Way back in September of last year, I wrote an entry in which I described resources derived from locations and terrain, which I (appropriately) titled “Terrain-Based Resources and Advantages.” Then, at the beginning of February I wrote about blending ideas from Risk, Settlers of Catan, and Magic: the Gathering.

When this line of thinking brought me to terrain types, I used a combination of Magic and Catan to derive mana color-types, for use in summoning creatures, and relevant ability scores, which I thought I might use in driving character creation. As cool as all that might have sounded at the time, there was one important terrain type I ignored.

Much as they might otherwise seem unimportant from either the thematic or resource-allocation standpoint, wastelands feature prominently in strategy and storytelling. If a character is stranded far from anywhere they might seek aid, or cut off from all friendly contacts, they’re effectively marooned in a wasteland.

The wastes may serve as a dumping or staging ground. They may contain oases (or if a “watery waste,” islands) but are generally considered devoid of obvious use except what is made of them. They suit the Natural state quite well actually, being that the state facilitates manufacture, resource management, and survival.

This will mean throwing away (archiving, technically) a great deal of work based on the idea of six terrain types, but building up from seven will create parallels with the states of magic, including some distinctive, shared symbolism. As for resources, I think I can make something stick now that I have a solid connection.