the map of their new campaign setting for Pathfinder: Varisia,as well as some art showing a couple of atmospheric locations in the world. I love the way that the setting will unfold with the adventures published in Pathfinder and as standalone modules. Kind of like the original World of Greyhawk!

For more info, see http://paizo.com/paizo/blog


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 7th, 2007 08:12 am (UTC)
I apologise if I'm a bit of a cracked record on the subject of roleplaying geography, but this one is pretty terrible. The river systems make no sense whatsoever, and it doesn't even look particularly nice as a map. To me it just looks a horrible mess.

- Graham
Jun. 8th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
This is what James Jacobs from Paizo had to say on ENWorld. I quite like the map but I like the art more - very atmospheric.

"I figured I'd reply to the river concerns here, since I'm kind of a stickler for rivers in fantasy maps as well. The fact that two rivers drain from the Nyr Dyv in Greyhawk has annoyed me for ages, for example, and whenever I see a river flow apart and it's not a delta, I see red. So the routes of the rivers on the map of Varisia are very much intended to be as realistic as possible. But at the same time... the map has to look neat. Those two things don't always play nice together.

So taking Mark's concerns about rivers (and with the note that while I'm not a geologist, I do have several friends who are and they tore into my maps something fierice back in college):

1: Keep in mind that there aren't actual elevation lines on the map. Mostly becasue they traditionally aren't included on RPG maps, which is something that I find a little annoying but the artistic side of me doesn't miss them cluttering up the pretty parts of the map. SO! Rest assured that the route that the Kazaron river takes as it windes across the boundary between the Storval Plateau and the Cinderlands does indeed follow the path of least resistance, flowing down valleys and gradual inclines to eventually drain into the Storval Deep. There's a lot of rifts and valleys in that upper plateau, which you can think of as being like the Montanna badlands for much of its northern half. It's not flat at all, but it generally slopes downward toward the west and a bit to the south. As for rivers not widening where they meet, that's an artifact of the map's scale. In order for the rivers to be visible but not totally overwhelm, we decided to keep the width as pictured pretty constant, which (at the scale of the map) means that all the rivers shown are about 2.5 miles wide. That's certianly not the case along the whole length of these rivers; they're quite a bit narrower for most of their length, but for artistic purposes, they're shown at a constant width. If/when we zoom in on areas and work with a smaller scale, it'll be a different story, of course.

2: Urglin's marker is a square, not a circle, indicating that it's not really a city anymore but a ruin that's full of squatters (mostly barbarians, probably a lot of orcs). All of the healthy, opperational modern cities are on the coast or along rivers.

3: Worries about the Mushfens were mentioned elsewhere, I believe... the Yondabakari River is the primary source for the entire swamp being there, really; a lot of the water draining from the lakes ends up at Magnimar, but a lot of it also drains south creating a giant sloppy marsh.

ANYway... more details on the setting are planned for Pathfinder; we'll be exploring the heck out of Varisia in the adventures and in numerous backdrop-style support articles that provide even more information about the area. In any event... being the snobby map guy I am, I just felt compelled to explain a bit about the map.

OH! And yes... there is indeed a reason for all of the mountains, and for the giant long cliff. It's tied into the history of the region, and will be revealed during the course of the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path (and likely during the course of the Adventure Path to come after that one), so I don't want to reveal anything too early here. But yeah... there were a certain number of magical events and geological things that happened to Varisia in the past..."
—James Jacobs
Dungeon, Pathfinder
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