Friday, February 17, 2012

Oh, what a Wonderful World

The Colossus was a nut-shot waiting to happen.

This week, Critical Hitter, Bartoneus posted another edition the Architect DM, which happens to be of one of my absolute favorite sources of world-building inspiration. The latest installment, titled "Seven Wonders of Your World" uses the seven wonders of our own ancient world as a model for spicing up your own fantasy setting. I know when I sit down to describe a new setting in my game, I often have to remind myself:

"look, Sporky, they have magic and stuff here. It's okay to include things that would otherwise be architecturally impossible, so throw some of that extra spiciness into the mix! mmkay!? Lava geysers in the throne room? No problem. Flying towers? Please! That's old hat!"

After reading  Bartoneus's post, I started thinking about some of the "wonderful" elements my favorite fantasy authors have included to spice up their own worlds. Some examples that popped to mind include:

The White Tower and the Stone of Tear from Wheel of Time
Cherek Bore from the Belgariad
Basilica of Chyrellos from the Elenium
Don't even get me started on the architecture from LOTR!
The Archives from the Kingkiller Chronicles (A big lightless room containing every book ever written!?)
The Wall and that big colossus thing from A Song of Ice and Fire

You see what Bartoneus and now I'm getting at? These things stick in your mind ("colossus thing" = really specific). They make you want to go to there. Anyway, I then started thinking about my own game world and was pleased to discover that I already had a few elements that make excellent candidates for Wonders of My World. Specifically:

The Spires of Panthium
The great gnomish Repository (another big, windowless box of knowledge)
The dwarven city of Clangathar (built in a massive cave said to be the Earth-womb that birthed their god)


  1. Do they have to be man-made? I recently hosted an RPG Blog Carnival on Fantastic Locations that spent a month talking about this sort of thing.

  2. I don't think they have to be man-made at all, and in Bartoneus' article, he talks about throwing giant trees into the center of elven forests or thunderspires into mountain ranges.


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