Someone’s been reading my unpublished novel

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Actually I think there are two main kinds of cliche fantasy settings. The first, which this map is going for, is probably ultimately derived from Middle-earth. The main cultures are vaguely Dark Ages northern European (although this map has one ‘exotic city’, just as Middle-earth has Southrons).

The other main kind of setting is the ‘kitchen sink’ setting where each area is a different thing that the author thought was cool. The original of this is probably Robert E Howard’s Hyborian Age, where you have one country of chivalrous knights, one that’s ancient Egypt, one that’s vikings and so on. This is a science fiction version of the same idea:

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Published role-playing settings seem to tend towards ‘kitchen sinks’, such as Rifts and D&D’s Mystara. I suppose this is partly a commercial decision, so they can keep putting out setting material.

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