Today is a different kind of map. Today I map out “ages” or “eras” of history.
I have done very little worldbuilding in my Old School Hack setting, not wanting to limit the gonzo creativity. If I come up with something cool, I don’t want to have to jiggle it around to fit it in the continuity and setting. Too soon. However, that kind of work gets much better depth and connection.
The current age has a depth of 3,312 years. Any stories I want to tell can happen in that span; for example, the elvenforge taken over by a dragon, the dragon assaulted it about 450 years ago. The forge was likely built less than 1,000 years ago. So even though the dragon and elven histories go back much further, and I know something about it, I don’t have to dip back into previous ages for the construction of the now-ruined location etc.
Though it is nice to have the option, if I want to punch the “wow” button, to say “This [building/document/artifact/tomb] pre-dates the Awakening, over four thousand years ago…”
My goal was to use pieces of myth and lore that are individually familiar, and recombine them in a new way. For example, humans are the elder race, and elves then dwarves follow–and I explain how and why.
I also created a history that works for my sword-and-sorcery Baffram setting (with black-powder firearms, basic crude machinery, clerics, etc.) and my new Gothmagog steampunk setting over 6 months of travel away (no clerics, much superior firearms, gearwork robots and cybers, steam power, etc.)
So, read on, and I hope you enjoy.