14 November, 2014

Worldbuilding 101 - Part 6: Oh what tangled webs we weave...

Let’s start looking at those interconnected relationship maps I talked about in the last instalment.

Here are the first five.

The new characters dedicated to a specific location have been marked in the "exploding rectangular" shapes, figures who are obviously powerful in the location have been circled. General loose relationships have been marked with grey arrows and strong/close relationships have been marked with black arrows (based on those characters with more points of commonality), and In the last few maps I've decided to cluster characters from the same culture together. I haven't added in the nature of the relationship (positive/negative) yet, and if I were going to get even more detailed, I'd add some kind of symbol to code something specific about that relationship (trade partners, rivalry, romance, old family feud, etc.). I've tried to make sure that everyone is linked to at least two other characters within their specific locations, characters who might be hubs of story activity connected with four or five sets of arrows. No character is linked to everyone in a location, you need some sense of mystery.

You don't need much more than that, and you can already see how complicated things are getting when more than half a dozen characters are involved. All 23 characters (plus ten new location specific ones) on a single map would be a tangled mess that in turn would be a nightmare to work with. 

It's also curious to note that the Borderslums have become such a hive for the cult while they were intended to be a Pirate hotspot. Not intended, but I like the idea that this developed organically from the process. 
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