When the Pelinore forum was created and a call for suggestions on the blurb was made I proposed the phrase "The World of Pelinore is flat - everyone knows that...", which comes from Issue 16 of Imagine Magazine where Pelinore is officially introduced. The paragraph in which this phrase occurs is in full below:
Imagine Magazine #16 wrote:The world of Pelinore is flat – everyone knows that – and its centre is at Worldheart. Now, you’ll hear plenty of different opinions among sages about just what Worldheart is, but as no-one has travelled to the edges of the world and returned, so has nobody penetrated the mysteries of what lies at Worldheart. Rumour has it that a plain of grey land stretches from the edge of the world as far as the eye can see, that ships have sailed off the edge into nothingness, even that the world is round! …
I don't have any other suggestions, though. The phrase just amused me because of the many debates that I have seen on the internet about the flatness or roundness of Pelinore.
From what I can see, Havard wants to add a bit of "introduction" to the "fun" we already have from your earlier suggestion.
Which brings me onto DirtSkull's point
DirtSkull wrote:If it's flat, the map is incomplete.....? No "World is Flat".
In a later article (can't remember which issue off the top of my head) the writers go on to say that this is only the perception of the world's inhabitants and the world can be any shape the DM wants it to be (I'm paraphrasing here). There are many issues with the map as well. The one that troubles me most is the fact that if noone has been to Worldheart or the edges of the World then how can there be a map in any event?
That's a good question (for another topic perhaps) but I don't think that is necessarily the problem you think it is.
If you look at mythology and human history, we have several maps of things that people had never seen. Gerardus Mercator
still has a cartographic projection named after him, despite including a submap of The Arctic
, that includes a none existent sea and island at the north pole (and several other features that have been discovered to not exist).
I don't think that anyone thinks that Mercator set out to lie about the north pole. I think he just worked with what information he had...including what information all the "experts" said was true.
So if nobody has been to the Worldheart, but every sage in Pelinore "knows" that there is a Worldheart, a cartographer would be expected to include one on maps. The same applies to the edges of the world.
Every fantasy map has an element of "here be dragons" about it, unless you have cartographers sitting in a spelljamming ship, flying over the entire surface of the planet and making thousands of sketch maps.
PelinoreRevived wrote:Another thing that troubles me is the vastness of the world as represented on the map - I calculated the surface area to be 48 times that of the Earth - and the only parts of it that are detailed in the official canon are only a few hundred miles across. My explanation of this to my players is that the map represents the viewpoint of the Pelinorean cartographer and as such is a work of his fantasy.
We should definitely have another topic on this!
Turn that thing around. Either the creator of Pelinore (or the first cartographer) didn't know what they were doing...
...that "48 times the surface area of the Earth" is there for a reason.
I quite like the idea that "the map represents the viewpoint of the Pelinorean cartographer" as it makes it an in-character thing.
If you think about it, we have had scientists who have worked out the acceleration towards the ground, the curvature and mass of the Earth, the size and mass of the sun and moon and all sorts of other things. In some cases they have miscalculated and other people have come along with revised numbers, or totally thrown concepts (like the planet Vulcan or the planet between Mars and Jupiter) out of the window, but it has all been part of the learning experience of the Earth.
If Pelinore was real (and it should
be real in the minds of the players) there would be a similar process over time. A sage might propose that the Worldheart is actually another plane (possibly an Outer Plane in Planescape/Manual of the Planes terms). Another sage might propose that the maps of Pelinore use a logarithmic scale
, with people getting larger as they approach the Worldheart and smaller as they approach the edge of the world. Maybe it is true. Maybe it is false. That's not important, if it works as a plot device.
I think it could be possible to take the Pelinore material and to relocate it onto a spherical planet (and there should probably be a topic about that) but in my opinion, that would be a waste of what is a "unique selling point" that makes Pelinore different from "Brand X World".
Maybe, if we had a topic about the size of Pelinore, we could be asking: What did the Imagine designers plan to put there?
Was Pelinore supposed to be a one-shot concept, that gained a bit more popularity that was hoped for? Or was it supposed to be a limited-time thing, that would eventually have been dropped after a few years and replaced with the next TSR UK campaign concept? Or would TSR UK still have been supporting Pelinore today, if they had not been shut down? I might be wrong, but I like to think that TSR UK would have eventually have put out a Pelinore Campaign Setting book, if things had worked out better between them and the parent company. It probably would have been into the 2nd Edition Era by then, so we might have got a Monsterous Compendium for Pelinore and a small range of Pelinore adventures. We might even have got a CGR book for Pelinore, if that range had not been wound up.
I would argue that your Imagine Magazine area is to Pelinore, what Karameikos is to Mystara, what the Flanaess is to Greyhawk, what Ansalon is to Dragonlance or what Faerûn is to Forgotten Realms. It is really just the starting area.
But I think this sort of conversation should be diverted to another topic. I think we should focus on the forum blurb here.