Real World Inspirations for Fantasy Locales

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TristramEvans

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This is a thread I've wanted to do for a while, and was finally spurred into action by Dumarest's "Here's Your Megadungeon" thread. I've been collecting strange, bizarre, and beautiful real world locations as inspirations for settings and setting elements in my games.

I'll start with the deserted grounds of Virginia's Renfaire, abandoned to the elements...

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From 1996 to 1999, these grounds just outside of Fredericksberg, Virginia, were home to the largest and most successful Renaissance festival in the country.

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However, constant fights with weather and the elements (it was essentially built on swampland), and mounting debts (3 million dollars worth of swampland apparently), led to it being abandoned with the turn of the millennium and it's stood as an anachronistic ghost town ever since.

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Doc Sammy

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Here's my first round of inspirational locations. I'll categorize them by what games they are relevant to.

Here's my picks for Boot Hill locations....

Tweetsie Railroad
Boone, North Carolina


tweetsie-railroad.jpg

Dante, Virginia

dante.jpg

Pioneer Saloon
Goodsprings, Nevada

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Doc Sammy

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Here's some locations relevant to some games of Vampire: The Masquerade that I would love to run.

Sinking Springs Cemetery
Abindgon, Virginia

abingdon cemetery.jpg

Susukino District, Sapporo
Hokkaido, Japan

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Hanson Park
Chicago, Illinois

Hanson Park.jpg

Downtown District
Roanoke, Virginia
downtown roanoke.jpg

Byrd House
(No longer standing)
Trammel, Virginia

Byrd House.jpg
 

Doc Sammy

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Finally, here's some inspirational locales for Dungeons & Dragons

Holmenkollen Chapel
Oslo, Norway

holmenkollen chapel.jpg

Fort Ross
Sonoma County, California

Fort Ross.jpg

Chateau Gailliard
Normandy, France

300px-Château_Gaillard_(Les_Andelys),_vu_du_ciel.JPG

Camp Creek State Forest
Mercer County, West Virginia

camp creek.jpg

Stonehenge
Salisbury, England

Stonehenge.jpg

Breaks Interstate Park
Dickenson County, Virginia

breaks.jpg

 

Apocryphal

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Places I have used in my various campaigns:

Kabaw granary, Libya (used as a harpy colony)
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Shibam, Yemen (a mud-brick city)
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Marib, Yemen (more mudbrick)
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Hadramaut, Yemen (was the city of Marab in my 13 wives campaign)
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Ait Benhaddou, Morocco
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Farafra Depression, Egypt (a place inhabited by Jinns)
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Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan
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Bam, Iran (before it was destroyed by an earthquake)
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Gonur Depe, Turkmenistan
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Dumarest

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A good way to wear down PCs no matter how "powerful" they are is to make them confront the forces of nature, such as Death Valley. Your +3 Giant-Killing spear will avail you nought and you aren't wearing that +2 plate armor in 134-degree heat. Once you're worn down by the elements, the coyotes get their turn. On the bright side, maybe you'll discover what makes the sailing stones move.
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TristramEvans

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Funny how those pics came through my Facebook feed and made me think of this thread... Oh, and Tristram, stop reading my mind! :hehe:

heh, you must belong to that selfsame Celts group. :smile:
 

Haffrung

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My trips to Turkey have been incredible inspiration for D&D. Pictures don't do justice.

Uchisar

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Kusadasi
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Derinkuyu

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I've used the stone disk door concept in a lot of my dungeons since seeing them in the underground cities of Cappadocia.
 
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