So, I’ve been working on and off to use a combination of game systems to map out my version of ancient Greece in a way that makes sense to me, for the purpose of writing stories with a realistic scope. I like to write about the end of the world, you know, and when I talk about the end of the world, it’s helpful for you to know how big a world I’m talking about, be it village, kingdom, … or an actual world.

I think I’ve finally got a system that works for me. Using a combination of ideas borrowed from a “Sandbox D&D campaign” mentioned on the Penny Arcade blog(s), and a technique I’ve been developing that incorporates elements of Arkham Horror and The Settlers of Catan, I have maps that tell me about how many people should live in a region, in about how many settlements, and the population capacity.

Most of what I have, I’ve created to inform me about the resource capabilities of adventurers, organizations, and settlements. How many monsters should live in a region? How many dungeons should there be? How far apart are they, and how old are they? How long does it take to travel from one region to another, and how many factions should exist in a given region? How often do they go to war?

The Third Edition Player’s Handbook 2 has an affiliation system that I’ve long admired, but I’ve never been satisfied with how regions and settlements were generated, so it was mostly useless before now. Now that I have a system that I think more accurately represents the relatively abstract concepts of “neighborhoods,” “villages,” “kingdoms,” “regions,” and “continents,” I’ll probably need to adjust the affiliation system.

What I should be able to do now, though, is create some believable timelines for the development of villages, dungeons, cults, empires, wars, trade routes, and so forth. Also, I wanted an idea of about how far the worship of a particular incarnation of a god should spread without nations conquering each other, and I think I should be able to figure that out now. Now I need to fit my world-building into it, and test it out!