GURPS · Worked Example

World Creation 14 – The Great Forest

(Note: this post is part of my Example of World Creation series.  For a full index to the series, head here. )

(If you want to see where we are, the full world map is here. )

We’ve now come to the southernmost lands.  Here they are:

World Creation 14 - The Great Forest - unnamed

Here’s a bigger, zoomable version.

The Great Forest

Just looking at the map, the most obvious feature here is the huge “semi-civilized” forest region – I’ve been thinking of it as “The Great Forest” up until now, but it will be interesting to see what its actual name turns out to be.

The Great Forest in Autumn

This is an interesting Region, since pretty much all the other civilized or semi-civilized Regions on the whole world map are north of the River Rulerun, and thus (as we found out a week ago) defended by by the might of Valiroth.   Whereas these people who live in Great Forest, whoever they are, are totally surrounded by Monstrous Regions – to their West and North-West they’ve got evil Merfolk; to their North they’ve got a big “monstrous” hills region, and to their East they’ve got a truly vast “monstrous” swamp.

Weepwood 5
One of the winding paths that lead through the Great Forest.  Such paths are very few!

In short, they’re totally cut off from the rest of civilization, and surrounded by foes.  Who are these guys?

(Rolling for Population Type…)


(Rolling for Theme…)


Weepwoodians 4
A forest rebel resisting tyranny!

Well, that couldn’t be better.  Obviously these folks are oppressed by the evil and monstrous Regions that surround them on all sides.  Perhaps they’re a scattered forest people, who generally live in fear of their monstrous overlords – though the bravest of them sometimes carry out rebellious guerrilla raids against the forces of Evil. And since this is fantasy, let’s say they live in big tree-house villages. This would be the reference, I believe:

What about a name? Here I have an opportunity to provide an example of how to use the Name-Forms for Forests table (which can be found here).  It’s slightly more complex than some of the other name tables – first you roll for the form of the name first, and then you roll to fill each element.

Weepwoodians 5.jpg
A doughty band of forest rebels.

(Rolling for a name form…)

The [Forest Term] of [Thematic Modifier] Leaves.

Ok.  Now I roll to fill each of those bracketed slots.   Here, the theme is “Oppressed”, so I roll on that table when I come to the [Thematic Modifer] slot. (The “Oppressed” modifiers are to be found here, if you’re interested.

Weepwoodians 2.jpg
It appears that forest rebels tend to hang around in small, ragged bands consisting almost entirely of men.  Sages have expressed doubts about the reproductive viability of this strategy.


(Rolling to fill the “Forest Term” slot…)


Well, that’s no shock.

(Rolling to fill the “Thematic Modifier” slot…)


Pluggint this into our name form, we get “The Forest of Dour Leaves”.   This is ok – but I think it might be worth rolling up a few more, just to see if I can improve upon it. (Rolling again…) “The Forest of Rebel leaves?”  Kind of cool. Maybe too much. “The Forest of Cringing Leaves”?  “The Forest of Locked Leaves?” “Crying Leaves?”

Ahah – here’s the one: “The Forest of Fettered Leaves”.  It’s a bit baroque, but I like it.   And since it’s good to have a shorter use-name for the Region too, let’s pick up the second last of these – “The Forest of Crying Leaves” and turn it into “The Weepwood.

 Enough with the Forest –  let’s explore the Coast!
Weedwoodians 1
Yup, there’s definitely going to be a reproduction problem in the Weepwood.

Ok – now for the coast.  There are two semi-civilized Regions over here: let’s roll for population before deciding whether or not they’re going to count as the same Realm – or maybe even as part of the same Realm as the Weepwood.

(Rolling for population type)

Human and Human.

Right – it seems as if the dice are telling me to declare these coastal Regions parts of the same “Realm” that governs the Weepwood.  They have no towns of their owns, anyway.

How to explain this?  Well, presumably it’s pretty dangerous to try to live on the Rending Sea – the people in these Regions live in tiny fishing village, trying to eke out a living from the sea while being brutally oppressed by the Merfolk of Dimrach Gorm.  Let’s say these hardy fisher-folk build their homes high up into the steep sea-cliffs, so as to deter merfolk raiders.   That’s a hard life, so most of the southern peoples have fled into the (relative) shelter of the Forest of Fettered Leaves, following Kevin Costner’s advice.

Weepwoodians 3
Another Weepwoodian rebel, looking the part.

Still, we need to name these stretches of shoreline. Let’s continue with the “Oppressed” theme.

(Rolling for some names…)

The Coast of Whips and Rackshore.

I like the former; the latter gives me an idea.  Maybe the whole coast is known as The Coast of Whips, because the Merfolk oppress the people here so brutally – and the two separate stretches are known as Wrackshore and Wreckshore. “Wrackshore” is the stretch of coast closer to the murderous realm of Kilgorm – it’s on the “rack,” as it were, and also “wracked” by the violence of the Merfolk.   Whereas “Wreckshore” is a bit further away, so you can actually manage to launch a fishing boat here; nevertheless, the Merfolk of the Rending Sea are a constant threat, meaning that the coast is littered with shipwrecks.

And that completes this southern area!  Here’s how it looks now:

World Creation 14 - The Forest of Fettered Leaves

Here is a bigger, zoomable version of this map.

In the next post we’re going to head north again, to find out about the big, monstrous Hill Region just above the Forest of Fettered Leaves.  We already know that the poor, oppressed Weepwoodians suffer the depredations of the merfolk to their west – but what additional threat do they face from the North?

Stay tuned to find out!

(And as always, here’s the big world map again, in case you want to see where we’re headed.)

Worked Example - Stage 7

Here is a bigger, zoomable version of the map.


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